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SPECIAL EDUCATION: Practical Tips About IEPs and Expulsion Hearings

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Presentation on theme: "SPECIAL EDUCATION: Practical Tips About IEPs and Expulsion Hearings"— Presentation transcript:

1 SPECIAL EDUCATION: Practical Tips About IEPs and Expulsion Hearings
The Training Institute on Disability Rights

2 Special Education Laws
Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act 2004 (IDEA) Section 504 No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act Act(FERPA) State Laws and Regulations

3 Special Education Laws
Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act 2004 (IDEA) 20 USC 1400 purpose 1401 definitions 1412 child find, LRE,FAPE 1414 evaluations, consent, eligibility, IEP, Placement 1415 Procedural Safeguards


5 Purpose of Special Education
To ensure that all children with disabilities have available to them a free appropriate public education that emphasizes special education and related services designed to meet their unique needs and prepare them for further education, employment, and independent living

FAPE SPECIAL EDUCATION DEFINED Specially designed instruction, at no cost to parents, to meet the unique needs of a child with a disability,…

7 Least Restrictive Environment (LRE) 20 USC 1412(a)(5)
To the MAXIMUM extent appropriate children with disabilities… are educated with children who are not disabled. Removal nature and severity of the disability of a child is such that education in regular classes with the use of supplementary aids and services CANNOT be achieved satisfactorily.

8 Special Education Services
1. Request Written Request by Parent, State agency, or school may initiate request for initial case study evaluation Sample letters available Keep a copy with date and time it was delivered and to whom it was delivered

9 Special Education Services
2. Consent Parent can include consent in request letter or School must provide parent consent form within 14 days of request

10 Special Education Services
2. Consent for Case Study Evaluations Parental Consent not referral, starts the Case Study Evaluation (CSE) timeline, which must be done within 60 CALENDAR days (IDEA) – a different timeline may be set by the state. (IL Admin Code: 60 SCHOOL days from Consent)

11 Special Education Services
Request Consent Case Study Evaluation (CSE) Eligibility Meeting –MDC Individualized Education Program (IEP) meeting

12 Special Education Services
3. Case Study Evaluation Variety of assessment tools must be used Testing must be done in the “language and form most likely to yield accurate information on what the child knows and can do academically, developmentally, and functionally.”

13 Special Education Services
Request Consent Case Study Evaluation (CSE) Eligibility Meeting –MDC Individualized Education Program (IEP) meeting

14 Special Education Services
4. Eligibility Meeting –Multidisciplinary Conference Team of qualified professionals and parents decide Whether child is a child with a disability (1401)(3) 1. Disability – mental retardation, hearing impairment, speech or language impairments, visual impairments, serious emotional disturbance (emotional disturbance), orthopedic impairments, autism, traumatic brain injury, other health impairments (OHI), or specific learning disabilities (LD or SLD): AND 2. who, by reason thereof, needs special education and related services

15 Special Education Services
Request Consent Case Study Evaluation (CSE) Eligibility Meeting –MDC Individual Education Program (IEP) meeting

16 Special Education Services
5. Individual Education Program (IEP) meeting IEP meeting held at least annually IEP TEAM Parents Not less than ONE regular ed teacher (if child IS or may be participating in regular education) Not less than ONE special ed teacher, or where appropriate…special education provider of such child Representative of Local Education Agency (LEA) Qualified to provide or supervise special education Knowledgeable about general curriculum Knowledgeable about availability of LEA resources

17 Special Education Services
5. Individual Education Program (IEP) meeting IEP TEAM Continued.. An individual who can interpret the instructional implication of evaluation results Other individuals who have “knowledge or special expertise regarding the child, including related services personnel as appropriate: and whenever appropriate, the child with a disability

18 What’s in an IEP? Present Levels of Performance
Goals & Objectives/Benchmarks Progress Reports Special Education Services Related Services Supplementary Aids and Services Special factors Transition Services (IL 14 ½ and up) – IDEA 16

19 Individualized Education Program (IEP) – annual meeting
A Statement of the child’s academic achievement and functional performance – Present Level of Performance “PLOP”

20 IEP Goals A statement of measurable annual goals including academic and functional goals designed to Meet the child’s needs that result from the child’s disability to enable the child to be involved in and make progress in the general education curriculum; and Meet each of the child’s other educational needs that result from the child’s disability SMART goals – specific, measurable, action-oriented, realistic, and time-sensitive

21 Progress Reports The parents need to know about their child’s progress
The IEP should specify how the parents will be notified of their child’s progress

22 Special Education and Related Services
IEP includes information about types of services a student receives Examples of related services – OT PT Speech therapy Social work

23 Supplementary Aides and Services
This may be some type of accommodation the student needs Can include staff training

24 Reevaluation - every 3 years
Meet to discuss what information the school already has and what information is still needed reevaluation every 3 years UNLESS parent and school agree it is unnecessary


26 What about Discipline? Student with a disability may be removed for no more than 10 school days for a disciplinary violation (unless exception applies) More than ten days = change of placement (see following slides for details) Exception: can automatically remove a student with a disability for 45 school days if 1) a weapon; 2) Drugs; 3) Serious bodily injury

27 45 SCHOOL Day Removal Weapon Drugs Serious Bodily Injury
“dangerous weapon” 18 U.S.C. § 930(g)(2) Drugs Controlled Substance 21 U.S.C. 812(c)§ 202(c)I, II, III, IV, or V Does not include legally possessed or used substances Serious Bodily Injury “serious bodily injury” 18 U.S.C. §1365(h)(3)

28 What about Discipline? Suspensions/Removal
- All students “removed” are to get services to prevent recurrence of behavior resulting in removal – should be added to IEP Expulsions – FAPE services must still be provided so student can be able to “participate in general education curriculum” and “progress towards meeting goals set out in IEP.” Before an expulsion can take place, must hold Manifestation Determination Review (MDR)

MDR is a meeting that occurs within ten school days of decision to change a student’s placement School’s actions are change of placement when student is suspended for more than ten consecutive days or series of days that “constitute a pattern” exceeding 10 days in a year.

30 What does it mean for behavior to be a manifestation of a disability?
Behavior is a manifestation of a disability if: “caused by” the disability or “Direct or substantial relationship to the disability” or “direct result” of the school’s failure to implement the student’s IEP If student’s behavior is manifestation of disability, student can’t be expelled without parent consent and must be returned to pre-removal placement (unless drugs, weapons, or serious bodily injury)

31 If behavior is manifestation of disability, what must the school do?
Functional Behavior Assessment (FBA) – evaluation to show relationship between behavior and what happens in student’s environment Behavior Intervention Plan (positive interventions)

32 What if behavior is not a manifestation of a disability?
If behavior is not a manifestation of a disability, school can use same discipline measures as with other students BUT school must continue providing FAPE

33 What if school wants to expel a student who has not yet been found eligible for special ed?
Students not yet found eligible for special ed may still be protected by IDEA under certain circumstances: Parent stated in writing to a supervisor, administrator or a teacher that child may need special ed Parent requested evaluation Teacher/staff expressed specific concerns abut child’s pattern of behavior directly to director of special ed or other supervisory person

34 Student Discipline Not Yet Eligible
School did not have “knowledge” Same discipline as non-disabled kids If school did have “knowledge,” then the student is protected by IDEA.

35 Expulsion Hearings (in general)
An expulsion is a removal of a student from school for more than 10 days in a row A student may be expelled for a definite period of time from 11 days up to 2 years.

36 What happens before the hearing?
School must send written notice of the behavior for which it believes the child should be expelled. School must send notice in writing and by certified mail inviting student and parent to attend expulsion hearing.

37 At the Expulsion Hearing
Right to call witnesses Present evidence Cross-examine District’s witnesses Right to tape record

38 Who will be at the expulsion hearing?
Student and parent should go. School District may have an attorney. Often people who were involved in or witnessed the incident are there. A school administrator may be there.

39 Who decides whether a student will be expelled?
Depends on the School District. Sometimes the Board of Education of the District makes the decision. Other Districts have hearing officers who make the decision.

40 Can expulsion hearings be appealed?
Yes. If a student is expelled, the student can appeal this decision in state court.

41 Expulsions from Chicago Public Schools
The Student Code of Conduct (SCC) outlines CPS disciplinary policies For a copy, contact the Law Department at (773) If CPS is going to expel a student, the District sends a “Notice of Request For Disciplinary Hearing” letter. Closer to date that hearing will take place, CPS then sends a “Notice of Disciplinary Hearing.”

42 Who is present at CPS expulsions?
Hearing Officer appointed by the Board of Education CPS “Prosecutor” Student and Parent Any witnesses Usually a school administrator

43 Any chance at settling an expulsion hearing?
Depending on the offense, CPS and student may come to an agreement for student to attend the SMART program.

44 Questions????

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