These were posted below the article entitled,
Here’s the second and most lengthy comment:
Currently, Harvard School District 50 is under audit by the Illinois State Board of Education concerning their policies and procedures concerning Special Education students within the District with an IEP. This information is freely available through the Illinois State Board of Education under the Freedom of Information Act.
I have fought this battle concerning IEP’s within the District, and the truth is, I don’t see things changing. This is not just an administration problem, but a problem that has spread throughout the District, including some faculty and staff who don’t know how to write, follow, or just plain ignore the legally binding document that an IEP is, and the legalities of the procedures behind it.
I don’t forsee things changing in Harvard anytime soon with the administration and the board that is in place.
Truthfully, what do a board of elected members know about Special Education law and procedures?
They rely on the Administration and the District lawyers to handle that kind of thing.
I have become knowledgeable enough in the area of Special Education to know that District 50 is pulling the wool over a lot of parents eyes when in comes to IEP’s and Special Education. I wish this would get more press than it is getting.
But what is a parent to do?
Sue the District? Takes money.
File a complaint with the State? They are already under audit for their policies and procedures.
The answer lies in banging your head against the wall each and every time you have to deal with the District concerning IEP’s. It feels better than actually dealing with the IEP.
Are the children in Harvard with IEP’s having their civil rights violated? Could be if they are not getting the “Free and Appropriate Education” they are entitled under law.
That means that their IEP is written to be the most “Appropriate” for them, including placement in special education programs that are suitable for them and necessary accommodations within “regular” and “special education” classrooms.
But even if those are written into the IEP, the District is bound by law to follow that IEP, and there is where a lot of the problem lies.
Did Koehn go about this the right way?
There obviously was more going on than just the “whistle blowing.”
Maybe he didn’t follow proper procedure within the District before contacting OCR. I’m not saying either way as I don’t know the whole situation.
But I do know that there is definately an issue concerning Special Education students in District 50.
Harvard Special Education parents…seek the knowledge you need to know to properly deal with this problem.
This is a systemic problem that is not likely to go away anytime soon.
As Mary said above, speak out against the problem. At least you can do that.
But that doesn’t necessarily bring change.
I’m not trying to be the pessimist, but just the parent who has the battle scars of the fight.
Here’s the one from Mary referred to above:
Gus (Philpott in a comment before) hit it on the head. But it is not only special education teachers that are subjected to retaliation when it comes to standing up and speaking out, this mind set is rampant across the system.
Those who stay, who are dedicated to their students and have not co-opted to the system learn to do a very delicate dance in order to maintain their integrity as well as their job.
We may not be able to fix the system from this blog, but we certainty can make a phone call, send an email, ask questions,express our opinions and let these board members know how you feel.
They are, according to the District 50 web site, which provides both email addresses as well as phone numbers:
- Ken Book: 815-943-3161/ firstname.lastname@example.org
- Richard Stoxen: 815-943-6879 /email@example.com
- Roger Wilhort: 815-943-7691 /MSTRICK@mc.net
- Sharon McMillian:815-943-4653 /firstname.lastname@example.org
- Rebecca Klien: 815-299-5272 /email@example.com
- Diane Bird: 815-943-3690 firstname.lastname@example.org
I was taught…when it is wrong and you do nothing, you are part of the wrong!
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Thought this comment might be relevant enough to provide more prominence:
…as a side note, the e-mail addresses above are not correct. Not sure if the copy/paste did not work as intended, but all the information is available on the District website at http://www.cusd50.org/index.php/School-Board-alt/