Moving her out of the regular classroom, and into the special needs room. Anyone btdt? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 26 Old 01-26-2012, 09:08 AM - Thread Starter
 
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My daughter is well on her way to failing 1st grade again (she is still struggling with preschool concepts).  We'll they cant actually do that, because then she would graduate high school at 20!  So there is a huge meeting taking place on the 30th to decide what to do with her.  I have been given the impression that she will be moved into the special needs class.  I don't know what to think.  Her whole life I have known that she has issues and that things would be harder for her.  But I never anticipated just how bad it would be.  I don't know what to expect.  If this will be a good thing for her or bad?  If I should just go back to homeschooling...or leave her in school with all of the professionals?

 

School was super easy for me as a child.  So I have a hard time "getting it".  I just feel terrible and helpless here.  Like I have failed her somehow (even though I know that's silly).  I have thrown so much money at tutors, classes, occupational therapists, etc.  I even majored in child development because I thought I would learn things that could help me teach her.  I really thought I could help her get better somehow, and now I need to realize that I can't.  This isn't just going to go away someday.  She isn't going to just grow out of this.

 

I thought I had done this already, but I guess I am now at the "acceptance" stage of this.  Her quirkiness used to just be cute.  And now it is causing huge problems in her life.  Anyone btdt?  Any words of wisdom for someone going through this?

 

Thanks 


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#2 of 26 Old 01-26-2012, 09:27 AM
 
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I have no btdt, ds is only 3 but I wish so friggin much I could give you a big ass hug.  I am just starting to realize some of the things you seem to be grappling with, thank you for being brave enough to post.  I hope you get some great words o' wisdom from others.

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#3 of 26 Old 01-26-2012, 03:40 PM
 
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Does she have a diagnosis?  Does she get any accommodations in the classroom?  Does she have an IEP?  I would expect to do all of these before moving her to a SE classroom. 

 

If they move her to a SE classroom, what accommodations are they going to give her there that she can't get in the regular classroom? Is she stuck in the SE classroom for the rest of her school career, or what would it take to move her back to the regular classroom at a later date?  These are the big questions I would want answered before agreeing to it. 

 

As for how to cope with your own feelings, I'm afraid I don't know the answer to that.  You're going through a lot right now, and this is just one more thing, yk? 

 

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#4 of 26 Old 01-26-2012, 04:20 PM
 
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*HUGS* 

 

What kind of Special Education classroom should make a difference.

 

There are self-contained classes that are multi-age and they do everything together (all academics and non-academics) and there are direct instruction pull out (special ed classroom for specific academics) with the rest of time with peer group (specials, lunch, science/social studies,etc.)

 

I would find out what Special Education will look like for your daughter, it will vary. It should- the idea of an IEP is individualization to suit the child.  There should be a range of programs/supports in place- it is not all or nothing for placement in a separate classroom.

 

I teach Special Education and I love it, I love the kids, I love the families I work with, I love how supportive the other teachers are. Everything about it. The kids I work with spend from 20-80% of their classroom time in the General Education class and then 80-20% in the Special Education classroom. 

 

 

I hope your meeting goes well and you get the information, support, and ideas you and your daughter need!

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#5 of 26 Old 01-26-2012, 06:08 PM
 
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Originally Posted by cristeen View Post

Does she have a diagnosis?  Does she get any accommodations in the classroom?  Does she have an IEP?  I would expect to do all of these before moving her to a SE classroom. 

 

If they move her to a SE classroom, what accommodations are they going to give her there that she can't get in the regular classroom? Is she stuck in the SE classroom for the rest of her school career, or what would it take to move her back to the regular classroom at a later date?  These are the big questions I would want answered before agreeing to it. 

 

yeahthat.gif

 

I recommended reading "Wrightslaw: From Emotions to Advocacy"; the information from the book can be found on their site as well for free--you can search the Wright's Law site using terms from the Table of Contents. To buy the book is about $8 for the Kindle/PC e-book and about $12 for the hard copy. The book does address procedural protections; you should have a stack of paperwork at least as thick as a full-size dictionary by now if the school has done everything it is supposed to.

 

Reading "Wrightslaw: Special Education Law, 2nd Edition," would be a good idea as well).

 

If you feel like you need time to review her records/the law and/or would like time to secure an advocate I would call and follow-up with an e-mail requesting to reschedule the meeting. I would also submit a letter requesting a copy of her full educational record if you do not have one (The Art of Writing Letters by Pam and Pete Wright - Advocacy ...).

 

OAH is required to maintain a list of free or low cost advocates... - CA.gov

 

Disability Rights California - Home Page

 


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#6 of 26 Old 01-26-2012, 08:38 PM
 
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awesome posts already, just wanted to send you a hug2.gif

 

Even though you are at the acceptance stage, she will still improve. And all that work that you've done HAS made a difference. And the knowledge that you gained with your studies WILL continue to make a difference for her.

 

She will eventually catch on to things, though it may take longer.

 

Since my kids are older and we are in SN land, I know older kids with a variety of issues. Some of them pop into my head as you talk about your DD. They struggle with some things, but they continue to learn, to figure out friendships, to find hobbies they enjoy.  I know some AMAZING teenagers who were in full time SN classes when they were little, and still need lots of support. But they are amazing people with their own gifts to bring to the world.

 

My standard advice is to enjoy the day to day with your child. Take pictures of her, enjoy talking to her. Do things with her that she enjoys. It's easy to get caught up in the sn part of thing and miss a chunk of childhood (I did that for awhile and I regret it).

 

But I think that part of it for you is balancing acceptance of what is with openness to your DDs future development and growth as a person. Even while staying completely realistic, none of us really knows what another human being is capable of.

 

Peace

 

 

 

 

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#7 of 26 Old 01-27-2012, 07:16 AM
 
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Ds is pulled from class twice a day to do special ed, and he was so excited to do it.  The teacher does a lot of one on one, so he gets help and attention that he needs, which could be missed in the larger classroom.  His teacher has a discipline plan that rewards good behavior with "conduct cash", so frequently he brings home toys and things that he bought with conduct cash (this is not a method we use at home, but ds actually likes it).   It is likely that your dd's teacher will use a different method, but they will probably try to find one that helps motivate your dd.  When I have concerns about ds and school, one of the first people I talk to is the special ed teacher because she works closely with ds and can catch more than the classroom teacher.  This is the second year he has had this particular teacher and we will miss her next year when he goes to middle school.

 

It was stressed to me during the meetings with his iep team that even though he is in special ed now, he can always either be taken out of it by us or graduate out to the regular classroom when he is able to display grade level work.  Some kids need different learning environments that the standard classroom and special ed can provide that.  Special ed is not a stigma, and special ed students can go on to college and be successful adults. 

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#8 of 26 Old 01-27-2012, 09:18 AM
 
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Our situation is different, but my DS (age 7 and in the 2nd grade) was recently moved back to a self-contained special ed classroom after the school's attempt to mainstream him was a total disaster.

 

DS spent Kindergarten in the K-2 Autism classroom full time (half-day Kindy).  Last year, for 1st grade, he was partially mainstreamed.  He spent mornings in the regular classroom with an aide, and afternoons in the Autism classroom.  DS did very well both of those years.  He loved school and made amazing progress.

 

This year, the school started him off fully mainstreamed (which is NOT what we had agreed to in the IEP) with an aide and with pull-outs for ST and OT.  DS was unable to handle being in the mainstream classroom for so long and his behavior was terrible, both at school and at home.  From the first week of the school year, DH and I fougt with the school to get his program changed.  We were gradually able to add pull-outs to the resource room for some of his instruction, time in the sensory room, and a functional behavior plan.  Even still, DS was unable to manage all the transitions from one room to another and could not process what was happening in the mainstream classroom. His behavior continued to worsen and he refused to cooperate with school staff.  A couple of weeks before winter break, we were able to get DS's placement changed back to the K-2 Autism classroom full time.

 

His teacher in the Autism classroom (who has taught him since Kindergarten) has been shocked by the changes in DS as a result of the failed attempt at mainstreaming.  His self-esteem and his sense of security at school have been shattered and he is experiencing a lot of anxiety.  We anticipate that it will take a long time to get him back to where he was a year ago. 

 

My son is able to dothe academic work at grade level, but he needs the special education classroom because he requires a more structured, controlled environment with a lot of visual support.  He does not have the verbal language processing skills to understand what is going on in the regular classroom and deal with all the distractions of 25 other kids.  The Autism classroom is really the best place for him to get the support and the individual attention he needs.

 

Our whole experience this year has soured us on the whole processes of "mainstreaming".  I know it's not a popular opinion, but I feel that mainstreaming is not the "end all and be all" when it comes to determining the best placement.

 

Good luck to you in your decision.


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#9 of 26 Old 01-28-2012, 10:10 AM
 
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I'm somewhat new to the parenting side of special needs, but want to reply as my 9yo has recently started in a special ed classroom. Like Lolly's son, mine can do most of the grade level work (aside from writing, he is worse now than he was in 2nd grade), but he has extreme anxiety in a regular classroom due to the number of kids and all the distractions. Until we got the IEP and all that, he was on independent study as he simply could not function in the classroom. Anyway, he has recently been easing back into going to school and is in the special ed classroom for two hours a day, speech and music once a week, and the rest of the time he works at home. He LOVES the sped class and wants to be in there full time. He is in the pull-out one, so it's just him and the teacher for 30 minutes, then about 3 kids come in and out for the rest of his time there. He is finally happy to go to school again, it's wonderful to see.

 

My rambling point is that your dd might love and excel in the sped class, don't worry about any stigmas. Just be assertive and proactive and know your rights! I'm blessed with a great team at my son's school, but have certainly had to fight for services in the past, stay strong!


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#10 of 26 Old 01-28-2012, 06:00 PM
 
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hug2.gif  I'm a BTDT mom.  Ds1 was moved to a special ed classroom in 1st grade.  He still had lunch, recess, and specials with the regular ed class.  He was truly just overwhelmed in the regular ed classroom.  There was just too much going on.  It was seriously affecting his academic and social growth.  He's now in 7th grade.  He's mainstreamed for all his core and special classes.  He still meets outside the classroom for skills and he does have some support within the classroom.

 

  I was absolutely against moving him when he was in first grade.  I actually got into it with the superintendent about moving him, but he convinced me to give it a 4 month try.  And I was absolutely amazed and impressed with the individual hands on help he was able to recieve in a special education classroom. 


 
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#11 of 26 Old 01-30-2012, 05:18 AM
 
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I have btdt.  We knew my son had challenges and went to an inclusive pre-school where he received speech and OT.  I was fully prepared for him to be in an inclusion classroom for Kindergarten.  Imagine my shock when they said he needs to be in a self-contained (special ed) classroom.  Kindergarten was rough.  He has sensory processing disorder and the classroom was a sensory nightmare.  The teacher went above and beyond to get the classroom to a place where my son could function.  He's now in the same class for first grade and thriving.  In fact, he read to us for the first time last night.  I cried. 


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#12 of 26 Old 02-01-2012, 08:23 AM
 
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I would want to know much more about the specific special ed class before any changes. My YoungSon's experience was that they described the special class all warm and fuzzy, only 6 kids, but in practice, the teacher was highly disciplinarian and the kids had major behavioral problems. It didn't work at all for us, and prompted me to homeschool for the next 6 years. I don't know that it was a bad program, just didn't meet YoungSon's needs.

 

I now work as an advocate for special needs kids. My experience is that sometimes school districts don't mention ALL the available resources.There are academic and behavioral supports, special classes with specific focus, self-contained classes, and dedicated schools. Each district has their own list, but parents are seldom presented with all the choices. I would suggest an advocate helping you navigate the system.

 

NAMI (National Association for Mental Illness) offers free advocacy services in many counties. Maybe you have a local Autism Society, or Department of Developmental Disabilities, or another agency that can offer a Family Partner or Family Navigator (different titles for similar advocacy/support roles).

 

Good luck. I know it is difficult coming to terms with new stages of your child's disability. But for what it is worth, after some pretty rough years, my now teenage special needs kids amazes me daily with his progress and accomplishments. I wish you all the best.


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#13 of 26 Old 02-01-2012, 02:54 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Well we had the big meeting.  There was no mention of moving her to the special ed class.  Their thoughts are right now to increase her homework (wtf?!), hope she "catches up", and if she doesn't then they intend to hold her back again.  That would make her 20 when a senior in high school.  How is this even legal/acceptable?

 

I am very sad and frustrated for my daughter right now.  I would love to just go back to homeschooling, but legally I am not able to at this point.  And I'm not sure I have the resources right now to meet her needs at home anyways (it would take some serious figuring things out first).  They say she touches herself, bites herself, won't talk, and is distracted all day long in class.  Yet they are offering no testing, etc.  They are still just blaming me for homeschooling her for her first year of kindy.  Arg.


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#14 of 26 Old 02-01-2012, 06:03 PM
 
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Quote:

Originally Posted by CrazyCatLady View Post  How is this even legal/acceptable?

 


It's not--it's REALLY not.

 

Quote:

 

Originally Posted by CrazyCatLady Yet they are offering no testing, etc.

 

You can't wait for them to offer things to you.

 

You need to "start the clock" with a letter of request; the school has 60 days from the date they received parental consent for evaluation to do the evaluation; your written request should note that this letter is the consent for evaluation. (And, if you did not do it in writing, it never happened!). After you deliver the letter I would follow-up with an e-mail saying who/when you left the letter with and that you are including a copy of the letter for their convenience.

Determining Eligibility: How Many Days is 60 Days? - Wrightslaw

The Art of Writing Letters by Pam and Pete Wright - Advocacy ...
 

Independent Education Evaluations: What? How? Why? Who Pays?

Independent Evaluations: Must Parents Select an Evaluator from the School's Approved List?

How Can We Get an Independent Evaluation (IEE) by ...


BASIC REFERENCE INFORMATION - 504, IEP, OHI, Wrightslaw - ADD ...

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Emmeline II View Post

Quote:


It's not--it's REALLY not.

 

 

You can't wait for them to offer things to you.

 

You need to "start the clock" with a letter of request; the school has 60 days from the date they received parental consent for evaluation to do the evaluation; your written request should note that this letter is the consent for evaluation. (And, if you did not do it in writing, it never happened!). After you deliver the letter I would follow-up with an e-mail saying who/when you left the letter with and that you are including a copy of the letter for their convenience.

Determining Eligibility: How Many Days is 60 Days? - Wrightslaw

The Art of Writing Letters by Pam and Pete Wright - Advocacy ...
 

Independent Education Evaluations: What? How? Why? Who Pays?

Independent Evaluations: Must Parents Select an Evaluator from the School's Approved List?

How Can We Get an Independent Evaluation (IEE) by ...


BASIC REFERENCE INFORMATION - 504, IEP, OHI, Wrightslaw - ADD ...


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#16 of 26 Old 02-02-2012, 06:51 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I'll start working on that.  It terrifies me though because I have no idea what to say or how to word the letter.  And the school already thinks of me as that young/dumb mom.  So I am afraid of making a fool of myself by doing it wrong. 


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#17 of 26 Old 02-02-2012, 09:07 AM
 
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Honestly, you don't HAVE to say anything other than that you are formally requesting that your child be evaluated for special education services. I did mine as an e-mail so that I had documentation of when I sent it. You may choose to do it a different way. I'm sure the links posted have sample letters if you want to be more detailed. 

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#18 of 26 Old 02-02-2012, 12:07 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CrazyCatLady View Post

I'll start working on that.  It terrifies me though because I have no idea what to say or how to word the letter.  And the school already thinks of me as that young/dumb mom.  So I am afraid of making a fool of myself by doing it wrong. 


As pp said, there is a link above (and links within that link) about writing letters, and the book has a lot of advice on dealing with the school.

 


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#19 of 26 Old 02-02-2012, 07:44 PM
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The letter is best if you keep it short.  I suggest hand-delivering 3 copies of the letter, one for the classroom teacher, one for the principal and one for someone higher up in charge of special ed.  This is what the letter needs to say:

 

Dear Ms. School Principal:  I am writing to request a multi-disciplinary team evaluation for my daughter, Name, a student at School Name.  This letter is my written consent for evaluation.  As you know from our meeting on Date, Teacher Name reports that my daughter is distracted in class, will not speak, bites herself, touches herself and is not meeting cognitive or academic goals in spite of repeating first grade.  Therefore my daughter needs a full developmental evaluation by the school psychologist, social worker, speech therapist and occupational therapist (maybe physical therapist, too, depending on other reported symptoms).  Thank you for your time and consideration.  Signed, Parent Name

 

 


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#20 of 26 Old 02-07-2012, 10:15 AM
 
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so sorry you are going thru this too melaya- they are required by law to meet her needs and extra homework is not going to do it. 


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Originally Posted by Fay View Post

The letter is best if you keep it short.  I suggest hand-delivering 3 copies of the letter, one for the classroom teacher, one for the principal and one for someone higher up in charge of special ed.  This is what the letter needs to say:

 

Dear Ms. School Principal:  I am writing to request a multi-disciplinary team evaluation for my daughter, Name, a student at School Name.  This letter is my written consent for evaluation.  As you know from our meeting on Date, Teacher Name reports that my daughter is distracted in class, will not speak, bites herself, touches herself and is not meeting cognitive or academic goals in spite of repeating first grade.  Therefore my daughter needs a full developmental evaluation by the school psychologist, social worker, speech therapist and occupational therapist (maybe physical therapist, too, depending on other reported symptoms).  Thank you for your time and consideration.  Signed, Parent Name

 

 

Is it ok to hand deliver?  I thought they needed to be sent by registered or certified (not sure which) mail with signature requested.  The reason I thought that was because then the school can not deny receiving it.  I might be off, though, so I am just asking.

 

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#22 of 26 Old 02-07-2012, 05:53 PM
 
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Quote:

Originally Posted by melissa17s View Post

Is it ok to hand deliver?  I thought they needed to be sent by registered or certified (not sure which) mail with signature requested.  The reason I thought that was because then the school can not deny receiving it.  I might be off, though, so I am just asking.

 


Wrightslaw suggests not doing so (certified), but in the discussion under the article others disagree; there are also suggestions sending the letter "Priority Mail with delivery tracking" or hand delivering but asking for a for time/date stamp receipt.

 

The Negative Impact of Certified Letters - Wrightslaw


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#23 of 26 Old 02-10-2012, 10:53 AM
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Yes, it's OK to hand-deliver.  The reason I suggested 3 copies of the same letter is so that receipt of the letter can't be denied.  Under your signature on the letter you write "cc: name of second recipient, name of third recipient."  That way everyone knows the names of all 3 recipients, no one can deny receiving it, and there's no need to sending it via certified mail.  We always get a quick response when we send out a letter simultaneously to several levels of school administration.  :)

 

Remember, the school has 30 days to respond, then another 30 days to do the eval, so you need to deliver the letter at least 2 months before the end of the school year.  If you hand-deliver the letters today, you will get a response mid-March, and then an IEP meeting in mid-April.


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#24 of 26 Old 02-10-2012, 05:42 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Fay View PostRemember, the school has 30 days to respond, then another 30 days to do the eval, so you need to deliver the letter at least 2 months before the end of the school year.  If you hand-deliver the letters today, you will get a response mid-March, and then an IEP meeting in mid-April.


School response time is determined by state law; in CA it looks like the school has 15 days to respond:

 

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The school district must inform you about proposed evaluations of your child in a written notice or an assessment plan within fifteen (15) days of your written request for evaluation.... The Prior Written Notice must include the following:
1.
A description of the actions proposed or refused by the school district
2.
An explanation of why the action was proposed or refused
3.
A description of each assessment procedure, record, or report the agency used as a basis for the action proposed or refused

 

pseng.pdf (application/pdf Object)

 

 


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#25 of 26 Old 09-25-2012, 07:43 PM
 
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Hello, Could you explain the 80/20 that you mentioned. My wife is a special Education teacher as well and her district has just started talking about some 80/20 law for special education in Michigan.It seems as though the administrators cannot explain this 80/20. Not sure if this is a formula that has to deal with total FTE hours or if this is just some hoax. Any information would be greatly appreciated. Thank you  

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#26 of 26 Old 10-01-2012, 05:39 PM
 
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 In Ca they have 60 days to do a full evaluation  after getting permission to do the evaluation.


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