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1. Question of the Week: Parent Observations v. Student Confidentiality
"Do I have a right to observe a class before agreeing (or not agreeing) to a placement for my child? The special ed director said I cannot observe the class because of confidentiality issues with the other children."
2. Mistakes People Make: Parents, Schools, Advocates, and Evaluators by Robert Crabtree, Esq.
As IEP season arrives, it's important to avoid unnecessary mistakes. Parent attorney Bob Crabtree offers advice to all the players in his "Mistakes People Make" series.Mistakes Parents Make
"Because the stakes are so high, it is difficult for parents of children with special educational needs to advocate calmly and objectively for the educational and related services their children need." Learn how to avoid these pitfalls - read Mistakes People Make - Parents.
Mistakes School Districts Make
"Anything a school system does that undermines parents' trust creates a climate that is costly in dollars, time, peace of mind, and the quality and success of services given to the child." In Mistakes People Make - School Districts, Mr. Crabtree describes common mistakes schools make. This article should be required reading for all special ed administrators.
Mistakes Advocates Make
"Because the non-lawyer advocate plays an extremely important role in the special education process, advocates must be mindful of the power of their role and the trust parents place in them. The more serious mistakes advocates may make are generally ones of excess ..." Read Mistakes People Make - Advocates.
Mistakes Independent Evaluators Make
"To make their case for services or a specific program for their child, parents usually need a competent, credible independent evaluator. Serious mistakes by evaluators can make undermine their credibility or render their opinions powerless." Mr. Crabtree describes Mistakes People Make - Independent Evaluators.
3. Ask the Advocate: Feeling Guilty About Asking for Services?
In Feeling Guilty About Asking for Special Ed Services? advocate Pat Howey describes lessons she learned from her child's due process hearing. She describes how parent advocates can force the system to change and how this benefits many other children whom you may never know - and their teachers.
Pat is an advocate who has helped parents obtain special education services for their children with special education needs since 1986. Pat answers questions in Ask the Advocate:
4. Surviving Due Process: Stephen Jeffers v. School Board
"I started watching the DVD while walking on the treadmill. It was so fascinating that I increased my time from 30 to 60 minutes - I couldn't bear to turn it off! - Ann
If you are thinking about requesting a due process hearing, you need to know about the federal law and your state special education law and regulations.
5. Coming Soon! Wrightslaw Programs in AZ, PA, OH, MA, NY, DE
If you want to attend a Wrightslaw Special Education Law & Advocacy Training Program before the 2005-2006 school year ends, you need act now. The last Boot Camp for this school year will be in Lancaster PA on April 7-8!
April 7-8: Lancaster, PA - Special Ed Law & Advocacy BOOT CAMP. Register Online. Download the Conference Brochure & Registration Form
Questions? Please contact Amy Koring at 717-431-9600 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
March 30: April 2: Phoenix, AZ - Special Education Law & Advocacy Training at the Annual Conference of the Council of Parents Attorneys Advocates. Speakers: Pete Wright, Pam Wright, Wayne Steedman, Pat Howey.
May 11: Springfield, MA - Special Education Law & Advocacy Training
6. Subscription & Contact Info
The Special Ed Advocate is a free online newsletter about special education legal and advocacy issues, cases, and tactics and strategies. Newsletter subscribers also receive "alerts" about new cases, events, and special offers on Wrightslaw books. Subscribe