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#1 of 15 Old 09-23-2010, 05:27 PM - Thread Starter
 
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We have turned in an application for dd12 to attend a different high school than our assigned high school next year. She will be a 9th grader next fall.

I rec'd an e-mail from the school to which we applied with some questions that left me with a bit of an odd feeling.

The email basically stated that they wanted some more info on dd including whether she was on an IEP, had ever had an IEP, and whether she had ever needed special education services.

Dd never has had an IEP and, quite honestly, is a student who usually makes her school look very good in that she tests very well on those NCLB tests. I can't imagine that she's a kid they wouldn't want.

However, I understand that they cannot discriminate in terms of who they accept based upon whether the child is a straight A kid in AP classes or a failing student in remedial classes. I guess that the e-mail left me feeling like they were trying to cherry pick students who weren't going to need special ed services or who wouldn't test poorly.

How would you feel about something like this?
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#2 of 15 Old 09-23-2010, 06:34 PM
 
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I would assume that the school already is mandated to educate all the special needs students from within its own boundaries and that their budget can accomodate those kids but perhaps not additional transfers?
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#3 of 15 Old 09-23-2010, 06:48 PM
 
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I would assume that the school already is mandated to educate all the special needs students from within its own boundaries and that their budget can accomodate those kids but perhaps not additional transfers?

What she said. I think many public schools are supposed to have (or have the funding available) for a certain percentage of special needs kids. The school I used to work at had to have at least 10%. It's likely that they don't have much space, if any, for choice students unless they have an IEP in place.

My parents 'choiced' me in to a different highschool, and the only reason I got in was because my older sister had - and at the time they enrolled her, the school had a lot less students.

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#4 of 15 Old 09-23-2010, 07:28 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I guess the reason that this rubs me the wrong way is that I spoke with the middle school we are attempting to choice dd9 to for next year and they told me that it is illegal for them to choose which students they take based upon grades or special needs. I don't even recall how exactly that came up.

Neither of my kids has special needs so it doesn't impact my kids in terms of them being not selected. I just don't like to see the wrong thing happening. I'm not sure if the reason they were asking was to attempt to weed out the special needs kids. It just felt that way to me.
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#5 of 15 Old 09-23-2010, 07:55 PM
 
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I really think it is the opposite of trying to weed out special needs students, though I can see how the email may have came across that way. Do you know others who have successfully enrolled their children? You might ask them more about the choice process and how the school picks.

Oh, and I went to high school in CO (it is also where I worked - the place that required 10% of the enrolled students to be special needs).

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#6 of 15 Old 09-24-2010, 12:26 AM
 
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Depending on how the district sets up their schools, not all services are available at all schools (which means that students who need a specific service not offered at the school will need to be transported to a school that does). A lot of districts are consolidating their services at specific schools so they don't have to set up therapies/special ed classrooms in every school (esp if there are only a couple of kids that need them).

In addition, a waivered (not in the original service area) student who comes with an IEP can cost the new school money. (Schools do not have services reimbursed fully) Many times it's out of the school's hands, but someone at the district must approve all transfers/waivers that involve IEPs.

I'm not saying I like these policies (I don't, I find it shocking that a family might not be allowed to attend the neighborhood school but have to bus their kid to another because one school does not provide adequate services)--but they are the reality in many districts.

And why a lot of forms for choice programs/waivers not only ask you if your child has or has ever had an IEP but also state that if you lie or omit things you will lose your spot.
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#7 of 15 Old 09-24-2010, 12:44 AM
 
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In addition, a waivered (not in the original service area) student who comes with an IEP can cost the new school money. (Schools do not have services reimbursed fully) .
one of my kids has sn. When she was in public school she had a 504 plan, not an IEP, and part of that meant that no money was attached to her accommodations. She required more from many staff members -- the social worker, the special education teacher, each of her classroom teachers, the principal, and even the school secretary.

I'm not saying that it's right, but I can see *why* schools need to limit the number of students like her that the can accommodate beyond what live in their area. Educating kids like her is far more intense and expensive than educating neuro-typical kids.

but everything has pros and cons  shrug.gif

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#8 of 15 Old 09-24-2010, 01:23 AM
 
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As said by others, it's a financial issue. Our district is small but very strong and has a reputation of flexibility and individualized instruction. They used to take in everyone that wanted to come into the district. However, word got around and people with kids needing special services started transferring in droves (not just those with learning disabilites... gifted kids too.) The cost of these programs was already high and the district was stretched thin trying to keep up with demand. When the quality of such services became at risk (too many kids, not enough money to hire more specialist,) they had to start denying transfer students with special needs. It truely wasn't about bettering their test scores, they just couldn't shoulder the cost any longer.... it was time for the parents in those other communities to start demanding quality services from their OWN districts.

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#9 of 15 Old 09-24-2010, 09:31 AM - Thread Starter
 
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...word got around and people with kids needing special services started transferring in droves (not just those with learning disabilites... gifted kids too.)...
So, do you imagine that dd having a GT identification would possibly be a negative then? It is kind of obvious and not something I can hide in that she just turned 12 and is in 8th grade, so she'll be starting high school slightly before her 13th bd. She was also in this district before so they have records of her GT id and that she skipped a grade since it happened right at the time she left their district to come back to our assigned one.

In high school, I wouldn't imagine that a GT id would cost the school more. All they need to do is put her in AP classes. Since she's already accelerated, she won't need further subject acceleration at this point. The only thing I could see costing the district $ is that they offer a dual enrollment program where you can take college courses while in high school free of charge in this district. Kids don't have that option in our home district. Dd won't be doing that immediately, but she might want to when she gets further into high school.

Darn, you all have me worried now!
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#10 of 15 Old 09-24-2010, 11:11 AM
 
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No your DD shouldn't have any troubles. Typically, there are less GT kids and most schools are moving too different sorts of accomodation that aren't nearly as expensive as other sorts of special needs. Most middle schools and high schools rely on honors/advanced/AP classes to accomodate those needing higher instruction. As long as those programs aren't impacted (and normally they are not) then it shouldn't be a problem to take your child. Our district only had to turn away GT kids a couple years at the elementary level because nieghboring communities cut their GT program completely. When those programs were reinstated, the demand for our district programs moved back to manageable levels.

My DD is grade accelerated too and it's not been an issue. The high school she's attending is not our home school and is a rarity in that it does have a GT and HG program. We did have to jump through some extra hoops to get her into the HG program but at her school is not an impacted track and so not an issue. I've never heard issue of GT kids being turned away from high school.

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#11 of 15 Old 09-24-2010, 09:59 PM
 
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Where I live they can and do cherry pick if you are trying to transfer to another school that isn't in your assigned area. They can tell you that you can't come without giving you a reason why and there is nothing that can be done about it. As a parent I don't think it is right that they don't just do first come first serve. We had a mom come in with a coat that had swear words on it to kindergarten orientation and she wanted to open enroll though, so I can see how nice the current policy would be for teachers.
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#12 of 15 Old 09-27-2010, 02:14 PM
 
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So, do you imagine that dd having a GT identification would possibly be a negative then? It is kind of obvious and not something I can hide in that she just turned 12 and is in 8th grade, so she'll be starting high school slightly before her 13th bd. She was also in this district before so they have records of her GT id and that she skipped a grade since it happened right at the time she left their district to come back to our assigned one.

Darn, you all have me worried now!
My DD is GT and when we did the paperwork for a free public charter lottery, it included the question about IEP. I put that dd did have one for testing into the gifted and talented designation. Even though it was not a typical special needs IEP, I felt I should disclose it. The testing and IEP records were in her district file anyway. The charter school does not have a GT program, so I guess her IEP could have been seen as a negative needing additional accommodation. Some schools do not do an IEP for GT or it would be done later if needed. We did negotiate a grade skip this year and probably the records helped us with that. Also, our neighborhood school is not meeting NCLB benchmarks, so I think we get "extra points" if we want to go to a different school. Public schools are not supposed to pick and choose students, but there are many factors that affect the student's chance of getting in. Don't worry too much - I hope she gets in!

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#13 of 15 Old 09-27-2010, 03:23 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Colorado does ALPs (advanced learning plans) for kids with GT ids, so she doesn't have an IEP for GT. I'll let you all know when we hear.
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#14 of 15 Old 09-27-2010, 03:55 PM
 
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We had a mom come in with a coat that had swear words on it...
Side note: Where does one buy a coat with swear words on it? I must be shopping in all the wrong places.

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#15 of 15 Old 09-27-2010, 09:59 PM
 
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Side note: Where does one buy a coat with swear words on it? I must be shopping in all the wrong places.
I had no idea they made things like that until I saw it. Maybe from a teenager dark and dreary type of store though because I never go in those, I am just to old for that I guess.
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