Special Education Law

School Learning Environment

Connecticut Public Act No. 08-160, An Act Concerning School Learning Environment, is of interest to parents of school-age children and, in particular, parents of children with special needs.

Two of the major changes that are enacted are (1) all suspensions starting July 1, 2009, are in-school suspensions unless it is determined that the student is dangerous or disruptive to the educational process; and (2) all schools must “develop and implement a policy to address the existence of bullying in its schools.”  Also of note is a new provision that provides for in-service training for school personnel and pupils on a variety of issues they face daily.  A few examples are: (a) drug and alcohol awareness; (b) “health and mental health risk reduction;” (c) working with special needs children in regular classrooms; (d) CPR and emergency life-saving procedures…..

What Does a Court Consider When Deciding an Educational Support Order in Connecticut?

In determining whether to enter an educational support order in Connecticut, the court considers all relevant circumstances.  Under the bill, these circumstances include the parent’s income, assets, and other obligations; the child’s need for support; the availability of financial aid; the reasonableness of the higher education to be funded (the court looks to the child’s academic record); the likelihood that the parents would have provided support to the child for higher education if the family were still intact; and the child’s preparation and commitment to higher education.

The bill also requires that both parents discuss and agree on the school, and imposes obligations on the child who is to receive the assistance.  The student must be enrolled in an institution of higher education on at least a half-time basis, maintain good academic standing, and share all academic records with both parents during the term of order.

If you have any questions related to education law in Connecticut, please contact Joseph C. Maya, Esq. at (203) 221-3100 or e-mail him directly at JMaya@Mayalaw.com.

What is a Child’s Planning and Placement Team (PPT)?

Under Connecticut law, the Planning and Placement Team, or PPT, is a critical component in determining your child’s special education needs and the services to be provided. The IDEA refers to this resource as the Individualized Education Program Team (“IEP Team”). The PPT will be involved in most every request or decision made pertaining to your child, including: determining whether your child should be evaluated, and deciding which evaluations will be given to your child and whether your child is eligible for special education and related services. As a parent, you will be asked to participate as a member of the PPT. Parents should participate, since you can provide unique and valuable insight into your child’s special education needs.

Required Members of a PPT

The IDEA requires that the IEP team (PPT in Connecticut) be composed of the following:

(i) the parents of a child with a disability;

(ii) not less than 1 regular education teacher of such child (if the child is, or may be, participating in the regular education environment);

(iii) not less than 1 special education teacher, or where appropriate, not less than 1 special education provider of such child;

(iv) a representative of the local educational agency who–

(I) is qualified to provide, or supervise the provision of, specially designed instruction to meet the unique needs of children with disabilities;
(II) is knowledgeable about the general education curriculum; and
(III) is knowledgeable about the availability of resources of the local educational agency;

(v) an individual who can interpret the instructional implications of evaluation results, who may be a member of the team described in clauses (ii) through (vi);

(vi) at the discretion of the parent or the agency, other individuals who have knowledge or special expertise regarding the child, including related services personnel as appropriate; and

(vii) whenever appropriate, the child with a disability.

PPT Meeting Attendance

A member of the PPT shall not be required to attend an IEP meeting, however, if you and the local educational agency agree that the attendance of such member is not necessary because the member’s area of the curriculum or related services is not being modified or discussed in the meeting. Further, a member of the PPT may be excused from attending a meeting when the meeting involves a modification to or discussion of the member’s area of the curriculum or related services, if you and the local educational agency consent to the excusal and the member provides input into the development of the individualized education program prior to the meeting.

As a parent you have the right to understand the proceedings of the PPT meeting, and, if necessary, the school district may need to arrange for a language interpreter or a sign language interpreter. Additional parental rights at a PPT meeting include a conference telephone call if you are unable to attend the meeting in person, tape recording of meetings (all participants must be informed the meeting is being taped) and the right to invite any advisors of your choosing, including counsel, at your own expense.

A PPT meeting may be conducted without a parent in attendance if the local educational agency is unable to convince you as a parent to attend. The school district must keep detailed records of its attempt to make an arrangement for a mutually agreed upon time and place to conduct the meeting. These records should include telephone calls made or attempted along with the results of those calls, copies of correspondence sent to you including any responses they received and detailed records of visits made to your home or place of employment and the results of those visits.

Scheduling a PPT Meeting

When scheduling a PPT meeting, the school district must work with you as a parent in scheduling the meeting at a mutually agreeable time and place. Connecticut law requires the school district to notify a child’s parent at least five (5) school days prior to the meeting in order to allow for attendance. Written notice of the PPT meeting must be provided to a child’s parent and include the purpose, time and location of the meeting along with who will be in attendance.

The school district must also inform you of your right to bring other individuals who have knowledge of or expertise concerning your child. Further, the school district must give notice that if your child is sixteen years old or younger and it is found by the IEP team to be appropriate, he or she may attend the meeting, provided the purpose of the meeting pertains to your child’s postsecondary goals.

Our education law firm in Westport Connecticut serves clients with expulsion, discrimination, and general education law issues from all over the state including the towns of: Bethel, Bridgeport, Brookfield, Danbury, Darien, Easton, Fairfield, Greenwich, Monroe, New Canaan, New Fairfield, Newton, Norwalk, Redding, Ridgefield, Shelton, Sherman, Stamford, Stratford, Trumbull, Weston, Westport, and Wilton. We have the best education law attorneys in CT on staff that can help with your Connecticut or New York education issues today.

If you have any questions or would like to speak to an education law attorney about a pressing matter, please don’t hesitate to call our office at (203) 221-3100. We offer free consultations to all new clients.

Who Refers Children to Special Education?

Connecticut requires each school district to reach out and identify children from birth to twenty-one years of age who may be eligible for special education services. The IDEA covers all children with disabilities residing in the state, including those who are homeless or wards of the State, and children with disabilities attending private schools, irrespective of the severity of their disability. It is the obligation of the school district to identify children in need of special education from birth on. This duty is called “child find.” After “finding” a child with a disability, the school district must initiate an evaluation of that child to fulfill their duty under the IDEA.

A referral to special education services is the first step in determining whether a child is entitled to receive special education and related services. The referral takes the form of a written request that a child be evaluated if he or she is suspected of having a disability and who may be in need of special education and related services.

If your child is over the age of three and you believe he or she may have a disability, as a parent you may submit a written request to the director of special education of your school district. If someone other than a child’s parent refers a child to special education, such as a teacher or school administrator, the parent must receive written notice of such referral.

Those who may make a referral for an evaluation are: the student, provided they are 18 years of age or older, a parent or guardian, the state educational agency, the local educational agency or individuals from other agencies, including physicians or social workers having parental permission to make a referral.

Our education law firm in Westport Connecticut serves clients with expulsion, discrimination, and general education law issues from all over the state including the towns of: Bethel, Bridgeport, Brookfield, Danbury, Darien, Easton, Fairfield, Greenwich, Monroe, New Canaan, New Fairfield, Newton, Norwalk, Redding, Ridgefield, Shelton, Sherman, Stamford, Stratford, Trumbull, Weston, Westport, and Wilton. We have the best education law attorneys in CT on staff that can help with your Connecticut or New York education issues today.

If you have any questions or would like to speak to an education law attorney about a pressing matter, please don’t hesitate to call our office at (203) 221-3100. We offer free consultations to all new clients.

What Should I Do if My Child Has Been Denied Special Education?

Schools may often refuse to make reasonable accommodations for children who need special education.  If your child has special education needs, the school must accommodate for the child under the Americans with Disabilities Act.  You have many rights in this situation such as the right to a manifestation hearing.  You may also have the right to file a complaint against the school district.  You should obtain an education attorney as soon as possible to educate you on your rights, and help you get the accommodations your child needs and deserves. 

If you have any questions related to education law in Connecticut, please contact Joseph C. Maya, Esq. at (203) 221-3100 or e-mail him directly at JMaya@Mayalaw.com.

What Services Are Required for School-Aged Children with Autism in Connecticut?

Children with autism are eligible for special education and related services in Connecticut.  State and federal law does not require local school districts to provide particular services for children with autism.  These laws do require school districts to identify children with disabilities that affect their educational performance and provide them with a free and appropriate public education tailored to their individual needs.

Specific services for autistic children depend on his or her disability and individualized educational program.  This program is established by the child’s planning and placement team.  A planning and placement team is a group consisting of the child’s parents, teachers, and educational specialists that evaluate the child’s services annually.

If you have any questions related to education law in Connecticut, please contact Joseph C. Maya, Esq. at (203) 221-3100 or e-mail him directly at JMaya@Mayalaw.com.

No Child Left Behind – Connecticut

What is NCLB?

One of the legislative centerpieces of Federal Education Law is “The No Child Left Behind Act of 2001” (“NCLB”).  The Act is 670 pages in length and almost as controversial as it is long.   Therefore, parents should be familiar with at least its stated purpose and general provisions.  NCLB does not, however, give parents the right to sue on behalf of their children. 

NCLB funds Federal programs established by the U.S. Department of Education aimed at improving the performance of schools throughout the 50 states by imposing greater accountability on public schools, expanding parental choice in the school attended by their child, and placing increased emphasis on reading and math skills.  NCLB has as one of its focal points the improvement of schools and school districts serving students from low-income families.

The theory underlying enactment of NCLB was that improved educational programs would enable students to meet challenging state academic achievement standards and thereby achieve their full potential.  Among other areas, the Act funds programs and resources for disadvantaged students, delinquent and neglected youth in institutions, improving teacher and principal quality, use of technology in schools, and fostering a safe and drug-free learning environment.  One source of controversy is the fact that NCLB allows military recruiters access to the names, addresses, and telephone listings of 11th and 12th grade students if the school provides that information to colleges or employers. 

Stronger Test Standards

More specifically, NCLB requires states to strengthen test standards, to test annually all students in grades 3-8, and to establish annual statewide progress objectives to ensure that all students achieve proficiency within 12 years. There are no Federal standards of achievement; each state is required to set its own standards. Test results and state progress objectives must be stratified based upon poverty, race, ethnicity, disability, and English proficiency to ensure that “no child is left behind.”  Schools and school districts that fail to make “adequate yearly progress” are subject to corrective action and restructuring.  Adequate yearly progress means, for example, that each year a school’s fourth graders score higher on standardized tests than the previous year’s fourth graders.

What if a school underperforms?

Once a school has been identified under NCLB as requiring improvement, corrective action, or restructuring, local school officials must afford its students the opportunity (and transportation, if needed) to attend a better public school within the same school district.  Low-income students attending a “persistently failing school” (i.e., one failing to meet state standards for 3 out of the 4 preceding years) are eligible for funding to obtain supplemental educational services from either public or private schools selected by the student and his parents. 

Under-performing schools are highly incentivized to improve if they wish to avoid further loss of students (and an accompanying loss of funding).  A school that fails to make adequate yearly progress for five consecutive years is subject to reconstitution under a restructuring plan.

Simply stated, NCLB provides states and school districts unprecedented flexibility in their use of federal funds in return for more stringent accountability for increased teacher quality and improved student results.

Improving Reading Ability and Instruction

One of the stated goals of NCLB is that every child be able to read by the end of third grade.  To this end, the Federal government invested in scientifically based reading instruction programs to be implemented in the early grades.  An expected collateral benefit of this initiative is reduced identification of children requiring special education services resulting from a lack of appropriate reading instruction. 

NCLB funds screening and diagnostic assessments to identify K-3 students who are at risk of reading failure, and to better equip K-3 teachers in the essential components of reading instruction.  Funds are also available to support early language, literacy, and pre-reading development of pre-school age children.

In keeping with its major themes of accountability, choice, and flexibility, NCLB also emphasizes the use of practices grounded in scientifically based research to prepare, train, and recruit high-quality teachers.  Once again, local school administrators are afforded significant flexibility in teacher staffing, provided they can demonstrate annual progress in maintaining and enhancing the high-quality of their teachers.

Ensuring Safe School Environments

Finally, in an effort to ensure safe and drug-free schools, NCLB, as proposed, requires states to allow students who attend a persistently dangerous school, or who have been victims of violent crime at school, to transfer to a safe school.  To facilitate characterizing schools as “safe” or “not safe,” NCLB requires public disclosure of school safety statistics on a school-by-school basis.  In addition, school administrators must use federal funding to implement demonstrably effective drug and violence prevention programs.

It is within this overarching educational framework of NCLB that the State of Connecticut oversees and administers its constitutional and statutory obligations to educate your children.

Decision Suggests Educational Support Orders May Not Be Applied Retroactively

A case decided by the Connecticut Appellate Court, suggests Educational Support orders entered pursuant to Connecticut General Statutes § 46b-56c may not be entered retroactively.  In Kleinman v. Chapnick, 131 Conn. App. 812 (2011), the parties had two children who were over the age of eighteen and enrolled as full-time college students.  During the divorce proceedings, the parties’ older daughter was a senior and their younger daughter was a freshman.  In February 2010, after the parties entered into a final agreement on custody and visitation, a two-day trial ensued regarding financial issues.

As part of its decision, the Court ordered the husband to pay 100 percent of the statutory expenses for the education of the parties’ younger daughter beginning with the 2010-2011 school year.  As the Court did not enter an order with respect to the 2009-2010 school year, the wife filed a Motion to Clarify, Correct and/or Reargue.  The Court subsequently heard the wife’s motion, but declined to change its position.

On appeal, the Connecticut Appellate Court found that the husband made voluntary payments for the 2009-2010 school year that exceeded his statutory obligation under Conn. Gen. Stat. § 46b-56c.  More importantly, however, the Court held that Section 46b-56c contains no language authorizing retroactive application, pointing out that various provisions contained within the statute suggest that it is intended to apply prospectively only.  In a footnote, the Court further explained that child support orders cannot be retroactive, and an order for post-majority educational support is in fact an order for child support for college education.

Should you have any questions regarding educational support in the context of divorce proceedings, please feel free to contact Attorney Michael D. DeMeola.  He practices out of the firm’s Westport office and can be reached by telephone at (203) 221-3100 or email at mdemeola@maylaw.com.

Due Process Hearings and Mediation for Special Education Students

What is a due process hearing?

A due process hearing is a legal proceeding that ensures fairness in the decision-making process regarding your child. As a parent, if you disagree with a proposed or refused action pertaining to your child’s education, you or the school district may initiate a due process hearing to resolve the disagreement.

You may file a due process complaint within two (2) years of the time the school district proposes or refuses to: (a) consider or find that your child is disabled, (b) evaluate your child, (c) place your child in a school program that meets his or her unique individual needs or (d) provide your child with a free appropriate public education (FAPE) that meets your child’s needs. If your school district has not provided you with a copy of your rights to bring a complaint, then according to the Connecticut State Department of Education, the two-year limit shall not begin until you receive a copy.

This procedural safeguard manual may be available on the Department of Education website. You must forward a copy of the due process complaint to the appropriate state educational agency, which in Connecticut is the Due Process Unit of the Bureau of Special Education, State Department of Education. The complaint must include the name of your child, the address of the residence of your child, the name of the school your child is attending, a description of the nature of the problem, which includes any related facts of which you are aware, and a proposed resolution to the problem.

Notifying the Hearing Officer

The party receiving a request for a hearing has fifteen (15) days from the date of receiving the due process complaint to notify the hearing officer and the other party if they believe the request for the hearing does not include the required information as stated above. The hearing officer has five (5) days to make a determination as to the adequacy of the hearing request and whether it meets the necessary requirements. If the hearing officer finds the complaint to be inadequate, you will have to file a new complaint.

If the complaint is found to be adequate, your child’s school district must within ten (10) days send to you: an explanation of why the school proposed or refused to take the action raised in the complaint, a description of other options that the PPT team considered and the reasons why those options were rejected, a description of each evaluation procedure, assessment, record or report the school used as the basis for the proposed or refused action and a description of any other relevant facts the school relied upon in its proposed or refused action.

The LEA Meeting

Within fifteen (15) days of the school district receiving notice of the due process complaint and prior to the initiation of a hearing, the LEA must convene a meeting with you and other relevant members of the PPT team who have specific knowledge of the facts identified in the complaint.

The purpose of this meeting is for you as a parent to discuss the due process complaint, so that the LEA has the opportunity to resolve the dispute without having to begin a due process hearing. This meeting need not be held if both you and the school district agree in writing to waive the meeting. If the LEA has not resolved the issues expressed in the due process complaint to your satisfaction within thirty (30) days following receipt of notice of the complaint, the due process hearing may begin.

A final decision must be made by the hearing officer no later than forty-five (45) days after the expiration of the thirty (30) day period or adjusted time-periods if you failed to participate in the resolution meeting in a timely manner. A hearing officer may grant specific extensions of time beyond the forty-five (45) day period for certain reasons at the request of either party. The hearing must be conducted at a time and place that is convenient for both you and your child. A copy of the final decision must be mailed to each of the parties.

Rights and Restrictions in a Due Process Hearing

Both you and the school district have the right to be accompanied and advised by counsel during the course of a due process hearing. Both parties may also be accompanied by individuals with special knowledge or training with respect to children with disabilities. The parties may present evidence, as well as confront, cross-examine and compel the attendance of witnesses.

Moreover, you and the school district are precluded from introducing evidence at the hearing that has not been disclosed to the other party at least five (5) business days before the hearing. The hearing will be recorded and upon your request you may be provided at no cost with a written or electronic copy of the hearing, as well as the hearing decision.

Where will my child be placed during a proceeding with my child’s school?

While a due process proceeding is pending, your child shall remain in his or her current educational setting as of the time the hearing was requested, unless you and the school district agree otherwise. This provision is known as “stay-put.” There are, however, a few exceptions to the stay-put provision.

If you have filed for a due process hearing with respect to a disagreement over the removal of your child from his or her placement and into an interim alternative education setting for matters related to weapons, drugs or infliction of serious bodily harm, your child will remain in the interim alternative education setting while the hearing is pending. Stay-put does not apply if you are challenging a manifestation determination, as a placement may change during these proceedings.

What is mediation?

Mediation is an alternative process in which you may resolve a dispute that arises with your school district as it pertains to your child’s special education rights. Mediation is voluntary and both you and the school district must agree to enter into the mediation process. The mediation process must be held at a time and place that is convenient to the parties involved in the dispute.

During mediation the mediator will be present to help you and the school district resolve any disputes that are pending. If a dispute is resolved through the mediation process, both parties must execute a legally binding agreement that sets forth the resolution. This document is enforceable in court. Any discussions that occur during the mediation process, however, are confidential and may not be used as evidence in any subsequent due process hearings or civil actions. If the parties are unable to resolve the dispute through mediation, either party may proceed with a due process hearing.

The Connecticut State Department of Education, Bureau of Special Education, maintains a list of qualified mediators who are knowledgeable in laws and regulations pertaining to special education and related services. An individual who serves as a mediator may not be an employee of the school district that is involved in the education and care of your child and must not have a personal or professional interest that conflicts with their ability to be objective. The state will bear the cost of the mediation process. As in the case of a due process hearing, both parties at their own cost may be accompanied by an attorney to help in the mediation conference.

What is an advisory opinion?

Another alternative dispute resolution mechanism is an advisory opinion. This is a non-binding opinion issued by a hearing officer after consideration of a presentation given by both you and the school district. Since an advisory opinion is non-binding you may pursue other avenues to resolve the matter but it may be helpful in settling the dispute without having to go through a formal hearing process or mediation proceeding.

According to the Connecticut State Department of Education, no recording will be made of the advisory opinion process and the confidential opinion may not be used in future proceedings. You and the school district may both be accompanied by an attorney, as well as up to two witnesses that may participate in the advisory opinion process.

What is the special education complaint resolution process?

This procedural mechanism allows for a parent to file a written complaint with the Bureau of Special Education regarding allegations that your child’s local educational agency violated federal or state law pertaining to special education. This complaint must be filed within one (1) year of the time in which you believe your child’s school district has violated the law.

Your complaint should state that your child’s school district is failing to follow the IDEA or applicable Connecticut state law enacted to protect children with disabilities and recount the facts that form the basis of the complaint. Following an investigation, a written report as to the findings and conclusions will be mailed to you within sixty (60) days of your request.

What are my rights to an appeal? May I bring a civil action if I disagree with a decision?

After a decision is made in a hearing, there are two possible avenues of appeal. First, if the hearing was conducted by a public agency other than the state educational agency, which in Connecticut, is the State Department of Education, you may appeal to the state agency. The State Agency will then review the record, evidence and other items relating to the initial hearing and make a final decision.

The state agency decision is final unless one of the parties opts for the second avenue, which is to bring a civil action in either the Connecticut Superior Court or the United States District Court for the District of Connecticut. The party who brings such an action must do so within ninety (90) days from the date of the decision of the hearing officer or the State review official.

Our education law firm in Westport Connecticut serves clients with expulsion, discrimination, and general education law issues from all over the state including the towns of: Bethel, Bridgeport, Brookfield, Danbury, Darien, Easton, Fairfield, Greenwich, Monroe, New Canaan, New Fairfield, Newton, Norwalk, Redding, Ridgefield, Shelton, Sherman, Stamford, Stratford, Trumbull, Weston, Westport, and Wilton. We have the best education law attorneys in CT on staff that can help with your Connecticut or New York education issues today.

If you have any questions or would like to speak to an education law attorney about a pressing matter, please don’t hesitate to call our office at (203) 221-3100. We offer free consultations to all new clients.

Under the IDEA, Individualized Education Programs are Developed for Special Education Students

Once it is determined that your child is eligible for special education services under the IDEA, an individualized education program will be developed to meet the particular needs of your child. The term “individualized education program” or “IEP” is a written plan detailing your child’s special education program as designed by the Planning and Placement Team (PPT).

As a parent and member of your child’s PPT, it is vital that you influence and help develop your child’s IEP. The PPT must consider the strengths of your child, the concerns you have in enhancing the education of your child, the results of the initial or most recent evaluation of your child and the academic, developmental and functional needs of your child. Taking these factors into account allows for the PPT to create a specialized IEP geared toward providing your child with the best opportunity to satisfy their individual needs.

How is my child’s IEP developed?

A PPT meeting to develop your child’s IEP must be conducted within thirty (30) days following a determination that your child is eligible and in need of special education and related services. Subsequent to the development of your child’s IEP, special education and related services must be made available in accordance with his or her IEP.

What are the requirements that my child’s IEP must provide?

Detailed components of the content required in your child’s IEP are set out in the IDEA as follows:

  •  Statement of your child’s present levels of academic achievement and functional performance, including how your child’s disability affects his or her involvement and progress in the general education curriculum.
  • Statement of measurable annual goals, including academic and functional goals designed to meet your child’s educational needs pertaining to their disability and to ensure that your child be involved in and make progress in the general curriculum and meet other educational needs that result from his or her disability.
  • Description of how your child’s progress in meeting their annual goals will be measured and when periodic reports on the progress of your child meeting his or her annual goals will be provided.
  • Statement of the special education and related services to be provided to your child. This statement shall also include any supplemental aids and services to be provided to your child, as well as a statement of the program modification or supports for school personnel that will be provided for your child:
    • Advance appropriately toward him or her attaining their annual goals
    • Be involved in and make progress in the general education curriculum,
    • Participate in extracurricular and other nonacademic activities, and
    • Be educated and participate with other children with disabilities and nondisabled children.
  • Explanation of the extent, if any, to which your child will not participate with nondisabled children in the regular class and other school activities.
  • Statement of any individual appropriate accommodations necessary to measure through State and district-wide assessments the academic achievement and functional performance of your child. However, if the PPT determines that your child requires an alternate assessment they must state why and in which way the student will be assessed.
  • Statement of when the projected date for the beginning of special education services is to begin, along with the anticipated frequency, location and duration of those services.
  • Statement effective no later than the first PPT meeting that occurs after your child attains the age of 16, and updated annually thereafter regarding appropriate measurable postsecondary goals related to training, education, employment and where applicable, independent living skills. Moreover, at least one year prior to your child reaching the age of majority under State law, a statement must be made that your child has been informed of his or her rights, if any, under the IDEA that will transfer to him or her upon reaching majority.
IEP Accessibility 

Although the above requirements must be included in your child’s IEP, this list is not all-inclusive. Additional means in achieving the best possible educational plan for your child should be included whenever necessary. PPTs must satisfy each child’s unique needs and if necessary develop further activities beyond the expressed requirements to fully develop a child’s IEP. As a parent you must receive a copy of your child’s IEP at no cost within five (5) school days following any PPT meeting held to develop or revise your child’s IEP.

Your local educational agency must ensure that your child’s IEP is accessible to each regular education teacher, special education teacher and related service provider responsible for implementing the plan. Each teacher and provider must be informed of their specific responsibilities as it pertains to your child’s IEP and the specific accommodations, modifications, and support that must be provided for your child in accordance with their IEP needs.

Will my child’s IEP be reviewed? What is the process in revising my child’s IEP?

The IDEA sets forth rules concerning the review and revision of your child’s IEP. The local educational agency must ensure that the IEP team (PPT) reviews your child’s IEP periodically, but not less than annually, to determine whether the annual goals for your child are being achieved. Moreover, the local education agency is required to revise the IEP to appropriately address:
– Any lack of expected progress toward the annual goals,
– Any lack of expected progress in the general curriculum,
– The results of any evaluation,
– Information about your child provided by you as his or her parent, or
– Your child’s anticipated needs

The IDEA requires that your child’s regular education teacher, consistent with their membership on the PPT, participate in the review and revision of his or her IEP. In modifying your child’s IEP following an annual IEP meeting, a parent and the local educational agency may agree not to convene an additional IEP meeting to modify your child’s IEP and instead develop a written document to amend the current IEP. Parents should be provided within five (5) school days with a copy of the revised IEP following any amendments.

What will happen to my child’s IEP if he or she is to transfer schools?

If you are planning to move to a different school district within Connecticut or are being transferred to a new job out of state, there are procedures and regulations that the new local education agency must follow to allow for a smooth transition pertaining to your child’s IEP.

If your child had an IEP in effect and you enroll your child in a new school in Connecticut, the new school must provide FAPE, which includes services comparable to those provided by your child’s prior school as described in his or her IEP. The new school district must adhere to your child’s IEP from their prior school until the new school adopts it as its own IEP, or develops, adopts and implements a new IEP that meets all the requirements described in the IDEA and applicable state law. Similar procedures and requirements apply to your child’s IEP if you are relocating to a new state.

However, the school district in your new state may conduct their own evaluation in accordance with the IDEA to determine if it is necessary to develop, adopt and/or implement a new IEP, in accordance with the IDEA and the new State’s law.

In transitioning your child from one school to another, the new school must take reasonable steps to promptly obtain your child’s records, which include their IEP and any other supporting documents relating to their special education needs. Your child’s former school district must take reasonable steps to respond to the records request from the new school that your child is enrolled in.

Our education law firm in Westport Connecticut serves clients with expulsion, discrimination, and general education law issues from all over the state including the towns of: Bethel, Bridgeport, Brookfield, Danbury, Darien, Easton, Fairfield, Greenwich, Monroe, New Canaan, New Fairfield, Newton, Norwalk, Redding, Ridgefield, Shelton, Sherman, Stamford, Stratford, Trumbull, Weston, Westport, and Wilton. We have the best education law attorneys in CT on staff that can help with your Connecticut or New York education issues today.

If you have any questions or would like to speak to an education law attorney about a pressing matter, please don’t hesitate to call our office at (203) 221-3100. We offer free consultations to all new clients.