transition to kindergarten meeting -- help

rivenoak

New Member
Premium Member
This is all last minute & totally my fault for not understanding the process earlier.

I'm not sure if I'll make sense, but any guidance is appreciated!

Our school district is open enrollment.

Thursday is an MET, or a transition to kindergarten meeting. Our next IEP meeting is scheduled for April 14.

I thought the MET was going to be where we would talk about the best placement for my son.

I don't want him to go to our assigned school. There are a few reasons, but it boils down to I don't like the part of town it's in, I feel like too much of their resources will be spent on the many many ESL kids, and it has no before/after school program.

There is another school in the district where I know there are d/hh kids, the deaf coordinator (not sure of her actual title right now) is based, safer part of town, and has the district-aligned before/after school program.

He has to be bussed no matter where he goes.

I just found out this morning that staff from the school to which we are assigned will be there, but not staff from the school where I want him to go.

What am I supposed to do?!
 

TheOracle

New Member
Call the school you want him to attend and ask for advice.

I'd not mention that the other school has a lot of ESL students and such. Instead I'd focus on what your son needs and what your first choice can provide. :)
 

marcyp06

Member
I'd not mention that the other school has a lot of ESL students and such. Instead I'd focus on what your son needs and what your first choice can provide. :)

Agreed. Make it about your child and his needs. Dont bash on the assigned school, just talk about the resources available in your preffered school and how he can prosper from that.
I would call the Director of Special Education Services and talk with that person, explaining the situation.

I know that where I live the SPED busses are required to bus their kids wherever they go to school even if its on the opposite side of town. Its a small town her though.

Good luck, and dont stress too much! At the very least just get him registered for kindergarten now and you can continue to work on getting him into the school you want.
 

deafbajagal

New Member
Phoenix Day School for the Deaf should have information. Contact the school and ask if it has an outreach program coordinator who can help you locate an advocacy center or a deaf education specialist to make sure your son is getting the appropriate services he needs.
 

CSign

New Member
Calling the school won't do anything. You'll need to be clear with the district rep that the other school is more Appropriate for him. Lay out the reasons above, minus the ESL and safer school part. Tell them it's imperative he have other DHH peers to socialize with, and if their us another DHH student that you'd like them in the same class.

The point about ESL and it being a "safer" school won't hold any weight. The fact that this other school HA's a number of DHH students will. If they refuse, you don't have to sign the IEP. Or when the time comes, you can consent to the services part (if it's appropriate) but not the placement.

What does MET stand for?
 

deafbajagal

New Member
And Cartwright. Since your son is hard of hearing and seems to be, from little I gather from your posts, verbal, Cartwright's hard of hearing program might also have some contacts they can share with you.
 

deafbajagal

New Member
Advocacy services: Community Outreach Program for the Deaf | Client Services

Bottom line = you're going have to make some inquires by calling around to find someone who can advocate for your child with background knowledge of special education (specifically deaf education) and what services are available in your area. You can try contacting the director of the special education services, but in my experience, many of them do not really understand the unique needs of a child with hearing loss.

Another possible resource: Hands & Voices :: Arizona
 

rivenoak

New Member
Premium Member
Thanks everyone! :ty::ty: I know I shouldn't be freaking out, but I'm having one of those weeks where my coping mechanisms are low.

I didn't know what MET stood for either. Abbreviations and acronyms get tossed around so much!

I wouldn't mention my concerns about the ESL and part of town to them. I was definitely venting here.

The deaf coordinator is supposed to be at the meeting on Thurs. We've talked on the phone before & I've mentioned that I want my son at a school where he has the opportunity to be with his d/hh peers; even if they're not in the same class, at least they'd be in the same building. She is based at the school I want him to attend.

I have a message in for the elementary education person at PDSD to contact me.

Thank you again, everyone, for your helpful words. It's really appreciated.

I don't have much of a support system here, and sometimes I feel really lost.
I know I should have had a lot of this worked out earlier, but it is what it is. I keep learning something new everyday & its overwhelming.

:ty:
 

rivenoak

New Member
Premium Member
And Cartwright. Since your son is hard of hearing and seems to be, from little I gather from your posts, verbal, Cartwright's hard of hearing program might also have some contacts they can share with you.

What is Cartwright? Hadn't hear of that before.

Found it. Doing some reading now...

Yes, he's verbal.
 

rivenoak

New Member
Premium Member

thank you for those links.

We've been members of Hands & Voices, but other than not always getting newsletters & not having good luck being matched with a mentor, I haven't had anything to do with them. Will try again.

Will try COPD; hadn't found that before. Just looked-they serve Tucson. We're in Phoenix (but Tempe schools; it's confusing).

I was looking at Az Commission for Deaf & Hard of Hearing; I get their e-blasts, but haven't figured out how to talk to someone about advocacy at a meeting. I met Becca Bailey once, so I guess I could e-mail her.

A friend at work has an autistic kid & their placement meeting was so easy because there's a great program for him at their assigned school.

What I hear is that despite the theory of "open enrollment," my district in reality may make it hard to get him in my preferred school.

I really do need a local advocate to help me, don't I?
 

TheOracle

New Member
Maybe. But keep in mind that the law may be on your side. I like everyone else's suggestions. I live in a district that's...scatterbrained...we have "school choice"--ish. But all of the "top" schools are always full. My hair stylist and friend just applied to SEVEN schools for his son entering kindergarden this year. *sigh* He didn't apply to private schools, either!

I got my son into the school of my choice (private) and it was by pure chance/luck that he got most of his tuition funded. I still have to reapply and he has to maintain grades and there's no guarantee of funding from one year to the next. :/

*sigh* Denver is a white flight city, no doubt. A lot of white kids bus out. So I can only imagine what you go through in AZ with IEPs...but like someone else mentioned, there's always next year. Do what you can do right now and see if you have any backups - 3rd and 4th options, maybe. Good luck.
xo
 

TheOracle

New Member
Oh, if your state has accountability reports, look those up for the schools you mentioned. You don't want to bash one school, but it is OK to say it won't meet your son's needs. Look at his previous IEP and try to make it applicable to what the schools offer.

There are other teachers here on AD that have experience with d/hh (I don't - only other SPED issues + IEP staffing) and they could probably help you. If not, I'm happy to look at the info you have and draft out some points for you to have for your meeting...If there's one thing I'm good at, it's being a tornado, I mean *cough* making my points clear. :)
 

deafbajagal

New Member
Thanks everyone! :ty::ty: I know I shouldn't be freaking out, but I'm having one of those weeks where my coping mechanisms are low.

I didn't know what MET stood for either. Abbreviations and acronyms get tossed around so much!

I wouldn't mention my concerns about the ESL and part of town to them. I was definitely venting here.

The deaf coordinator is supposed to be at the meeting on Thurs. We've talked on the phone before & I've mentioned that I want my son at a school where he has the opportunity to be with his d/hh peers; even if they're not in the same class, at least they'd be in the same building. She is based at the school I want him to attend.

I have a message in for the elementary education person at PDSD to contact me.

Thank you again, everyone, for your helpful words. It's really appreciated.

I don't have much of a support system here, and sometimes I feel really lost.
I know I should have had a lot of this worked out earlier, but it is what it is. I keep learning something new everyday & its overwhelming.

:ty:

This is a good start - start with this deaf coordinator first and see what comes to play. Remember if the meeting isn't productive, you have the right to ask for the meeting to stop and be extended at a different time (so you can request for an advocate to come with you, etc. or because you would like more time to find more information). You are a part of the team - you don't have to agree to what the school says.

Also the committee must provide you with the copy of parental rights...my suggestion is for you to get it BEFORE the meeting so you would have time to thoroughly read through it. It's really important. At the meeting they are required to make sure you understand it and if necessary, you can ask for clarification.

Hang in there. :)
 

deafdyke

Well-Known Member
The fact that they have D/hh kids at the school you want him to attend SHOULD be THE sticking point. You could argue that you want a sped department and mainstream teachers that is experianced with dhh kids, and didn't just spend a day in their teacher training general sped class talking about deaf ed.
 

shel90

Audist are not welcome
Premium Member
As someone who grew up in the Phx public school system, I would definitely fight to get what your son needs.

PDSD (Phoenix Day School for the Deaf) is run by Arizona Schools for the Deaf (ASDB) which is based in Tucson. Contact them as well.


Have you looked into Sequois Charter School for the Deaf and hearing CODAs? I think it is located in the East Valley (Mesa or Tempe).
 

deafdyke

Well-Known Member
As someone who grew up in the Phx public school system, I would definitely fight to get what your son needs.
Definitly!!!!!! Who was that poster who had a deaf teen? He used to post a lot, and his daughter went to PDSD. I remember him saying that sped services in Arizona were really crappy, even at the Deaf Schools....Usually when special ed in the mainstream is bad the specialized schools (deaf and blind) tend to be really good. If I recall correctly the quality of the sped services depends on the district you're in. That's another reason why solotaire mainstreaming hasn't worked very well..... the people advocating mainstreaming assume that special ed services are pretty much uniform in the mainstream.
I doubt that a pro mainstreamer would want a kid to go to a mainstream school in a district that is in danger of being taken over by the state, or a crappy inner city school or a rural school with not a lot of resources even for hearing/nondisabled kids.
Now, back on topic. Maybe a good idea, if you get your son into the school, would be to work with the administration in creating an offical magnet school, where lots of dhh kids could go as a "homebase" I have a feeling a LOT of parents would opt for that placement....the advantage of a mainstream school and a large popualtion of dhh kids too!
 

rivenoak

New Member
Premium Member
:(
As someone who grew up in the Phx public school system, I would definitely fight to get what your son needs.

PDSD (Phoenix Day School for the Deaf) is run by Arizona Schools for the Deaf (ASDB) which is based in Tucson. Contact them as well.


Have you looked into Sequois Charter School for the Deaf and hearing CODAs? I think it is located in the East Valley (Mesa or Tempe).

I heard back from someone at PDSD and it was basically, "Tempe knows about us, if it's the correct placement." Well, I knew that already. :sad: I asked a follow-up question, but it hasn't been answered yet.

I looked at Sequoia's info online & think the idea is great; I've had brief e-mail contact with them over the past year, just haven't been able to coordinate a visit yet. Their Great Schools score isn't good which concerns me, but they're not out of consideration.

It's been hard to get a straight answer out of Tempe about a magnet school. I think it *is* the school I want him to go to, but it doesn't seem "official."

I'm trying to dig out my parents rights booklet to cram before the meeting this afternoon. No one's ever been adversarial, but I've mostly gone along with everything before; I think this is when I start not necessarily doing that & folks might be surprised.

I wish my husband could be there today, but he can't.

More thanks to everyone, it's so appreciated!
 
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