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lulubelle

switch out of public on iep to a private school

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Hi, my ds16 has been in public school for 2 years.  He is just finishing up his sophomore year.  He has an iep for high functioning autism.  Currently, the iep has him in 2 social groups throughout the school week and several special studies where he can ask for help if he needs it.  He can also get extra time on tests, which he uses about 10% of the time.  His grades have been all A's and B's.  He hates the school.  I think it is just too large and overwhelming to him.  He takes a lot of naps after school to manage.  So, we are considering sending him to a small private school.  My question is can I just simply walk away from an already signed iep?  Does the town "own" him in any way?  Thanks!    

Edited by lulubelle

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Absolutely you can transfer him to another school; IEP's are about what services the school will offer, you are under no obligation to accept or continue to accept those services. Several of my IEP kids have moved in and out of the public schools.

Have you discussed accommodations and support yet with the private school?

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Go to the school and discover that info.  In my state, private religious schools aren’t obligated to accept a student with IEP.  My son’s former school did not accept any Federal or State dollars.

Edited by Heathermomster
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Is this a particular type of private school? Around here we have montessori k-12 schools that are secular and will do what they can with the services they already have, even though they might not have SLPs and OTs. But for academics, lower stress, etc. yes they'd nail it. There are parochial schools in our area that take our state disability scholarships and will nail it, providing every service. They contract with SLPs, OTs, and they make it all happen, boom. There are cs (christian schools, evangelical) that will try and will have varying levels of service provided. And then there are the really close-minded cs that preach on Sundays that psychology will send your kids to hell and that you shouldn't refer to the DSM and that kids with ASD just have weak parents and need to be left to scream. Oh they won't say it so blatantly, but that's what they're thinking and what they were taught at their universities and that's what they're saying behind closed doors. Sometimes they let it slip. That kind of school is dangerous, because they're the ones who will tell your ds that his ASD and ADHD and whatever else is a sin problem and he should try harder. There's also the bonus "SLDs don't exist because the Bible says we can do ALL THINGS through Christ". That's just your bonus though. They won't say that too much either, but it's there, the mindset.

That IEP is a straight ticket to accommodations with the College Board now, yes? You want to check on that. No the ps is not going to come after you and charge you with neglect or this or that. In some states you'd even get a disability scholarship by giving up your FAPE and going private. But if you can renew his IEP to use for college testing accommodations, that would be very, very wise. You can check your renewal date, and if it's this spring get it done before you tell them he might not return. Once you withdraw, the ps is under no legal obligation to go through the process of renewing your IEP unless your state requires them to for a scholarship or to provide services. If your state or district does not do that, they would just let your IEP lapse.

1 hour ago, lulubelle said:

We are just in the beginning stage.  We go to look at the private school on Wednesday.

That sounds really good! I hope it goes well! If the school does *not* provide services he needs, like social skills groups, will you be able to make them happen privately? Social skills are the biggest determiner of employability, so they're the thing to put your effort into.

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You can leave and go to a private school.

However, I’d suggest talking with SPED people/ IEP team at current school to see if changes could be made that would be better for him where he is.  Maybe he need to take an extra year to graduate so he can have a rest period at school, for example.  Maybe your guess about size isn’t what’s wrong.  Does he have any friends?  That can often be a problem, and might not be better with a different school.

 I f you do put him in the private school, that too might be discussed with current school IEP team, so that there’s a plan for him to return to public if the private school doesn’t work well for him.

And maybe he could spend a week visiting the new potential school to see if he likes it.

 

 I think quite a lot of teens nap in afternoons btw. 

 

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7 hours ago, Pen said:

And maybe he could spend a week visiting the new potential school to see if he likes it.

 

At the private school where I used to work, potential students would visit for 3 days. It sounded like overkill initially, but it turns out that you see a lot more in 3 days than you do in just a one-off visit... from both the potential student AND from the school!

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Thanks for the replies.  Really helpful to think this through.  I was also thinking of the potential to take an extra year to graduate.  I'll try to get some good questions ready for our Wednesday visit.  A 3 day visit sounds like a really good idea.  I wish my boys were motivated to work hard at home and continue homeschooling, but that just didn't work out.  There have been some positives to the public school, but overall I think a smaller school will fit him better.  I would have thought my ds would not have a clue to everything that is going on socially, but it's really the opposite.  He notices everything.  It's as though he absorbs it.  It may be the case at any school, but at a smaller school there will be fewer people to absorb from.  His first year, he made one friend that he has kept in touch with, but he left for a private school.  This year, he's gone to the movies with one kid and has some acquaintances in classes.  The public school has about 2400 kids.  His brother is leaving homeschool for next year, so at the private school they will have a better chance seeing each other throughout the day.  They really get along well these days, which is not something I would have said a few years ago.     

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2 hours ago, lulubelle said:

Thanks for the replies.  Really helpful to think this through.  I was also thinking of the potential to take an extra year to graduate.  I'll try to get some good questions ready for our Wednesday visit.  A 3 day visit sounds like a really good idea.  I wish my boys were motivated to work hard at home and continue homeschooling, but that just didn't work out.  There have been some positives to the public school, but overall I think a smaller school will fit him better.  I would have thought my ds would not have a clue to everything that is going on socially, but it's really the opposite.  He notices everything.  It's as though he absorbs it.  It may be the case at any school, but at a smaller school there will be fewer people to absorb from.  His first year, he made one friend that he has kept in touch with, but he left for a private school.  This year, he's gone to the movies with one kid and has some acquaintances in classes.  The public school has about 2400 kids.  His brother is leaving homeschool for next year, so at the private school they will have a better chance seeing each other throughout the day.  They really get along well these days, which is not something I would have said a few years ago.     

 

That’s huge! I agree that it could be overwhelming.

my son is at a tiny public school so it has the sped etc teams that a private school may lack, but only around 120 high school students.  Which includes about 1/3 to 1/2 from out of district, where people have discovered that they can get small school benefits at a public school.

potentially there’d be such a school in some outlying area where you are too

friends is likely a key piece and perhaps on visit days it will be possible to tell how friendly the private school is likely to be

brother relations might or might not be helped by being at the same school. Sometimes a bit of distance can help the heart grow fonder

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4 hours ago, lulubelle said:

He notices everything.  It's as though he absorbs it.

My dd is at a university now and she says this, that she's very hyperaware of everything. I guess it just goes with how sensitive her system is, I don't know. She's now veg'ing in Oklahoma and she says it's so peaceful and quiet, without all the emotional noise and drama of the campus tugging at her. Fwiw, she also thinks she has synesthesia, something I never would have realized till she figured it out for herself. She talks about how things have colors or pictures, things being crosswired. I think the feeling of the campus and the people around her goes with it. 

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