By a resolution adopted on Aug. 8, the Board of Education invited parents who are concerned that their child's 2012-2013 IEP was improperly administered and/or illegally altered to request a meeting with Darien staff and an impartial special education professional. Recommendations resulting from such a meeting would be non-binding, but prompt. This innovative initiative was first announced on July 30.

During a Special Education Parents Advisory Committee (SEPAC) meeting held Aug. 28, it became clear that the BOE is not ready to implement its own initiative. Unbelievably, neither the board nor Superintendent Stephen Falcone could describe a program that was promised weeks ago. It's ironic/astonishing that an initiative which was touted as a means to "facilitate prompt resolution of parent concerns" wasn't ready for prompt delivery by the first day of school.

At the same meeting, SEPAC repeated its request for home page links to information about special education matters published by the state's Department of Education, and contact information for Darien's Special Education personnel and school-affiliated parent groups. SEPAC is not asking for original content. It's asking for links to make the website more user-friendly for already overwhelmed special education parents. Instead of saying "Done tomorrow morning," BOE members hemmed and hawed.

The BOE's failures to follow through with its promised initiative and to add uncontroversial links to its home page eerily reflect the policy and communication failures that sparked Darien's special education controversy in the first place. It's time to for the BOE and administration to show some initiative.

Vickie Riccardo


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