Special Education/School Law

Special Education

Provide advice and training to schools and administrative offices on the federal and state legal requirements relating to the identification, evaluation, programming, placement and transportation of students with disabilities, and advice to ensure compliance with these legal mandates
Represent the School District in special education due process matters before the Office for Dispute Resolution and in proceedings convened before the Office of Civil Rights and the Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission and at meetings to establish students’ Individualized Education Programs
Coordinate and supervise the work of outside counsel representing the School District in special education due process matters

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School Law FAQs

Question:  May my child be suspended for 10 days for a school code violation without an informal hearing that includes the parents?

Answer: Yes. The principal or his/her designee must inform the student who is going to be suspended of the alleged violation as well as give the student a chance to respond. After that conference with the student, the principal or designee must then send the parent the notice of the suspension, including the length of the suspension and the day that the student can return to school.

Question:  May a child who is home-schooled participate in extra-curricular activities?

Answer: Yes. Pennsylvania law provides for this as long as the activities are classified as extra-curricular.


Special Education FAQs

Question:  What is a due process hearing?

Answer:  A due process hearing is an administrative legal proceeding before a neutral state-appointed hearing officer. This type of hearing can be requested by a parent or the District to resolve a dispute about a student’s eligibility or identification under IDEA, the educational placement of a student or the provision of free appropriate public education to a student.

Question:  What is a “Service Agreement?”

Answer: A Service Agreement is also called a “Section 504 Service Agreement.” These agreements come from Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, which requires the District to provide “reasonable accommodations” to students who demonstrate that they have a disability that significantly impacts school performance. This agreement is not the same as an IEP under IDEA.