If your child has Independent Education Plan (IEP), school districts must meet the provisions provided by the plan. Sadly, during the COVID-19 pandemic, many school districts haven't met the needs of their students. A special education attorney can help you hold school districts accountable to ensure that your child receives the education they deserve.
Here are some steps to take before you begin working with a special education attorney.
Request and Share IEP(s)
To assess if your child's IEP has been violated, formally request a copy of every IEP the school district has on file. Because IEPs are updated every few years, your child likely has several iterations of IEPs on file. Providing your special education with access to all versions of the IEP on file can help them understand the context and evolution of your child's learning needs. If the school fails to provide you with IEPs after 30 days, your special education attorney can help you draft a letter to demand legal action if the documents continue to be withheld.
Build on Bullet-Points
All IEPs include bullet-pointed language to help parents, teachers, and school professionals understand the specific needs of the student. If you noticed that any part of your child's IEP was ignored during the COVID-19 lockdown, a special education attorney can help you file a suit against the school district.
- Accommodations and adaptations: IEPs specify the accommodations and adaptations your child may need to complete assignments, take tests, and engage in class instruction. School districts are required to provide these learning enhancements, regardless of the circumstances. Closely examine each bullet-point. How did the school meet the accommodation when your child was forced to learn remotely? If the school did not continue to meet the specified requirements when your child transitioned to remote learning, they have violated the IEP.
- Documentation: As you move through your child's IEP, begin matching the communications you've had with your child's school and their academic performance. If your child's academic performance suffered when they transitioned to remote learning and you made the school aware that they were not complying with the IEP, they can be held negligence in court. Any communication you had with teachers and school professionals can be admissible in court. The same is true for parent-teacher conferences. If you met with your child's teacher, note the date(s), what you discussed, and the subsequent adjustments (or lack of adjustments) to your child's learning.
For more information, contact a special education lawyer.