Author: Melinda Kaufmann

NO GOOD DEED GOES UNPUNISHED – MAKE SURE YOU ARE DOCUMENTING ALL THE SERVICES BEING PROVIDED TO YOUR SPECIAL NEEDS STUDENTS

It’s a familiar scenario. A student, perhaps one with behavioral issues, is identified as being in need of special education.  The parties get together and draft an individual education plan [“IEP”] for the student.  The school, in an attempt to help the student who is still struggling, provides additional services to the student – perhaps…

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Connecticut Federal District Court Holds There Is No Fundamental Constitutional Right To A Minimally Adequate Education

In a long-standing effort to desegregate Connecticut’s schools, the State has created a myriad of educational options for families including inter-district magnet schools, charter schools and the open choice program that allow students in one district to attend open seats in schools in other districts. There are often long waiting lists for these schools and…

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United States Department Of Education Issues Letter Guidance Regarding Private Evaluator’s Access To Classrooms For Student Observation

Once again, the Department of Education, Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services (“OSERS”) has weighed in on the rights of school districts to limit outside evaluators from accessing school classrooms. The most recent guidance addresses the issue of whether a public agency may limit the length of time an independent evaluator hired by a…

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CALIFORNIA COURT RULES DISTRICT CANNOT PROHIBIT STUDENTS FROM KNEELING DURING THE NATIONAL ANTHEM AT SCHOOL SPORTING EVENTS

In what appears to be the first decision on this issue in the country, a federal court in California granted a high school athlete’s request for an injunction overturning his high school’s prohibition against athletes kneeling during the national anthem. This issue, originally only appearing in the realm of professional athletics, has now trickled down…

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Does Providing A Parent With The Surveillance Video Of A School Incident And/Or Student Statements About The Incident That Involved Multiple Students Violate FERPA?

The United States Department of Education’s Office of the Chief Privacy Officer recently issued a guidance letter to a school district indicating that while surveillance video of a hazing incident that involved numerous perpetrators, victims and bystanders was considered an educational record of all students on the video, the school district must provide the parents…

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THE LATEST ON ALTERNATIVE EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES FOR EXPELLED STUDENTS: THE GOOD, THE NOT SO GOOD, THE UNKNOWN, AND “FINAL” THOUGHTS.

We have previously written in these pages about the development of “guidelines” or “standards” by the State Board of Education for the provision of educational opportunities for expelled students.  Click here to read Part 1 & Part 2.  Having had just a (teeny) little bit of time to ponder the final version of these guidelines, which were…

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A NEW YEAR AND NEW FINAL STANDARDS FOR EXPULSIONS AND ALTERNATIVE EDUCATION

The Connecticut State Department of Education this morning adopted new standards for expulsions and alternative education. As we discussed back in September (click here to read Part 1 & Part 2), pursuant to Public Act 17-220 the State Department of Education was tasked with developing standards for alternative education opportunities for expelled students that address the kind…

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The United States Department of Education Issues Guidance on the Meaning of FAPE

On December 7, 2017, the United States Department of Education’s Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services [“OSERS”] issued guidance for schools on determining whether a special education program is designed to provide a student with a free appropriate public education [“FAPE”] based on the United States Supreme Court decision in Endrew F.  The guidance…

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ENDREW F. IN THE SECOND CIRCUIT – HOW IS THE COURT APPLYING THE NEW STANDARD

Following the United States Supreme Court’s decision of earlier this year in Endrew F. v. Douglas County School District, appellate courts, including the United States Supreme Court, have typically remanded special education cases pertaining to whether a student received a free appropriate education [“FAPE”] back to the lower courts for further review.  In contrast, the…

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STATE DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION PROVIDES PROPOSED FINAL DRAFT OF GUIDELINES FOR EXPULSIONS AND ALTERNATIVE EDUCATION (Part 2)

“And thirdly, the code is more what you’d call “guidelines” than actual rules …” Captain Barbosa in Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl On September 5, 2017, the State Board of Education’s Legislative and Policy Development Committee presented a “final draft” of “Guidelines for Alternative Learning Environments.” The Guidelines, however, as…

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