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Special Education/placement of a child withOUT an IEP


my grandson has recieved sped services since he was a premie.  He was receiving sped services at an elementary school in albuquerque. his mother then moved the family to mississippi and he recieved sped services there.  he was finally exited from sped services a year ago.  they have moved back to albuquerque and she was informed on the phone today that her son was placed in a sped class for math based on an old iep from 4th grade (when they were in albuquerque before) he is now in the 9th grade.  she was told that until they recieve word from mississippi that he is not on an iep he has to stay in this sped class .
thanks for your prompt assistance.

Dear Barbara, thank you so much for asking this important question. i am assuming that your grandson and his mother agreed that he should not be receiving special education services. If that is the case, I would say that a strongly worded letter to the school district is a good first step. I think I could say something like this:
Dear school District, You have illegally placed my son in a very restrictive environment with no IEP in place. As we have already shared with you, he was dismissed from all special education and related services on (give date). But just to be clear, I am officially revoking consent for all special education and related services. By (provide date-Monday is my suggestion), we expect he will be placed in all general education classes without an IEP. His grades and any class should not suffer due to this error by the school district. Specifically, if this change of schedule does not occur by Monday, I will advise my son to stay in the guidance counselor office until this is corrected. Sincerely (parent)

I would attach this form from the State of NM, revoking consent, just in case the district tries to say the letter is not sufficient

It is illegal for the school district to place your son in special-education classes without his due process, and without an IEP in place. However, if the math class is a combination class with both special-education and general education students, the school district may not be so clearly incorrect. If this is a special education class only, I would write the letter revoking consent. Here is some more information on revoking consent.

Please let me know how it turns out for your grandson, and great job being his advocate! I hope this helped you!
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Michelle R. Davis, M. Ed.


I can answer questions about disability definitions and criteria for services, the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act 2004, No Child Left Behind, 504 plans, how to craft an IEP that drives the appropriate services, school placement, dispute options, and least restrictive environment. I worked in the public school system as a special educator and am now in private consulting practice where we assist parents as they navigate the special education process. I have expertise in all educational disabilities except blind/visual impairments and deaf/hard of hearing. This includes ADHD and other health impairments, medical conditions, dyslexia and learning disabilities, Autism, emotional disabilities, language processing problems, and interfering behaviors.


10 years as special educator and administrator in public school system; Director of ABCs for Life Success since 1998; Expert services such as analysis and testimony; Author: Special Needs Advocacy Resource Book: What you can do now to advocate for your exceptional child's education; Special Needs Advocacy Training Institute; internet radio show Teach Your Children Well: Hot Topics in Education; author School Success for Kids with Emotional and Behavioral Disorders released March 2010 (Prufrock Press).

Masters in Special Education with Emphasis on Inclusive Education (Johns Hopkins University); Special Education (James Madison University); Conduct training for Universities, public and private schools, parent groups. Adjunct professor current George Washington University and prior George Mason University.

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