Thanks to Sherry Neeley who has put together this seven step action plan if you get a notice of summer school. TPERN notes are in italics.
1) Send the summer school letter
This should be your first response whenever the school tells you unilaterally that your 5th or 8th grader has to go to summer school as a result of STAAR. Accelerated Instruction decisions (including summer school) are made by a GPC after the results of the second administration are received. If you have not had a GPC, the school is not following the process.
2) Wait for the GPC.
3) Educate before going in to the GPC
Have you read:
This is the most important thing to read. It makes it clear that AI determined by the GPC should be individualized and that there is great flexibility in what can be agreed upon. Know the sections about accelerated instruction, and don’t be fooled by statements that specific things (like summer school) are required. There is so much flexibiity that literally no specific activity is required.
-The GPC guide?
This is a pretty confrontational guide. It may be needed, but we always encourage parents to enter into the GPC process with the idea that we are here to make an agreement with the school. Neither side should demand or dictate. We should all work together to make the best decision for the student.
-seen the summer school info?
4) have some simple at home accelerated instruction plans to offer the school in place of summer school such as Prodigy, Nessy, a reading log, a tutor, a worksheet, etc.
This is very important. If a school is demanding strict compliance with the law, some AI must be given before the student can be promoted. How much and what type is completely up to the committee. Parents can kick start the process by having a clear plan that is matched to the needs of the student.
5) have the waiver of the 3rd assessment completed
Schools do not have to agree to this. The more documentation of harm to the student you can show, the better. I recommend a note from a medical provider. Even if the school rejects this, you can still refuse to participate. The waiver is the one time a school can agree to let the parent refuse assessment. You will learn a lot about their attitude by how they respond to this request.
6) go ahead and have a simple letter typed up that states that you understand that by opting out retention is automatic and this is your formal appeal to the GPC to promote based on grades and classroom performance.
7) know that you can hire a lawyer if things are going badly