Concerned Parent Group of Colchester

Parent Statement #10

Jan. 22, 2015
Dear Sir or Madam,
My oldest daughter is a freshman at Bacon. She has struggled
with reading since the primary grades. Unfortunately, the support in getting
her extra help was not forthcoming. As her father and I work in occupations
that revolve around reading, we were doing our best to help her, but we were frustrated
that we could not make headway. By fifth grade, we learned that we could ask
for a PPT, so that is what we did.
For the next several years, it was a case of kicking the can
down the road. There was no progress and no improvement; in fact, things got
worse, despite the presence of an IEP. At the beginning of her eighth grade
year, we asked for another PPT. The director of pupil services was there, the
first time she was at one of these meetings. Her attitude was dismissive and
condescending, as if to question whether this child had a reading disability.
“Look at her STAR tests! The results are fine.” That might have been so, but it
did not override the issue and struggles we saw daily. We did not accept her
verdict, opting to hire an advocate. This advocate, a UConn professor, tested
the child and determined that she read at a third-grade
level. The advocate was present at the next meeting and voila, a whole new
ballgame. The services we wanted were put into place. The bill for the
advocate? Fourteen hundred dollars.

I worry less about me and my child’s situation than what a
parent faces who is intimidated by the director or who does not have the means
to hire an independent advocate. I think the district would be better served
having someone as a director who strikes a more understanding tone and actually
values the input of the people who know the child best.
I have two younger students who do not use services at this
juncture, but I am not comfortable using my name because of that. I grew up
around here and know full well that it is still, at its heart, a small town.

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