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The GAP Attorneys Blog

Meeting the needs of people with disabilities, their families, educators & service providers

Archive for April, 2014

School’s vague description of proposed transfer allows student to stay put

Thursday, April 24th, 2014

Douglas v. District of Columbia, 62 IDELR 111 (D.D.C. 2013): A federal district court ordered a school district to maintain a student classified as other health impaired in his current school after the district failed to offer a sufficient description of the services the student would receive at an alternative location.  Since the proposed change was vague and amorphous, and failed to assure the Court that the educational services at the new location would remain substantially the same, the Court ordered the district to maintain the student at his current school.

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Schools may use community, technical, or postsecondary classes as part of transition services

Thursday, April 10th, 2014

Letter to Dude, 62 IDELR 91 (OSEP 2013): The U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Special Education Programs informed a school attorney that community, technical, and postsecondary classes may be included on a student’s IEP as transition services, provided that such classes are considered secondary education as per state law.  If the classes are considered secondary education, then they may be included on an IEP where necessary in assisting a student in reaching his or her transition goals and receiving FAPE.

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School’s use of evidence relating to specific methodology allowed parent to challenge appropriateness of that methodology

Thursday, April 3rd, 2014

Y.S. v. New York City Department of Education, 62 IDELR 56 (S.D.N.Y. 2013): The New York State Review Officer (SRO) denied the parent’s request for reimbursement, refusing to consider the parents’ evidence regarding the appropriate methodology to teach their child on the autism spectrum since the parents failed to identify that specific issue in their due process complaint (moreover, the selection of a specific methodology is typically within the purview of the school).  However, a federal district court remanded a matter to the SRO with instructions to review additional arguments.  The Court noted that the school district, through its submission of evidence relating to the methodology the district selected, opened the door for the parents to submit their own evidence as a rebuttal to the district’s.  Accordingly, the SRO’s failure to consider the parents’ evidence and arguments regarding methodology was improper and required remand for such consideration.

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