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Frequently Asked Special Education Questions

Frequently Asked Special Education Questions
October 22, 2020 Gregory Ivie

Here are some common questions (and answers) we get at Ivie Law Group:
  1. How do I get an IEP for my child?
An IEP is the result of a child qualifying for special education services.  A child must first be evaluated to find out if the child qualifies for special education services.  A parent must first request to have the child evaluated.  We counsel parents to request a complete psychoeducational evaluation by writing a letter to the school principal with the reasons for requesting such an evaluation.  Talking to a teacher, a bus driver, a speech therapist, or a paraprofessional will not get an evaluation for your child.  Only a letter to the Principal from the parent will suffice.  Once the consent to evaluate is signed by the parent, the district has 45 days to complete the evaluation.  Once the evaluation is complete, and if the child qualifies for special education services, an IEP will be written with the IEP team.
  1. My child is in special education and I think really needs to attend a private school.  How do I make this request?
Special education services are only mandated in K-12 public schools and publicly sponsored charter schools.  Private placements are only granted if the IEP team determines that the child’s needs require a service that the public school cannot provide.   Usually, this is not the case since public schools receive funding to address most issues.  If a parent enrolls a child in a private school, they are responsible for the costs.   Private schools do not have to provide special education services nor do they have to implement an existing IEP.
  1. My child has been expelled from school and has an IEP, can they do that?
If a student is up for expulsion and has an active IEP, a manifestation determination IEP meeting must be held in order to determine if the violation was a direct result of the student’s disability.  If the IEP team determines that the violation was caused by the student’s disability, he or she cannot be expelled.  However, if the IEP team decides that the infraction was not related to the disability, the expulsion can proceed.    Importantly, the Clark County School District (CCSD) will continue to provide services to a child, but may require that the child receive alternative education; i.e., behavior school.
If a student brings a weapon to school, and uses or sells drugs on campus or has inflicted serious bodily injury upon another person while at school, on school premises, or at a school function, the child can be expelled regardless of the disability.  The CCSD provides alternative education to these children as well.
  1. I do not agree with my school regarding the services they are providing my child – what can I do?
All services should be negotiated through the IEP team.   Services are based on the child’s evaluation results, teacher input, test results, medical data, and a parent’s input.  If you feel the school is not providing a service that is necessary, you can continue negotiations with the IEP team for as long as necessary.  You can bring an advocate to an IEP meeting to help you.   If all attempts at negotiations fail, you can file a due process hearing complaint by yourself or by contacting an attorney.  You also have the right to submit a state complaint to the Nevada Department of Education.
  1. Shouldn’t my child get the best education?
As much as we would like all children to get the best education, the case law requires that your child receive an “appropriate education”.   The law does not require that your child get the “best” education.
  1. I do not want my child in special education. What can I do?
Parents have the right to choose not to place their child in special education and do not have to give consent for an evaluation or services.  If your child is in special education and has an IEP and you decide you want the child placed back in regular education, you can revoke your consent to special education and services will be terminated.
  1. My child’s IEP does not seem to be helping? What can I do?
The IEP is a working document and can be reviewed and revised at any time.  If you feel your child’s IEP needs to be amended, reviewed or revised, contact your school Principal to request an IEP meeting.  If needed, new goals and objectives can be discussed and the IEP amended to include any agreed-upon goals and modifications.
  1. My child seems to have a conflict with his teacher. What can I do?
A parent/teacher conference is the best start for heading off conflict.  You can share your concerns, set up a communication system, offer suggestions regarding your child as well as your support at home.  If the meeting doesn’t go well, we recommend you set up a meeting with the school principal.