IEP/504 in the Berkeley School District
Archived Q&A and Reviews
- Entering King Middle School with 504 plan (BUSD)
- IEP meeting - district may deny request for aide (BUSD)
- Starting kindergarten in BUSD - how to get 504 plan?
- Preparing for an IEP for 3-y-o with ADS (BUSD)
My son is about to enter King Middle School. At the end of 5th grade his insightful teacher recognized that his spelling scores were way below all his other subjects. Historically, he always excelled in math, but he was a late reader. His reading improved after third grade and he is now above grade level in everything but spelling. His teacher initiated testing and that confirmed her suspicions that my son has a learning disability. We squeezed a 504 plan into place right at the very end of 5th grade. Now that he is about to start middle school, I am unclear what is the most helpful way to approach my son's disability with King. Should I talk to the administration? Wait until he has classes and discuss it with his teachers? What have other parents done? He is an all around above grade level kid with this one glaring issue, although his reading was probably impaired in his earlier years. Thanks for any help. I am interested in what has and has not worked. Mom of Middle Schooler
Are you familiar with BSPED? You can find our information at the bottom of the page here: http://www.berkeleyschools.net/departments/special-education/ but you can also contact me for more information. We're a group of parents who have children with IEPs and 504s enrolled in BUSD schools and I'm sure there's somebody in our group who can help you. Jill H
I just left from my son's iep meeting at King Middle School. He is an 11 year old twin, with cerebral palsy. Because Berkeley Unified only has inclusion programs for special ed. students, it's clear that he needs an i.a. to assist him throughout the day. I've been informed that the district will probably deny the request, even though it is his right, due to budget constraints; however they can do it if I ''fight'' for it. Any suggestions/recommendations? Thanks.
School districts cannot deny necessary support to a child with an IEP due to budget reasons! Contact us at Berkeley Special Education Parents Network, http://www.berkeley.net/index.php?page=bsped we are a support group for parents who have kids at BUSD with IEPs. Here are also some good articles to help you learn your rights in this area:
http://www.wrightslaw.com/info/relsvc.aide.steedman.htm http://www.wrightslaw.com/heath/parapro.qual.htm http://www.wrightslaw.com/heath/parapro.aide.htm
My child will be starting kindergarten in BUSD and will need a 504 plan due to a physical disability that requires some accommodations. I don't really know where to start and how to actually obtain the 504 and then ensure that the accommodations are in place...anyone who has been through the process -- can you give me some info? thanks so much...
Call the BUSD 504 Coordinator or go to the office at 1835 Allston Way. You will need to file a request for special education assessment to start the process. After the assessment, BUSD will meet with you to discuss the findings and determine what kind of plan is necessary for your student. Getting started now will ensure that you have a plan in place before your student starts kindergarten.
After you receive the plan, I highly recommend that you provide a copy to each of your student's teachers, every year. I copy my daughter's plan on brightly colored, 3-hole punched paper, and include a cover memo highlighting the most important accommodations. Good luck. anon
I'm not in the Berkeley district, but I can tell you what I did for my child. I wasn't sure where to start, so I asked for an IEP meeting from the special ed department in our district. It was determined (after all of the evaluations)that my daughter didn't qualify for an IEP, but she did qualify for a 504 plan. It was pretty much the same people involved in both. I would imagine that you could call the special ed office at BUSD and ask for a 504 evaluaton. Chances are that they will require your son to have an ''official'' diagnosis from whatever professional he sees before they will consider a meeting.
Unfortunately, I have had 2 friends in Berkeley with children who desperately need these services, and both were denied. One family wasn't even given the evaluation. I have a feeling that BUSD denies most people, and then you have to fight them. It might help to send them documentation from any other professionals or even to have one of them make the request for you. Good luck. dawn
Sorry my message is late, I am just catching up on reading some newsletters as I am quite busy with my special needs child too, although it's getting better, but NOT thanks to BUSD...You have to be extremely proactive with BUSD, and I've found I've had to pay for the needed services myself. Busy Parent
My son is 28 months old and diagnosed with ASD. He is mid - high functioning, but is just beginning to use words. Although it hasnt seem like I've had long to appreciate the pre 3 services he's had, I am looking into being informed for his IEP in the fall. I asked the OT about it today and she informed me that they will also do a transition meeting..What I thought to myself, even 9 months away seemed soon! It really stinks to be in an uninformed place after all the research I did for pre 3..I really need to gain more knowledge about this process and also would love advice as to a good parent advocate, if I should get an independent developmental assessment etc. as I would have to get on a list now to get in before his transition meeting in June. We are in the Berkeley School District. I would really appreciate hearing what others have done to prepare for this. I really don't want my son to just be given whatever because I havent done the proper leg work.
Hi - Good for you for doing your research, at my first IEP I was given whatever because I hadn't done the proper leg work ;)
There aren't a whole lot of options here in Berkeley, so my advice is to just know your son and know what will work for him. Here are some things for you to ponder:
1. What kind of classroom setting will work for him? You'll have a choice of entirely special ed, mixed (some percentage) special ed and head start kids or a ''full inclusion'' model where he's the only, or one of the only special ed kids in a room full of regular ed kids.
2. Depending on what kind of classroom placement you get, will he need an aide?
3. What other services does he need? Speech therapy? Does he have sensory issues? Does he have physical issues? If so, should he see the therapist 1:1 or in a group?
4. Do you want a home program in addition to his classroom? Are you doing ABA? Do you have an agency you want to work with?
Lots of questions, I know, but just some things to keep in mind. Jill