Legal Issues in Special Education relating to San Bernardino City USD January 8, 2015

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1 Legal Issues in Special Education relating to San Bernardino City USD January 8, 2015 Michael Dominguez Director Special Education/SELPA Laws that Protect Students with Disabilities IDEA Core Principals Child Find Emergency Interventions & Students with Disabilities Be the Best at Getting Better: Refocused and Recommitted

2 Laws that protect students with disabilities NCLB - No Child Left Behind / Federal Education Law. - Covers ALL students with a focus on under-served students. - Increased School accountability. - School performance/outcomes. - Highly-qualified teachers and paraprofessionals. - Ability to change school or obtain remediation if school fails to meet Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP).

3 Laws that protect students with disabilities FERPA - Family Educational Rights & Privacy Act - Federal Education Privacy Law - Covers ALL students. - Right to inspect and review any and all records the district keeps - Timeline in CA: 5 days - Right to request correction of records - Right to consent to disclosure of personally identifiable information contained in education records

4 Laws that protect students with disabilities Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act / Federal Anti-Discrimination Law. - Protects ALL PEOPLE with a disability that impairs one or more major life activities (such as learning). - Prohibits discrimination in ANY program that receives Federal funds. - Provides Accommodations to remove discriminatory barriers Plan removes barriers to learning and educational opportunity

5 Laws that protect students with disabilities IDEA Individuals with Disabilities Education Act / Federal Education Law. - Student must fit at least 1 of 13 categories of disability, ***AND ALSO*** - needs specialized support and instruction to benefit from education. - Provides an IEP : special education plan * specialized instruction * supportive related services - IEP must be individualized to meet a student s unique needs

6 IDEA: Rationale & Purpose - (c) Findings. Congress finds the following: Disability is a natural part of the human experience and in no way diminishes the right of individuals to participate in or contribute to society. Improving educational results for children with disabilities is an essential element of our national policy of ensuring equality of opportunity, full participation, independent living, and economic self sufficiency (d) Purposes. The purposes of this title are - (1)(A) to ensure that all children with disabilities have available to them a free and appropriate public education [FAPE] designed to meet their unique needs AND prepare them for further education, employment, and independent living IDEA / 20 U.S.C. 1400

7 Relationship of Protective Laws ALL students 504 eligible IDEA eligible IDEA-eligible students are protected by ALL these laws just discussed. A Student with an IEP may also need accommodations to prevent discrimination.

8 IDEA: 6 Core Principles 1) Free & Appropriate Public Education (FAPE) 2) Appropriate Evaluation/Assessment 3) Individualized Education Plan (IEP) 4) Least Restrictive Environment (LRE) 5) Parent (and student if appropriate) participation in the decision-making process 6) Procedural Safeguards

9 1) FAPE Appropriate Education: A Process Zero Reject (Schools must educate all children with disabilities) Protection in Evaluation (nonbiased, multi-factored, nondiscriminatory) Procedural Safeguards (consent, confidentiality, Independent Educational Evaluation, due process, parent participation) Meaningful Goals (decided individually for each student) IEP process Placement in the Least Restrictive Environment Child Find

10 What is Child Find? The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, IDEA, includes the Child Find mandate. Child Find requires all school districts to identify, locate and evaluate all children with disabilities, regardless of the severity of their disabilities. The IDEA requires all States to develop and implement a practical method of determining which children with disabilities are receiving special education and related services and which children are not. (20 U.S.C. 1412(a)(3)

11 Child Find Continuum of Intervention for Struggling Students Child Find should be triggered as part of a continuum of intervention for students with poor grades or poor behavior.

12 Documented Site-Based Interventions prove appropriate services were provided Look at Data systematically, intervene, evaluate the intervention using data, repeat culminate with a referral for special education eligibility if warranted - Behavior Support Plans - Site based interventions - Counselor provided interventions - Before or After school tutoring - Student Study Team meetings - SART/SARB - Referral for Special Education - RTI, PBS, MTSS, LAT

13 2) Appropriate Evaluation/Assessment - A written request for assessment triggers an obligation to assess and strict timelines - Timelines (Assessment Plan within 15 days, IEP 60 days from parent consent) - Special Education age range - Birth up to age 22(or HS Diploma) - Meets at least 1 of 13 eligibility categories: 1) Autism 8) Other Health Impairment 2) Deafness / HH 9) Serious Emotional Disturbance 3) Deaf-Blindness 10) Specific Learning Disabilities 4) Hearing Impairment 11) Speech or Language Impairment 5) Intellectual Disability 12) Traumatic Brain Injury 6) Multiple Disabilities 13) Visual Impairment / Blindness 7) Orthopedic Impairment AND who by reason of their disability needs special education and related services in order to benefit from their education. Determined by the assessments! Assessment Rights - Parent consent, assess in child s language/mode of communication, variety of tools & strategies must be used, technically sound instruments, qualified professionals, independent assessments must be considered, triennial (3 year) assessment or upon exit, right to request assessment, right to review results in advance, right to disagree with assessment: IEE

14 3) IEP Rationale - Special Education is a SERVICE - brought to the student through the IEP - in order to CLOSE THE GAP - between the student s Present Level of Performance - and the student s Expected Level of Performance. includes - Meaningful Goals & Objectives Where the student is going - Services & Instruction How the student will get there. - MEASUREMENT - Objective DATA How do we know when student/we have succeeded? A) - Procedural Requirements Timelines, IEP members, Evaluations, Adequate IEP document B) - Substantive Requirements Individualized Instruction, Educational Benefit, Progress toward IEP goals)

15 4) LRE Least Restrictive Environment the Regular Classroom if the student s IEP goals and objectives can be met with some curriculum modification, or by providing supplementary aids and services. IEP must include The extent to which the student will or will not learn with and participate in school with students without disabilities AND WHY Student should not be removed from typical classes UNLESS, even with supplemental aids and services, education cannot be achieved satisfactorily Ex: Student does not progress on IEP goals, IEP cannot be implemented satisfactorily, student with a disability has behavioral problems that are so disruptive in a regular classroom that the education of other students is significantly impaired If necessary, team can consider other placement options on the continuum such as Special Day Class, Non-public school, Home/Hospital Target from the state for students who receive services inside the regular class 80 % or more of the day is 76%; District is at 55.2 %

16 5) Parent/Student Participation in the Decision-Making Process Parent participation in IEP team meetings- notification of meetings & scheduling at a mutually agreed-on time/place. Prior written notice - prior written notice is meant to inform parents, as fully as possible about any actions the school system is proposing to take (or refusing to take) with respect to: - identification as a child with a disability as defined by IDEA and State - evaluation; - educational placement; and - provision of FAPE Parents Rights given at IEP, initial referral, parent request for evaluation Consent - parent is fully informed, understands and agrees in writing to the provision of special education services for their child. Written consent is obtained for initial evaluation, reevaluation. The granting of consent is voluntary and may be revoked at anytime.

17 6) Procedural Safeguards Parents' Special Education Rights in California Parents and students over age eighteen have the right To Participate To Receive Prior Written Notice To Consent To Refuse to Consent To Be Given a Nondiscriminatory Assessment To Receive Independent Educational Assessments To Access Educational Records To Stay in the Current Program If There is a Disagreement About Placement To Be Given a Hearing Regarding Disagreements About an IEP To Receive Mediation To File a Complaint Against the School District To Be Informed of School Discipline and Alternative Placement To Be Informed of Policies Regarding Children Who Attend Private Schools

18 EMERGENCY PROCEDURES used with SPECIAL EDUCATION STUDENTS Whenever emergency interventions (defined as physical escort, restraint or seclusion) are used for a special education student, there are follow-up procedures that must take place Emergency interventions are only to be used to prevent danger to the student or others. - Parent must be notified within one school day of the use of an emergency intervention. - A Behavior Emergency Report must be completed immediately (form attached). Two copies given to parent, one copy; to site administrator, special education office, site psychologist, placed in cum. -If the student does not have a BSP/BIP, within two days of the incident, an IEP must be scheduled to develop an interim BSP and determine if a functional behavioral assessment is warranted. The IEP does not have to occur within the two days, but it must be scheduled. If the student does have a BSP, the team should review the incident and determine if a change to the BSP is warranted.

19

20 Eric Buries-Coordinator Psychological Services, Non-Public Schools, 504, Mental Health, Private Schools, County Pat Daniels-Perry-Coordinator Elementary Programs, Charter Schools Debi Espiritu-Coordinator Secondary Schools, WORC(Working On Real Careers), Home and Hospital, Transition Andrew Schultz-Coordinator Speech, Early Start, ECAT, Preschool, Assistive Technology, DIS staff Shelley Walsh - Assistant Director Accountability, CASEMIS, Professional Development, CPI Michael Dominguez Director SELPA, ADR, Due Process, Prior Written Notices, IEE, State Compliance, Attorneys, CAC (Community Advisory Committee), Cabinet

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