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The GAP Attorneys Blog

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

Improper IEP Team meeting invalidates IEP

R.G. v. New York City Department of Education, 62 IDELR 84 (E.D.N.Y. 2013): A U.S. District Court held that a school district denied a student on the autism spectrum a free appropriate public education (FAPE) by failing to include a general education teacher as part of the student’s IEP team.  The student was transitioning from preschool to kindergarten, and had attended a general education preschool classroom with special education support (including an itinerant teacher and applied behavioral analyst).  Despite the student’s previous general education placement, her IEP team set to develop her IEP for her kindergarten school year did not include a general education teacher.  Moreover, the chair of the IEP team, the school district psychologist who conducted the student’s evaluation, failed to share all the information contained in her evaluation and did not adequately explore the various service providers’ recommendations that the student continue in a general education setting for kindergarten.  Together, the absence of a general education teacher and failure to adequately review the prospects of a general education placement, constituted a procedural violation which rendered the IEP team’s ultimate recommendation, a self-contained special education classroom, inappropriate.

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