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public school counselors

emeraldkity4emeraldkity4 Registered User Posts: 35,861 Senior Member
There is already a thread in the parents forum- but I think that parents and students who have learning challenges need their own place to "express" themselves.

my D is a junior this year- & I have a head ache
We live in a district, which pats itself on the back when they read in the paper that families are moving to this area because of their excellent services.
( which is delusional- to put it mildly)
She has had a different counselor every year- the one she had last year, who I had built up a good relationship with, left apparently just a couple weeks ago,upsetting, because she actually got things done, and our experience with the others, has been that if they drag their feet long enough, we might go away. ( I know they work hard-but the result is the same)

Her school has a policy no teacher changes.
However, her most problematic area is in math, and she has been assigned a teacher, that she has had before, and was the only teacher that she asked never to have again & I agreed.
When I found out about the assignment- I contacted the counselor, even though it was summer- and we were going to have it changed when school resumed. Not a problem.
BUt now, her counselor is gone- and they don't even have anyone assigned to take over those students, let alone someone that I have been working with closely over the past year.

Kids who are planning to go to college- but have "special needs", seem to be in a limbo, they don't usually have an IEP- at least not in our school, because an IEP- in Seattle means you are in "special ed" math & reading.
But they aren't taking 4 or 5 AP courses like the "top" kids, so it feels like their college aspirations aren't taken as seriously.

Anyone have some encouraging words?
Post edited by emeraldkity4 on

Replies to: public school counselors

  • AnonyMomAnonyMom Registered User Posts: 333 Member
    Yeah, it is so incredibly frustrating when you really work to get things under control and working well and then poof! Is there any chance you could track down the previous counselor who said she would change the teacher and have her talk to the new counselor (if no one has been assigned yet, this might give the old counselor the opportunity to pick the most flexible of her former colleagues) before your D actually has to deal with the same math teacher again? Do you know anyone else in your district who has changed teachers whose name you can invoke if you hit a brick wall? Is there anyone within the school who is open and sympathetic who might be able to intervene on your D's behalf?

    Also, and I don't want to hijack your thread with this question, but why do Seattle IEP's imply that the kid has to go into special ed classes for heaven's sake? Don't all LD and physically challenged kids, including those who are intellectually able to be mainstreamed and excel, have the right to an ongoing plan and accomodations that are made explicit through the IEP process? Doesn't limiting the IEP process to kids who need to be in special ed classes exclude the vast majority of kids who need, and are entitled to, individualized plans and accomodation in Washington public schools? I mean, how is there any continuity of accomodation without some written agreement? Do you have to duke it out every year?
  • emeraldkity4emeraldkity4 Registered User Posts: 35,861 Senior Member
    The counselors are assigned by last name- I emailed one of the counselors- he told me that they should be hiring someone before school starts-
    oh goody
    Seattle is amazing in its disregard of IDEA.
    My daughter had an IEP for 6 years, it specified that she was to receive an hour of pullout resource every day. However- she couldn't tell time & neither the classroom teacher, nor the resource teacher would remind her to go to the class. I eventually had her removed from her IEP after trying to battle with the school and the district to get her served appropriately.
    I finally just changed schools

    Now she just has a 504 plan, but even though we had several meetings last year to try and get teacher input, they didn't show up for any of them.
    Oddly enough, her school is probably one of the best in the district, for gifted & LD kids. Other schools limit AP classes to students whose grades and test scores recommend them, her school allows students to be in both remedial and in AP classes, and the teachers make accomodations without an IEP if you get a great teacher.
    There is another high school that is supposed to be much better for kids with LDs, and it probably is, but it has no AP classes, and she practically begged me to let her go to this high school-

    I have heard the district attorney say, it is cheaper to give minimal service to special education students, and let the parents sue if they think it is illegal, than to provide what the law requires.

    I sure don't have money for an attorney, and I realize that it is illegal to limit IEPs to students in "special ed" classes, but everything takes so much time, that your child could be out of school by the time things happen.

    We actually have it pretty good, even though I have had to take significant time away from work to deal with this. Parents who have students with more severe needs, find them being warehoused, and not even being taught anything meaningful. Students with physical but not mental disabilities are being treated like they are incapable of learning, and the teacher union recently negotiated an increase in class size for the students with highest need in order to raise everyones pay.

    That also has been a barrier to getting more appropriate services for high functioning kids- if the parent is involved, is moderately intelligent, it is assumed the kid will be "OK", and even if the resource room staff means well, there are bigger fires to put out than spend time helping someone who is on a college track.
  • mom60mom60 Registered User Posts: 7,965 Senior Member
    Emeraldkity- I don't have much advice but do you have a relationship with the principal. Has school started yet. If not I would head to the school tomorrow and not leave till you see the counselor or principal and have the schedule changed. I would not leave it up to your D or to phone calls.
    We are dealing with a new counselor as well. We had a great relationship with the previous one. I have spoken briefly with the replacement but since he was hesitant to even give out his name I think it is going to be a long year. And with it being his senior year I don't know how the counselor rec is going to get done. And because of LD and ADD my son's record could realy use a counselor going to bat for him.
    Good luck
  • merlinjonesmerlinjones - Posts: 807 Member
    It is not lawful for a youngster to not actually have a proper IEP.

    It is also unlawful for a guidance counselor to dictate who they feel should actually obtain an IEP.

    You totally have to speak with whoever runs the school board, emeraldkitty.
This discussion has been closed.