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December 10, 2009



The nurse sends your child home even without a fever? Am I missing something? Is your child medically fragile or has a condition that requires frequent monitoring?
Down here in Arkansas, our funding comes from our Average Daily Attendance. ADA also figures into our measures of Adequate Yearly Progress, so I can't imagine our nurses sending kids home "just because."
Can you just not refuse to pick him up unless there's a fever, vomiting, or other sign of contagious illness?
As for a student who has cancer, what in the world are the teachers up there thinking? Why wouldn't they just go ahead and work with student and the parents? We have non-disabled kids who need arrangements made for them because of illness or family crises. I can't imagine being so hard-nosed that you wouldn't help a kid out in that situation. Doesn't Illinois have a requirement to provide home/hospital based education for students with medical conditions who cannot attend school regularly?

Just today in our grade level team meeting we were discussing a child who was absent due to illness a lot and the need to get a letter from the doctor and begin a 504 plan for him for his work. The parents haven’t even requested it. WE just noticed that he was absent a lot and struggling to keep up. That’s our job as teachers, isn’t it?
Sorry for writing such a long post. Usually I just read your blog quietly, but your post today has just astonished me.

Charlie Fox

No, he is not medically fragile; the school nurse is just given carte blanche and no one seems to want to challenge her, so it has been a fight that we have tried to avoid as it is loser for us. As to funding formulas that does seem odd but beyond my area of knowledge.




My son was absent due to his chronic illness of Encopresis. At that time he was diagnosed with cerebral palsy, anxiety and depression. At that time, the school chose to "blame the parent". If they had focused on the child, they would learn that he has PDD, GAD/Depression, CP, SPD, and a serious GI issue.


gretchen fyffe

My son, who essentially missed the first half of this year due to medication side effects for a mood disorder, (staying up all night, then can't stay awake in class) is now being targeted by administration for discipline related to his absences! I LOVE the long post above. My thoughts precisely:

--"Why wouldn't they just go ahead and work with student and the parents? We have non-disabled kids who need arrangements made for them because of illness or family crises. I can't imagine being so hard-nosed that you wouldn't help a kid out in that situation. "

The school psych, who my son had come to trust, left me voicemail one morning suggesting I involve the local city police assigned to the school (an "SRO" school resource officer)to escort him to school in the morning when he's not compliant. Would anyone reading this be compliant after night s on end of being awake until 2:30, 3:30 or 4:30am? The body knows what it needs...SLEEP! And the IEP that was written without my input (I just discovered he has one dated Oct. 2010, when it was due by law--I understood it was on hold until an FBA was done)has no accomodation for a late start.

My son has been disciplined repeatedly for manifestation of his disability. He's been accused of vandalism, (and was tag-teamed by an officer and the vp for an admission of guilt and all while secluded) elopement from campus (which was only a walk to the dumpsters to cool off and avoid a fight) and fighting even after 4 requests by me to school officials and teachers to wake up and do something about the bullying he'd taken for a year! When he finally lost his cool he was escorted to in school suspension on a later day without being told why, and I was not notified either. It's like putting a cat in a room full of mice and telling it, "Now, don't touch the mice. Don't touch the mice, kitty. Leave the mice alone." At some point, nature takes over.

I've filed a "concern" with the district. My biggest hope for outcome is: PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT ALL AROUND!!!!

Thanks for listening.

Gretchen in Phoenix

Jean Federico

I have been teaching special ed for 18 years. I have a self-contained class (middle school) of students with Emotional/Behavioral Disabilities. I get really upset when I hear about districts who don't seem to want to work with parents and students. This year, I have 14 boys in the class. Most of them can be violent when their medications aren't right. We (my paras and I) seldom have to send a student home, because we work with the boys for both academic and social skills. I have one kid who goes home at 11:00, because he can handle the morning in school but as his meds wear off he struggles. We have another one who comes to school at the normal time, but sleeps in the back room for the first two hours. His mom has to work and can't get him in later, but because of medication problems he just can't do anything before 10. I have a student who bounces in and out of the hospital, but we work with him and the hospital to keep him on track. We really work with these kids! My big frustration, though is with the chronically absent kids. I'm not talking about the ones who are out because of their disability or medication issues, but the ones who just choose not to come to school. I have three this year who are in total charge at home (their moms are afraid of them), and they only come to school when they feel like coming. I can only go so far in trying to structure the class so that they want to come. So..what do we do? Yes, I have suggested to a mom that she have the police escort her son to school - after the she told me that her son "doesn't like" school and she "can't make him go" and admitted that there was nothing in his disability keeping him from being able to get up in the morning. They get behind on their work, refuse to complete make-up work and are content to fail. What do we do? Let them fail? That just feels wrong, but I don't know what else we can do when the parent doesn't do their part in making sure the student gets to school.

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