Concerned Parent Group of Colchester

Parent Statement #8

The famous African proverb says “It takes a whole village to raise a child”.  The part of the village that is Colchester public education is FAILING at that when it comes to my children and other special education children in the town!!!

My family and I recently purchased a house in Colchester, we moved from Vernon which is a much poorer town with very low state test scores. We have twin 5 year olds, that have both had an IEP since they turned 3.  In Vernon they received intense therapy services and attended the preschool ( Which consisted of 50% special education students and 50% peer models, it is NOT a universal preschool).  Shortly after moving in I went to CES to register my children, because I had an IEP I was directed over to the Pupil Services office.  The secretary made a copy of my IEP and brought it to the Director of Pupil Services.  Within a minute or two the director came out of her office and said that they would not be providing the school placement (Preschool) or recommendations in the IEP and that they would only provide 1 hour of therapy.  When I asked why, she became very rude and unprofessional and said no.  She did not take the time to read the entire IEP, she didn't know the degree of my children’s delay, she never met or spoke to my children.  She simply said no. Then later a PPT was held for my children and I pushed for the recommendations and acommendations from my previous school district, and the people in my meeting said no and were very stone faced with little to no explanation.  It was very clear to me that they were directed to say no from their boss, the director of pupil services.  I was only asking for the same accommodations that my previous school district was providing.  At this meeting I refused In house testing on my children, as I feel STRONGLY that my children will not be evaluated properly and all results will be swayed to give my children way less than they need, again at the direction of the director. I signed paperwork declining an in-house evaluation and approving out of district testing.  I also signed paperwork that my children’s CCMC therapy records be shared with the district so that they could see my children are significantly behind their peers.   A week after the PPT I was sent a new packet of information, with the exact same paperwork that I already signed.  When I questioned why I was told we needed extra copies.  However the paperwork was changed, it now stated a different reason as to the testing and was trying to persuade me to sign that now I want in-house testing, all of which was NOT the discussion at the PPT.  This is a perfect example of changes made after the fact.  The PPT team agreed to outside testing at the expense of the district at the time of the meeting and the reason for it, and once the director’s office received a copy of that, I am sent new paperwork with different wording and phrases on it.  The new wording has a whole different meaning than what was discussed and agreed upon at the PPT.  I strongly feel that the lack of effort that Special Education department is putting into my children now at an early age, is setting my children up for failure in kindergarten.  My children are being denied their legal right to a Free Appropriate Public Education.  

Let me be very clear.  I ONLY want, what my previous district provided my children.  I am asking for no additional services.  I moved to town with an active IEP in place and the director denied it and cut my childrens services by about 75% without ever meeting them or reviewing their files or testing.

The impression Colchester Public schools has left on me is that they do what is easiest and/or cheapest for them and NOT what is in the best interest of children.  So I ask you, chairman of the Board and the BOE is that the district you want to be part of? Is that the kind of district you want to represent?

I am signing my statement to make sure you take this seriously, however I am EXTREMELY fearful of retribution for myself in district or My children’s current or future services.  

Lauren ***********

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