Does Our Private Eval Have to be “Comparable” to the School’s Eval?

We want to get a private evaluation of my child. The school says they are also going to conduct an evaluation of my child, and the two evaluations must be comparable. Is this correct? Parents often claim that the school’s evaluation is not comprehensive and does not test problematic skills. If the school has evaluated your child and you disagree with the school’s evaluation, you may obtain an independent evaluation. You may: arrange for an independent evaluation from an evaluator who is not employed by the school district, or request an “Independent Educational Evaluation” (IEE) at public expense The law …Read more

Wrightslaw Christmas Sale! 25% Off and FREE Shipping

Wrightslaw Christmas Sale! – Save 25% – FREE Shipping on Orders $35 and Over. Sale includes all Books, E-Books, Training Downloads, Advocacy Supplies and DVD. Use Coupon Code 20151225 when placing your order! Order Today! Offer valid through Thursday, December 10, 2015. Tell a friend. Interested in larger amounts? Everyday get a 40% to 50% discount for Bulk Orders (20 or more per title). Call 1-877-529-4332 for a quote. Thank you for using Wrightslaw materials! Merry Christmas!

Wrightslaw Training Coming to Augusta, ME on April 28, 2016!

The Southern Kennebec Child Development Corporation welcomes Pete Wright, Esq. to Augusta, Maine! The April 28, 2016 Wrightslaw Special Education Law and Advocacy Training will take place at the Augusta Civic Center. Conference fee includes: Continental Breakfast, boxed lunch, a Wrightslaw highlighter pen and the three Wrightslaw books which retail for $62.85. Both CLEs (continuing legal education) credits and CEUs (continuing education units) have been approved for this conference. Additional fees apply. Register Online. Download the Registration Form. Download the share the Save-the-Date Flyer. For all conference details, please click here. See you in Augusta!  

Do IEPs Have to be Honored until the Expiration Date?

I want to revise my child’s IEP, but the school says they have to honor the IEP until the current expiration date? An IEP does NOT have to be “honored until the expiration date.” Circumstances and needs change. You can request an IEP meeting at any time. You can ask that the IEP be changed at any time. The fact that you consented to the IEP does not mean you are stuck with it – or that it is appropriate for an entire year. A parent, teacher, or related service provider may decide that a child’s IEP needs to be …Read more

A Good Time to Say “Thanks”

This is a good week to take the time to say thank you to those who are helping your child – a wonderful teacher, a positive counselor, a helpful classroom aide, or a thoughtful bus driver. There are many people working in the system who help you and your kids. We need to do what we can to give them positive feedback. Too often people who work with us hear complaints but not praise. When someone does a good job, let them know. Help keep them energized and prevent them from burning out. You can create positive parent school relationships …Read more

Feds Sue NY District for Discrimination & Violating Service Animal Requirements of ADA

“It is no longer acceptable – if ever it was – for a district to refuse reasonable modifications to a child who seeks to handle her own service dog … Certainly since passage of the American with Disabilities Act in 1990, such failure not only violates the dictates of conscience, it also violates the law” On September 29 2015, the Department of Justice filed suit against the Gates-Chili Central School District for refusing to allow a third grader with disabilities to attend school with her service dog unless her parent provides a separate adult handler for the dog. Devyn’s Story …Read more

Enforcing State Compliance with IDEA 2004

IDEA outlines procedural safeguards to protect children and allow their parents to be equal participants. The problem is little or no enforcement of the IDEA.  This has allowed school district staff to create rules on the fly. The response from my state Department of Education?  “We know our system is flawed and broken. But, our hands are tied.” Really? Who tied their hands? Seriously. This is good example of how to use the IDEA, the federal special education law and the implementing regulations …

Do I Have to Tell If I Tape-Record the IEP Meeting?

Can I tape record the IEP meeting without telling the CSE committee?  Is it legal? Without regard to any particular state or federal law, except for law enforcement personnel, in general if someone records a meeting or a telephone call without knowledge of the other person, frequently it is not admissible evidence in any litigation. It may be a crime committed by you. The question then is… what would you be able to do with it? Quite possibly nothing! A Better Way What I always told my clients, NEVER tape record someone without their knowledge, whether over the phone or …Read more

Yes or No? IEP Meetings Can Only Be 1 Hour Long

I’ve been a special ed teacher for 25 years.  I have questions about two things my Supervisor told me this year. 1. An IEP meeting cannot last more than one hour.  If the time runs over, I must stop the meeting and reschedule another one. 2.  No times were completed on the IEP, but I must sign it anyway. You’ve been a sped teacher for 23 years so you’ve probably heard or been told things that you later learned were not accurate. I’m glad you decided to check this out. When you say the “times on the IEP were not …Read more

Hot Topics: Quick Picks

My Child Needs PE. May I request that the school put at least 10 minutes a day of physical activity for my child on his IEP? If your child has a disability and an IEP, the school must provide physical education as part of your child’s special education program. Answer: Read IDEA requirements for specially designed Physical Education and Adapted Physical Education (APE) Do I Have a Right to Observe My Child’s Classroom? I want to observe the class before agreeing (or not agreeing) to a placement for my child? The special ed director said I cannot observe the class …Read more