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Sat Nov 9, 2013, 10:08 PM

Darien, Ct Board of Education found in violation of IDEA ( Heroic SLP's memo )

** To all who stand up to the status quo.

The Gamm report on special education in Darien

CORRECTION: The state Department of Education randomly sampled 25 IEPs before Osypuk took over as director. The state found errors in 13 of the IEPs, according to Gamm’s report, as they were not consistent with the IEPs on file in the district’s system. Osypuk changed the IEPs so that they were consistent, but did not notify parents of these changes, according to Gamm.

Additionally, Osypuk found more than 200 IEP errors that affected more than 100 student records. Osypuk again corrected the errors, but did not inform parents.

“Dr. Osypuk indicated that she did not believe it was necessary to notify parents of IEP corrections relating to the SEDAC upload process because the corrections did not impact student services,” Gamm wrote, adding that she was told by district employees that it had not been a practice to inform parents when “technical” changes were made to IEPs.

“Furthermore, the director indicated that the process for notifying parents would have been very time-consuming because of the large number of IEPs with errors,” Gamm continued.


Background: The silence has died.

In the wake of a growing and deepening public school crisis, current and former Darien Schools employees are stepping forward to shine some light on an assortment of problems that happened last year and which ended in findings of illegal activity and the resignation of the district’s superintendent.

The spark that ignited this firestorm of opinions? An eight-page letter from Julie Bookbinder to then-Superintendent Steve Falcone in September of 2012. The letter, sent via email, was released to The Darien Times through a Freedom of Information Act request.

• A district in ‘turmoil’: Special ed problems exposed

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Reply Darien, Ct Board of Education found in violation of IDEA ( Heroic SLP's memo ) (Original post)
Jefferson23 Nov 2013 OP
Smarmie Doofus Nov 2013 #1
Jefferson23 Nov 2013 #2

Response to Jefferson23 (Original post)

Sun Nov 10, 2013, 09:04 AM

1. Sounds like a lot of places today.....


.... in microcosm.

K an R

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Response to Smarmie Doofus (Reply #1)

Mon Nov 11, 2013, 05:50 PM

2. Yes. It is not uncommon for an administrator in Special Ed to create a " united front "

against the parents. What many people do not understand is that tenure will not save a teacher from
the wrath of the superintendent on down to Spec Ed Director...many go along.

The related services staff also can be intimidated by such tactics that some citizens would be
shocked over.

What is unique about this case, imo..1) you have a new hire spec ed director, who has been hired by the
board of Ed/Finance to be a shark. All the politics from these scoundrels at the top speaks to their
contempt for IDEA..that it takes place in a very wealthy community only makes it that more vile.

2) You have a spec ed director who is arrogant and or dumb enough to put her objectives
for a "united front" against the parents in a memo to her staff.

3) You have an SLP with a PhD working in your district and she will not tolerate nor compromise
herself..she leaks it.


The investigation revealed the ugly side of special ed, the top tier in the town who disregard the law, because
of money.

snip*Illegal activity was confirmed by two state Department of Education reports and spurned a hiring spree by the Board of Education to fix the problems. After several years of budget overages in special education spending, pressure came from the Board of Finance to rein in expenses. Some say the problems came from a focus on money instead of education.

“There was a mindset in the central office that cutting costs was a priority and that the law was simply an inconvenience, and a matter of personal interpretation,” Pavia continued.

Many of the costs were attributed to children being placed in other schools at public expense. Finance board Chairman Liz Mao said that parents had been placing children in other schools and that Darien was paying the bills to avoid litigation against parents. Andrew Feinstein, an attorney who has represented parents throughout the special education debacle, disagreed, saying parents out-place because “Darien provides a lousy education to children with disabilities.”

Deirdre Osypuk was hired to replace Pavia. Trained as a psychologist, Osypuk noted in her employment application the need to cut services to maintain a 0% budget increase, which has been the demand placed on many school districts.

Osypuk remains on paid leave, where she has been since mid-June, having received a 1.7% raise on July 1. Falcone resigned on Oct. 22, just a week before a comprehensive special ed investigation is scheduled to be completed, and two weeks before a contested Board of Education election. The Board of Ed discussed Falcone’s performance for four hours the evening before Falcone sent a letter to district staff announcing his resignation.

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