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Author Topic: Connecticut  (Read 4162 times)

Description: Members there and any recent OCR rulings?

Offline ajasfolks2

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Connecticut
« on: June 10, 2014, 07:08:13 PM »
Anybody in CT or have some insight as to recent developments?  I know there were some (not too distant) challenges and head-beating-brick-wall excursions . . .

Am going to do FOIA request to OCR regional specific to CT to see if something recent we've missed or not been aware of . . .

PM (private message) me if you'd rather that than post.

If you are newbie with no PM privileges, we'll see if we can help you out if you need privacy / anonymity.

Is this where I blame iPhone and cuss like an old fighter pilot's wife?

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Offline ajasfolks2

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Re: Connecticut
« Reply #1 on: June 10, 2014, 07:19:52 PM »
From a particular district in CT . . . for example:

(dated 2004 on their website, with note as to "revised" 2012)

Quote

EQUAL EDUCATION OPPORTUNITY      5546

Section 504 is a Civil Rights Statute that prohibits discrimination against persons with a disability in any program receiving Federal financial assistance.  The Statute defines a person with a disability as anyone who:

 has a mental or physical impairment that substantially limits one (1) or more major life activities (major life activities include activities such as caring for one’s self, performing manual tasks, walking, seeing, hearing, speaking, breathing, learning, and working);

 has a record of such impairment; or

 is regarded as having such impairment.

In order to fulfill its obligation under Section 504, the Fairfield Public School District recognizes a responsibility to avoid discrimination in policies and practices regarding its personnel and students.  No discrimination against any person with a disability will knowingly be permitted in any of the programs and practices in the school system.

The school district has specific responsibilities under the Act, which include the responsibility to identify, evaluate, and if the child is determined to be eligible under Section 504, to afford access to appropriate educational services.

If the parent or guardian disagrees with the determination made by the professional staff of the school district, he has a right to a hearing with an impartial hearing officer.




Those of us familiar with 504 law, process, and procedure can see some of what is missing from the info provided to parents there.

It's the intentional (IMO) omissions and potential inaction (ok, refusal) to even evaluate for 504 in some CT districts that is a potentially BIG problem for many LTFA families there . . .

And so I'm reminded of the "deliberate indifference" discussion here too.

« Last Edit: June 10, 2014, 07:22:55 PM by ajasfolks2 »
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Offline hedgehog

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Re: Connecticut
« Reply #2 on: June 10, 2014, 09:17:46 PM »
I think you know I live in CT.  I am afraid I am not much help, though.  I have not concerned myself too much with what the law requires regarding schools, because I have been fortunate enough to live in a district where it has not been an issue.  The local schools have done a great job of keeping DS safe, and in general of inclusion (there were occasions when no one had thought of something that could exclude, but when it was brought up, they were happy to make necessary changes).

If you need any more specifics about our district, or anything else you think I might be able to help with, feel free to pm me.
USA

Offline lakeswimr

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Re: Connecticut
« Reply #3 on: June 10, 2014, 09:27:21 PM »
Maybe it is late but I'm not seeing what you are talking about.  The quote you posted says they will evaluate for 504.  What is wrong with that quote?  Why do you think it is indicative of a problem in the whole state of CT?

I think that back when the first version of the CT guidelines for schools came out, many districts may have interpreted the requirement for all students with food allergies to have an IHCP to mean that they did not or could not also have a 504 for food allergies.  Ours switched from routinely doing 504s to saying they did only IHCPs.  I got one after a while, though, by coming to the 504 meeting well prepared including having info about the 2008 amendment and about what happened in districts that refused 504s for FA students. 

Offline ajasfolks2

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Re: Connecticut
« Reply #4 on: June 11, 2014, 09:15:50 AM »
Thanks, Hedge!

lakeswimr -- aren't you still the only or one of the very few with a 504 for LTFA in your area?  Is your particular school district truly proactive about child find and/or identifying for 504 for LTFA, diabetes, and other medical disabilities?  Or is the information kept nearly-secret from the families -- most of whom don't even know about 504s or their students' rights?

 

For the longest time CT was a lot like Fairfax Co, Virginia:  IHCPs still being offered in lieu of 504s on regular basis for LTFA students.  The IHCPs weren't even being done -- they weren't truly "individualized" as to the "I" in IHCP. 

Is the information for parents so far as 504, process to request, and details readily and obviously available at school / district websites?  Or is there a very basic 504 statement with nothing linked or truly helpful for the parents as to "what next" . . . leaving the parents to ask the principal or other admin about 504 and then being verbally told "an IHCP will do" and shrugged off . . .

 
Is this where I blame iPhone and cuss like an old fighter pilot's wife?

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Offline lakeswimr

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Re: Connecticut
« Reply #5 on: June 11, 2014, 04:07:10 PM »
I don't know the answers to all that but when I compare the accommodations my child has to those others here and at KWFA say their children have, I think our accommodation plan, which is pretty standard in our district, is one of the best I have seen. 

Our district may not be perfect but it is better than many.

I have the sense that our state is far better than most.  At least we have state guidelines for the management of LTFAs and other diseases.  Many states (I'd guess most) do not have this yet.  The latest guidelines talk about 504s.

Our district gives us paperwork about our rights if we request a 504 meeting.  I'm not sure how that paperwork compares to that in other districts.

I'm curious where in this country do you find schools who do all the things you asked about in your post.  My guess is those school districts are few and far between.


Offline ajasfolks2

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Re: Connecticut
« Reply #6 on: June 11, 2014, 09:20:45 PM »
Quickly -- those districts taken to task by OCR seem to be much more open as to getting 504 eligibility information to the parents . . .  ;D  Typically the district's office of monitoring and compliance (under Sped, often) makes recommendations to district to make changes to the "information flow" to parents about 504, IDEA and students' and parents' rights.  Then the district personnel in SPED implement -- usually with better info via the website:  not so buried and even up front about 504 and food allergies.



« Last Edit: June 11, 2014, 09:32:05 PM by ajasfolks2 »
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Offline ajasfolks2

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Re: Connecticut
« Reply #7 on: June 11, 2014, 09:40:46 PM »
There seem to be some serious disconnects in some CT school districts, based on past member history and posts we've had and some more recent private discussions I've had with CT residents (not members here, to my knowledge).

This is one passage from the CT Food Allergy Guidelines that has me troubled and is possibly a window into some of the issues:

Quote
Certain federal laws may also be relevant to school districts’ responsibilities for
meeting the needs of students with severe food allergies and glycogen storage
disease. Additionally, Connecticut has created an entitlement to an
individualized health care plan for a child with life-threatening food allergies and
glycogen storage disease, without reference to a child’s status as disabled
under either Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (Section 504) or
IDEA. It is important to note, however, that there is considerable variation in
interpretation of these laws with respect to students with severe food allergies,
as there is variability among the practices of school districts in addressing the
needs of these students in school.


I'd like to know how there can be variation in interpreting the law according to the practices of the districts in addressing the needs when the requirement of 504 is to identify and evaluate and determine eligibility based on the qualifying condition -- NOT on how they (district) mitigate or "handle" the food allergy. 



« Last Edit: June 12, 2014, 02:52:18 PM by ajasfolks2 »
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Offline daisy madness

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Re: Connecticut
« Reply #8 on: June 12, 2014, 02:48:24 PM »
I agree Ajasfolks.  That wording is very slimy.

Offline lakeswimr

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Re: Connecticut
« Reply #9 on: June 12, 2014, 03:13:55 PM »
Ajas, is that from the older or more recent version of the CT guidelines?  The first version was not supportive of 504s. 

Offline ajasfolks2

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Re: Connecticut
« Reply #10 on: June 12, 2014, 03:35:33 PM »
I believe that is from most recent version . . .

It says this is revised version, 2012 in opening paragraph on page 3

Link:

http://www.sde.ct.gov/sde/lib/sde/pdf/publications/food_allergies/food_allergies.pdf
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Offline ajasfolks2

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Re: Connecticut
« Reply #11 on: June 12, 2014, 03:37:40 PM »
My quote above is from page 13, if the .pdf page relates to the actual doc page correctly.

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Offline ajasfolks2

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Re: Connecticut
« Reply #12 on: June 12, 2014, 03:40:00 PM »
Oh.Wow.

Just read this on page 32:

Quote
determination of the type of plan appropriate for students (such as IHCP or
Section 504 plan). If the team determines that a student does not meet
the eligibility requirements for Section 504, the IHCP may be considered
one and the same as the Section 504 plan;


Bingo.  This would make for all sorts of confusion at the distirct level and at individual schools, yes?

Is this where I blame iPhone and cuss like an old fighter pilot's wife?

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Offline ajasfolks2

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Re: Connecticut
« Reply #13 on: June 12, 2014, 03:44:11 PM »
Now, that makes me curious about the 2006 version and I'd sure love to look at them side-by-side to read and compare.

Anyone have saved .pdf of the old version?  I do not on this particular computer . . . would be on my dead Dell, darn it!  I'm sure I have a paper copy in the mountain of office file boxes still not opened after the 3 moves in past 6 years.   :hiding:

Is this where I blame iPhone and cuss like an old fighter pilot's wife?

**(&%@@&%$^%$#^%$#$*&      LOL!!   

Offline lakeswimr

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Re: Connecticut
« Reply #14 on: June 12, 2014, 06:26:22 PM »
I still think CT students in general tend to have better FA accommodation plans that many students in other states from what I have seen.  We have lots of FA related legislation in this state, too, more than most other states.