Related to: Public School

Happy Special Education Day!

Happy Special Education Day! Looking Ahead to the Biden Administration.

Happy National Special Education Day! Today commemorates the anniversary of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (formerly the Education for all Handicapped Children Act) being signed into law in 1975. This was truly a historic milestone. Until then, many children with disabilities were excluded from school. The IDEA was enacted to ensure that every child…

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Disciplining students while in remote, hybrid learning? Keep these points in mind

Disciplining students while in remote, hybrid learning? Keep these points in mind

Discipline is a school’s system designed to minimize disruption and promote positive social interaction. This is achieved through behavior management techniques such as positive reinforcement, social skills training, and development of problem-solving and decision-making skills, as well as punishment. Districts must still carry out discipline during remote and hybrid learning but, like everything else during…

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IDEA Class Action Brought Against All U.S. School Districts is Dismissed

On July 28, 2020, a complaint was brought in the Southern District of New York, in the case J.T. v. de Blasio, against every school district in the United States alleging that all are or have violated the IDEA when deciding to close schools in March 2020, due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Plaintiffs not…

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COVID-19 Legislation: Key Provisions for Public Schools

On April 15, 2020, Governor Evers signed 2019 Wisconsin Act 185 into law.  This Legal Update focuses on the key provisions related to public school districts.      1. Accountability Reports The Department of Public Instruction (DPI) is prohibited from publishing school and school district accountability reports in the 2020-21 school year. 2. Student Assessments a. Administration of Assessments.  State…

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DPI and AG Provide Guidance Related to Schools After Supreme Court Decision

On May 13, 2020, the Wisconsin Supreme Court struck down Emergency Order #28, Safer at Home Order, issued by the State of Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS) Secretary, Andrea Palm, in Wisconsin Legislature v. Palm. Order #28, and its predecessor order, extended Governor Tony Evers’ original Safer at Home Order through May 26, 2020.  After…

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Updated DHS and CDC Guidance on Summer Camps and Reopening Considerations

Late yesterday, the Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS) issued “Interim Guidance on Summer Camps”.   The Interim Guidance states: “At this time, DHS recommends that congregate activities for children that are considered educational or enrichment programs, including residential summer camps, be postponed or canceled. COVID-19 continues to circulate throughout Wisconsin, and the state has not yet met…

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Special Education during COVID-19

Additional Guidance on Educating Students with Disabilities During COVID-19 School Closures

Since our March 17th Legal Update, the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction (DPI) and the Office for Special Education and Rehabilitative Services (OSERS) have issued additional guidance related to the education of students with disabilities while schools are closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The guidance reinforces the importance of making determinations regarding individual services…

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Student Mental Health and Child Find: An Important Topic for Summer Professional Development

On the heels of national mental health awareness month and as school districts begin planning their summer inservices, it is a perfect time for a refresher on the extent to which schools can and should address the mental health needs of students. Although schools are not mental health care providers, a student’s mental health condition…

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student study group

DPI Upholds Expulsions Based on “Threats” Outside of School

Last week, the Department of Public Instruction (DPI), issued two groundbreaking decisions upholding expulsions based on threats of shootings. The DPI’s decisions find that, under certain circumstances, threats occurring outside of school, including during the summer break or even while a student is enrolled in a private school, may still serve as a basis for…

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5 Tips for Responding to Reports of Bullying

As National Bullying Prevention Month draws to a close, it is important to reflect on the legal requirements and best practices for addressing reports of bullying and harassment. Effectively responding to reports of bullying and harassment is critical, not only for protecting the safety and wellbeing of the students, but also for protecting the school…

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