Placement: CHANGE IN PLACEMENT

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Susan:  Is a change from full school day to hospital/homebound or a modified day considered a change in placement or services?

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Jill G
08/03/2016 10:09 am

This is a tough question. A few states have issued guidance for when *they* consider a change to home/hospital to be a change of placement (or when it may trigger an initial evaluation, for those without an IEP). I encourage you to first check with your local parent center (http://www.parentcenterhub.org/find-your-center/) or state Dept of Education for guidance.

If your state does not offer guidance, here are a few things to consider:
– is the change anticipated to be short term and not reoccur
– is the reason for the change unrelated to why the student has an IEP
– is the change initiated by the parent or child’s physician (and not the IEP Team)
– is the school reasonably able implement the IEP at the home/hospital
((and are they willing to do so)

If yes – the change to home/hospital *may* not be considered a change in placement.

The duration is key. The Team should ALWAYS meet to address the change if it is anticipated to be longer term (i.e more than 30 days), or it is expected to reoccur. And if you are not sure it is a change of placement, ask for a Team meeting anyway.

A modified school day is different. Here again, some states have directly addressed this issue – often in their state special ed regulations. They routinely say the same thing – this IS a change in placement and the Team must meet to address it.

Team meetings to discuss either type of change can be odd – like putting the cart (the placement) before the horse (the IEP). The Team has to try hard to maintain a balance between the student’s medical needs and educational needs. Don’t be afraid to request reevaluation if his/her needs are in question or the Team cannot come to consensus.