Education Law SAQs

We are all familiar with Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs), but sometimes those do not answer more specific questions we have about our unique situations that we don’t want to ask for one reason or another. Last month featured SAQs about estate planning and probate administration. This month, we have highlighted some questions we have received recently about school law. As always, please reach out if you have any questions!

Because of COVID, my child has missed out on valuable work-study programs as part of her transition plan. She turns 22 in March. Can she continue to receive those transition services on her IEP until the end of the school year?

Yes, if the school district agrees that she needs them. The district, however, is not required to continue those services past her 22nd birthday.

My child did not receive all of his services last spring because of COVID. Is he entitled to have those made up?

Perhaps. The IEP Team should meet to determine if your child is showing any regression. If so, then he is entitled to what is being called COVID Compensatory Services (CCS). The purpose of these are to address any loss of knowledge or skill as a result of the interruption of services last spring.

We have chosen remote learning for our child due to health concerns, but her IEP currently lists in-person services. Is she entitled to continue receiving them even though she is remote?

Yes. Your child is still entitled to a Free Appropriate Public Education (FAPE), although the delivery of the services may have to change. You should work with the school to figure out what services can be provided remotely and what requires her to receive them in person (perhaps outside of school) in order for her to fully access the curriculum.

My son cannot learn remotely (he barely engaged last spring), but our district is fully remote. What are my options?

We have gotten this question so frequently that it does not actually qualify as an SAQ! But the short answer is that you should talk to the school and try to figure something out. There may be neighboring districts who are providing in-person instruction. Keep good data on how he is not accessing the curriculum remotely. Consult with an advocate or attorney.

We just had our annual IEP meeting, and we do not agree with the school’s evaluations. Do we have a right to seek a second opinion?

You always have that right. If you feel that the evaluations were incomplete or inappropriate, you may request that the district conduct an independent educational evaluation (IEE) to be performed by an outside evaluator. The district may refuse, however, if it feels that the evaluations were appropriate. You can always seek to have your child evaluated privately (at your expense), and the district will have 10 days within receiving the report to hold a team meeting to consider the results. It is important to note that you must let the evaluator know of the tests administered by the school so that the data is not invalidated.

While our holidays look different this year, we hope that everyone finds peace and joy this season in whatever form it takes. Happy Holidays and Happy New Year.