Navigating the system

This page is under construction!

In your journey, it would be helpful to know how your child is doing, how your child’s school is doing, and where you can go when you need a new plan of action.

The flow of the current

It helps sometimes to be aware of how your child is doing in relation to other students.  While such information cannot be shared because of issues of privacy and confidentiality, it does help to know some overall information.  How your school is doing in comparison to others, how the State of Maryland is doing in relation to national standards, and how St. Mary’s County children are being prepared in general to meet the demands of the future is definitely fair game.

Maryland has a state website which explains a lot about these questions.  Curricular information (including the new Common Core), standardized instruments to assess student learning, school and system performance, and support for parents (including access to practice exams) can be found at the comprehensive website http://www.mdk12.org/

As states readjust their goals and priorities to meet 21st century educational challenges, new national coalitions are springing up to meet them.  Information related to Maryland’s participation in the national Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers may be found at http://www.parcconline.org/maryland.

Charting future waters

At some point our children grow up to be young women and men.  What then?  Certain services are available for our children to age 21 and insurance coverage by some providers may extend to age 26 or longer, but the transition to adulthood starts around age 14 from  a special education perspective.  What do parents have to do and what resources are available for you and your child?

We will add several of them here, including an explanation terms like DDA, DORS, SSI and SSDI, and ADA.  Watch this space for more info!

When you need a new direction

Somewhere along your journey there will be times when the going gets rough.  Parents and caregivers must be very careful not to let emotions get the best of a situation, however, you might face a situation where – despite best intentions – your child’s school may not be meeting the needs of your child.  Some of your questions may be addressed on our FAQs page.  Here are some additional resources that you may wish to consider.

The Maryland Disability Law Center is a protection and advocacy group designated by Congress to provide basic information on how the special education system works and what you can do when it doesn’t.  Check out “Special Education Rights – A Handbook for Maryland Families and Professionals” at the link:

http://www.mdlclaw.org/wp-content/uploads/2010/02/pub-special-ed-handbook-Sept-2009.pdf

Wrightslaw is a site that addresses many concerns that parents may encounter.  Explanations about special education law, procedures and safeguards to protect your child’s rights, developing self-advocacy for children when problems arise, and support when you need it, are all available at http://www.wrightslaw.com/