Advocacy

100 Night of Advocacy – Night 10

The ability for a parent/ guardian to request am IPRC is found in Regulation 181/98, Subsection 14.1 , D3.
14. (1) The principal of the school at which a pupil is enrolled,

(a) may on written notice to a parent of the pupil; and

(b) shall at the written request of a parent of the pupil,

refer the pupil to a committee established by the board, for a decision as to whether the pupil should be identified as an exceptional pupil and, if so, what the placement of the pupil should be. O. Reg. 181/98, s. 14 (1).

This right is also found in most School Board Guide to Special Education Programs and Services as mandated by the Ministry of Education. This guide will be likely located somewhere on your Board’s website and is generally found when using Google and searching Parents Guide to Special Education Programs and Services along with your Board’s name.  

The guide for the Toronto District School Board is typical.

Very few IPRCs are requested by parents. When a parent does request an IPRC it signals a parent who is aware of their rights and is being proactive. Boards have no ability not to hold the meeting. The decisions an IPRC are another issue that we will discuss later.
Take note that the request must be in writing to the Principal.
Talk some time and find your boards guide on their website and where it states the above.

100 Nights of Advocacy – Night 9

The future of President Trump could be greatly affected by one important contemporaneous note.  Imagine the impact making your own contemporaneous notes could have on your life.

Effective Practices – Start and use a School Log/Contemporaneous Record.  
A contemporaneous note is a note you write at or immediately after a conversation/meeting.
There is no one right way to do them but I would suggest the following.
As with any interaction with the school related to your child’s needs, consider recording the key events related to the school and your child on paper. Use a bound note book. Print or hand write, write objective statements. Use statements that are positive and convey a patient, positive but focussed attitude on your part. Be sure to date the entry.
I tend to make rough notes during the meeting then immediately after the interaction create the note.
Though such notation is useful legally, it’s also a really good way to operate. Memories are fragile and making a physical record of interactions is just smart.
Sample Entry (to be written or printed)
October 15. Spoke to Ms. Patel. I asked for an IPRC. Ms. Patal suggested that an IPRC was not needed at this time. I replied that the school was offering needed support for Emily and I wished to have an IPRC to formalize Emily’s status. I said I would send a note to the principal.

Trump and good notes…

100 Nights of Advocacy – Night 8

IPRC request letter in Night 7

Effective Practices – Considering write or typing the note on paper, date and sign. Either call and/or email to confirm that it was received. Avoid adding other issues related to your child and/or the school into the letter or confirming communication. Do not include any grievance in either. These are specific purposeful letters. Any additional material should be positive.

Care should be given to be positive in your interactions with your child’s school and the school board as well as other service providers. This is particularly true with email and social media. It is normal to experience considerable frustration and anxiety when trying to obtain appropriate support for your child. It is not helpful , however, to allow your frustration to seep into your interactions with staff. Keep written correspondence as neutral and positive as you can. It is helpful to get a friend or family member to edit material before you send it.  
The 24 Hour Rule – When some event has made you upset, try not to despond in way for at least 24 hours. We generally regret immediate responses because they are not thought out and are fuelled by emotion.

100 Night of Advocacy – Night 7

The past post looked at how ASD can and should be identified with an IPRC.  Likewise, though many school boards might be reticent to identify a child with other conditions such as Attentional Deficit Hyperactity Disorder, Fetal Alchohol Spectrum Disorder and others that are not specifically noted in the IPRC regulations,  there is often a strong argument that can BR made to identify such children.  We will explore this issue later.

Back to the story of Emily

Emily’ mother, after consideration, requested an IPRC meeting in writing to the Principal of the school.

                                                                  ________________________________

Good Practices Comment

Below you will find a sample IPRC request letter. This letter is sent to the principal directly. It is a good practice to bring the                 letter in yourself but you must remember to remain positive in your interactions. I suggest a paper copy be give, though an email copy could also be sent. If this is not an initial IPRC make any changes appropriate. The letter is brief and to the point. Be sure to individualize the template and make it yours.

                                                                _________________________________

The Principal

Name of School

Address of School

Dat​e

Dear Mr. or Ms (Name of Principal)

Re: (Name of Child) (Date of Birth)

The purpose of this letter is to request that you refer my daughter/son to the school board’s Identification, Placement and Review Committee for the purpose of identifying her/him as an exceptional child and of determining the most enabling educational placement with appropriate programs and Services for her/him.

I do want to thank you for your consideration for and support of my son/daughter. The school has been very embracing and accommodating of Emily and her needs.

Emily father, Mr. O’Neil, has a visual impairment and will require materials written in Braille.

Thank you for processing this request promptly. I am looking forward to hearing from you soon.

Yours sincerely
(your name)

cc (Superintendent of your Family of Schools)

100 Nights of Advocacy Update

I have made 6 posts thus far. The posts are linear, build on each other and support the three webinars on IPRCs.

The first approximately 30 posts will focus on events prior to the IPRC, the next third look at the meeting itself and the last third about Advocacy style.

I am adjusting and expanding posts based on your responses to the material.

I will post the test posted this far in one piece at intervals as we progress.

Eventually this will form a one price publication or book.

Give me feedback. It helps me a great deal.