“I dwell in possibility…”   ~Emily Dickinson

Parent Requests for an IEP / 504 Plan

At times, parents are concerned that their child has a condition that might be impacting their child’s ability to learn. In order to request testing, an IEP, or a 504 plan, parents are encouraged to follow this protocol. Parents should initially contact the Responsiveness To Instruction Team Chairperson (RTI) at their school. The RTI chairperson will convene a meeting of the team, which includes the student, parent, teachers, psychologist, and administer. The team suggests some strategies that are implemented for 4 to 6 weeks. The RTI team then reconvenes to assess whether the interventions have been successful. If the interventions have not been successful, the student may be referred to the Individual Education Plan (IEP) team. The IEP team, which includes the student, parent, special education & regular education teachers, and various support staff, determine whether an evaluation is necessary to provide information to determine if a student has a condition that significantly impacts their ability to succeed in the regular education classroom. Parents who feel that their child would be better served with a 504 plan, would request an IEP team meeting in order to rule out the need for Special Education services.

Contact Information:

Mr. Kevin Neiley, SAP & RTI Chairperson - kneiley@wcpss.net 
Ms. Ann Bozek, Special Education department chair - abozek@wcpss.net
Ms. Kelly Schroder, Intervention Coordinator & RTI Chairperson- kschroeder@wcpss.net

Ms. Tawanna Styles, Special Education department chair - tstyles@wcpss.net

Welcome 2014-15 School Year!
The first day of the 2014-15 school year is August 25. While students may utter a collective gasp at the fact that their summer is almost over, for many of our students, the return to school signals a return to structure and routine. Believe it or not, students crave structure, as it provides developing minds with guidance about how to function in our society. Structure provides children and teens with a sense of security and helps them develop self-discipline. Structure helps individuals build basic self-care routines, skills which are essential as our youth progress into young adulthood. 
Returning to those school routines can be challenging, after months of following a relaxed schedule. Now is the time to begin a slow transition to new schedules. One thing teens consistently have difficulty with is a change in sleep patterns. Rather than continue with late nights, teens are encouraged to go to bed a few minutes earlier every day, until they are close to what will be their normal bedtime. Research talks about the importance of getting 7 to 9 hours of sleep a night. Consistently getting less than that may cause a student to be unable to effectively handle the rigors they face.
This is the time to help students plan for the upcoming year. Review their class schedules & talk about which classes they feel confident with and which ones they anticipate being difficult. Review organizational strategies that will help them prepare nightly for the day a head. Plan a time & space for homework -will 20 minutes nightly, per core class, be enough time to complete work? Discuss any concerns your child may have about the upcoming school year, from how to get from class to class within the alloted time to how to fit in with their peers.
If your child has special learning needs, consider reaching out to teachers via email prior to the beginning of the school year. Teachers appreciate learning about their students' needs as they develop lessons.
If your child could benefit from speaking with me about some strategies for tackling this start of the school year, please let me know. I have an office at both schools and am available to meet with students as needed.