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What to know? What to know? What to do? What to do? How to get help? How to get help? The Law Offices of Lee & Baghoomian - LBlawoffices.com.

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Presentation on theme: "What to know? What to know? What to do? What to do? How to get help? How to get help? The Law Offices of Lee & Baghoomian - LBlawoffices.com."— Presentation transcript:

1 What to know? What to know? What to do? What to do? How to get help? How to get help? The Law Offices of Lee & Baghoomian - LBlawoffices.com

2 What is an IEP? An IEP is designed to meet the unique educational needs of one child, who may have a disability In all cases the IEP must be tailored to the individual student's needs The Law Offices of Lee & Baghoomian - LBlawoffices.com

3 An IEP is meant to ensure that students receive an appropriate placement, not only in special education classrooms or special schools. It is meant to give the student a chance to participate in "normal" school culture and academics as much as is possible for that individual student The Law Offices of Lee & Baghoomian - LBlawoffices.com

4 Free Appropriate Public Education (FAPE) One goal of the IEP is to provide all students with special needs with a Free Appropriate Public Education or FAPE. ED Section 504 provides the guideline for the definition of a disability. The Law Offices of Lee & Baghoomian - LBlawoffices.com

5 Commandment #1: Conduct an honest assessment of exactly where your child’s performance stands today. The Law Offices of Lee & Baghoomian - LBlawoffices.com

6 Ask yourself… What programs or methods have been successful? What programs would you like to discontinue? What if the district is looking to discontinue a particular service or substitute one service for another? The Law Offices of Lee & Baghoomian - LBlawoffices.com

7 Commandment #2: Have clearly defined goals before beginning the I.E.P. process. The Law Offices of Lee & Baghoomian - LBlawoffices.com

8 Know what your ideal outcome is regarding your child’s IEP. o Many Parents begin the IEP process angry at what the district is offering, however they do not have clear cut goals as to what services they are trying to obtain for their own child. By having concrete, specific goals, it will show the district that you are well prepared, and have done your research. The Law Offices of Lee & Baghoomian - LBlawoffices.com

9 Commandment #3: Ask for all communication in writing. The Law Offices of Lee & Baghoomian - LBlawoffices.com

10 All communications with the school should be in writing, or be immediately memorialized with a writing. Always ask for all documentation as early as possible. The Law Offices of Lee & Baghoomian - LBlawoffices.com

11 Commandment #4: Make a list of all issues you plan to raise at the I.E.P. meeting. The Law Offices of Lee & Baghoomian - LBlawoffices.com

12 Specificity + Reasons It’s not enough to simply “ask” the district for the services you feel your child needs. As an advocate, you need to describe in detail why you feel your plan is more beneficial to your child than what the district is offering. The Law Offices of Lee & Baghoomian - LBlawoffices.com

13 Be Prepared! You should review all of your child’s prior annual goals, and formulate new annual goals. CAPA (California Alternate Performance Assessment) It is acceptable to state within your goals that you desire for your child to have greater integration with non disabled students. The Law Offices of Lee & Baghoomian - LBlawoffices.com

14 Who is present at the IEP meeting? The Law Offices of Lee & Baghoomian - LBlawoffices.com

15 Commandment #5: Never be afraid or embarrassed to ask questions at an I.E.P. The Law Offices of Lee & Baghoomian - LBlawoffices.com

16 At times, parents feel that asking questions will make them seem unknowledgeable, however nothing can be further from the truth! Ask as many questions as you need to, until you fully understand what the school board is offering or the message they are trying to convey to you. This is the single most important rule throughout the entire IEP process! The Law Offices of Lee & Baghoomian - LBlawoffices.com

17 Remember that you know your child better than anyone else at the meeting Find ways to personalize your child. Make your child recognizable to all team members. The discussion should always remain focused on your child. The Law Offices of Lee & Baghoomian - LBlawoffices.com

18 Try your best to leave your emotions out of it The Law Offices of Lee & Baghoomian - LBlawoffices.com

19 Keep the “end goal” in mind Try to remain focused on the development you want to see, rather than on the exact type of service you want. If the goal is agreed upon, the district will need to provide all the services required to reach this goal. Ultimately, this may provide you with greater services than you had originally hoped for. The Law Offices of Lee & Baghoomian - LBlawoffices.com

20 Commandment #6: Never sign an I.E.P. unless you are completely satisfied with the results of the meeting. The Law Offices of Lee & Baghoomian - LBlawoffices.com

21 Consider before signing… A parent is allowed to bring a friend, relative, behavioral specialist, advocate, or attorney to an IEP hearing. You can always ask the district to permit you to tape the IEP! You should always take the IEP home to review it before signing it! The Law Offices of Lee & Baghoomian - LBlawoffices.com

22 Commandment #7: After the I.E.P., monitor your child’s progress to ensure that all services agreed to are being provided. The Law Offices of Lee & Baghoomian - LBlawoffices.com

23 Follow Through! Simply surviving the IEP process, doesn’t guarantee your child will have a fair and appropriate public education. As a parent, you must follow through and make sure the district is being diligent in following through with all of the terms agreed to during the IEP process. If any provisions of the IEP are not being followed, you should make ALL demands to the district in writing, via certified mail. Further, you should always keep two copies of the letters sent to the district. The Law Offices of Lee & Baghoomian - LBlawoffices.com

24 Commandment #8: If services agreed to are not provided, you should always file a compliance complaint. The Law Offices of Lee & Baghoomian - LBlawoffices.com

25 After your IEP If you don’t agree with how your IEP went, you can send an unsigned copy back to the school and request an another IEP. o BE AWARE! At this stage the district may ask for mediation, rather than granting another IEP. If you were satisfied with how your IEP went, then thoroughly review the documentation, and return it to the school. Make 3 copies of the documentation provided to you by the school, and store them for safekeeping. The Law Offices of Lee & Baghoomian - LBlawoffices.com

26 Speak to your child… Outline all of the goals agreed to at the IEP meeting, and explain these goals to your child in a method in which they will understand. Remember, your child is the reason all of this is taking place. To the greatest extent possible, they should be active participants rather than mere spectators. The Law Offices of Lee & Baghoomian - LBlawoffices.com

27 Commandment #9: You should always be aware of your right to request a due process hearing. The Law Offices of Lee & Baghoomian - LBlawoffices.com

28 Mediation What is mediation? o Remember! Mediation is NON-BINDING. Just because a mediator believes that your child should receive “x,,y, and z” services, does not mean that his decision is finall The Law Offices of Lee & Baghoomian - LBlawoffices.com

29 Voluntary Settlement Conference More formal than mediation The third party at mediation will be an administrative law judge with at least 5 years of experience as an attorney, and will be thoroughly trained in mediation and special education law. The administrative law judge will be more direct, and state how he/ she would rule if this matter came before him/her in a due process hearing. Discussions are confidential, therefore you cannot record the settlement conference. The Law Offices of Lee & Baghoomian - LBlawoffices.com

30 Prehearing Conference This is a conference call between the parents/advocate, the district, and an administrative law judge to discuss the upcoming Due Process Hearing. This call enables both parties to know who the witnesses will be, how long their testimony will be, what documentary evidence will be presented, and how long the proceedings will take. The Law Offices of Lee & Baghoomian - LBlawoffices.com

31 Due Process Hearing Conducted by the Office of Administrative Hearings. The burden of proof is generally on the party that filed the motion to initiate the due process hearing. You should bring all of the same documents used in your IEP meeting and any other form of data, recording, or documentation that would help your case. The Law Offices of Lee & Baghoomian - LBlawoffices.com

32 Due Process Hearing So long as procedural rules are followed, and the witness is relevant to the hearing, they will normally be allowed to testify at a due process hearing. Expert Witnesses The Law Offices of Lee & Baghoomian - LBlawoffices.com

33 Due Process Hearing Decisions Generally, the court will issue a decision in writing within 45 days after the due process hearing was filed. The judge will normally break down his/ her decision into separate issues and who he/ she believes “won” each issue. The judge may also state which witnesses he/ she believed and why. The Law Offices of Lee & Baghoomian - LBlawoffices.com

34 Commandment #10: If all of the above steps do not get you to your goal, don’t be afraid to seek legal advice from an expert. The Law Offices of Lee & Baghoomian - LBlawoffices.com

35 State/ Federal Court If you do not agree with the decision of the administrative law judge, you can appeal your decision to state or federal court. Please note that issues brought to state or federal court have different rules, procedures, and timelines which may have a significant effect on your ability to obtain relief. You should ALWAYS consult legal counsel before deciding to take your case to state or federal court if you don’t agree with the outcome of the Due Process Hearing. The Law Offices of Lee & Baghoomian - LBlawoffices.com

36 Thank You for taking the time to attend our seminar today. If you have any further questions or concerns regarding your particular situation, please contact: The Law Offices of Lee & Baghoomian - LBlawoffices.com The Law Offices of Lee & Baghoomian 106 S. Sierra Madre Ave. Unit 1 Pasadena, CA Lblawoffices.com 1 (626)


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