What is a 504 Plan?

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What is a 504 Plan?

Section 504 plans get their name from Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, which is a federal law designed to prevent any student with a disability from discrimination due to their disability. Students who qualify for a 504 plan cannot be denied the opportunity to participate in any aid, benefit, services, and/or activities that are available for students without disabilities and must receive a “free and appropriate public education” (FAPE). This includes school sponsored non-academic and extracurricular services and activities. 

Who is eligible for a 504 Plan?

Under the federal and state special education laws, a student is deemed eligible for an IEP after a two-pronged test:

1) Does the student have a recognized disability?
2) Is the student not making effective progress because of the disability, or does the student need specialized instruction and/or related services to make effective progress in the general curriculum?

If the answer to both tests is “yes”, an IEP is required. If not, a Section 504 plan may be considered.

To be eligible for individualized assistance under Section 504, a student must have a disability that “substantially limits” one or more “major life activities.” The major difference between a 504 plan and an IEP is that, for a 504 plan, the student does NOT need specialized instruction to make effective progress. Instead, the student may need only accommodations (such as additional time, special seating, or sensory breaks) and/or related services (such as a reading program, speech and language services, or occupational therapy) in order to access the general curriculum.

How does a 504 plan differ from an IEP?

  • There is no accountability for the goals, accommodations, etc. being implemented and achieved. 
  • There is no requirement that the 504 plan be written.
  • There is no requirement for progress reporting during the school year. 
  • There is no requirement to do transition planning for the student. 
  • There are no disciplinary protections for the student for any behavior and/or conduct violations. 
  • The individual is entitled to lifetime access to any program or activity that either receives Federal funding or is conducted by an Executive agency or the United States Postal Service. 

Have questions or concerns about your child's education? Contact us to discuss further:

E.M. Curran & Associates LLC

10 Tower Office Park
Suite 406
Woburn, MA 01801
Phone: 781-933-1542
Fax: 781-933-1549
ellen@emcurranlegal.com

It’s a topic that many of us try to avoid – our deaths. Are you prepared?

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Being proactive and planning for your family’s future is a necessity in today’s world. If you do not take the time to plan, the state will step in and dictate what happens to your worldly possessions. In general, most estate plans will include at a minimum a combination of the following legal documents:

Durable Power of Attorney:

A durable power of attorney is a document whereby one person, the principal, appoints another person, the agent or attorney-in-fact, to act as his or her attorney-in-fact. The person serving need not be an attorney so, to some extent, the term “attorney” is a misnomer. The attorney-in-fact, in effect, stands in the shoes of the principal and acts for him or her on financial, business, or other matters.

Health Care Proxy:

A Health Care Proxy is a legal document that allows you to name someone you know and trust to make health care decisions for you if, and only if, you are unable to make or communicate those decisions yourself.

Living Wills:

A living will sets forth the specific written instructions of the principal regarding his or her treatment preferences in various hypothetical situations. Living wills tend to focus on end-of-life situations and decisions about pursuing or terminating treatment, including life-sustaining measures.

Declaration of Homestead:

The Homestead Act allows Massachusetts homeowners to protect their home from future creditors.  The Act was updated and effective as of March 16, 2011. The updated Act allows homeowners to choose between an Automatic Homestead, which is effective without a written declaration and a written Declaration of Homestead. The amount of the Automatic Homestead protection is $125,000. When a written Declaration of Homestead is filed the exemption increases to $500,000. Both the homeowner and his/her spouse must sign the declaration form.

Contact Attorney Curran to discuss your options: 

10 Tower Office Park
Suite 406
Woburn, MA 01801
Phone: 781-933-1542
Fax: 781-933-1549
ellen@emcurranlegal.com

 

Fences. They make good neighbors ... right?

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Before you install or build a fence…

  1. Verify if your town requires a building permit. If so apply for the permit and obtain it before doing any work.
  2. Hire a licensed and insured land surveyor to verify the boundary lines. Here is a useful resource to find out more information about land surveyors http://www.malsce.org/index.cfm/pid/10365
  3. Do you have good relationship with your neighbor? Have a conversation with them about your wish to have a fence installed and where you will be installing it. If your neighbor has no issue move forward with your plans.

If your neighbor has a problem with your plans to install a fence …

1. What is the neighbor’s real issue -is it the location of the fence or the presence of the fence?

2. If your neighbor’s issue is with the location of the fence, try to ascertain your neighbor’s basis so of knowledge of where he thinks the line should be.

3. You have a few options:

  • Speak to your surveyor about the dispute. How confident is he/she about where the line should be?
  • Ask the surveyor to come and explain his methodology to both you and your neighbor at the same time.
  • Suggest that your neighbor have his own survey done.

If you are still unable to resolve the dispute with your neighbor, you should contact an attorney to discuss further options. 

E.M. Curran & Associates LLC

10 Tower Office Park
Suite 406
Woburn, MA 01801
Phone: 781-933-1542
Fax: 781-933-1549
ellen@emcurranlegal.com

Early Intervention vs. Special Education - Why 3 is an important age.

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Not every child who receives Early Intervention will receive Special Education Services. So how do you know what to do and when to ensure your child receives every education opportunity they should receive? There are several topics and areas to be aware of while navigating this process. Here are just a few of them. 

The differences between Early Intervention and Special Education

  • Early Intervention is family centered while Special Education is child centered.
  • Early Intervention services are for  children up to age 3 with developmental delays. 
  • Special Education is for children, with specific diagnoses listed in the law, from age 3 to 22 who need specialized instruction to make effective progress and/or related services to access the curriculum. 

Transition Planning Conference

There are 5 transition steps from early intervention to special education services. The Transition Planning Conference is just one of those steps. 

  • Occurs between 2.3 and 2.9 years old
  • Includes Early Intervention and school staff
  • Special Education eligibility is NOT determined at this meeting (that only happens at a school district Team meeting).
  • Discuss concerns about your child and evaluation process
  • Ask about signing a consent form for school to perform an evaluation. 

The special education eligibility

1. Does the child have a disability listed in the law?

2. Is the child making less progress over time than same age peers?

3. Does the child require specially designed instruction and/or related services to make effective progress?

ALL 3 answers must be YES to receive special education services. You do have rights if you disagree with the outcome. 

Contact Attorney Curran to discuss in more detail what you should do if you believe your young child may need Special Education services. 

10 Tower Office Park
Suite 406
Woburn, MA 01801
Phone: 781-933-1542
Fax: 781-933-1549
ellen@emcurranlegal.com

Tips and Information about the IEP Team Meeting

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So much needs to go into preparing for the IEP Team Meeting. Here are just a few pieces of advice and information to be aware of:

Who is the IEP Team?

According to IDEA 2004, Section 1414(d)(1)(B), the IEP team includes: 

(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 . . .

(v) an individual who can interpret the instructional implications of evaluation results . . .

(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.

Parent/Student Concerns Statement

The district needs to include this statement in its entirety as written by the parent/student. Take some time and really think about it. Prepare it in advance and either email it to the proper person or bring a copy to the IEP meeting so they can incorporate it.  Include your greatest concerns, hopes for the student’s accomplishments, concerns regarding the student’s services and/or concerns regarding last year’s IEP. Try and keep this statement as clear, complete but concise as possible. It should not a recap of the child’s entire educational history but a good overview. Try and incorporate some positive statements so that this statement is not perceived as being completely negative or argumentative.

To accept or reject the IEP

It is never advisable to reject the IEP in full. If you reject the IEP in full then the student is no longer eligible for Special Education. The best option is to accept in part and reject in part. It is always better for the student to receive some services (versus none) while the parties work out any conflicts. The District must report a partially or fully rejected IEP to DESE. DESE will send a letter to the parent outlining options to resolve the issues. If a response to a proposed IEP is not received within 30 calendar days, it is considered rejected.  

Do not be concerned if your advocate/attorney seem too friendly with the other side…

Your advocate/attorney agreed to work with you and support you. Do not mistake professionalism and civility as being ‘too friendly’ or a lack of dedication to your side.  Attorneys, and advocates, have an ethical obligation to zealously defend their clients. To do their job well, your attorney/advocate needs to maintain their emotions. If your attorney/advocate is seen as unreasonable or reactionary then the school district may not be willing to work with them.

Student Participation

Students are the focus of special education and, as they grow, students are expected to participate in planning for their own future as much as possible. Students at age 14 are entitled to participate in all Team Meetings. Students at age 18 are adults under Massachusetts law and assume all rights formerly held by their parents for participation and decision making. The student at age 18 will be given the option of assuming all responsibilities, delegating decision-making to their parent/guardian or sharing decision-making with their parent/guardian.

Contact Attorney Curran to arrange an IEP Checkup for your child. This service includes an in-depth examination of your child’s IEP, the most recent school and/or private evaluations of your child, and any other significant records, as well as an initial telephone or in-person consultation.

10 Tower Office Park
Suite 406
Woburn, MA 01801
Phone: 781-933-1542
Fax: 781-933-1549
ellen@emcurranlegal.com

Want some legal assistance but not a full-time lawyer?

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If you have ever tried going it alone and represented yourself in a legal matter before, you were called a pro se party. As a pro se party you had to figure out for yourself, the legal system as well as all the ins and outs of the rules and pleadings that were necessary. E.M. Curran & Associates LLC can help you with your legal matters in a limited capacity this is called Limited Assistance Representation or L.A.R.  We can provide guidance on the rules of the court, help you fill out forms, review documents and give you feedback, help you draft responses and/or motions, and in some instances we can appear in court with you to help you with a certain part of the case.

Click here to read more about Limited Assistance Representation in Massachusetts

Limited Assistance Representation is much more economical and cost-efficient. The attorney and party enter into a detailed agreement defining what specific and limited tasks the attorney will be responsible for and what tasks the party will be responsible for. Rather than paying for months or even years of legal representation, you can seek legal advice for select issues or tasks such as but not limited to:

  1. Document review: thoroughly review documents, pleadings and other written materials and discuss and explain the content to you.

  2. Consultation/Coaching: evaluate, analyze and help develop a strategy for a particular situation; given you legal advice and inform you of your options.

  3. Specific Services: assist you with a specific service such as ghost-writing a response/letter or legal research about the laws and the relevant cases.

  4. Limited-Scope Attorney Appearance: in very limited instances we can appear in court with you to help you with a certain part of the case.

Contact Attorney Curran to discuss any legal issues you may:

10 Tower Office Park
Suite 406
Woburn, MA 01801
Phone: 781-933-1542
Fax: 781-933-1549
ellen@emcurranlegal.com

Sign up for a Special Education Workshop

The best thing a parent/guardian of a special needs child can do is educate themselves so that they know what their child's rights are as related to Education matters.  Attend a free workshop offered by our experienced staff. 

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Some of the workshop topics we could cover include:

1. What are your rights as a parent/guardian in Special Education?

2. Is your child with an IEP being Suspend or Disciplined? 

3. Transition Planning - Who, When, How and Why

4. The "Nuts & Bolts" of an IEP

5. Early Intervention vs. Special Education - The Importance of Turning Three

Please let us know which topic you would be interested in and we will let you know the dates/times/locations of future workshops. 

E.M. Curran & Associates LLC

10 Tower Office Park
Suite 406
Woburn, MA 01801
Phone: 781-933-1542
Fax: 781-933-1549
ellen@emcurranlegal.com

 

 

"Fake" Service Animals could soon cost their owner a fine or community service...

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Republican State Rep. Kim Ferguson of Holden is sponsoring a bill that would penalize those who say their animals are service dogs when they’re not. The proposed changes were discussed on Tuesday, September 12th and it is expected that Massachusetts lawmakers should swiftly codify into law.  

The proposed changes to Chapter 272 of the General Laws would state in relevant part: 

Section 98B. (d) It shall be a civil infraction for any individual to misrepresent a pet dog as a service dog. A violation of this section occurs when:

(1) An individual expressly or impliedly represents that a dog in his or her possession is his or her service dog or a service-dog-in-training for the purpose of obtaining any rights or privileges afforded disabled persons accompanied by service dogs, but unavailable to people and their pets, and

(2) Said individual knew or should have known that the dog in question did not meet the definition of a service animal or service-animal-in-training.

(3) It is an intentional misrepresentation and a violation of this section for an individual to take a dog into a place of public accommodation where pets are not permitted, and the dog is wearing a cape, vest, special leash, or other form of identification that states or implies that the dog is a service dog entitled to be present, even if the individual makes no affirmative statements.

(e) Any police or animal control officer may investigate and enforce this section by making inquiry of the individual accompanied by the dog in question and issuing a citation. Refusal by the individual to answer the permissible questions shall create a presumption that the dog is not a service dog and the officer may issue the citation and require the individual to remove the dog from the place of public accommodation.

(f) A person who violates this section commits a civil infraction, punishable by 30 hours of community service for an organization that serves individuals with disabilities, or for another entity or organization at the discretion of the court, to be completed in not more than 6 months and/or pay a fine no more than $500.

Click here to read the full text of the proposed bill:  https://malegislature.gov/Bills/190/H2277 

Click here to read more about service dogs in Massachusetts: http://www.mass.gov/ago/consumer-resources/your-rights/civil-rights/disability-rights/information-about-service-animals.html

National Suicide Prevention Week Sept. 10-17th

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What leads to suicide?

There’s no single cause for suicide. Suicide most often occurs when stressors exceed current coping abilities of someone suffering from a mental health condition. Depression is the most common condition associated with suicide, and it is often undiagnosed or untreated. Conditions like depression, anxiety and substance problems, especially when unaddressed, increase risk for suicide. Yet it’s important to note that most people who actively manage their mental health conditions lead fulfilling lives.

Suicide Warning Signs

Something to look out for when concerned that a person may be suicidal is a change in behavior or the presence of entirely new behaviors. This is of sharpest concern if the new or changed behavior is related to a painful event, loss, or change. Most people who take their lives exhibit one or more warning signs, either through what they say or what they do.

Here are are some resources to learn more about Suicide:

MA Dept of Health and Human Services

MA Coalition for Suicide Prevention

MA: Suicide Prevention Resource Center

When was the last time your child's IEP had a check-up?

To meet its substantive obligation under the IDEA, a school must offer an IEP reasonably calculated to enable a child to make progress appropriate in light of the child’s circumstances.
— Chief Justice John Roberts, U.S. Supreme Court decision, Endrew F. v. Douglas County Schools, March 22, 2017.
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What is an IEP?

The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) requires that public schools create an Individualized Education Plan (IEP) for every child receiving special educations services. The IEP is meant to address each child’s individual and unique learning issues and include specific educational goals. It is a contract, so it is a legally binding document. The school must provide everything it promises in the IEP to the student.  

What must an IEP include, by law:

By law, the IEP must include certain information about the child and the educational program designed to meet his or her unique needs. Here is a brief overview of what this information is:

Current performance. The IEP must state how the child is currently doing in school. This statement is based on data obtained from classroom tests and assignments, individual tests given to decide eligibility for services or during reevaluation, and observations made by parents, teachers, related service providers, and other school staff. The statement about "current performance" should explain how the child's disability affects his or her involvement and progress in the general curriculum.

Annual goals. These are goals that the child can reasonably accomplish in a year. The goals are broken down into short-term objectives called benchmarks. Goals may be academic, address social or behavioral needs, relate to physical needs, or address other educational needs. The goals must be measurable-meaning that it should be Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Timely.

Special education and related services. The IEP must list the special education and related services to be provided to the child or on behalf of the child. This includes supplementary aids and services that the child needs. It also includes modifications or changes to the program or supports for school personnel-such as training or professional development-that will be provided to assist the child.

Dates and places. The IEP must state when services will begin, how often they will be provided, where they will be provided, and how long they will last. This information is often broken down on a ‘service grid.’

Measuring progress. The IEP must state how the child's progress will be measured and how parents will be informed of that progress.

The IEP must also address the following areas/topics:

  • Participation with non-disabled children
  • Participation in state and district-wide tests
  • Transition service needs
  • Needed transition services
  • Age of majority

The IEP and your child:

The IEP should not be identical year in and year out. It should reflect where the child is currently. Goals should be reviewed and changed as the child’s needs and achievements change. This is usually done once a year at the Annual Team Meeting but if you believe the IEP is no longer addressing your child’s needs, you may request a Team Meeting sooner.

What can E.M. Curran & Associates LLC do for you and your child(ren)? 

After an initial consultation, we will perform an in-depth review of your child's most current IEP as well as the past two years’ worth of IEPs, any and all current school or independent evaluations, as well as any other significant records/reports/etc.

We will then schedule either a meeting, either in person or telephonic; whichever is most convenient for you to discuss our findings and recommendations. The cost of this service is dependent upon the age of your child and the amount of materials that need to be reviewed. 

Contact Attorney Curran to see how we may be able to help you:

10 Tower Office Park
Suite 406
Woburn, MA 01801
Phone: 781-933-1542
Fax: 781-933-1549
ellen@emcurranlegal.com

Need a clean slate? CORI Sealing

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WHAT IS CORI? 

A Criminal Offender Record Information (CORI) is a record of all criminal court appearances in Massachusetts for a particular individual, including arrests, convictions, dismissals, and serious violations. Your CORI report is a summary of all your criminal cases in Massachusetts state courts. CORI does not include restraining orders or other non-criminal matters. Criminal records can make it hard to find a job, get housing or have a good life. Even if your criminal record is old, ti can create problems for you.

There are ways to reduce the impact of a CORI on daily life. In any case, removing an offense from your CORI requires getting a court order.

SEALING RECORDS

Most criminal records can be sealed eventually through an administrative process by mail or by a judge. Most misdemeanors and felony convictions from a Massachusetts state court can be sealed after a waiting period. The general rule is that you are eligible to seal a conviction after a waiting period of 5 years if it is a misdemeanor conviction, and after 10 years if it is a felony conviction provided that:

  • You have no new conviction(s) (except for motor vehicle convictions with a fine not greater than $50) during the same period in or outside of Massachusetts; AND
  • You did not serve a jail sentence during the same period in or outside of Massachusetts, AND
  • You are not now required to register as a sex offender.

Every time you are convicted or incarcerated, the clock re-starts to add another 5 years for a misdemeanor, and 10 years for a felony. 

Contact Attorney Curran to see how we may be able to help you:

10 Tower Office Park
Suite 406
Woburn, MA 01801
Phone: 781-933-1542
Fax: 781-933-1549
ellen@emcurranlegal.com

It's Back to School Time!

 

Here are some tips and suggestions to start the school year off on the right foot:

1.      Review your child’s current IEP

The IEP is the foundation of your child's educational program, so it's important that you have a clear understanding of it. Take the time to review your child’s IEP before the school year begins to make sure it still ‘fulfills’ the needs of your child. If you are unsure, contact the school and ask for a TEAM Meeting to discuss how the child has progressed and/or regressed since the writing of the IEP. Be sure that you mark on the calendar when the IEP expires and if your child is up for re-evaluation this year so that you can plan ahead and be prepared.

2.     Set up routines

With some children, just talking about the upcoming year and changes can help reduce some of that back-to-school anxiety! While other children, they would benefit from a clearly established routine to help alleviate their anxiety. You can even begin practicing your new schedule, focusing on morning and evening routines, and begin implementing them well in advance of the first day of school.

3.     Introduce yourself   

Make sure you introduce yourself to each individual who will be working with your child and not just the classroom teacher – the aide, speech/language, OT/PT, job coaches etc. Share with each individual, a “3-Minute” overview of your child. What are the child’s strengths, likes, positives? What are some interventions that work with your child? Share your contact information and willingness to be a partner and support in your child’s success in school. Be involved in school events such as Open House, Fundraiser/Community events, and parent-teacher conferences to help you and your child get a feel for the school and meet the teachers, other staff, students, and families.

 4.     Start a communication log

Keeping track of all phone calls, e-mails, notes home, meetings, and conferences is important. Create a "communication log" for yourself in a notebook that is easily accessible. Be sure to note the dates, times, and nature of the communications you have.

Also ask the teacher how they usually communicate with families. Do they send home a log (how frequently)? Do they send out weekly emails?  Find out what they are able to do and establish a clear request for that to happen regarding your child. Remember, teachers are busy so they cannot report on everything. You should expect highlights, summaries and when appropriate concerns.

Contact Attorney Curran to discuss any school related issues your child may have.

E.M. Curran & Associates LLC

10 Tower Office Park
Suite 406
Woburn, MA 01801
Phone: 781-933-1542
Fax: 781-933-1549
ellen@emcurranlegal.com

Top 5 ways to keep children engaged during the summer...

Often a student will have some regression over the summer months. There are several things that parents/guardians can do to help with this... 

#5 - Active reading

Check out your local library for reading events, activities or summer book clubs. If you cannot find one appropriate for your child, set one up with your own children or a group of your child's friends. 

#4 - Active engagement

Make sure your child is still engaging in appropriate social interactions during the summer. If your child has skill sets they are working on, ask their teacher for some worksheets or suggestions that can be done at home. 

#3 - Active critical thinking

Going away or have a family member or friend not too close? Have you child write letters, stories and/or postcards to this person that requires them to use their writing skills as well as their brains to critically think about what to say and how to say it. 

#2 - Active bodies

Encourage play and time spent outside during the summer instead of electonics. Something as simple as a scavenger hunt or a bingo game based on items found in your child's usual environment can reinforce content they have been taught and/or just show an interest in.

#1 -  Active communities

Reach out to your local schools, recreation departments and children friendly businesses to see if they have summer programs and/or volunteer positions open. 

Contact Attorney Curran to discuss any school related issues your child may have.

E.M. Curran & Associates LLC

10 Tower Office Park
Suite 406
Woburn, MA 01801
Phone: 781-933-1542
Fax: 781-933-1549
ellen@emcurranlegal.com

April is Autism Awareness Month...

 Autism was first described by Leo Kanner in 1943. There is no single known cause for Autism, or autism spectrum disorder. Autism is displayed in many ways depending on the individual. It may appear as challenges with social skills, repetitive behaviors, speech and nonverbal communication, as well as by unique strengths and differences. Autism comes in many forms, caused by different combinations of genetic and environmental influences. The term “spectrum” reflects the wide variation in challenges and strengths possessed by each person with autism.

Autism’s most-obvious signs tend to appear between 2 and 3 years of age. In some cases, it can be diagnosed as early as 18 months. Some developmental delays associated with autism can be identified and addressed even earlier. According to the Autism Society, about 1% of the world population has autism spectrum disorder.

Goals of Autism treatment should include: fostering development, promoting learning, and reducing rigidity, eliminating maladaptive behaviors and alleviating family distress. Instructional strategies should provide structure; consider the social and sensory demands of each activity and environment; and apply strategies in response to the child’s specific area of need. The law mandates that specific academic goals should relate to the child’s cognitive and functional level, and the program should be provided in the least restrictive environment.

 

Call the firm today to schedule a consultation:

E. M. Curran & Associates LLC
10 Tower Office Park
Suite 406
Woburn, Massachusetts 01810

(781) 933 -1542
 

What does Endrew F. mean for your student...

On March 22nd the United States Supreme Court unanimously ruled in favor of Special Education students in Endrew F. V. Douglas County School District.  School districts must give students with disabilities the chance to make meaningful, "appropriately ambitious" progress. The case focuses on a student from Colorado with autism and attention deficit disorder (ADD) whose parents removed him from public school in fifth grade. He was placed in a private school where he made substantial progress. His parents argued that the individualized education plan (IEP) offered by the public school was inadequate and that as a result the district did not meet the requirements of the Individuals with Disabilities Act (IDEA) thereby, denying the student of a free and appropriate public education (FAPE).  The parents were suing the school district to have the district pay for the student’s private school tuition. The Supreme Court ruled in favor of the parents/student.

In delivering the opinion on behalf of the unanimous  Court, Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. said in relevant part, “when all is said and done, a student offered an educational program providing ‘merely more than de minimis’ progress from year to year can hardly be said to have been offered an education at all.” The importance of this case means that schools and their districts need to be held to a higher standard than currently exists. In addition, Roberts stated in the opinion, “a child’s education program must be appropriately ambitious in light of his circumstances, just as advancement from grade to grade is appropriately ambitious for most children in the regular classroom… the goals may differ, but every child should have the chance to meet challenging in objectives.”

In light of this decision, parents, guardians and advocates need to evaluate the adequacy of a student’s IEP based on the “unique circumstances of the child for whom it was created.” More should be expected of schools and their districts. Every child, whether they have a disability or not, should be provided a meaningful education so that they may reach their full potential and live lives as independent as possible based on their unique abilities.

Call the firm today to schedule a consultation:

E. M. Curran & Associates LLC
10 Tower Office Park
Suite 406
Woburn, Massachusetts 01810
(781) 933 -1542

How to Choose an Education Attorney

There have been many recent changes in the U.S. Department of Education, most notably the appointment of Betsy DeVos as Secretary of Education. DeVos’ background does not include any studies or work experience in the field of Education. Ms. Devos’ education experience comes from being a political activist. She has publicly promoted ‘educational choice’ for families in the form of school vouchers. For further information on her interview please review the interview’s transcript.

Additionally, there have been significant changes to the U.S. Department of Education’s website since Ms. Devos’s appointment. The most relevant changes have been to the Laws and Guidance section which has seen the removal and/or replacement of several areas such as the guidance links for the IDEA.

It is important now, more than ever, to have an Education attorney/advocate that you can consult with and turn to when issues arise regarding a student’s right to special education services, gender equality, and a safe and welcoming school environment. You should consider many factors when selecting an attorney, including the following:

  • The attorney’s experience in school law.
  • The attorney’s experience and knowledge of education practices in the classroom.
  • The attorney’s experience and knowledge of working with students with special needs.
  • The attorney’s willingness to play a dual role as a guide you from the sidelines, when needed, and as a zealous and vocal advocate , when more deliberate negotiations are needed.
  • The attorney’s fee structure, whether the fee is the same for any time of day and whether it includes all of the necessary support services.

Call the firm today to schedule a consultation:

E. M. Curran & Associates LLC
10 Tower Office Park
Suite 406
Woburn, Massachusetts 01810
(781) 933 -1542