Sunday, November 18, 2012

State Superintendent Conference on Special Education and Pupil Services Leadership Institute

State Superintendent Conference on Special Education and Pupil Services Leadership Institute
I attended the conference this week and obtain great information on RTI for SLD law, Postsecondary Transition Planning, Section 504, and Special Education legal updates.  Here is a link to those and more information: 

Leadership Conference Handouts
Handouts from the keynote and sectional presentations at the 28th Annual State Superintendent’s Conference on Special Education and Pupil Services Leadership Issues are posted online at

Section 504: A Legal Overview
There was a very informative sectional 504 and what is covered, best practices, etc. I will be covering Section 504 more indepth in a future newsletter.  Here is a link to the handouts

Special Education Law: A Year in Review

Student Services/Prevention, Special Education, and Pupil Services Nondiscrimination Legal Updates

Special Education Legal Updates
Here are some primary special education legal updates.  Please contact me for more information:

Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) Letters/Guidance

A. Parentally Placed Private School Students
OSEP Question and Answer Document on Servicing Children with Disabilities Placed by 
Their Parents in Private Schools, Revised April 2011
OSEP letter to EIG, January 28, 2009
A parent of a parentally placed private school student may request a special education 
evaluation from the resident school district or the school district where the private school 
is located.  Although OSEP does not encourage this practice; parents may also request the 
two different school districts to evaluate their child at the same time. 

B. LRE/Work Placements
OSEP letter to Spitzer-Resnick, Swedeen, and Pugh, June 22, 2012.
Transitions services are defined broadly and include a range of services.  Work placement 
can be an appropriate transition service, depending on the individual needs of a student, 
but it is not a required component of all individualized education programs (IEPs) that 
address transition services.  If an IEP team determines that work placement is an 
appropriate transition service, in determining the placement, the IEP team must apply the 
least restrictive environment (LRE) provisions.  The IEP team must consider, and include 
in the IEP, as appropriate, any supplementary aids and services needed to enable the
student to participate with other students with disabilities and nondisabled students in the 
work placement described in the IEP.  

IDEA Complaint Decisions

A. Shortened School Day
IDEA Complaint 12-043
Compare with Vincent v. Kenosha Unified School District 112 LRP 47790 (United States 
District Court, Eastern District, Wisconsin (2012))
A student’s school day should be reduced or shortened only in rare circumstances when it 
is warranted by the student’s unique disability related needs.  It cannot be used as a 
means of disciplining a student or creating an award system.  If the student’s behavioral 
needs are such that they cannot be accommodated in the regular classroom with the 
appropriate supplementary aids and services, then the IEP team must consider and 
determine an alternative placement which will allow the student to continue to receive a 
free and appropriate public education (FAPE).  

B. Requests for an Independent Educational Evaluation (IEE)  
IDEA Compliant Decisions 12-027, 12-006
Districts must respond to requests for an IEE without unnecessary delay. However, what 
is unnecessary delay depends on the circumstances.  Sometimes a request for an IEE will 
be submitted while a special education evaluation is in progress or a parent has filed a 
request for a due process hearing.  Parents have the right to obtain public funding for an 
IEE only after the evaluation is completed.  In cases involving a due process hearing, if 
and when an IEE is required, depends on the outcome of the hearing process. 

C. Role of a Special Education Aide 
IDEA Complaint 12-013
Professional teaching responsibilities must be carried out by a licensed special education 
teacher.  A special education aide’s role is limited to working under the direct supervision 
of the licensed teacher to support the lesson plans of the teacher, provide technical 
assistance to the teacher, help with classroom control or management, and perform other 
duties as assigned.  Special education services were not provided by an appropriately 
licensed special education teacher when the teacher had limited or no contact with the 
students and the aide assigned grades, determined course materials, and developed and 
carried out the daily lesson plans.  

D. Screening  
IDEA Complaint 12-033
Screening to determine appropriate instructional strategies for curriculum implementation 
is not considered an evaluation of eligibility for special education services.  Screening 
activities generally include all children in a school, grade, or class, such as kindergarten
screening.  A special education staff member conducting an observation or administering 
an assessment to an individual student to explore or verify the possibility of a disability is 
not screening.  A formal referral for special education, including obtaining parent 
consent, must be in place prior to sped

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