I’m currently working with the family of a young girl who had been attending a private, parochial school. In first grade it was observed that she was struggling to master her phonics and reading skills. In second grade the school began to support her with pull-out reading instruction. In third grade, still attending the parochial school, parents sought an evaluation from a psychologist who identified both dyslexia and ADHD.
At this point the student had been receiving reading intervention in school as well as private tutoring at home, all at the parents’ expense. It had never been suggested or explained to the parents that there might be supportive resources available to them through their local school district. They continued to provide private tutoring extending through the summer, at a very dear cost.
At the same time, on the recommendation of the psychologist, they applied to a specialized private school, one that focused on educating and supporting students with dyslexia. The student was accepted and is now in fourth grade. She’s doing well, making friends and is demonstrating progress in her skills.
It came to the parents’ attention that they could have, and should have, contacted their local school district to explore options within their programs and are now in the midst of that process. It’s an overwhelming learning curve for the parents who are now finding they could have received an IESP (Individualized Education Service Plan), a document that lays out services and supports for a child who attends a private school rather than a class within the home district public school. The cost of years of private tutoring, funds that could have been earmarked for college, might have been covered by the school district. They also are now aware of a possible tuition reimbursement and are pursuing that process with the support of an educational attorney.
There are so many other facts and entitlements based on IDEA (Individuals With Disabilities Act) that they wished they knew about and are learning as they go along. The endless list of acronyms thrown at them in their communications with the school district are overwhelming. Indeed, it’s like a foreign language and can be difficult to understand.
We, at NYC Admissions Solutions, are here to answer any questions regarding the IEP, IESP, 504 and reimbursement process. Our experienced professionals will guide and support parents, make the appropriate referrals and ensure that parents understand their rights and their child’s rights to the most appropriate educational programming.