Several weeks ago, my daughter’s school choir held auditions for a musical. While singing is not her strong suite, I asked the director if she could use her rhythmic gymnastics skills to perform using her twirling ribbon and hula hoop.
I was so happy when the director enthusiastically agreed. I then learned that the musical would require after school practices and I was concerned about how she would do without a para support. I agreed to give it a try when I was assured that some of her peers would be there to support her.
My daughter did well with the first few practices. Unfortunately one day she left the school building without anyone noticing and the director said she could not continue to be in the musical without an adult to supervise her. Her special education teacher said that because this was a voluntary, non-academic activity, the school was not required to provide supports and the principal concurred.
Enter The Arc Advocacy Network who provided the following information from Indiana’s administrative code to me:
511 IAC 7-32-95 Supplementary aids and services defined Sec. 95. “Supplementary aids and services” means aids, services, and other supports that are provided in: (1) general education classes; (2) other education-related settings; and (3) extracurricular and nonacademic settings; to enable students with disabilities to be educated with nondisabled peers to the maximum extent appropriate in accordance with 511 IAC 7-42-10.
After sharing this with my daughter’s school, the inclusion specialist for students with IEPs in general education classes was able to get confirmation from the district director that the musical warranted school supports if this was reflected in an IEP. A case conference meeting was quickly convened to make those supports part of my daughter’s IEP!
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Image – Young girl dancing on stage with a ribbon.