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  1. #1
    lizzywednesday is offline Red Diamond level (10,000+ posts)
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    Default IEP Annual Review - Middle School Edition

    Tomorrow is DD's IEP review; I want to push for getting her into a writing lab or "study skills" class, because she is still struggling with getting her thoughts down on paper. She's in 6th grade, but also has ADHD and lost time to fine-tune her skill set due to what passed for remote classes during COVID.

    This is not meant to be a dig at teachers who did their best without support from their schools/districts. I thought the district's lack of a plan for the 2020-'21 school year was downright criminal and made things millions of times harder on the teachers. DD and I also struggled with school-at-home a lot of the time, but having the IEP in place helped us keep her supported by the right people.

    My brother Ger had writing lab with one of my favorite teachers when he was in high school, but not in middle school. Of course, our district was way smaller than the one DD is in, so it's understandable that they lacked the resources.

    Is writing lab a thing in middle school? If so, how do I ask for it?
    ==========================================
    Liz
    DD (3/2010)

    "Make mistakes! Get messy!" - Miss Frizzle

  2. #2
    SnuggleBuggles is online now Black Diamond level (25,000+ posts)
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    I have never heard of it. Can you look through your school handbook or coursebook to research? Or email/call guidance counselors?

  3. #3
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    I donít think our middle school has a writing lab or a study skills class. (School is 6-7 building with 800 students). Both would be beneficial for my DS1 (7th grade) who has adhd. He only has a 504 and doesnít qualify for an IEP


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  4. #4
    lizzywednesday is offline Red Diamond level (10,000+ posts)
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    Quote Originally Posted by SnuggleBuggles View Post
    I have never heard of it. Can you look through your school handbook or coursebook to research? Or email/call guidance counselors?
    The handbook is all rules & regulations; there is no coursebook because ... why would there be? (There are a lot of things I like about our district, but the lack of information without a lot of digging coupled with the assumption you've gone through it before because you're a grown-up local or have other children has been a constant frustration for me since DD was in kindy.)

    I'm going to follow up with DD's case manager after tomorrow's meeting, but I want to use the right words to get what she needs. At her current writing level, she's managing a "C" average in both ELA and Social Studies, which is not bad, but I want her to have the support so her academic achievement matches her knowledge.

    IOW, I think she's perfectly capable of earning a "B" in both classes, but she lacks the writing skills and appropriate support, but the deficit is not so great as to warrant a stand-alone special ed placement - she just needs writing skills support. As a result, her report card comments are things like "must learn to work independently" and while I agree she must learn to work independently, she also has deficits in her expressive language development, so she needs support and she is not getting it.
    Last edited by lizzywednesday; 05-16-2022 at 01:01 PM.
    ==========================================
    Liz
    DD (3/2010)

    "Make mistakes! Get messy!" - Miss Frizzle

  5. #5
    ArizonaGirl is offline Sapphire level (2000+ posts)
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    We have a study skills or academic lab class here in middle school. DS has had it for the last year and it has helped with executive functioning and getting homework done at school (which is a huge challenge for us at home).
    Lindsey

    Married to DH June 2005 gave birth to Shawn December 2008 and Lilian August 2012




  6. #6
    PunkyBoo is offline Emerald level (3000+ posts)
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    Quote Originally Posted by lizzywednesday View Post
    The handbook is all rules & regulations; there is no coursebook because ... why would there be? (There are a lot of things I like about our district, but the lack of information without a lot of digging coupled with the assumption you've gone through it before because you're a grown-up local or have other children has been a constant frustration for me since DD was in kindy.)

    I'm going to follow up with DD's case manager after tomorrow's meeting, but I want to use the right words to get what she needs. At her current writing level, she's managing a "C" average in both ELA and Social Studies, which is not bad, but I want her to have the support so her academic achievement matches her knowledge.

    IOW, I think she's perfectly capable of earning a "B" in both classes, but she lacks the writing skills and appropriate support, but the deficit is not so great as to warrant a stand-alone special ed placement - she just needs writing skills support. As a result, her report card comments are things like "must learn to work independently" and while I agree she must learn to work independently, she also has deficits in her expressive language development, so she needs support and she is not getting it.
    My DS2 could also use help with study skills and writing but his district also does not have supports like that (as far as I know.) He has a 504 and despite HATING to write, is getting a B in his 7th grade ELA class. I am very worried that his hatred for writing will continue into later grades when there will be fewer supports in place, so I'm keeping the counselor in the loop.
    Telling a 7th grader with an IEP/504 that they need to be independent learners is ridiculous. That's the point of the plan, to give them the skills and tools to BECOME independent in their studies. That's what I'd push back on the school (counselor/ school psychologist) at the check in meeting.

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  7. #7
    mom2binsd is online now Red Diamond level (10,000+ posts)
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    Our middle school offers study skills/hall as an elective for all 3 years, any kid can take it. Definitely ask.

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  8. #8
    lizzywednesday is offline Red Diamond level (10,000+ posts)
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    Quote Originally Posted by georgiegirl View Post
    I don’t think our middle school has a writing lab or a study skills class. (School is 6-7 building with 800 students). Both would be beneficial for my DS1 (7th grade) who has adhd. He only has a 504 and doesn’t qualify for an IEP
    After everything we went through trying to get DD to complete *something* while 4th grade was finishing up online in 2020, I wrote letters the entire summer pushing for a re-evaluation because I really felt that the accommodations outlined in DD's 504 were being treated by certain staff, including the Assistant Principal, as optional. (Like, I pushed for a provision in her 504 to not lose recess time for disciplinary reasons because loss of free/outdoor time exacerbates the undesirable behavior ... and yet, in the fall of 2019, I had a discussion with the Ass't Principal that DD was assigned to a "reflection" period during recess because of something that had happened in class. I calmly explained to her that, no, you need to find some other consequence for my kid because that kind of thing exacerbates the issue ... plus, loss of recess is supposed to be against the law at this point.)

    So, DD has an IEP to accommodate her executive dysfunctions.

    For the most part, it's working. But these "must work independently" when she has an IEP that says she needs accommodations, and she's in what they call an "integrated" classroom (i.e. - there are kids who don't have IEPs/504s mixed into a class with kids who do have them, but the IEP/504 kids don't need the 1:1 specialized support that stand-alone special ed does, and there are 2 teachers) ... but we're getting a little pushback from teachers.

    We got the re-evaluation in the fall of 2020, when everyone except stand-alone special ed was still remote. The resulting IEP was a big help, and it's been taken way more seriously than her 504 had been, but there are still things that need to be adjusted.

    Quote Originally Posted by ArizonaGirl View Post
    We have a study skills or academic lab class here in middle school. DS has had it for the last year and it has helped with executive functioning and getting homework done at school (which is a huge challenge for us at home).
    Thanks; I'll keep asking.

    I'm tired of asking and asking and asking and not getting anywhere. My kid is finishing 6th grade, but she's still writing like she's in 3rd grade. This isn't acceptable, even allowing for ADHD deficits in neurodevelopment.

    Quote Originally Posted by PunkyBoo View Post
    ...
    Telling a 7th grader with an IEP/504 that they need to be independent learners is ridiculous. That's the point of the plan, to give them the skills and tools to BECOME independent in their studies. That's what I'd push back on the school (counselor/ school psychologist) at the check in meeting.
    EXACTLY!

    DD is finishing 6th grade, but 7th grade is next year and she should be gaining more independence, not stumbling over her deficits. If she doesn't have the appropriate supports/instruction, how is she supposed to gain that independence?

    She's not asking for help, and when she does ask, she's very insistent that she's the only person who needs help/support. We are not teaching her how to learn to support herself.

    Quote Originally Posted by mom2binsd View Post
    Our middle school offers study skills/hall as an elective for all 3 years, any kid can take it. Definitely ask.
    I don't see why our district wouldn't offer something!
    ==========================================
    Liz
    DD (3/2010)

    "Make mistakes! Get messy!" - Miss Frizzle

  9. #9
    lizzywednesday is offline Red Diamond level (10,000+ posts)
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    Quick Update:

    I met with the IEP team and heard the same things about DD struggling with social skills and group dynamics in class, plus the "needs to work independently" comment that I understand from one angle, but really need them to work in study skills, time management training, and adaptive tools like speech-to-text plugins so she's not giving her teachers the "I'm thinking; I'm thinking!" excuse for 4 days straight on writing assignments.

    She finished the year with A's in math & science and C's in ELA and social studies, but proved she's capable of a B in ELA by earning a B+ (89) during the 4th marking period. We will have to get her critical thinking and document analysis skills up to speed this summer so she can start social studies strong in 7th grade; she had a 79 (C+) for the 2nd marking period, so she's definitely capable of higher achievement there.

    We just signed up for the summer reading program at the library this morning, so we've covered keeping her reading level strong. I wonder if I can get her to start doing book reviews on her (parent-monitored) YouTube account to get her into the habit of telling cohesive stories about things she's enjoyed ...
    ==========================================
    Liz
    DD (3/2010)

    "Make mistakes! Get messy!" - Miss Frizzle

  10. #10
    wallawala is offline Platinum level (1000+ posts)
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    "We just signed up for the summer reading program at the library this morning, so we've covered keeping her reading level strong. I wonder if I can get her to start doing book reviews on her (parent-monitored) YouTube account to get her into the habit of telling cohesive stories about things she's enjoyed ..."

    This sounds like a killer idea! So smart!

    Our middle school has a "homeroom" for 20 min everymorning that specifically focuses on executive functioning/study skills. This is 6-8. Kids send thier parents a weekly email with "what i'm proud of my self this week", "what do I need to accomplish/turn in this week" "how am I going to do those things" and "where can I make a small improvment". My DD hates it and has pretty snarky answers, but I do think it's been helpful. I've been impressed that our public middle school hammers home to the kids that MS is for learning how to learn, and grades are less important that challenging yourself and goal setting.

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