Related to: School Law

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

In a previous Legal Update, we discussed the recently dismissed IDEA class action lawsuit, J.T. v. DeBlasio, filed in the District Court for the Southern District of New York as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. This Legal Update provides additional information related to the case. In July of 2020, the Plaintiffs’ complaint was filed…

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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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special education IEPs

Tips to ensure virtual MDRs go smoothly

While manifestation determination reviews can sometimes become heated if parents disagree about the student’s misconduct being a manifestation of his disability, the nature of a virtual MDR may defuse tense feelings and keep participants focused on the matter at hand. “It’s harder to interrupt on [a videoconference] than when you’re in person,” said Alana Leffler,…

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Special Education during COVID-19

Ensure Substitute Teachers Are Aware of Accommodations in IEPs and 504 Plans

In a previous Legal Update, we discussed the importance of ensuring that regular education teachers, including substitute teachers, have access to their students’ IEPs and are aware of the specific accommodations and/or modifications that must be provided pursuant to the IEP in the regular education setting. This is especially critical during the current COVID-19 pandemic, when…

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403(b) Plan

A Second Chance for Your 403(b) Plan

On March 27, the Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”) extended the deadline by which most school districts and other eligible employers must restate their 403(b) plan documents. The new deadline is June 30, 2020. This new deadline is a welcome reprieve for employers who were not aware of the deadline or who were unable to complete…

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special education

COVID-19 School Shutdown: Compensatory Education Guidance for Students with IEPs or 504 Plans

On March 13, 2020, Governor Evers directed that all K-12 schools, public and private, are to be closed until at least April 6, 2020. This Legal Update will discuss the circumstances, process, and considerations according to which school officials should determine whether compensatory services are required for eligible students under the Individual with Disabilities Education…

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Wage and Hour Issues for Schools During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Schools are quickly grappling with emergency plans and mandated closures due to the spread of COVID-19. The following is a summary of potential options to consider related to statutory pay and hour issues to address employee compensation during closures or subject to quarantine. As of March 16, 2020, the Department of Public Instruction (DPI) has…

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coronavirus guidance

Guidance for School Districts Related to Travel and Public Events in Light of the Coronavirus

With Spring Break around the corner and the recent rise in concerns surrounding the coronavirus, this Legal Update will provide guidance to school districts in handling student and staff travel, in addition to other district operations that may be affected by COVID-19.  This Legal Update is based on currently available information and best practices, and…

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school dress code

Censorship at the Schoolhouse Gate: Dress Code and First Amendment Implications

Imagine a student comes to school wearing a t-shirt that depicts a firearm or other weapons, in violation of the school’s dress code. Can you require the student to remove or cover the t-shirt? Is the student subject to discipline if he or she refuses? Does it make a difference what specifically is written and/or…

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