Avoiding Procedural Pitfalls in the IEP Process

Notes taken at the Special Education Law Conference, shared by
Rich Staley.
These were the notes I shared at today's meeting.
Avoiding Procedural Pitfalls in the IEP Process
Legal Framework
-Roweley Case
Estalbished 2-part test for FAPE
Was the IEP resonably calculated to provide some
education benefit?
Did the district comply with the IDEA's procedural
Both parts are equal
-Assessment --> 15 days to resound with an assessment plan
or deny it.
-15 days to agree or not agree to the plan?
-60 days to assess
Determination of Eligibility
-Does the child require special Education
Present Levels of Academic Achievement and Functional
Areas of Educaitonal need (from Assessment)
Goals developed
Goals Drive Placement
Consider related services
Implications for FAPE
Top Ten Procdural Errors
1) Missing important assessment information
Adequete assessment information is key, foundational
All areas related to suspected disability
Variety of sources
Includes consideration of independent assessments
Set yourself up as the expert! Be organized and have your
stuff ready!
2) No Placement Offer
Make sure this is in writing (IEP)
Be specific about time and place of offer
More than one placement offer
Expertise on placement is a denial of FAPE
What is the LRE for that student is our job!
We get to make ONE offer
4) Absence of Key IEP Team Members
Have the right people there
Use excusal with caution
5) Inadequate Transition Planning
Need to take more time to spend on it
Need to have a clear plan for each student
6) No Review of Prior Goals
Make sure you review last year's goals
7) Needs without Goals
Make sure you write a goal for each need area
8) Unclear Service Levels
Be clear in your offer of services i.e. time, type, how
9) Extended Year Services
Not specified
Not enough
Not offered
10) Predetermination/Lack of Parent Participation
Lack of parent participation
Be open to all ideas -- solicit parent input to make the
best decision for students
Rich Staley
Director of Teaching and Learning
Tenino School District
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