Special Education/IEP Classes


i am a 17 year old student and i have been in IEP classes since the second grade i feel that there is no reason for me to be in them anymore esp. since i have a 3.6 average GPA. my mother is against it but i want to test my knowledge by getting out of IEP classes so i can be with my friends again and learn a lot more how can i get out of them? can you help me please?

I understand your desire to no longer take IEP classes, based upon your success, but I also understand your mother's concern that general classes may still be too difficult.

At age 17 (from 16 on) you are supposed to be an included member of your IEP team.  Have you been invited and allowed to provide input, like, you would like to be exited from Special Education and go it on my own...If you team has the data that indicates you can succeed without special education help, they can make that decision, but will need some assessment data to accompany your good grades.  

The advantage for you is that you will get to experience a more difficult level of class and better ready yourself for college or other post secondary education.  The disadvantage is that your grades will go down and you will lose confidence in your academic ability.

The other potential hazards it produces for you is that you will no longer be able to use your special education status to obtain accommodations on tests such as the SAT and ACT, and when you go to college, you won't have instant access to disability services, where if you graduate with an active IEP, that gets you into college services easily.  

If I were your casemanager,I would be in favor of ome sort of "support" IEP, where you enroll in all general education classes, but we retain a before or after school 7th or 0 hour class, where you simply check in, and get instruction in how to organize your study skills for the courses.  This gives you the opportunity to test the waters, without giving up support if you need it.  If you don't do well you can add special education classes back, if you do well, then the team can easily exit you from Special Education.  Unfortunately, there has to be some specially designed instruction to maintain your special education status, but then exiting and re-eligibility is also very easy since you were in service.

I hope I have helped, good luck.

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Dr. Norm Bishop


I have spent nealy 40 years in the area of Special Education. I have had the pleasure of teaching pre-school, elementary, middle, high school and college levels, as well as, served in school district administration buildings in classroom/legal support positions. I have also spent some time working in a State Department of Education Exceptional Student Services Office and am now currently Division Head and Director of Institutional Research at Alice Lloyd College in Pippa Passes, Kentucky. I also teach special education classes on campus. I have also taught full time teacher preparation at Northern Arizona University on the Tucson Campus, Seattle Pacific University, and at the University of Wyoming in Laramie, Wyoming. In addition to that I have taught adjunct at Seattle Pacific University, City University in Seattle, Ashford University, and Grand Canyon University.


I have experienced directly special education legal issues, process and procedure, and have taught at all levels in every special education category except gifted. My major expertise is diagnostic prescriptive teaching, literacy as it relates to disabilities, technology in special education, and Educational Leadership. My greatest passion in the field is building new programs, implementing and doing the research to see how they work. My Dissertation and principle research interest is in the area of inclusive education, primarily co-teaching of students with disabilities in the general education classroom.

Council for Exceptional Children, Association for the Supervision of Curriculum, National Reading Council.

Teaching Exceptional Children, Published computer assisted instruction, titled PAL, Special Education Basics, college Textbook, Teaching with Precision, college Textbook, Various devotionals at the website, Preachitteachit.com.

I have a B.A. in Secondary Education, a Masters in Special Education (cross categorical), administrative certification, and a second B.A. in Elementary Education. I completed my doctorate in Educational Leadership at Northern Arizona University.

Awards and Honors
Best Summer Program in the Nation (Honorable Mention, when I was Teaching) Multiple local awards

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