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IEP Archives

Is the School District Out of Compliance?

What options are available if a school district is not implementing your child's IEP? Some parents find themselves in the unfortunate situation of having fought for their child's educational rights and obtained appropriate services for their child, only to have the school subsequently fail to implement those services.

The IEP Process

Parents who attend IEP meetings are generally looking to obtain something very simple for their child, an educational placement that is appropriate and will allow their child the opportunity to make substantive educational progress. However, the IEP process can be very stressful and confusing. What all parents should be aware of in preparing for an IEP meeting, is that the burden is on the school district to provide a Free and Appropriate Public Education ("FAPE") for all children. Not only must the educational placement be appropriate, but it also must be qualify as a clear written offer. (Union Sch. Dist, v Smith, (9th Cir. 1994), 15 F.3d 1519.)

Partial Consent to an IEP Document

Following an IEP meeting a parent may be left feeling as though some parts of the IEP are appropriate, while also believing that other parts of the IEP were not appropriately addressed. Can parents provide only partial consent to an IEP document, and if so, are school district's responsible for implementing the portions of the IEP that were consented to?

Parental Participation

The IDEA imposes upon the school district the duty to conduct a meaningful IEP meeting with parents. (W.G. v. Bd. of Trustees of Target Range Sch. Dist., 960 F.2d 1479, 1485 (9th Cir. 1992); Fuhrmann v. East Hanover Bd. of Educ., 993 F.2d 1031, 1036 (3d Cir. 1993)).

Is my child making academic progress?

The first step in determining whether or not your child's current educational placement and program is appropriate, is to consider whether or not he/she is progressing within his current setting. Often times the first step that a School District will look to determine whether or not a particular student is progressing is by considering whether or not that student has met his/her annual goals. However, there is an even more fundamental place to start when determining whether or not a student is actually making appropriate progress.

Providing Consent To Your Child's IEP

Following an IEP meeting members of the IEP team will generally ask a parent to consent to the IEP in its entirety. Oftentimes, parents will feel pressured to sign the IEP immediately or risk alienating members of the IEP team. A good option that parents in this situation have is to simply state that they would like to take time to review the written IEP document as a whole, to ensure that they do not have any additional questions or concerns. The IEP document is what governs your child's educational plan, and simply requesting additional time to review the document in its entirety is a complete reasonable request.

Baseline in the IEP: A Good Starting Point

Your child currently has an Individualized Education Plan (IEP). How do you know if his or her new goals are appropriate? The first step is to look at his or her present levels of performance. This gives you his or her baseline to create new goals.

Augustin Egelsee L.L.P.
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