We Don’t Do That in This District

There are lot's of things I hear at IEP team meetings that cause me to bristle and take a deep breath.  One of them is when I hear "We don't do that in this district."

It was recently said at a meeting in which we were discussing the possibility of a student requiring a residential program as part of an appropriate placement.  The director said, "we've never paid for the residential portion of an educational program,  we don't do that here."

As I usually do,  I took a few deep breaths and contemplated my response to make sure I said something appropriate.

I explained that I was a uncomfortable with his response and I would be more than happy to ignore it.  But, if he really meant it and wanted it on the record, than I would request for the district's position to be on the record.  Loud and clear!

I explained that I was uncomfortable with it because he was predetermining what the IEP team was going to decide about the student's program.  Additionally, it sounded like it was their policy not to do such things, and it wouldn't be appropriate for the district to have a policy about what they do and don't pay for as a part of a student's IEP.

He rethought his definitive statement about not paying for residential portions of educational placements and said he wanted to wait to see what the evaluators had to say about what the student needed.
I confirmed that I thought that was a great idea!

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