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[IPp] Fwd: Re: What I'd like to do at this point

Dear All,

I know it is sort of long, but I really wanted to share this letter from
my lawyer with all of you.  It is below my signature.  Let me know what
you all think.  I am so dazed and confused and MAD (not at my lawyer, but
at the school)  How far am I going to have to take this?


Cindy, pump mom to Jessy (8) dx 1/02, Julie (4)non diab. and Trevor
(1)non diab.>Subject: Re: What I'd like to do at this point >Date: Sun,
29 Sep 2002 20:24:47 EDT > >Dear Cindy, > >With an IEP, a student has
federal protection, actually more protection than >with a 504 plan. You
can bring suit in federal court under both laws (504 and >IDEA), but only
after you have exhausted administrative remedies in the >Office of
Administrative Law. The IDEA is a much more detailed statute than >504,
and it has more "teeth" if enforcement is an issue. > >Yes, you can have
both, theoretically, at least, but I don't think that would >make sense
in practical terms for Jessica since she does not have a learning
>disability or a need for specially designed instruction other than a
need >that her health concerns are accommodated. If you had both, they
would just >duplicate each other. The students who have both typically
have some other >learning need besides the health issue. For example, I
represented a student >once who had a learning disability, was gifted,
and had asthma. Originally, >he had an IEP for giftedness and a 504 plan
for asthma. His parents wanted >ONE plan for all his needs so that all
his teachers would be sure to follow >it. However, Jessica has only one
condition that affects her in school; so I >think it makes even more
sense to have just one plan, whether it be a 504 >plan or an IEP. >
>Obviously, I do not know why Mr. LaRosa has not written up the 504 plan,
>although one reason could be that he is not really the best person to do
>that. He does not have the expertise himself. He could simply adopt the
plan >as you and CHOP wrote it, of course, so the question is, why hasn't
he? >Frankly, school districts like to feel they have the final say in
the content >of a plan -- it is maddening sometimes when the parents have
the best >professionals in the world backing them up, and yet the
district still needs >to satisfy itself that the parents are right. It is
possible that he wants to >involve the Child Study Team because they are
the "experts" in disability >issues. > >But if we and the school district
are going to disagree about the content of >a plan -- whether it is a 504
plan or an IEP -- we can do that at the time >the nature of the
disagreement is clear. It would mean a hearing in the >Office of
Administrative Law -- but we were prepared to do that anyway. > >Until a
new plan is signed, the old one remains in effect. It sounds as >though
they are letting Jessica do some things in the new plan you proposed,
>but not everything. Well, we agreed to a period of 30 days in which the
>district would get used to Jessy's testing herself in class. > >I think
what is going on is the typical, typical concern in school districts
>about liability That is how they see everything to do with health and
safety. >It is an almost pathological state of mind that affects district
>administrators. They probably think that the more they have the school
nurse >do, the more they are protected. They may need more convincing
that it is >safer for Jessy to bolus in class rather than wait for the
nurse. Or we may >have to convince an Administrative Law Judge of that.
We shall see. > >I am going to be tied up or away from the office for
most of the next 3 days. >But I'll be accessible in the evening by e-mail
and you can always call, of >course, and I'll try my best to respond in a
timely fashion. > >Judith


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