Special Education/IEP - Regular Education Teacher
We have a 9-year old child with non-verbal autism. For parts of the school day he receives inclusion in the general classroom. During the last special review (for speech services) the Special Services Director for the school district invited our son's music teacher to fulfill the role of regular education teacher. It was seemingly a non-issue because it was only a meeting to update speech service goals. However, our son's Annual Review IEP is coming up and we received notification that his ART teacher will facilitate the role of regular education teacher instead of his actual regular education teacher. Is this legal? Would it constitute a denial a FAPE if LRE concerns cannot be addressed by the regular education teacher responsible for implementing that portion of the IEP and to provide input to the matter??
The District has the right to call any associated teacher into the iEP meeting to represent your child's progress within the general education area but you have every right to ask the hard questions of that representative in order to gain a clear and complete understanding of his progress in all areas of general education.
If the art teacher has no direct contact with your child then it will be incumbent upon that teacher to discover and report that progress from all general education teachers associated with your son.
Have a list of questions ready to discuss prior to the meeting. Let the representative teacher give his or her report and if your not satisfied with the answers and the way those answers were derived than ask as many questions as you need to be satisfied.
If at any time you feel they are unprepared or not giving the responses to your satisfaction you may ask for and get a continuance of that meeting while they gather the needed information. Do not let this slide, be forceful but stay polite and calm. Do not let the District force you to accept a completed IEP if it is not completed to your standards and your son's needs.
Keep in mind that the Art teacher may be fully prepared to report and may do a good job in representing the other general education teachers and in that case they have done their job and the district has provided the information requested. Even if that is the case you have every right to ask and expect full and complete answers to all your concerns...don't forget to have them written first, you can simply cross off those during the IEP that are answered satisfactorily.