Tuesday, June 22, 2010

How is this appropriate?

So after a little investigation I think this is the process for making ESY assignments:

  1. Make a list of all the kids who have ESY as part of their IEP

  2. Figure out a random but relatively close school that's offering ESY

  3. Split the kids randomly into classroom sized groups

  4. Tell the parents at the last possible moment with the least amount of information possible to keep from having to justify or change decisions made by following steps 1,2 and 3 above

Last year I gave up on trying to reason with brick walls. Every question got the same response

How can it be that during the school year inclusion is the proper setting, but during ESY special needs exclusively is appropriate? Talking to three levels of bureaucracy and always "We don't do it that way"

Would be possible for msk to go to a mainstream summer enrichment program with an aide? "We don't do it that way."

By excluding special needs children from summer enrichment programs, aren't you discriminating against them? "We don't do it that way."

When you make an ESY placement, couldn't you consult with the IEP team or at least the ITA? "We don't do it that way."

I had no expectations that ESY would work out. Somehow, it did. I thought everything would fall in place this year. When I asked the same questions there were new answers. Oh, it seems like the mainstream enrichment program would be perfect for him. Last year they wouldn't have provided an aide for him. This year? He would have gotten an aide, but now it's too late

Here's the question I'd like to ask, but given that I already know the answer I won't bother: Why don't you come up with an ESY process that provides differentiated and appropriate education to special needs kids while involving parents and listening to both their concerns and suggestions?

And the answer is... "We don't do it that way"


  1. Hello. I have been waiting to know the outcome for your child for the summer. As a reasonably experiened educator,I am becoming more and more impatient with BCPSS red tape and ingrained ways which often make no sense!

    I hopeyour summer is going well although I don't know if no news is good or bad.

  2. Well, without giving too many impolitic details, I've got to say ESY did not go well this year. As in, past tense. As in, not something my kid is going to do.

    On the other hand, the summer is turning out to be going quite well for msk. We are very lucky to be on the autism waiver and it seems like some new staff and some new energy will figure out a way to make the a productive summer for him.

    All's well that end's well I suppose, though I worry about those who don't have the alternatives that we do.

  3. I don't know what the autism waiver but reading between the lines, it sounds like an positive alternative. Hope the summer works out well for all of you.

    One of my big issues with the city is what happens to unempowered (is there such a word?) parents and therefore students! Things city parents tolerate would NEVER fly in any other system. The list is endless;special ed services, regular instruction issues, condition of schools,long term substitutes, etc. Although we have family and community engagement, there is still an enormous gap in parents being empowered to advocate for their kids. You are the exception.

  4. It makes no sense.


  5. Write! We miss you. Hope your lack of writing means you are having a good summer!


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