You received a message from the school. Its administrators and educators said that your son is ready for the next educational challenge that no longer requires an Individualized Education Program (IEP). After 10 years as a special education student, your son has progressed. Each year, you have seen the improvement in his schoolwork, classroom abilities and how he socializes with peers.
You are proud that he has reached this point. But he could not have achieved this without the guidance and patience from his teachers. And, of course, you played a significant role as well. With the news that the school plans to do away with the IEP, you are mildly surprised. Why not make revisions to the IEP? While you recognized his progress, you also are a bit hesitant. Is this the right move for your child, who has benefited so much from the school’s services?
The ‘Stay Put’ rule is an ally
After the latest school evaluation, the school has determined that your child has progressed so much so that he is performing schoolwork at the level of his classmates. The next step for you is to have a discussion with school officials. You want to understand the reason why it plans to remove the services.
Two scenarios are likely. One is that you will gain reassurance that your son is on the right educational track and ready to be schooled exclusively with his peers, no longer needing additional guidance from specialists. Or you will wonder whether this would be the right move for your child, and you disagree.
If you disagree and pursue an appeal, your child will remain in his or her current education program until the matter is resolved during a legal review. You are able to do this through the “Stay Put” rule, a provision within the federal Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). The “Stay Put” provision protects your child, assuring that no changes will take place in his or her educational program. You do not want to discover that the school’s premature decision was erroneous and not in the best interests of your child.