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What should I do if my child is struggling?

What should I do if my child is struggling?

If your child is struggling please reach out to your child's teacher or principal and share your concerns. The Ashtabula Area City Schools have a comprehensive Multi Tiered System of Support (MTSS) to ensure that all students are making progress. Your child's team can talk to you about interventions that can be tried to help your child do better in school. Many times, children do not need an Individualized Education Plan but rather, classroom level supports to help them catch up. 


If your child's team has tried interventions and he/she is not making progress in the curriculum, the team might suggest a referral for an evaluation. You can also request a referral at any time. 
When a referral is made, you will be contacted by one of our school psychologists to set up a meeting to determine if the district has reason to suspect a disability. The district has 30 days from the referral to make this determination. 
If the team has evidence to suggest that your child may have a disability, a Planning Meeting will be held with team members. If plan is agreed upon, you will give consent (sign the plan) for school personnel to evaluate your child. This includes a variety of assessment tools, questionnaires, rating scales, school and parent reports and strategies. The assessments will provide information to help determine the unique needs of your child and in what areas they might need more help. The evaluation must occur within 60 days of signature on the Planning Form.
At the ETR Meeting the team, including the parent, will determine if your child is eligible for Special Education Services. In order to qualify your child must have a disability that negatively impacts his/her educational performance and need Special Education services in order to benefit from education, as well a, to access the general curriculum. The Ohio Department of Education and federal guidelines determine the eligibility criteria that is used by the team. 
If your child is found to have a disability, an IEP (Individualized Education Plan)  will be created within 30 days. 


According to IDEA, “the term individualized education program or IEP means a written statement for a child with a disability that is developed, reviewed, and revised in accordance with” federal and state laws, regulations, and rules.
When a child has been evaluated and found to be eligible for special education, an IEP must be developed before services can begin. This document is called the initial IEP. The school must make sure that this first IEP meeting is held within 30 calendar days after a child has been found eligible for special education and related services. 
The first IEP that is developed for a child is called an "Initial IEP" and every year after that is an "Annual Review". 
The IEP team will include; you (the parent), a general education teacher, district administrator, and intervention specialist, as well as, any related service provider who might be working with your child. (Example; speech or occupational therapy) 
Parents are a very important part of the IEP team. Some questions that may help you in preparation for the meeting include; 
  • What do I want for my child?
  • What can he or she do now?
  • What do we need to do so my child will gain new skills?
  • What concerns do I have? 
We are here to support you through this process. Please reach out with any questions you may have or visit our Parent Resource Hub for links that you may find helpful.