Part 5 : A father’s cry for his son Re: failure of a Delaware charter school promise #netde #edude

Chapter 4: of strange noises, anxiety, and a Frenchman’s discovery

The Game Of Puppets Fact

#7: On June 2nd, 2010, the Common Core State Standards was released. Delaware’s governor, Jack Markell, supported Common Core, which is designed to make children in the USA ready for college and work.

The Game Of Puppets

Fact #8: Between 2002 and 2009, disabilities in children rose 16%. After the behavior contract and the meeting about sensory processing disorder went nowhere, things seemed to calm down between the school and Jon’s parents. Miss Summertop even loaned Jon’s parents a book about sensory processing disorder, and said it had a lot of good ideas she was going to use for her class.

Meanwhile, Jon’s father continued to help Miss Jackalope at the high school with her math class. He enjoyed helping the students. He had told Lady Hammerspeak, the principal of the high school, while he was willing to help with any class, math was at the bottom of the list. But that was what he was given, and he accepted the challenge. Miss Jackalope, in his opinion, was an excellent teacher. Once a student connected with her, they wanted to do the best they could do. There were no major behavior issues, even with the eighth graders. There was a lot of anxiety and energy about where the students in 8th to 11th grade would go the next year since the high school was closing. A decision was made to keep the 11th graders in the school the next year so they wouldn’t have to spend their senior year at a new school. Jon’s father had one favorite part of the day, and that was when Jon would come on the school bus from the elementary school to the high school. Jon would meet him and on the drive home they would talk or go to karate.

Jon loved karate, but even the instructors there would advise Jon to stop moving his body when the situation didn’t call for it. Jon had decided to let his hair grow longer and it began to hang over his face. Jon’s parents noticed he would frequently blow out his mouth. Jon’s father thought he was trying to get hair out of his eyes. Jon’s mother explained to them about Jon’s sensory processing disorder. They listened, but it eventually became too much for Jon, so he chose to quit karate. Jon’s parents had tried t-ball, softball, gymnastics and basketball. It would be great in the beginning, but the novelty would wear off. One thing Jon would never waver from was drawing. He would draw anything! Whether it was his favorite characters from his Wii or Nintendo DS games, superheroes, lego characters, his favorite pop singers, or even his friends.

Jon also loved to play videogames. Jon’s parents were concerned about the nature of some of his games, but Jon enjoyed them, and he wasn’t showing any violent tendencies. When Jon would play, he was calm and at peace. He wasn’t stressed about school or friends. It actually had a calming influence on him most of the time. The summer passed by, and Jon would go to summer camp, or go to the beach, or just hang out at home. Like most students, summer was a more relaxing time for Jon. He was not surrounded by the demands of the school and behavior contracts and having to stay in his seat and do schoolwork. Jon’s parents were more relaxed as well. They would all spend afternoons playing in the pool or watching tv or go to the movies.

As 3rd grade grew closer, so did Jon’s anxiety. Jon’s parents noticed Jon developed a new habit where he would make a noise with his mouth, like air coming out of a balloon. They would tell Jon to stop, but he would keep on doing it. School began, and the elementary school at that charter school in the County of Kent was moved to where the high school used to be. Jon and his parents went to the opening of the new elementary school. Members of the school board, Lady Ellen (the superintendent of the school), some local politicians and members of the new Kindergarten class cut the ribbon at the opening ceremony. An open house was held where Jon could see his teacher. Of course, since the 2nd and 3rd grade classes were joined together, Jon had Miss Summertop as his primary teacher. But Miss Volume moved to the Kindergarten class, so Jon had a new math teacher named Miss Toms. Jon’s father used the open house to let teachers know he was available to sub Tuesday to Friday.

On the second day of school, Jon’s father received a call to sub for the paraprofessional in another 2nd-3rd grade classroom. Miss O had been sick, so Jon’s father served as her sub for the next two and a half months. The teacher in the classroom, Miss Jeter, was a very good teacher. Her classroom was clean and tidy, and the students would respect Miss Jeter when she spoke. She had a commanding presence, but she would take the time to listen to students questions. Jon’s father quickly noticed there was no fighting in the classroom. Students wouldn’t openly tease each other. Sure, there were the same problems you would see in most 2nd or 3rd grade classrooms, but nothing like students being sent to the office all the time. Given what Jon had observed in other classrooms at that charter school in the County of Kent, he surmised that students could actually do well there given an orderly environment.

Miss Summertop approached Jon’s father one day about concerns she had with Jon. She stated that Jon would not produce any work and he would have issues with his peers. It was like no time had passed at all and the complaining was beginning again. It was Jon’s father’s opinion that Jon would not be able to change if the teacher wouldn’t change. No plan was ever given by Miss Summertop for Jon or his problems. It was as if Jon was there, like a favorite chair. It’s broken, been there for a long time, and falling apart, but it’s a part of the room. Jon’s father didn’t really know how to respond to her. He had heard the song before, many times, but without a plan, what was the point? Jon’s father had some similar problems in school growing up, but Jon’s seemed to be magnified to a higher degree.

Jon’s mother was at the same point as Jon’s father. Her emails with Miss Summertop would frequently reference Jon’s sensory issues as neurological. Miss Summertop would email back how other staff and teachers agreed and nobody saw Jon’s behavior as bad. But Jon was still sent to the office when his “bad” behavior manifested or he would be sent to the hallway when he was unable to control his reactions. Jon’s father would frequently pop in, and he noticed an environment that was vastly different from Miss Jeter’s classroom. It also seemed as if it was worse than the year before. Usually Miss Summertop’s reaction to this chaos would be to change the room around. This was done at least five times during the first trimester of school. Eventually Jon was moved to his own special section in the classroom away from other students. The negative effect of this was that when Jon wanted to be heard or had a question, he was louder. He would have to get out of his seat constantly to communicate with peers. The sensory stimuli Jon was receiving in the classroom was overwhelming to him, and his reactions to this were getting worse.

Jon’s mother requested that Jon receive an IEP based on his sensory processing disorder. An IEP stands for Individualized Education Plan. Jon’s mother researched the IEP process, and found that certain children qualified for an IEP based on their disabilities. The purpose of an IEP is to grant accommodations to students with disabilities in the hope of making their educational outcome better.

When Miss Summertop emailed Jon’s mother about issues she was having with Jon (inability to focus, interrupting, unable to comply with teacher’s requests), Jon’s mother asked her if she had read the occupational therapist’s report about Jon’s sensory processing disorder. She emailed back that she had done that a few weeks before. This was four and a half months after the meeting Jon’s father had attended where no services would be rendered by the special education department. Miss Summertop knew Jon would be in her class in 3rd grade and she never read the report for the last part of 2nd grade or over the summer. She had read a book on the subject, but never bothered to read the report for over four months. The report addressed Jon’s deficits directly. Jon’s father believed she wanted to help Jon, but she didn’t know how. She indicated that it was hard for her to help Jon as well as manage a classroom of twenty-one students. This was her second year of teaching, and it appeared to Jon’s father that she was feeling overwhelmed. He wondered how much support she may or may not be getting from the administration at the school.

Jon’s father sensed that some children in Miss Jeter’s class had disabilities, but no information was ever shared with him about any of the children in Miss Jeter’s class. Unlike the high school, he was never given information about who had an IEP or a 504. This was true of all the classes Jon’s father subbed for during Jon’s 3rd grade year at that charter school in the County of Kent. He thought it was on a need to know basis and he didn’t need to know.

All of the teachers there became very apprehensive and concerned when it came time for the fall DCAS testing. This test didn’t count, but teachers were measured by how much growth the students experienced between the first test and the third one, administered the following Spring. Jon’s father started hearing the term common core being used more and more. Three groups of students in each class went to different reading groups. A simple subtraction problem was broken down into several components which then had to be taught to the students. Jon’s father began to see a look of defeat on many teachers faces. They were no longer able to teach how they wanted to. They had to follow a very specific standard set forth by the Kingdom Of Del.

On one occasion, Jon’s father was asked to sub for MIss Summertop’s class. He was very nervous about subbing in a class with his own child. It was hard for him to be objective and do what was best for the whole class while dealing with his own flesh and blood. But it did help him to understand what kind of daily life Jon had. Jon’s father knew that it wouldn’t be exact, but it would give him a general idea. Both father and son were at their wits end by the end of the day, and Jon’s father told Miss Summertop he could never again sub for her again if Jon was in the class. The part that troubled Jon’s father was that Jon did very well in his Miss Tom’s math class. The behavior issues weren’t there, and Jon was very quiet and more focused on his work.

Jon’s mother had decided to switch Jon from a general physician to a pediatrician. She made an appointment for a physical for Jon with his new doctor. Dr. K was considered to be one of the best pediatricians in the area and she had never heard any complaints about her. During Jon’s physical, Jon did the blowing-out-of-the-mouth-sounding-like-air-coming-out-of-a-balloon thing. Jon was very nervous about the appointment because his worst fear would come to pass…the flu shot. What Dr. K asked Jon’s mother was the centerpiece to the puzzle that was Jon. All the other pieces of the puzzle connected to that one piece. Dr. K asked Jon’s mother if Jon had Tourette’s Syndrome.

Tourette’s Syndrome was discovered by a French neurologist by the name of Jean-Martin Charcot. He named Tourette’s after one of his students, Georges Gilles de la Tourette. During this time, Tourette’s Syndrome was seen as a bizarre and strange behavior. Many people mistakenly assumed that anyone who had this disorder would swear, curse, and say inappropriate social remarks to people. While this is a part of Tourette’s called coprolalia, it only exists in about 10% of Tourette’s patients. What patients of Tourette’s exhibit is defined as having multiple physical motor tics and at least one vocal tic. The tics can come and go, called waxing and waning. In many cases of Tourette’s, it is accompanied by what are considered co-morbidities. These are conditions that are a part of the spectrum of Tourette’s. For many Tourette’s patients, this can include Attention Defecit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), Obsessive Compulsion Disorder (OCD), Anxiety, Depression, Oppositional Defiance Disorder (ODD) and Sensory Processing Disorder. These conditions are neurologically based and can often be seen as behavior issues when the reality is that sufferers of Tourette’s cannot control many of their actions.

For Jon and his parents, this opened a new window to the world. This diagnosis explained so much in Jon’s history. Jon “hitting” other students in lines was usually Jon swinging his arms and was a tic. Jon biting his sleeves or his nails was a tic. Jon’s frequent and different noises were tics. They would come and go, but Jon was not in control of them. Tics can be suppressed, but only for a short time. Usually after suppression, the person with Tourette’s is mentally exhausted. This explained why Jon’s behavior could be so different at home. It also explained why Jon’s behavior manifested itself in so many ways in school. Jon was going through days where he may have been fighting the urge to tic, dealing with his sensory processing issues with so much stimuli, and trying to focus. Jon was simply unable to do these things, especially in an environment not conducive to his issues.

Dr. K also strongly suspected a diagnosis of ADHD and referred Jon to a very well-respected neurologist in the County of Kent. The puzzle was finally coming together. It was just a matter of putting the pieces together. And now, in addition to Jon’s sensory processing issues, a firm diagnosis of Tourette’s Syndrome and a possible ADHD were added to the list of Jon’s diagnoses for his IEP evaluation. Jon’s parents thought for sure he would get an IEP at that charter school in the County Of Kent.

Meanwhile, Jon was starting to get the feeling that he was different from everyone else. The look in his eyes was one of confusion and fear. He just wanted to be normal. The days when Jon had been invited to lots of birthday parties had long since past. He had seen friends shuffle in and out of his life. He had his parents, who he knew loved him very much, but he wanted and needed more. Jon’s parents would hear things such as “I hate my life” or “Nobody likes me” and their hearts would cry. Their boy needed them but there were times they felt as lost as he did.

“Go to my room and I close my eyes, I make believe that I have a new life, I don’t believe you when you say, Everything will be wonderful someday.” 

Jon’s loving father

To be continued

34 responses to “Part 5 : A father’s cry for his son Re: failure of a Delaware charter school promise #netde #edude

  1. I guess I need to wait for the ending of this story, but if this family has not received help…..please, please send them to me.

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  2. Greg MAZZOTTA

    Hi Kathy,

    I’m an ocasional contributor and am taken aback by your generous response. Your generosity has buoyed my spirit. Thanks for sharing.

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  3. Hi Kathy. Are you an advocate in Delaware?

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  4. Interesting story. Sounds to me like the first grade teacher was right. Maybe you should have taken him to a pediatrician off hand instead of a family doctor. That way he would have had a specialist. Teachers or special education teachers can not diagnose only help accommodate and make suggestions.

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    • Jon's loving father

      Hi everyone, Jon’s father here. Sounds like lots of you are reading my son’s story. A funny thing happened yesterday. I had asked for copies of my son’s records at his new school (yes, he got out of that charter school in the County of Kent, and no, he wasn’t kicked out based on the latest rumor mill, and no, he did not smash a brick or rock in a kid’s face) and they also provided me with records from that charter school in the County of Kent since that was a part of the formal records request. Some of these I had seen before, but some I had never seen! These will definitely come into play later on, and change the way this story will go at the end, but only for the better!

      Anna V, you are absolutely right! Miss Cersi was right about the ADHD. Jon’s family doctor was well aware about an ADHD concern, and it was discussed numerous times. This doctor is excellent, and I would recommend him to anyone. It just made more sense given Jon’s sensory issues to send him to a pediatrician. Dr. K did diagnose Jon with Tourette’s Syndrome. And guess what Anna V, had we taken Miss Cersi’s insistent advice to get him treated for ADHD and had him put on ADHD medication, Jon would have been a royal mess! More about that in the next chapter. And believe it or not, Miss Cersi comes back in a big way in the final chapters. We aren’t done with her, not by a long shot, so I’m glad you brought her up!

      For any of you doubting the truth of this story, it is ALL documented. Every single email we received from that school was saved. We have planners from all grades, showing many, many notes. We have meeting notes, and behavior reports, and various other types of information. Of course, and as I stated in the beginning, a lot of this is based on feelings. There are many situations where I cannot even begin to guess what another party was feeling. But for my wife, Jon and myself, I’m pretty certain of that! Sometimes feelings can easily become opinions as well. I would be more than happy to sit down with that charter school in the County of Kent with a bottle of wine by a campfire, and have them explain their side of the story. I doubt that will happen, but it could make for an interesting evening!

      We are around the middle part of the story, and A LOT happens in the next half. My wife and I were a bit naïve to all of this, but information wasn’t exactly coming in waves from the schools. Don’t worry though, we wised up very fast. There will be lots of new faces coming up, some big returns of old faces, and in the center of it all: Jon.

      Thank you for all of your comments, positive and negative. I want this to stir up debate and get people thinking. I would strongly encourage any of you who know parents that are struggling with a child who has any type of disability to have them read this. If a child’s educational outcome is in jeopardy (and that does not just mean grades or test scores) than please have them read this. But most of all, for anyone who has a child with special needs, whether it is their own child, a relative, a friend, a student, even an enemy, please tell that child that you think they are awesome. And tell them everyday. Because they need that more than anything else in the world. They need to know that people care and that those people will be there for them. In the end, that’s all that truly matters. When that is missing from the equation, especially a child with a strong manifestation of their disability in the school environment, it can be disastrous for a child. So all teachers, if you aren’t doing this already, start now. It is never too late!

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    • Anna V. It seems that Jon’s loving father (& mother) got a Sensory diagnosis and the school did nothing to accommodate him. If you knew any thing about IDEA you would make that comment. There is something called Child Find. Also, the school is responsible for conducting a Functional Behavioral Assessment (FBA) when there are behavior problems or if they suspect a disability. This produces data to do two things: 1) put together a positive Behavioral Intervention Plan (BIP), and determine what testing is needed to further identify data leading to information to help the child and the parents in support their child. The school has a psychologist to help conduct these. They did not advise these parents of their rights by federal law when the parents found a the Sensory by including a site based IEP team to determine a group decision. Under IDEA a parent has NO responsibility to diagnose their child. The responsibility is the schools. Please learn about the law before making such an ignorant and uneducated reply to this poor families story.

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    • Sorry for the typos. BTW Sensory Processing (Integration) Disorder are in the same spectrum and are OFTEN confused by physicians because they are so similar. Kids can have both. Many diagnosed with ADHD may be actually suffering from SPD.

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    • I would be more than happy to sit down with that charter school in the County of Kent with a bottle of wine by a campfire…

      The world would be a better place if we all sat around a campfire once in a while. The wine helps too.

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    • Pencadermom

      I’m in. I’ll bring the s’more supplies 🙂

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    • John Young

      The Delaware Way is a giant campfire, and it sucks.

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  5. I may need an advocate for my child. Can’t give details in the blog, but are you private or in an agency?

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  6. Pencadermom

    I was torn on commenting or not. I don’t claim to know anything about IEP’s or special needs or anything like that. But a lot of what I am reading sounds like medical issues to me. I guess I am naive too. I had no idea that schools, charter or not, were able to, or even expected to have so much input and to help to the extent that it sounds like this family needs. Wouldn’t or shouldn’t, all of these players at the school, tell the parents to turn to a doctor? Are all teachers in public schools, charter or not, trained and expected to know how to help and be able to teach a class of 20-30 kids on a daily basis if and when there are 1 or more children in their class who needs their extra attention and help? The last line of this chapter of the story is heartbreaking. I feel for him and his parents. Anyone who is a parent knows the heartbreak you feel when your child is hurting. I hope in this story, things start looking up for them.
    A side note to the person above talking about a pediatrician over a family doctor… I would like to know what that means. If you think family doctors are not capable of taking care of children in the same way, and help find specialists when needed, maybe you went to the wrong family doctor. If it weren’t for our family doctor of twenty years, my 12 yr old easily could have died when he was 7.. His doctor, his ‘family doctor’ saved his life.

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    • Pencader I agree. Are teachers expected to know how to diagnose students as well? I understand accommodations but diagnosing? The teacher referred parents to a doctor, I don’t think doctors are contracted out in schools. What I meant about pediatricans is that they specialize in areas. Obviously when the student went to Dr K this doctor was more familiar with the problem. Where the family doctor was not. Family doctors are great but pediatricians specialize in children.

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    • Pencadermom

      They could have had a ‘not so great’ family doctor and switched to a ‘great pediatrician’. I’ve heard plenty of people complain about pediatricians. I have a 19 year old son, and I now realize another plus to having a family doctor. My son can keep going to the same doctor who has known him since birth.

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    • I think the important part to look at here is what the boy was doing while he was at the doctors. He was having a tic moment, and the doctor was able to catch it. Based on the history, he wouldn’t tic as much previously, so the other doctor, whether it was a family doctor or pediatrician, wasn’t able to catch it. The bottom line is the child had a firm diagnosis. AnnaV, I understand your questions, but I would definitely do some research into IDEA and Child Find. Are you a teacher?

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  7. Are all teachers in public schools, charter or not, trained and expected to know how to help and be able to teach a class of 20-30 kids on a daily basis if and when there are 1 or more children in their class who needs their extra attention and help?

    That’s the law.

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    • Pencadermom

      Well no wonder they do things like socially pass a kid. How can they possibly do everything that is expected of them? How is there time? How can they even know how to do it all? If you are expected to be a jack of all trades, how could you be a master at any?

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    • That is why district schools need increased funding – they have the obligation to educate every child who shows up at the door. Now do you see why TPS advocates don’t want to see resources drained away by charters?

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    • Classroom management is part of the job description. If you can only handle a class with well behaved children you aren’t qualified to do the job.

      Not to mention that there are procedures and programs in place for helping children like Jon – but they cost money. Reading this story we can guess where it’s heading. The school is “counseling out” Jon by making his (and his parents) life miserable.

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    • Pencadermom

      So there was more money per student before charters or how did that work? Pandora I wasn’t thinking managing ‘well behaved’ children, I was thinking multiple children with a true diagnosis. Not only does the teacher need to help catch it, but then know how to teach and manage possibly many differently diagnosed children and give those children, as well as the ones who have no IEP or any need for one, the best education they deserve. How would more money make a teacher be able to greatly manage a class like that? Smaller class size? Were there smaller class sizes before charter? Mike, I get that they have the obligation, but do they have the skills?

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    • Eve Buckley

      Pmom, before selective charters there were fewer high-needs kids per classroom in district schools. As better behaved, higher performing (often wealthier) students gather in their own public schools, the open-access public schools retain the same class sizes and same per-child funding (less funding in total, of course)–but teachers have more and more challenging children among the 20+ that they’re responsible for. Some parents leave in response to this (move, private school–whatever they can manage) and the concentration of more challenging students per classroom/teacher increases further (and the jobs in those schools become less and less appealing, attracting only least-experienced teachers with fewest options–who of course can’t handle such classrooms). It’s a downward spiral for the public schools. We can’t keep people from moving or paying tuition, but we CAN structure our public schools so that they are all responsible for high-needs as well as high-achieving students in the communities that they serve.

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  8. Of course there was more money per student before charters. This is basic math. There’s only one pot of money.

    Look at it this way… say there’s 7 million dollars used to run a public school. This money provides teachers, equipment/books, school psychologist/nurse/therapists, etc. and basic and special programs. A charter opens and takes 1 million dollars from the one pot of money (7 million in my made up scenario). In addition to taking from the pot of money, the charter does not take (or keep) high needs (most expensive) children. What do you think happens? Not only has the public school lost money to fund its staff/programs, but it is left with the most expensive population to educate.

    And classroom management is taught in college teaching programs. This is a basic requirement for being a teacher.

    Look at Jon’s story. That charter was required to provide, and pay for, his needs. Charter schools are public schools, right? The way they danced around and deceived, by playing games with who attended meetings, should be criminal. But trying to get rid of Jon was cheaper than actually helping the child.

    Bottom line: Charters are corporations. People may be happy with their charter, but when the bottom line comes into play don’t be surprised to find your (general your) child didn’t make the cut.

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    • Publius e decere

      Pandora, that is not how public school funding works. The amount of Division-I public funds is significantly more for basic special needs (8.4 students per unit) than for a regular Grade 4-12 (20.0 units per student). The extra funds are needed wherever the special needs student enrolls, to fund the extra attention needed by class sizes, paras and programs. If a school has two hundred students — one hundred special needs and one hundred regular — then the the school gets 17 units of Div-I funding. If all 100 of the regular students leave for public charter schools then the charters get 5 units and the original school retains 12 units (238% of the regular gr4-12 funding level). We can argue if these are the right proportions between these two groups of students, but pandora implies that all students draw the same amount of public funding which is not true. In this case, public resources flow where they are needed.

      Publius

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    • Except I wasn’t addressing Division -1, was I? I used a general (made up) figure. And I’ve written quite extensively on how student funding is averaged – usually to correct someone who is complaining on how much we pay per student. In fact, read what I wrote and show me where I implied that all children received the same funding?

      And Special Ed/Needs, to me, goes both ways. You know, a school losing TAG, AP courses, etc. is a concern to me as well as children struggling. Both matter to me. Unless you’re claiming that all special needs kids receive additional funding?

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    • Awe Publius, you’re younger than we all thought. Needs-based Funding – what you’re referring to – didn’t exist universally until about 5 years ago. And when it was finally forced in, NBF didn’t actually increase the pool of funds available for special needs children, it just re-allocated what already existed – as in taking some $$$ from two old and legislatively entrenched classifications (specifically Autism and Deaf/Blind/Hard-of-Hearing) and spreading it out over the “new categories – Basic, Moderate, and Complex.

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  9. Pencadermom. It is interesting that you have you view being that Pencader was shut down, pending a large special education law suit, just in time to pay out the money to the family. The schools are required by federal law under IDEA to put the child on a level playing ground with every other student under FAPE (Free and Appropriate Public Education). They are required by law to not only identify children’s special needs, but to provide input, data and accommodations. They are required to pay for these services “At public expense” also under IDEA. There are Spec Ed teachers, psychologist, OT’s, Speech Therapist all in each school district either on payroll or consulting directly. These teachers are with our children during the week for more hours in most cases that we are. If they don’t want the responsibility, then they should find a new occupation. Glad you are not a teacher or Jon might get the same treatment. Where does you child/children go now? Do they have special needs?

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    • Pencadermom

      It seems to me that it is a huge undertaking for a teacher to have the skills that it sounds like are needed to ensure that all kids in a class are getting the services that they need. It seems like smaller class size would be helpful for all involved. That’s all.
      I have three kids and no, none are special needs. I never assumed to know how challenging it must be. The closest I ever came was a child who struggled with reading comp. He was about 1 1/2 years behind where he should be. He took a lot of my energy and most of my time after school and in the evenings, let alone a lot of money for the outside of school help we were getting him in summer and on weekends. (he was at a CSD elementary school and there was no charter elementary school in the area at the time) I know that his needs and struggles were nothing compared to what some families go through. I guess that is my point, there is only so much time in a day for a teacher to be able to work with such a big group of children and truly address all of their needs.. (my son’s teacher never addressed his, she never even seemed to notice) Not sure what I said to offend you, with your ‘glad you’re not a teacher comment’ but I apologize if I did offend you, I certainly didn’t mean to. But yes, I’m glad I’m not a teacher in Delaware either.
      Not sure what Pencader has to do with this story either.. I know/knew nothing about special ed or lawsuits at Pencader so my views have nothing to do with Pencader. I believe you, I just don’t know (nor want to at this point) anything about it.

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    • Pencadermom

      ” (my son’s teacher never addressed his, she never even seemed to notice)” – I should add, I’m not trying to blame her, maybe if she had a smaller class size or not so many other children who were possibly even further behind in reading or math or whatever the case was, maybe she would have caught it.

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  10. Agreed Pencadermom, class sizes should be smaller and there should be a 2nd teacher in each room in my opinion. Some schools have up to 30 kids in a class. My child’s schools never seem to exceed 20 kids. Not sure about Jon’s class size. Parents can advocate for and aide to provide their child with support and education on strategies to be successful. This takes the burden off of the teacher for the initial time constraints. However, not many parents know it is an option. In the end though, schools find reasons to deny this request as well, as they did for my child. It comes down to money. Forget doing what is right for the little child, the well being of the overall class and the sanity of the teacher. Our educational system is more alright with letting everyone feel defeated and like failures. Sorry about the teacher comment. DE is so backwards when it comes to Spec Ed.–20 years behind some states. That is scary and that information comes from someone in the legal field.

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  11. Can someone explain to me how the IDEA B funding system works? I assume it’s based on the school districts September count for how much money they get in Federal Funds. But does that money go straight to special ed and other components of that? Does that pay for the salaries of those specialists?

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