Special Education/siblings school


I think maybe my most recent question confused you.
My older son has an IEP. He was denied admittance to our zoned school because they said they had no program for him.
They refused to do one.
They put him in an AWFUL placement that worked out terribly at another local school in our district. It was also not the least restrictive. They said we HAD to try it first.
We worked tirelessly with the school to change the program. They acknowledged it was bad. But now after all our work, it makes no sense to move our son back to our zoned school. He has established relationships with staff and kids. And the nature of his problems precludes these huge shifts.  So now our older son is at a school five minutes away.  Our younger son has been denied the opportunity to attend this school. We asked he be allowed to attend and be bused (since the bus is coming anyway and we are about 500 feet from the bus line!) It is very difficult to imagine juggling this without the bus for both. We've done so much already. We have done more than the staff for our son and they know that. But they even said no to allow our sons in the same school not even considering the bus. They said there's a policy. They made this policy. The Superintendent is a nasty fellow and the Board of Ed ignored all of our communication. They just said no, no explanation. They are apparently not answerable to anyone. What recourse do we have? This is so offensive to us, forgetting the burden it imposes. Thanks much in advance.

Hi Jess, you're right...I thought you wanted the older child back in the neighborhood.  I guess my last answer could still stand if all other steps don't work for the transfer of the younger sibling to the older sibling's school.  For this answer, I am going to call the younger child's school A and the older child's school B.  

Here is a link on transfers in New York.  http://schools.nyc.gov/NR/exeres/D82008D4-157E-43B3-8112-068DF39C9202.htm

I would appeal the denial, if you have the school B principal on board.  Like in most school districts, putting siblings together is the main reason transfers are approved.  But I would check with school B's Principal to be sure that he/she will approve it.  

Have you been in touch with an "Enrollment Office"?
Here is a list of these offices.  I have a feeling that the appeal is done through this office.  

Here is the Chancellor's guidance on transfers.  http://schools.nyc.gov/NR/rdonlyres/1CC25F63-74E8-41A6-8031-490F206F148D/0/A101.

What I would do is consider obtaining a letter from your older and younger child's doctors, psychologist if there is one, psychiatrist if there is one, recommending that the children be together in the same school.  I would focus on your child with special needs and the hardship on your family if this is not approved.  It may get more traction than just you alone as parents engaging with the school.  

If it really is unmanageable, then you may have to talk with Principal of School A, saying that you may not have any option but to bring your older son back to his neighborhood school as I described in my last answer.  

I hope these resources help you.  I know how disheartening it is to do all you can and have to support the schools under these stressful conditions and then be denied a transfer.  But I think if you follow the guidelines and stay persistent, you may be successful.  Otherwise, you may have to engage an education attorney.  But I think you will have to focus on the special needs of your older son, and why he needs his sibling at the same school and what affect on the family will also affect him, if the transfer is not granted due to hardship.  

I am happy to get involved and do what I can to talk with the district, look over your documentation and see what more I can do, if you are interested.  I am at abc4success@msn.com.  

Thanks for following up and correcting my misunderstanding of the first question.  And of course, I wish you all the best as you advocate for your children!  

Special Education

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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); B.S.in 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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