The Wrightslaw Way

to Special Education Law and Advocacy

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Can Our Advocate Observe My Son in Class?

by Wrightslaw

teen boy in classCan our advocate observe my son in the classroom? The school denied my request and said, “only the parent can observe.”

Members of the IEP Team

The parents and school decide who they want to be on the IEP team, aside from the required members.

IDEA allows you to invite individuals who have knowledge or special expertise about your child to be part of the IEP team meeting.

You decide who meets these criteria.

You may invite related services providers, independent educational professionals, including consultants, advocates, and tutors to be part of the team.

You may invite a friend or family member.

There is no requirement that you may only invite professionals.

34 C.F.R. Section 300.321(c).  Wrightslaw: Special Education Law, page 247 and Wrightslaw: All About IEPs, page 12.

NO law prohibits people (other than school staff and the parent) from observing the child in the classroom. [Read more →]

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Reminder! Wrightslaw Two Day Boot Camp Coming to South Charleston, WV!

by Wrightslaw

Holiday Inn and Suites Charleston West is the setting for this Two Day Wrightslaw Special Education Law and Advocacy Boot Camp. Join sponsors, West Virginia Advocates, Inc., Pam Wright and Pete Wright on April 15-16, 2015 for this special event.

Update on credits/units available for this Wrightslaw Boot-Camp! – 14.4 MCLEs for Attorneys, 1.2 CEUs for Educators and 12 CEUs for Social Workers have been approved for this training.

Register Online Today.

Print the Registration Form.

Register by telephone by calling 1-800-950-5250.

For all conference details, please click here.

See you in South Charleston!

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Does the Team Write Goals for Parents in the IEP?

by Wrightslaw

The school listed this goal/objective in my son’s IEP.

“Objective: The parent will direct all communication to the Principal. Parent is not allowed to call or talk to the special education teacher, other teachers, or teacher’s aide.”

Can this be listed as a “goal” in the IEP?

That isn’t an IEP “objective!”

Goals and objectives are for what the student will achieve, not what the parent will or will not do!

Instructional goals state:

  • what your child needs to learn
  • what action you want to see your child take
  • how you will measure your child’s progress toward the goal
  • what level of mastery to expect from your child

The IEP Team does not write goals to dictate, limit, or restrict actions of the parent. [Read more →]

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Are We Closing the Discipline Gap?

by Wrightslaw

A new report published in February 2015 by the Civil Rights Project UCLA documents “gross disparities in the use of out-of-school suspension experienced by students with disabilities” and other subgroups.

These disparities mean concern about the “potentially unlawful denial of educational opportunity” and the impact on kids nationwide.

This impact includes:

  • loss of classroom instruction time
  • damage to student performance
  • higher risk of dropping out and delinquency
  • economic costs

[

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It’s IEP Season! Get Ready with Wrightslaw – 25% OFF Sale

by Wrightslaw

25% OFF sale in the Wrightslaw Store

How Do You Handle IEP Season? With Wrightslaw of course!

Save 25% on all products in the Wrightslaw Store.

FREE shipping on orders over $35.

All you have to do is enter Coupon Code 032015 at checkout to receive your discount.




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Socially & Developmentally Behind. Should We Retain?

by Sue Whitney

My 11-year-old son, grade 5, is behind a little socially. He has no real friends who seek him out or invite him over. He says he wants to be in normal classes with friends.

He is in resource now for spelling and math, and has always been an average reader, but is slipping.

Next year in middle school, he should be in either resource classes or an inclusion model.

His teacher says she sees benefits for retaining. Otherwise, she advised us to put “everything we can into the IEP for grade 6.”

Should we retain him?

I see no information that would even remotely justify retention.

You do not need to retain your son in order to get an appropriate IEP. You know that is not true.

You need to back up and look at your long-term plan.

Your son’s 6th grade IEP should contain everything he needs, regardless of what school model he is in.

An IEP is not a gift or a consolation prize. It is your son’s right.

Instruction – A Red Flag

Being “in resource for spelling and math, has always been an average reader but is slipping” is a red flag that his teacher’s instruction is currently inadequate. [Read more →]

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From Emotions to Advocacy Training in Little Rock, Arkansas

by Wrightslaw

On March 20, 2015 Pat Howey will present a Wrightslaw From Emotions to Advocacy Training in Little Rock, AR. The Arkansas Disability Coalition is sponsoring this conference.

In From Emotions to Advocacy training programs, parent advocate Pat Howey teaches you how to take an active role in managing your child’s special education, the gentle art of disagreeing, and how to maintain healthy working relationships with the school.

Register Online.

Download the Registration Form.

Download and share the conference flyer.

See you in Arkansas!


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FYI: IEP Pop-Ups & Checklists

by Wrightslaw

It’s IEP season.  Do you have questions about IEPs?

Time to learn, or review, what the law really says. (Hint: This may be different from what you have been told!)

Let these Pop-Ups and Checklists help you stress less during this IEP season!

IEP Checklist: Is Your Child’s IEP Individualized? What Does it Take? When you answer the questions on this IEP Checklist, you will know if your child’s IEP is individualized, as the law requires.

Developing Your Child’s IEP. Click on the pop-up box to learn about IDEA requirements, see answers to your questions, find federal law or regulations that support these answers, and a list of additional resources.

Special Factors in IEPs. Find what special factors need to be considered by the IEP team, how the IEP must address these factors, and learn what the federal law and regulations require.

Resolving IEP Disputes. Click on the pop-up box to learn strategies to resolve disagreements, steps to take if you disagree with the school, and options you have if unable to resolve disputes. [Read more →]

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Reminder – Wrightslaw Two Day Boot-Camp Heading to Bakersfield, CA!

by Wrightslaw

Mark your calendar. Join the Wright’s and sponsor H.E.A.R.T.S. Connection for this special event.

A Wrightslaw Two-Day Boot Camp is scheduled for Friday and Saturday, March 6-7, 2015 in Bakersfield, CA. The training will take place at the Doubletree Hotel, 3100 Camino Del Rio Court in Bakersfield.

Registration fee includes breakfast, lunch, snacks, a deluxe Wrightslaw highlighter pen and three Wrightslaw books, which retails for $62.85.

Night of Inspiration – 2015 marks H.E.A.R.T.S. Connection’s 25th anniversary. On Thursday, March 5, 2015, celebrate with a wonderful evening of dinner and special guests to include Pete and Pam Wright of Wrightslaw. Click here for details.

Register Online Today!

Download and share the brochure and registration form.

See you in California!

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Back to Basics: What is IDEA and RTI?

by Wrightslaw

Wrightslaw: Special Education Law, 2nd EditionA question in the Wrightslaw inbox that caught us by surprise. We sometimes forget the basics.

Can you tell me what these mean? IDEA and RTI

Based on your question, I suspect you are quite new to this field.

Start with the Basics

IDEA. Individuals with Disabilities Education Act.

If you have a child with special needs, per IDEA, the school district is supposed to evaluate your child.

RTI. Response to Intervention

If your child is suspected of having a learning disability (LD), the school district may use the discrepancy between the child’s IQ and educational performance as one basis to determine the child is eligible and qualifies for an Individualized Education Program (IEP).

But the school may also use a process known as Response to Intervention (RTI) to see if that LD child is eligible for an IEP.

The definition of LD is in IDEA at 20 U.S.C 1401(30) and the law about RTI is in 20 U.S.C 1414(b)(6). [Read more →]

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