Thursday, December 8, 2011

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Candidate Filing

Candidate Filing

SCHOOL BOARD ELECTIONSPublic Notice of Filing The Lee’s Summit R-7 School District will accept Declarations of Candidacy for any person interested in running for a position on the School Board in the April 3, 2012 election. Persons interested may file with the Secretary of the Board of Education at the school district’s offices located at 301 NE Tudor Road, Lee’s Summit, Missouri 64086.Filing will begin on December 20, 2011 at 8 a.m. The office will close at 4 p.m. on December 21, 2011 for the holidays. Filing will continue during the district’s regular business hours, January 3 through January 17, 2012, which are Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Filing will not occur on days that the school district’s offices are closed due to inclement weather. The district’s offices will be closed on December 22, 23, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, and January 2 and 16 and, therefore, will not be accepting candidate filings on those dates. Filing will end on January 17, 2012, with the office staying open until 5 p.m. that day.There are two positions available with three-year terms.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

The anti child industry devoted to keeping services at minimum - National special education | Examiner.com

The anti child industry devoted to keeping services at minimum - National special education Examiner.com

The anti child industry Part 2 - National special education | Examiner.com

The anti child industry Part 2 - National special education Examiner.com

Does your school have a secret history of abusing disabled children? Find out here - National special education | Examiner.com

Does your school have a secret history of abusing disabled children? Find out here - National special education Examiner.com

Missouri

1. North Mercer R3, Mercer, MO (Seclusion Room: Closet converted to seclusion room)
2. Underwood Elementary School, Lee’s Summit R-7 School District, Lee’s Summit, MO (Seclusion: Child kept in closet for most of a month)

Monday, March 28, 2011

42 percent of R-7 graduates that attend local community colleges must take remedial mathematics and English

It's news to me


Political sound bites

John Beaudoin, Journal Publisher

John Beaudoin is publisher of the Lee's Summit Journal.

Tuesday night’s R-7 school board forum had a lot of reoccurring themes.

The levy failed so let’s get over it. That was a big one.

Another centered on current board member and candidate Jon Plaas being right.

I lost track of how many times fellow board member Jack Wiley and hopefuls Chris Storms and Mike Smith commented about Plaas making a great point, agreeing with one of his statements or just flat out “being right.”

Perhaps they were just being polite. But if they really think that, maybe Jon will be one of the three candidates they vote for on April 5.

No one can argue that Plaas had a steady performance at the forum, reiterating his stance that the levy going to the voters wasn’t wrong, it was the amount and the fact that so much of it was going to “bail out” the teacher’s retirement fund.

“Once you raise the property tax,” Plaas noted, “anyone ever saw it come off?”

Storms said he is convinced that the levy issue should not go in front of the voters again “for the near future.”

Plaas noted the need for “solutions to external problems before we start asking citizens for more money.” He even came with some non-traditional ideas that may not prove to be real popular with parents who will be casting a ballot soon. Plaas said he would be in favor of kids not being eligible to earn a driver’s license if they fail the MAP test.

Smith didn’t have as strong of a performance at the forum, but still had a few choice sound bites for the crowd of 70-plus in attendance, saying the district was “out of balance” with the levy issue.

One area that Plaas and Smith didn’t agree on was whether budget cuts could come right from Central Office. Smith argued the district would “build morale and show character” if it cut from the top down. Plaas countered that the R-7 administration pay is already the ninth lowest in the state.

On the topic of school vouchers, most seemed to be turned off by the idea. Plaas continued his assault of the state elected officials, asking “what does it cost and who is going to pay the bills?”

Wiley noted that private schools get to pick their students, while the public districts take in everyone.

Storms also weighed in, noting that if that measure were to pass, “students would flock to the R-7 School District.”

A few interesting facts should also be noted from the forum.

Plaas said that 42 percent of R-7 graduates that attend local community colleges must take remedial mathematics and English.

Another was that board candidate Mike Smith has never been a school board meeting, a fact that Wiley chided him on.

“It is incumbent on a candidate to attend a board meeting when you file,” Wiley noted.

Candidate Terri Harmon was unable to stay past the first 15 minutes of the forum due to a family commitment.

It will be interesting to see how voters weigh in on these five come April 5.

John Beaudoin, a Lee’s Summit resident, is the publisher of the Lee’s Summit Journal. To respond to today’s commentary, call 816-282-7001 or e-mail jbeaudoin@lsjournal.com

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

SchoolDigger.com - School Rankings, Reviews and More - Public and Private Elementary, Middle, High Schools

SchoolDigger.com - School Rankings, Reviews and More - Public and Private Elementary, Middle, High Schools

Lee's Summit Has Dropped From 27th to 38th In Two Years

Missouri School District Rankings






Rank (of 483) District # Students # Ranked Elementary Schools # Ranked Middle Schools # Ranked High Schools Rank score*

31 Parkway C-2 17467 18 5 5 0.821

32 Maryville R-II 1431 0 1 1 0.818

33 Ste. Genevieve County R-II 2023 2 1 1 0.815

34 Fairfax R-III 176 1 0 1 0.815

35 Hardin-Central C-2 220 1 0 1 0.812

36 Liberty 53 10263 9 0 1 0.811

37 Mound City R-II 303 0 0 1 0.811

38 Lee's Summit R-VII 17326 17 3 2 0.809

39 Bakersfield R-IV 382 1 0 0 0.807

40 Cabool R-IV 809 0 1 1 0.804

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

The Lee's Summit R-7 District Got $4 Million more in taxes Last Year, So Where’s the Shortfall?

http://lstribune.net/opinion/the-lee-s-summit-r-7-district-got-4-million-more-in-taxes-last-year-so-where-s-the-shortfall.htm

The Lee's Summit R-7 District Got $4 Million more in taxes Last Year, So Where’s the Shortfall?


January 29, 2011

Despite the R-7 district's claim that tax revenue is shrinking, according to the Jackson County Collection Department they received $2 million more from property taxes this last year. According to the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education the District did receive a shortfall in 2010 state taxes of about 6 million dollars, but the R-7 District received an additional 8 million more dollars from the federal government through the American Recovery & Reinvestment Act of 2009, yielding a net gain in tax dollars in 2010 of 4 million. The total tax revenue that went to the R-7 District in 2010 amounts to $169,051,445.80.

But the district claims:

"The financial crisis is compounded by growing enrollments and rising costs in areas such as fuel, utilities and benefits, including state-mandated retirement contributions." R-7 Website.

In the Flyer the District sent home with the kids it looks like the enrollment increased by 500 this last, but if you look at the fine print on their website you find that this is the additional enrollment since 2007. It turns out that the rapidly growing enrollment amounts to 250 students this last year. (Page 4, in the question and answer section of the R-7 website.) There are 18 elementary schools, 3 middle schools, and 3 High Schools. That means there has been an increase of about 1 1/2 student per grade.

I checked the inflation rate and according to the federal government it was at 1.5% in December, and fuel prices, while high, have remained consistently between $2.50-2.75 a gallon for the last two years or so. And the District really isn’t talking about how much they are having to pay in “mandated retirement” (according to the Public School Retirement System, the increase is only ½ a percent.)

But, the District assures us that it’s only an extra $336 per home assessed at $200,000, not taking into account that the commercial property, which is valued almost twice as high as residential property, is going to take an enormous hit during one of the worst economic downturns in history. Not only will this levy cause rent to go up and drive business elsewhere, it will mean higher food costs at restaurants- already hurting, and grocery stores as well as higher costs for those ballet and karate lessons.

With enrollment and inflation only growing at 1% and the 4 million additional tax dollars, I fail to see how the District can justify this levy or its devastating effects on the community.



Linda Koch Marshall,

Lee’s Summit

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Five file for three seats on Lee's Summit R-7 Board of Education


Five candidates have filed for three positions on the Lee's Summit R-7 School District Board of Education. Filing closed for R-7 Board of Education candidates on Jan. 18.

Candidates (listed in filing order) are Jack Wiley, Chris Storms, Terri Harmon, Jon Plaas and Mike Smith. Mr. Wiley is currently Board of Education vice president and has served on the Board since 2005. Mr. Plaas is currently a member of the Board of Education and has served on the Board since 2002.

The annual municipal and school election will be held on April 5. Board of Education members serve three-year terms.

Jack Wiley: Has been on the school board since 2005, is currently vice president of the school board, said that he would hold up our facilities to any one those in Johnson County, stated that he and his wife had babysat children with special needs so he understands what parents of children with special needs go through, said that the school’s board job is not to advocate for a single group, endorses the tax levy, endorsed bond to spend multimillions on astro turf, swimming pool, etc., Technical Writer/Trainer at GE Oil & Gas.

Chris Storms: Endorses the tax levy, member of the Citizens Advisory Panel, member of several committees that all of the other board members and administrators belong to.

Terri Harmon: Endorse the tax levy, member of several committees that all of the other board members and administrators belong to, co-chairperson of the building our future committee, member Lee’s Summit Citizens Advisory Panel, Chief Operation Officer/Technical Translator at iBossWell, Inc

Mike Smith: Twin Lakes Insurance Agency.

Jon Plaas: Owner, PLAAS Associates Inc, voted against tax levy, "I believe special-interest-group advocacy needs to be done from the podium in front of the board and not from a board seat," he said.

School board wants to up tax levy

School board wants to up tax levy

Community Members Invited To Serve On Lee's Summit R-7 School District Comprehensive School Improvement Team

Community members invited to serve on Lee's Summit R-7 School District Comprehensive School Improvement Team



The Lee's Summit R-7 School District is seeking parents, community members and district employees willing to help design a new Comprehensive School Improvement Plan (CSIP) for 2011-2016.

The team, consisting of approximately 40 members, will meet during March and April, to develop a student-focused strategic plan for the school district.

The R-7 School District has been a leader in visionary, strategic planning for many years with an emphasis on broad-based involvement by staff, parents and citizens. In fact, the first R-7 School District five-year plan was created in 1990 with the process continuing successfully for the past 20 years.

In preparation for the 2011-2016 Comprehensive School Improvement Plan, volunteers are needed to serve on the team. The group will meet from 4 to 8 p.m. Feb. 28, March 1, April 25 and April 26 at the Stansberry Leadership Center. An additional meeting could also be held during March and April.

To apply for membership on this team, go to http://tiny.cc/r8c0b. You may also contact the R-7 Office of Instruction and Leadership at 986-1027 for additional information. Deadline to apply for membership is Feb. 11.



(Posted-January 27, 2011)

Thursday, January 27, 2011

DESE's Answer To My Child Complaint

Bert Schulte


Interim Commissioner of Education
P.O. Box 430
Jefferson City, MO 65102-0480
http://dese.mo.gov/



Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education
- Making a positive difference through education and service -

March 23,2009

Dr. David McGehee
Superintendent
Lee's Summit R-VII School District
301 N.E. Tudor Road
Lee's Summit, MO 64086-5702

Curtis and Sherri Tucker
1200 SE London Way
Lee's Summit, MO 64081

Re: Jacob Tucker

Dear Dr. McGehee and Mr. and Ms. Tucker:

The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education has completed its investigation of the
child complaint filed against the Lee's Summit R-VII School District by Curtis and Sherri Tucker on
behalf of Jacob Tucker. The complaint was received on January 22,2009.

The attached decision, containing findings and conclusions, shall constitute the final decision of the
Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.

Bert Schulte

Interim Commissioner of Education

c: Mr. Jerry Keimig, Special Education Contact,
Lee's Summit R-VII School District
Ms. Janet Hoskins, Assistant Director, Special Education Compliance
Ms. Julie Bower, Supervisor, Special Education Compliance
Ms. Jackie Bruner, Director, Special Education Compliance
Ms. Pamela A. Williams, Coordinator, Special Education Services
Ms. Cynthia Quetsch, Legal Counsel, Division of Special Education
Ms. Heidi Atkins Lieberman, Assistant Commissioner, Division of Special Education

Child Complaint Decision

Re: Jacob Tucker

Findings and Conclusions

1. Allegation:

March 23, 2009

The Lee's Summit R-VII School District, in violation of state and federal regulations
implementing the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), failed to develop an
Individualized Education Program (IEP) with appropriate goals to address Jacob Tucker's needs.

Findings:

Curtis and Sherri Tucker, parents of Jacob Tucker, allege the Individualized Education Program
(IEP) team did not develop appropriate IEP goals that address Jacob's needs. Ms. Tucker opines
that Jacob's goals do not state how Jacob will achieve the goals, what the method of therapy or
services will be used to help him achieve the goals, who will perform those services, how often
those services will be provided, and what the services are. In addition, she opines that the goals
developed for Jacob are not appropriate or achievable given his disability.

Jerry Keimig, director of special education, indicated the IEP team met on December 15, 2008,
and developed IEP goals based upon Jacob's evaluation data and current educational
performance. Conference notes reflect a discussion among IEP team members regarding the
appropriateness of Jacob's goals.

The present level of academic and functional performance (PLAAFP) of Jacob's IEP dated
December 15,2008, states that Jacob's disability affects his functional and academic
involvement and progress in regular education curriculum in the following manner: class
participation, staying on task, understanding and following directions, completing and turning in
work on time, organization, self advocating for make-up work, taking notes, expressing himself
through lengthy forms of written expression, test taking skills, understanding emotions of peers
and teachers, and general social skills. In addition, the PLAAFP indicates that Jacob continues
to need improvement with the following skills: following written directions, self advocacy,
organization, study skills, pragmatic language, coping skills, and social skills. Jacob's IEP has
five (5) goals which address increasing self advocacy, organization and study skills, pragmatic
social skills for maintaining conversations, identifying the impression he makes, and inferring
meaning from different social scenarios. The goals are measurable as they include specific
numbers to record level of attainment.

Decision:

State and federal regulations implementing the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act
(IDEA) require Individualized Education Program (IEP) teams to develop measurable annual
goals (including academic and functional goals) to meet the child's needs resulting from the
child's disability, enable the child to be involved in and make progress in the general education
curriculum, and meet each of the child's other educational needs that result from the child's
disability. Jacob's IEP dated December 15,2008, includes IEP goals that are related to the areas
identified as skill deficits in the present level of academic achievement and functional
performance (PLAAFP) and the areas in which Jacob's disability affects his functional and
academic involvement and his progress in the general education curriculum.

The state and federal regulations do not require that goals state how a student will achieve the
goal, the method of therapy or services, and who will provide the services. The services
summary of the IEP must include how often the services are provided and what the services are
but that information is not required to be written in the IEP goals. The service summary of

Jacob's IEP includes that information.

It is an IEP team's responsibility to develop appropriate goals on an individual basis based on the
academic and functional needs of the child. In this case, the IEP team met and developed goals
based upon Jacob's evaluation data and current academic achievement and functional
performance. Goals must be measurable. Jacob's goals were measurable. Based on the
foregoing, the Lee's Summit R-VII School District is found not out of compliance.

2. Allegation:

The Lee's Summit R-VII School District, in violation of state and federal regulations
implementing the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), failed to include areas of
weakness and current evaluation results in Jacob Tucker's Individualized Education Program
(IEP).

Findings:

Curtis and Sherri Tucker, parents of Jacob Tucker, allege the Individualized Education Program
(IEP) team failed to address any ofJacob's areas of weakness and refused to put his current
evaluation scores in the present level of academic achievement.and functional performance
section of the IEP, therefore, resulting in Jacob's IEP not addressing his real needs.

Jacob's IEP dated December 15,2008, states that Jacob's disability affects his functional and
academic involvement and progress in the general education curriculum in the following manner:
class participation, staying on task, understanding and following instructions, completing and
turning in work on time, organization, self-advocacy for make-up work, taking notes, expressing
himself through lengthy forms of written expression, testing-taking skills, understanding the
emotions of peers and teachers, and general social skills. Jacob's IEP also states that Jacob
continues to need improvement with the following skills: following written directions, selfadvocacy,
organization, study skills, pragmatic language, coping skills, and social skills. Jacob's
IEP dated December 15, 2008, states that the Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children - 4th
Edition (WISC-IV) indicated that Jacob's abilities to sustain attention, concentration, and exert
mental control are a weakness relative to his nonverbal reasoning skills. Jacob's ability to
process visual material quickly is also a weakness relative to his nonverbal reasoning skills.

I

Jacob's reevaluation dated December 2,2008, which is included in the December 15, 2008, IEP,
states that his overall cognitive ability is within the average range as tested by the WISC-IV.
The Wechsler Non-Verbal Scale of Ability (WNV) indicated that Jacob's cognitive ability was at
the superior range. The Wechsler Individual Achievement Test - 2nd Edition (WIA T-II)
indicated that Jacob's reading and written language skills are in the high average range, while
math appears to be within the average range. The Vineland Adaptive Behavior Scales - 2nd
Edition, indicates moderately low to adequate adaptive skills observed at school.

Decision:

State and federal regulations implementing the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act
(IDEA) require Individualized Education Program (IEP) teams to consider the strengths of the
child and the results of initial or most recent reevaluation results. In this case, the IEP team
considered Jacob's strengths, weaknesses, and test scores; and the IEP includes strengths,
weaknesses, and the most recent reevaluation results. Therefore, the Lee's Summit R-VII School

District is found not out of compliance.

3. Allegation:

The Lee's Summit R-VII School District, in violation of state and federal regulations
implementing the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), failed to allow Jacob
Tucker's parents to be an equal participant in the Individualized Education Program (IEP) team
process.

Findings:

Curtis and Sherri Tucker, parents of Jacob Tucker, allege the Individualized Education Program
(IEP) team failed to make Ms. Tucker an equal partner on the IEP team. Ms. Tucker reports that
she was told by the school district that she is the expert at horne and the district is the expert on
Jacob at school. Ms. Tucker contends that the Lee's Summit R-VII School District's failure to
allow her to tape record meetings and include her conference notes with the district's conference
notes, indicates that she was not a full participant on her son's IEP team.

Documentation indicates that Mr. and Ms. Tucker were invited to and attended the IEP meetings
on May 5, 2008, and December 15, 2008.

Jacob's IEP was amended on August 27,2008, and February 2,2009. The August 27,2008,
IEPamendment indicates that Ms. Tucker was present and agreed to the changes made to Jacob's
IEP. The February 2,2009, IEP amendment indicates that Ms. Tucker agreed to the IEP
amendment via email.

Parent concerns are set forth in Jacob's IEP. In addition, Joy Rose, special education process
coordinator, informed Ms. Tucker on October 13, 2008, that all of Ms. Tucker's
communications, including parent conference notes from IEP meetings, are placed in Jacob's
special education file.

Documentation indicates there are multiple emails and correspondence dated January 23,2008,
to January 27,2009, between Ms. Tucker and various district personnel. There were numerous
communications about Jacob's progress, goals, and implementation of the IEP. Some of the
parent's requests for evaluation were granted and some refused. Ms. Tucker was provided with
draft IEPs prior to each IEP meeting. Ms. Tucker submitted a classroom observation report to
the IEP team with suggestions prior to the December 15, 2008, IEP meeting. The district
responded to numerous issues raised by Ms. Tucker, but did not always provide the relief Ms.
Tucker requested. The district offered to meet with her to discuss her concerns.

The Lee's Summit Board of Education policy states that the use of audio, video, or other
recording devices at IEP meetings or Section 504 meetings is strictly prohibited in accordance
with the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. The policy also states that exceptions to this policy will
only be made when such recordings are necessary to ensure parental rights that are guaranteed
under Part B of the_IDEA. These requests must be made within a-reasonable-period oftime prior
to the scheduled meetings.

Decision:

State and federal regulations implementing the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act
(IDEA) require that input be considered from all IEP team members when developing a student's
Individualized Education Program (IEP) and that the district take steps to ensure that parents are
present and given an opportunity to participate. There is no requirement that parents be an
"equal" decision-maker nor is there any standard to determine the quantity or quality of
participation. Considering input and allowing participation does not require the team to include
all the input in the student's IEP. In this case, documentation reflects that Ms. Tucker was given
an opportunity to participate as a member of the IEP team. Therefore, the Lee's Summit R-VII
School District is found not out of compliance.

I

DESE's Answer To My Child Complaint

Child Complaint Number Two

January 17, 2009




Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (SEAP)

Division of Special Education Compliance

C/O Child Complaint Coordinator – Ms. Jackie Bruner

P.O. Box 480

Jefferson City, MO 65102-0480



Dear Ms. Bruner,



This child complaint is written regarding my son, Jacob Edward Tucker. I am unable to resolve issues with our school district, Lee’s Summit R-7. I have written to the IEP team and the district’s superintendent and have not been able to get a response from them about my concerns.



My concerns revolve around the goals that the team have for him. I don’t think that they are appropriate and do not address all of his needs. He recently had a reevaluation and he had quite a scatter of scores. His IEP doesn’t address many of the areas of his weaknesses. The District refused to put his evaluation scores in his Present Level and therefore the IEP doesn’t address his real needs.



My son's PLAAP is just what the district brought to the table and hardly any of my input was used. That does not make me an equal partner on the IEP team. While the composite test scores might give a picture of what Jake can or can't do, the subtests give the real picture of his strengths and weaknesses. To make a statement such as, "he performed within the average" does not address his strengths and weaknesses.



Present Level of Educational Performance (PLEP) - The present level determines approaches for ensuring involvement in, or adaptations or modifications to, the general curriculum. Each area of identified educational need must be addressed in at least one of the following: annual goals, supplementary aids/services/supports, or secondary transition services.

The PLEP should accurately describe the student’s performance in all areas of education that are affected by the student’s disability [R340.1721e(2)(a)]. It is helpful to consider the key role of present level of performance in the overall development of the IEP.

Present level of performance information supports the IEP Team’s determination of supplementary aids/services/personnel supports, annual goals and short-term objectives, and state- and district-wide assessments on the IEP [34 CFR §300.347(a)]. The PLEP statement(s) should include four elements (in no particular order):

1. A narrative summary of the baseline data. In understandable terms, explain the data, areas of need, and how the disability affects progress in the general curriculum. The narrative summary must be sufficient to provide a foundation for education planning (a starting point for instruction).

2. Baseline data may be obtained from criterion referenced tests, standardized achievement tests, diagnostic tests, classroom performance, systematic observations, state or district-wide assessments, checklists, progress reports, report cards, student input, parent input, or any combination of the above.

3. A statement of how the disability impacts the student’s involvement/progress in the general curriculum.

4. A description of area(s) of educational need.

Previously, IEPs were required to include "a statement of the child's present levels of educational performance ..."



Under IDEA 2004, the IEP must include "a statement of the child's present levels of academic achievement and functional performance ..."



Present levels of academic achievement and functional performance require objective data from assessments.

If the school insists on using subjective teacher observations, an independent observer (the hearing officer, for example) will conclude that the school is not interested in monitoring the child's educational progress. This is exactly the conclusion you want this person to draw.

I asked for an ADOS to be performed. The Autism Coordinator suggested that the Autism Social Skills Profile would be a better tool. I agreed to that test, but I stated that I didn’t want my scores averaged in with the teacher’s scores. My son is in high school and his teachers aren’t familiar with his disability and they only see him one hour a day. To use their observations, and to average them with mine, would not give an accurate picture. The District agreed to do that.

The District had twelve teachers and me fill out the profile. There was no test score for this instrument. Instead, there was a summary at the end of the evaluation. I made my own graph to make it easier to read. This information was not available at the meeting to discuss the evaluations. There was only a rough draft without the summary or any explanation of how the data would be used. The class observation was not available either. Instead, the evaluator had written notes on notebook paper and read them aloud at the meeting. The following is the summary that was provided by the district.

Following are the items which at least 7 of the 13 raters indicated as being "never" observed (items 1-36): invites peers to join him in activities, interacts with peers during unstructured activities, asks questions to request information about a person, requests assistance from others, offers assistance to others, initiates greetings with others, introduces self to others, politely asks others to move out of his way. Following are the items

which at least 7 of the 13 raters indicated as being "often/very often"(items 37-49) observed as a concern: engages in solitary interests and hobbies, engages in solitary activities in the presence of others.

My son’s evaluations show some serious deficits. These are not truly addressed in his present IEP. The following are his goals:

1. Goal #1 Increase self-advocacy by asking for help at least 2 times in each class per semester.

2. Goal #2 Increase organization/study skills by independently following written directions and completing task 2 times in each class per semester.

3. Goal #3 Jacob will increase pragmatic/social language skills by maintaining a conversation using concise and relevant information with peers/adults with no more than one prompt on 3 consecutive days.

4. Goal #4 Jacob will improve pragmatic skills by identifying the impressions he feels he is making in an interaction with peers/adults and adjusting his behavior appropriately in a structured small-group setting in 4/5 opportunities on 3 consecutive data days.

5. Goal #5 Jacob will improve pragmatic skills by inferring meaning from different social scenarios and identifying appropriate responses to the emotions of other in these situations with 80% accuracy on 3 consecutive data days.

These goals do not state how he will do these things, what the method of therapy or services will be to help him do these things, who will perform these services, how often these services will be provided, and what the services are. How can a goal be achieved when there is nothing in place to achieve it?

1. Goal # 1 What does this mean? Who is he to ask? What phrasing will he use? What kind of help can he expect? What is the time frame for the response?

2. Goal #2 This goal would allow him to fail. If he only completes a task 2 times per semester, he would fail.

3. Goal #3 So if they prompt him, he will concisely say, “Hi. How are you?” This is not a measurable goal. What is relevant or irrelevant information? Who measures this? Who decides? What is the relevance meter?

4. Goal #4 How can he self reflect and self repair language? Is his impression measurable? He is being expected to remember to adjust his disability.

5. Goal #5 How will he improve? How will you know which he is doing on which of three days?

How are they going to help him achieve these goals because it looks like they're making him responsible for everything (ie he'll ask for help; he'll maintain the conversation")



What are THEY going to do to help HIM be successful?



What do they mean by "maintaining a conversation using concise and relevant information?" Who defines what's "concise" or "relevant"?



What are his disabilities and known areas of need? For example, can he identify what "impression" he "feels" he's making? Will he be able to "adjust his behaviors accordingly" once he "recognizes his impressions"? How will he master that goal? By teacher observation of his interactions? Is there going to be someone there to "moderate" his interactions with others? For example, will a teacher or therapist

stop to ask him, "What impression do you think you're making on your peers?" either after the interaction is over or would they ask him in front of his peers?



What is his baseline for "inferring meaning" in social situations now? Does he have one? How do they know this is an area of need?



What "social situations" are they going to use to try to teach him to infer meaning?



Can he identify an "appropriate response to the emotions of others"? What specifically do they mean by an "appropriate response" to emotions of others? Are they trying to teach compassion, sympathy, how to diffuse someone who is angry with him?



It seems like they want him to tailor his actions to someone else's "reactions." Can he do this?



How are they even measuring 80% accuracy over 3 consecutive days? They haven't defined what their criteria are yet (i.e. He'll engage in a 5 minute give and take conversation about some social situation - I don't know, say, how to act in a restaurant - so, maybe how to interact with a waiter when ordering a meal).

Because there are no evaluations in the Present Level we don’t even know what his areas of deficits are. We only know that sometimes he is average, sometimes he is above average, sometimes he is below average, but overall he seems to be quite average.

I asked for an independent evaluation in hopes that I would be able to get more information about my son’s deficits and have someone to help me with analyzing the data. The district did not send me the same information, about providers, that they send other parents. The list that they sent me was inaccurate and forced me to find the updated information on my own. I notified the district of this. I have received no response from them.

INDEPENDENT EDUCATIONAL EVALUATIONS

34 CFR §300.502

General

As described below, you have the right to obtain an independent educational evaluation (IEE) of

your child if you disagree with the evaluation of your child that was obtained by your school

district.



If you request an independent educational evaluation, the school district must provide you with information

about where you may obtain an independent educational evaluation and about the school district’s criteria

that apply to independent educational evaluations.

My son’s evaluations show that he has a weakness in oral expression. His standard score in that area was an 80. His full scale IQ is 102. Our district standard states that a 20-point difference qualifies you for services. This is per Jerry Keimig. This area needs a goal. His standard score for Pragmatic Language Usage Index was an 86. This area needs a goal. His standard score for Contextual Conventions was a 90. This is not a solid skill and this area needs a goal. His standard score for Sentence Assembly was 80. This area needs a goal. His standard score for Language Memory was an 88. This area needs a goal and accommodations. His age equivalent score for the Interpersonal Relationships subtest of the Vineland II was <3:0. His age equivalent score for the Expressive was 6:10. His age equivalent for Play and Leisure Time was 3:6. His age equivalent for Coping Skills was 3:2. These were observations from a teacher that sees him one hour a day. The Vineland II scores that come from the parent rating report are: Receptive, age equivalent 1:6, Expressive, age equivalent 5:4, Personal, age equivalent 5:10, Domestic, age equivalent 5:6, Interpersonal Relationships, age equivalent 0:1, Play and Leisure Time, age equivalent 1:10, Coping Skills, age equivalent 3:10. His Internalizing was at the Clinically Significant Level, his externalizing was at the Elevated Level, and his Maladaptive Behavior Index was at the Clinically Significant Level. He needs help to improve in all of these areas. His standard score for Working Memory Index was 88. He needs goals and accommodations in this area.

I don’t believe that his deficits are being addressed and the District seems to be complacent about this. His overall scores aren’t that significant and they are not addressing the subtest scores.

I have attached documentation in support of my claims listed above. I request a copy of all responses that the District provides and the opportunity to submit a rebuttal. I feel that the described events are a clear violation of my rights to participation in my son’s education and his right to a free and appropriate education. I ask that DESE intervene in this situation and mandate the Lee’s Summit R-7 School District to comply with the law. I believe that compensatory services are warranted as the district has prohibited my son from making progress and receiving the free and appropriate education that is federally mandated.



Respectfully,



Curtis and Sherri Tucker

1200 SE London Way

Lee’s Summit, MO 64081

816-554-3017

autism@kc.rr.com



Enclosures



Attachment 1 – Autism Social Skills Profile

Attachment 2 – Email Discussing Social Skills Program, dated December 28, 2008

Attachment 3 – Graph of Autism Social Skills Profile

Attachment 4 – Email stating evaluator list is inaccurate, dated December 26, 2008

Attachment 5 – Email requesting IEE, dated December 19, 2008

Attachment 6 – Email with amended evaluator list, dated December 29, 2008

Attachment 7 – Email with information from psychologist, dated December 30, 2008

Attachment 8 – Email re: Modification Changed, dated January 7, 2009

Attachment 9 – Secondary School Experiences of Students With Autism

Attachment 10 – Vineland Comparison Graph

Attachment 11 – Full Scale IQ vs. Beery-Buktenica Developmental Test

Attachment 12 - Full Scale IQ vs. CELF-4

Attachment 13 – Full Scale IQ vs. TOPL-2)

Attachment 14 – Full Scale IQ vs. TLC-E)

Attachment 15 – WISC-IV

Attachment 16 – Full Scale IQ vs. WNV

Attachment 17 – Full Scale IQ vs. WIATT-II

Attachment 18 – Full Scale IQ vs. TOWL-3

Attachment 19 – Child Complaint Model Form

My first Child Complaint

January16, 2009




Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (SEAP)

Division of Special Education Compliance

C/O Child Complaint Coordinator – Ms. Jackie Bruner

P.O. Box 480

Jefferson City, MO 65102-0480



Dear Ms. Bruner,



This child complaint is written regarding my son, Jacob Edward Tucker. I am unable to resolve issues with our school district, Lee’s Summit R-7. I have written to the IEP team and the district’s superintendent and have not been able to get a response from them about my concerns.



My concerns revolve around parent participation. During meetings, my comments are either ignored and no changes are made or they listen to my concerns and state that they don’t agree and no changes are made. Any suggestions that I have made regarding Present Level are ignored. I state that I don’t agree with their description of the Present Level and they tell me that I may include that in the Parent Concerns. I submit my concerns to be included in the Parent Concerns and they edit this document. I asked for tests score to be placed in the Present Level to guide services proposed and I am refused. I was allowed no input in relation to the goals and/or services. My son has an eligibility category of Educational Autism. He is in regular education classes with no supports besides 40 minutes of speech per week. I feel that decisions have been made prior to the meeting regarding my child’s IEP. The district has removed items from the Modifications/Accommodations page without my approval. It was discussed in the meeting and the decision was made to change the frequency from As Needed to Daily; not to delete it entirely. The meeting notes taken by the District were incomplete and rarely reported the discussions held in the meeting. I specifically wrote the Superintendent asking to record the meeting due to the fact that the recorder could not accurately describe the events as tape recording is against District policy, although legal in Missouri. I have not received an answer to this request to date. I requested a notice of action refused for the District’s refusal to include my changes in the Present Level and for editing my Parent Concerns without my approval. The district responded to this request on January 6 in an e-mail but I have received no such document.



Applicable sections of IDEA law are described below:



Integral to the design of IDEA is the substantive involvement of parents in assessing student needs and planning how to address those needs. In its Finding section, IDEA 2004 states that:



(5) Almost 30 years of research and experience has demonstrated that the education of children with disabilities can be made more effective by...

(B) strengthening the role and responsibility of parents and ensuring that families of such children have meaningful opportunities to participate in the education of their children at school and at home... (20 U.S.C. $ 1400 (c) (5) (B).)



State education agencies and local school districts must have in place policies and procedures that ensure the opportunity for parents to participate in meetings related to the identification, evaluation, program and placement of their children (20 U.S.C. $ 1415 (b) (1)). Participate is the operative term. The school must enable meaningful participation in discussion and decision-making. Mere attendance at meetings satisfies neither the spirit nor the letter of the law. The requirement applies to all meetings in which decisions will be made except for routine meetings among staff to discuss day-to-day instructional planning necessary to implement an existing IEP.



Recent decisions affirm the essential role of parents in designing their children's special education. Precluding parent participation through staff predetermination of services or placement egregiously violates IDEA. School districts should be aware that courts have become more alert to this problem and less likely to excuse it (Deal v. Hamilton Co. Bd. of Ed.; Knable v. Bexley City Sch. Dist.).



Also see attached documentation in support of my claims listed above. I request a copy of all responses that the District provides and the opportunity to submit a rebuttal. I feel that the described events are a clear violation of my rights to participation in my son’s education. I ask that DESE intervene in this situation and mandate the Lee’s Summit R-7 School District to comply with the law. I believe that compensatory services are warranted as the district prohibited my participation thus meaningfully impeding my son’s education.



Respectfully,







Curtis and Sherri Tucker

1200 SE London Way

Lee’s Summit, MO 64081

816.554.3017 Home

E-mail: autism@kc.rr.com



Enclosures



Attachment 1 – Child Complaint – Model Form

Attachment 2 – Letter to District re: Parent Participation, dated December 22, 2008

Attachment 3 – Letter to District re: My Parent Concerns, dated December 23, 2008

Attachment 4 – Letter from Joy Rose re: Notice of Action, dated January 6, 2009

Attachment 5 – Letter to District re: Modification Changed, dated January 7, 2009

Attachment 6 – Copy of District Notes, dated August 27, 2008

Attachment 7 – Request to Tape Record, dated January 7, 2009

Attachment 8 – Parent’s Meeting Notes, dated August 27, 2008

Attachment 9 – District Refusal to Include Parent’s Notes, dated October 13, 2008

Attachment 10-Request for Notice of Action, dated December 30, 2008

Attachment 11-Request for Changes in Present Level, dated December 30, 2008

Lee's Summit High School Opens Tiger Training Facility - Lee's Summit Tribune - Lee's Summit News

Lee's Summit High School Opens Tiger Training Facility - Lee's Summit Tribune - Lee's Summit News

What is your solution?

What is your solution?

Monday, January 24, 2011

"Enough is Enough' Group Opposes R-7 Tax Increase

http://www.lsjournal.com/2011/01/04/61366/enough-is-enough.html

‘Enough is enough’


Group opposes R-7 tax increase

Emily Jarrett, Journal Staff

With a little more than a month left until the Feb. 8 election, the fight over a proposed 89-cent tax increase has started. And the first to step into the ring is the group, Citizens for Responsible Education.



“We’re not anti-school district, I want to make that clear,” said spokesperson and former Lee’s Summit City Council member, Ron Williams. “A lot of times when you oppose something within the district, people say you’re anti-education or anti-children. This is just about us saying ‘enough is enough.’”



In November, the Lee’s Summit R-7 School Board voted 6-1 to approve a measure to put an 89-cent tax increase on the ballot in February. If the levy passes with a simple majority, property owners will see their levy rise from $6.05 to $6.94 per $100 assessed valuation.



“Simply put, it’s time for people to say, ‘can I afford this?’” Williams said.



While Citizens for Responsible Education is a relatively new group – their first official meeting was Dec. 21 – its mission is clear.



“Our goal is two-fold, to inform voters about the issue and give another side to the facts the district is putting out, and also to defeat the levy based on those facts not personal opinions,” Williams said. “I spoke to one woman who didn’t even know there was a tax increase on the February ballot. Many people aren’t aware of this at all and I think the district knows that.”



“(The district) is spending an awful lot of money to do an election during a time period when no one votes,” added Brad Cox, a Lee’s Summit business and property owner and group treasurer.



Both Williams and Cox said the district has not done enough to give voters all the facts on the tax-increase issue.



“They had a public forum where the public wasn’t able to talk,” Cox said, referring to last month’s meeting on possible budget cuts the district will make if the levy does not pass. “This is the worst economic climate in 100 years and the district needs to realize they can’t keep going back to the public trough. The rest of the community has had to buckle down and deal with their finances, now it’s the district’s turn.”



According to R-7, the district has cut nearly $19.5 million from its 2010-2011 school year budget and if the levy does not pass, will be forced to cut an additional $6 million, including cuts to teacher positions, creating combination classrooms and additional budget cuts that will affect programs and activities.



“(The Citizens’ Advisory Committee) felt very strongly that voters needed to be able to say, ‘we want to support our schools’ or not,” said Terri Harmon, co-chair of the Building Our Future Committee, a pro-levy group. “By not passing the levy and cutting the budget, we’re harming the education in the community. By just cutting another $6 million, it will negatively impact thousands and thousands of students.”



Williams said both he and the members of Citizens for Responsible Education recognize the budget cuts the district has already made but, “enough is enough.”



“I don’t have an answer for what the district should do,” Williams said. “I don’t know how to run a school district. But I do know how to run a checkbook and now is not the time for more taxes.”



According to Cox, the $19.5 million in cuts are about 10 percent of the district’s budget.



“Show me how many businesses have had to cut 10 percent,” he said. “And now, the district is asking for an operating levy increase of almost 18 percent. We don’t want anyone to lose their job but I think people are forgetting that if the levy passes, those additional taxes are going to trickle down to any business owner who rents property in Lee’s Summit, not to mention the property owners.”



While Williams and Cox are both Lee’s Summit business owners, neither have children who currently attend school in the district.



“I think that’s irrelevant,” Williams said. “No one wants to take programs or activities away from children, that’s not what this group is about.



“I was in a third and fourth grade combination classroom and I don’t think it honestly affected me,” he added with a laugh. “People will rise to the occasion.”



Cox agreed with Williams saying the failure of this particular levy wouldn’t undo years of R-7 education and that he’s “disappointed” when district administration officials talk about “protecting the legacy of R-7” through the levy.



“That’s a threat. Don’t use the education of our children as a threat,” Cox said. “I don’t believe for a minute that, if this levy doesn’t pass, the education in the district will suddenly be sub-standard.



“People all over the country, all over Lee’s Summit, are having to cut back and do more with less. For years we’ve been hearing about all the fantastic teachers in the district – and I really do believe we have them – they’re still going to be fantastic teachers if the levy fails. We can still maintain success in tough times.”



Calls to R-7 superintendent David McGehee were not returned by press time.



To reach Journal reporter Emily Jarrett, call 816-282-7018 or e-mail ejarrett@lsjournal.com.

Legal (department) squabble

Legal (department) squabble

City Prosecutor alleges harrassment against city attorney.

Smith trial set for next month

Smith trial set for next month

Former city council member charged with assault.