Posts tagged with "education law attorney"

What You Should Know About a Special Education IEP in Connecticut

If your child is determined to be eligible for special education services in Connecticut, you will have to begin the process of developing an individualized education program (IEP) to meet your child’s specific needs. The IEP is a written plan that describes your child’s special education program.

To develop an IEP, you will have assistance from the Planning and Placement Team (PPT).  As a parent, you are an integral part of the team that can shed light on the personal specific needs of your child. Alongside yourself, the PPT will consist of at least one of your child’s regular education teachers, at least one of your child’s special education teachers, related service providers such as a therapist, and someone from the school district such as the Director of Special Education.

Before you meet with the PPT to develop your child’s IEP, there is some significant planning that should be done.  For instance, parents are encouraged to do the following before their child’s IEP meeting:

  • Talk to your child about their thoughts and feelings about school
  • Make a list of your child’s strengths and weaknesses and set realistic goals for the school year
  • Ask for a copy of your child’s school records and review them carefully, you have a right to receive a free copy upon 5 days advance written request
  • Make sure all necessary evaluations have been completed
  • Think about inviting professionals who will support your suggestions about your child’s IEP or placement
  • Make a written plan of what you are going to say in the meeting
  • Record the meeting either visually or with a tape recorder

After the meeting, the IEP for your child will be developed and should include most, if not all, of the following elements:

  • The present level of education and functional performance
  • Measurable educational goals and objectives
  • Evaluation procedures and performance criteria
  • Accommodations your child needs to participate in general education curriculum
  • Special education needs and related services
  • The date services will begin and end
  • The length of the school day and year
  • Recommended instructional settings
  • A description of how your child will take statewide tests
  • Transitional goals

Once this plan is developed and submitted, it generally will not be changed without participating in another PPT meeting.  However, in some situations, changes may be made without a PPT meeting if you and the school agree to them.  After the plan is developed, the PPT will recommend placement in a special education program and related services. Such placement could include regular classes with supportive aids, special classes, special schools, your home, a hospital, and residential programs.  In Connecticut, each special education child will be placed in the “least restrictive environment” possible for a beneficial education.

Finally, your child must be reevaluated once every three years, unless you and the school agree otherwise; before any significant change in placement; and before a determination is made that your child is no longer eligible for special education.

Developing a special education IEP is very labor and detailed intensive.  There are many steps to ensuring a proper IEP is developed and that the PPT recommends appropriate placement for your child.  It can be very beneficial to have an experience educational law attorney on your side throughout the IEP development process.  With decades of experience and extensive knowledge on the intricacies of Special Education IEP development, the educational law attorneys at Maya Murphy, P.C. are here to help you every step of the way.  From planning to placement, Maya Murphy can ensure you and your child’s needs are appropriately documented and taken care of.  Contact Joseph Maya at 203-221-3100 or by email at JMaya@MayaLaw.com to schedule a free consultation today.

School District Was Not on Notice of Inappropriate Teacher Conduct with Student; Negligence Action Dismissed

Seven years ago yesterday, the Superior Court of Connecticut in the Judicial District of Middletown handed down its decision in a lawsuit filed by a former student (plaintiff) against the Town of Clinton as well as the board of education. In this case, the plaintiff “brought a direct claim against the defendants, alleging failure to supervise and negligent supervision” in violation of state law,[1] leading to his sexual abuse by a teacher while he was in fifth, sixth, and seventh grades.

A municipality’s liability for negligent acts or omissions depends on whether they “require the exercise of judgment or discretion as an official function of the authority expressly or impliedly granted by law.”[2] In other words, acts that must be performed by the dictates of State law, thus prohibiting discretion, may result in liability if negligently performed; if discretion is permitted, liability will not attach unless one of three exceptions applies. Historically, Connecticut courts have held that “the duty of the defendant [school district] to supervise students is a discretionary, governmental duty.”[3] In addition, employer conduct with respect to failure to screen, hire, train, supervise, control, and discipline constitutes “discretionary acts as a matter of law.”[4]

In this case, the plaintiff contended that under Connecticut law,[5] the defendants “had no discretion not to conduct a continuous teacher evaluation.”[6] Though the defendants agreed with the statutory mandate, it asserted that “the manner in which such an evaluation is conducted is discretionary.”[7] The duty to act claimed by the plaintiff surrounded the use of the phrase “might have crossed the line,” stated by the teacher to a colleague in regards to her relationship with the plaintiff. However, the Court found that “[t]here was absolutely no other evidence presented… to suggest any other way in which the defendants would be in any way on notice of any inappropriate conduct between [the teacher] and the plaintiff.”[8] After further concluding that no exception to governmental immunity for discretionary acts applied, the Court granted the defendant’s motion for summary judgment.

Should you have any questions regarding school liability or any other education law matter, the attorneys at Maya Murphy, P.C., are experienced and knowledgeable school law practitioners and assist clients in Bridgeport, Darien, Fairfield, Greenwich, New Canaan, Norwalk, Stamford, and Westport. If you have any questions or need more information, please do not hesitate to contact Attorney Joseph C. Maya. He may be reached at Maya Murphy, P.C., 266 Post Road East, Westport, Connecticut (located in Fairfield County), by telephone at (203) 221-3100, or by email at JMaya@mayalaw.com.

Written by Lindsay E. Raber, Esq.


[1] Connecticut General Statutes § 52-557n.

[2] Id. at (a)(2)(B).

[3] Jane Doe v. Board of Education of the City of New Haven, 76 Conn. App. 296, 300 (2003).

[4] Hughes v. City of Hartford, 96 F. Supp. 2d 114, 119 (D.Conn. 2000).

[5] Connecticut General Statutes § 10-151(b).

[6] Lingos v. Town of Clinton et al., 2005 Conn. Super. LEXIS 2746 at 7.

[7] Id.

[8] Id. at 8.