Do not sign blank “Student Learning Plans”!
At the conclusion of the 2005 school year I received in the mail a packet from my son’s high school. In this packet was a cover letter, an informational flier on “Student Learning Plans” and my son’s “Certificate of Academic Achievement – Student Learning Plan.”
One of the first things I noticed after reading through the information that was mailed to me was that there was no written plan on my child’s “Student Learning Plan,” yet I was expected to sign and return this plan. The second thing I noticed was that the time was not taken to enter my child’s WASL scores for the 4th and 7th grade, I can understand the 8th grade WASL score not being there, due to the fact he didn’t take it, yet it should have still reflected a zero. I have to say I was appalled that the school was asking me to, basically, sign a blank paper.
After doing some research I
found that many other parents were being asked to do the same thing I was, sign
a plan where no plan / interventions / strategies were documented on the form.
This sent off warning bells in my head so onto the
After reviewing the OSPI information (below) I realized the only thing my child’s plan had on it was the courses/competencies to stay on track for graduation, which I was well aware of, and the Parent Strategies, another thing I am well aware of. What it didn’t include was the WASL results and the actions the school intends to take. These are the important things that the parent needs to be aware of before signing the form. In addition, it is recommended through OSPI that this information preferably be given through a parent conference; I received it through the mail.
Since receiving this packet of information I have sent a letter to my child’s high school, refusing to sign the blank Certificate of Academic Achievement – Student Learning Plan and requesting a meeting to discuss the plan. As I write this I am still waiting on a reply from the school.
I would like to let parents know they have rights and should never sign anything from the school that is not completely filled out or that they don’t agree with. These are our children; we are their parents and we know what is best for them. If you receive one of these forms, please look it over very carefully before signing it, know what you are agreeing to and if you are in doubt, ask questions!
Below, you will find the items I received from the school and the information available on the OSPI website.
Executive Board Member Parent Empowerment Network / Mothers Against WASL
From OSPI website
What must be included?
Grades 5 and 8-12: WASL results; actions that the school intends to take to improve the student's skills and strategies; strategies to help parents improve their child's skills; annual adjustments as needed; parent contact.
Grades 8-12: Also to specifically include courses, competencies, and other steps needed to meet academic standards and stay on track for graduation. Annual adjustments are to be made to the plan, as necessary.
How are parents involved in these learning plans?
Parents or guardians must be notified of the student plan, preferably through a parent conference. Progress on the plan must be reported to parents or guardians at least once a year.