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The principal said that my child's paraprofessional cannot attend the PPT? Is that true?

posted Aug 20, 2015, 5:23 AM by Diane Willcutts   [ updated Aug 29, 2015, 5:10 PM ]
In the past, yes.  Now, no.

During the last session, CT passed a law stating that, upon request, paraprofessionals are to attend PPTs.  For some reason, this was buried in the budget bill?  It states:

(C) Such parent, guardian, pupil or surrogate parent shall . . . (iii) have the right . . . to have the school paraprofessional assigned to such child or pupil, if any, to be present at and to participate in all portions of such meeting at which an educational program for such child or pupil is developed, reviewed or revised.

This is an important revision, as paraprofessionals typically spend more time with the child than any other school staff.  Because most paraprofessionals previously were not permitted by their school districts to attend PPTs, much of the information reported by the special education teacher was second-hand, and the teachers sometimes weren't able to answer parent questions regarding the specifics of the child's day-to-day functioning.  (Worse, paraprofessionals often report that they are ordered to not communicate directly with parents ever, that all communication must go through the special education teacher.  But that's another battle for another day.)  

This law is an important step to ensuring that the PPT is working in the best interest of the child and that parents can act as equal members of their children's teams.

The full act is here.