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Cleaning Out My Overflowing Basket: Recent and Important Maryland Insurance Cases

  By:  Patricia McHugh Lambert, Esquire I have a basket in my office that I fill with things that I should read.  Sometimes I print an article about an interesting book or person and put it in the basket. Sometimes I place an outline from a Zoom program that I half-listened to while I was […]

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DOL Relaxes Rule For Determining Whether an Individual May Be Classified as an Independent Contractor Under the FLSA

By:  David Burkhouse, Esquire On January 6, 2021, the U.S. Department of Labor (“DOL”) announced its final rule which clarifies the standard employed in determining whether a worker may be classified as an independent contractor versus an employee under the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”). The effective date for the final rule is March 8, […]

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A Shot In the Arm For Economic Recovery? Do Not Forget EEO Compliance Before Implementing a COVID-19 Vaccination Program in Your Workplace

  By: Adam E. Konstas, Esq. As we look ahead to what may be in store for 2021, we all seem focused on the prospect of a successful COVID-19 vaccination campaign to spur an economic recovery.  News of successful trials and photos of the first shots going into the arms of medical personnel and first […]

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Remote Hearings and Proceedings – Technology Matters, Preparation is Key and Your Full Attention is Required!

Most courts quickly adopted holding remote hearings and it is likely a trend that is to stay beyond COVID-19. In order for these proceedings to feel as “normal” and engaging as possible, it is imperative that attorneys and litigants treat the proceedings the same way as if they were appearing in the courtroom and be […]

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Considering the Effects on Marylanders in the Wake of the New State Daubert Standards

By:  Kathryn D. Jackson, Esquire  It has been almost four months to the day after the Maryland Court of Appeals adopted the Daubert standard for expert testimony. As noted by the court in the Rochkind v. Stevenson opinion, which first established the new standard, Daubert applies to all currently pending appeals and cases at the […]

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Rochelle’s Special Education Tips – There is a Light at the End of the Tunnel – I Hope It Ain’t No Train

There is a Light at the End of the Tunnel-I Hope It Ain’t No Train This has been an extremely difficult time for school systems, and in particular for school personnel who work with disabled students. The needs of the children are immense and the demands are often unattainable. Sometimes it seems that people who […]

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Are COVID “Long Haulers” Entitled to Workplace Accommodations?

By:  Andrew Scott, Esquire As the COVID pandemic stretches on, employers are increasingly likely to encounter not only employees who have tested positive for the virus but also employees who continue to experience symptoms long after they have tested negative.  These individuals—known as “long haulers”—report experiencing a wide range of symptoms, including but not limited […]

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Joining the In-Crowd: Maryland Court of Appeals Adopts Daubert Standard for Admissibility of Expert Testimony

  By:  Kathryn D. Jackson, Esq. Maryland is no stranger to being a legal outlier. After all, Maryland is one of five states that hold contributory negligence as an absolute bar to recovery in negligence actions, and one of seven which apply joint and several liability. However, not to be underestimated, on August 28, 2020 […]

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PK Law Member Patricia McHugh Lambert Named Baltimore “Lawyer of the Year” for Litigation – Insurance Law

  PK Law is pleased to announce that Patricia McHugh Lambert has been named Baltimore “Lawyer of the Year” for Litigation – Insurance for the 2021 Edition of Best Lawyers in America. Ms. Lambert has over 35 years of experience in handling complex commercial litigation and insurance matters. Ms. Lambert has worked on significant insurance […]

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Fall Law: Avoiding Leaf Litigation

By: Robert Campbell, Esq. and Patricia McHugh Lambert, Esq. The trees have begun their annual transformation and the scent of pumpkin spice is starting to drift through the air. Yes, we have made it to autumn. While many of our favorite autumn activities have been postponed, transposed, or flat-out canceled, there is one thing that […]

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Before Your Next Hire, Read This!

By:  Adam Konstas, Esquire On October 1, 2020, a new Maryland law will take effect which has two important components for Maryland Employers to keep in mind when hiring new employees: Employers will be prohibited from requesting or relying upon a job applicant’s prior wage history when determining the wages of the applicant or considering […]

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Waiting for New Year’s Eve: Recommendations for Dealing with the Rest of 2020

By:  Patricia McHugh Lambert, Esquire I can’t wait for New Year’s Eve.  I don’t care whether I am spending that night at a formal event, a neighborhood party or in my pajamas in front of my television.  I will stay awake until midnight, do the countdown and electronically watch the crystal ball drop at Times […]

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Maryland Adopts Additional Notice Requirements For Employers Conducting Layoffs

By:  David A. Burkhouse, Esquire  Given the recent economic challenges related to the current COVID-19 pandemic many employers have become familiar with their obligation to provide notice prior to layoffs under the federal WARN Act. However, effective October 1, 2020, Maryland employers must also comply with the new requirements of Maryland’s Economic Stabilization Act (SB […]

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Employers Required to Disclose Sexual Harassment in the Workplace by July 1, 2020

By: Andrew Scott, Esquire  On or before July 1, 2020, every employer in Maryland with 50 or more employees must electronically submit a survey to the Maryland Commission on Civil Rights (“MCCR”) in order to fulfill the reporting obligations under the Disclosing Sexual Harassment in the Workplace Act of 2018. Specifically, covered employers are required to provide […]

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Maryland Regulatory and Insurance Updates During the COVID-19 Crisis (June 4, 2020)

By:  Patricia McHugh Lambert, Esquire and Robert Campbell, Esquire We have been providing information as to recent Bulletins and other information sent out by the Maryland Insurance Administration. (Please see updates below listed by date). We are today providing a summary of additional Bulletins that have been issued since our last newsletter. Premium Relief On May 20, 2020, the Maryland Insurance […]

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Maryland Regulatory Update Amidst the COVID-19 Crisis

By:  Patricia McHugh Lambert, Esquire and Robert S. Campbell, Esquire  For the past couple of weeks we have provided information as to recent Bulletins and other information sent out by the Maryland Insurance Administration. (Please see updates below listed by date). We are today providing a summary of additional Bulletins that have been issued since our last newsletter. […]

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Rochelle’s Special Education Tips – Individualized Continuity of Learning Plan A Template

Rochelle’s Special Education Tips Individualized Continuity of Learning Plan A Template The Talbot County Public Schools has developed a very good Individualized Continuity of Learning Plan. It includes some provisions provided by by other school systems, including Anne Arundel County Public Schools. What is particularly good about it is its clarity and lack of wordiness. […]

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March HR Tip

VOLUME 29 | March 2020     Coronavirus, Paid Sick Leave, and the Americans with Disabilities Act – Where do Maryland Employers stand? By: Adam Konstas, Esq. As more news breaks of the spread of the Coronavirus and the measures taken by government and private sector institutions in response, one topic that persistently arises is paid […]

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Special Education Tip – Even the Notes are Under the Microscope – 141 – 2020

Rochelle’s Special Education Tips   Even the Notes are Under the Microscope IEP teams sometimes receive communications from parents and/or their attorneys and advocates who differ with the contents of Meeting Notes or Minutes. They want to pick them apart and substitute their thoughts, even how they “felt” about what was said. You have to […]

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February Insurance Insight

Interested in having PK Law’s Insurance Insights delivered monthly to your inbox? Sign Up Now For Email Newsletters you can trust.      New case law, analysis, trends and news for those in the liability, risk management and insurance industry    Volume 27  |  February 2020 Coronavirus and the Effect of Communicable Diseases on Business By: Joan […]

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Special Education Tip – Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door – 140 – 2020

Rochelle’s Special Education Tips   Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door An IEP team meeting may not be your idea of heaven, but there are some things that can make it more heavenly. For instance: When an assessor reviews a report by summarizing it, instead of reading it verbatim. A technical report with a lot of detailed […]

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February HR Tip

VOLUME 28 | February 2020   Maryland Passes Statewide “Ban the Box” Legislation By: David Burkhouse, Esq. On January 30, 2020, Maryland joined the ranks of the growing number of states with “ban the box” laws restricting pre-employment inquiries into an applicant’s criminal record. Although the governor vetoed the bill on May 24, 2019, the […]

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Special Education Tip – This Belies Credulity – 139 – 2020

Rochelle’s Special Education Tips This Belies Credulity And Why Are People So Angry? This picture is from a recent IEP team meeting held in Carroll County. Staff at the school took the “This Belies Credulity” to a new level by printing a T-shirt with a much-liked phrase from Tips and presenting it prior to the meeting. Really, some […]

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January HR Tip

VOLUME 27 | January 2020   DOL’s New Overtime Rule Is in Effect – Employers Are You Compliant? By: Andrew Scott, Esq. On January 1, 2019 the U.S. Department of Labor’s (DOL) new overtime rule went into effect. Under the Fair Labor Standards Act, certain employees may qualify as exempt from the minimum wage and overtime […]

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January Insurance Insight

Interested in having PK Law’s Insurance Insights delivered monthly to your inbox? Sign Up Now For Email Newsletters you can trust.      New case law, analysis, trends and news for those in the liability, risk management and insurance industry    Volume 26  |  January 2020 A Year in Review: Top 3 2019 Decisions Affecting Maryland Insurers […]

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December HR Tip

VOLUME 26 | December 2019     Montgomery County Council Passes CROWN Act: What Does That Mean For Employers? By: David Burkhouse, Esq. On November 5, 2019, the Montgomery County Council unanimously passed the Creating a Respectful and Open World for Natural Hair (CROWN) Act which prohibits discrimination against individuals based on hairstyle. The CROWN […]

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November Insurance Insight

Interested in having PK Law’s Insurance Insights delivered monthly to your inbox? Sign Up Now For Email Newsletters you can trust.      New case law, analysis, trends and news for those in the liability, risk management and insurance industry    Volume 25  |  November 2019 Proposed Regulations for Vehicles Deemed a Total Loss In Maryland – […]

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November HR Tip

VOLUME 25 | November 2019   Is Your Website Accessible to Customers With Disabilities and Why You Should Care! By: Adam Konstas, Esq. Think of how many tasks you can accomplish using company websites and apps. For any Ravens fan – you can purchase that new Lamar Jackson jersey you’ve been meaning to order, buy tickets […]

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October Insurance Insight

Interested in having PK Law’s Insurance Insights delivered monthly to your inbox? Sign Up Now For Email Newsletters you can trust.      New case law, analysis, trends and news for those in the liability, risk management and insurance industry    Volume 24  |  October 2019 Purdue Pharma, Pills and Pot: The Need for Insurers to Have […]

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September Insurance Insight

Interested in having PK Law’s Insurance Insights delivered monthly to your inbox? Sign Up Now For Email Newsletters you can trust.      New case law, analysis, trends and news for those in the liability, risk management and insurance industry    Volume 23  |  September 2019 Liability For Mass Shootings: Coverage Issues in Mass Shootings By: Patricia […]

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September HR Tip

VOLUME 24 | September 2019 Organ and Bone Marrow Donation Leave Law to Go Into Effect Next Week By: Andrew G. Scott, Esq. Starting October 1, 2019, all employers in Maryland with 15 or more employees will be required to provide “eligible employees” unpaid leave to donate organs or bone marrow. The law defines “eligible employee” […]

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August HR Tip

VOLUME 23 | August 2019     Tread Carefully When Relying On EEOC Guidance By: David Burkhouse, Esq. Employers visiting the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s (EEOC) website to obtain information regarding employment practices often encounter agency guidance documents. Many employers understandably assume EEOC guidance simply contains a summary of applicable legal requirements. However, employers should […]

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July HR Tip

VOLUME 22 | July 2019 Maryland’s New Far-Reaching Sexual Harassment Laws By: Adam Konstas, Esq. Maryland employers can expect some big changes to the State’s workplace harassment laws which will take effect October 1, 2019. Some notable changes include:   The definition of “employee” now includes employees and independent contractors. This change significantly expands the pool of […]

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July Insurance Insight

Interested in having PK Law’s Insurance Insights delivered monthly to your inbox? Sign Up Now For Email Newsletters you can trust.      New case law, analysis, trends and news for those in the liability, risk management and insurance industry    Volume 21  |  June 2019 Non-Binary Driver’s Licenses: What does it mean for insurers in Maryland? […]

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June HR Tip

VOLUME 21 | June 2019 Maryland Adopts Additional Civil Penalties for Equal Pay Violations By: David Burkhouse, Esq. Effective October 1, 2019, employers committing multiple violations of Maryland’s Equal Pay for Equal Work Act may face civil penalties in addition to compensatory and liquidated damages, and attorneys’ fees. (House Bill 790). The Equal Pay Remedies […]

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June Insurance Insight

Interested in having PK Law’s Insurance Insights delivered monthly to your inbox? Sign Up Now For Email Newsletters you can trust.      New case law, analysis, trends and news for those in the liability, risk management and insurance industry    Volume 21  |  June 2019 2019 Maryland Legislation of Interest to Insurers By: Patricia McHugh Lambert, […]

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May HR Tip

VOLUME 20 | May 2019 A Wave of New Maryland Laws Affecting Employers Crashing as Early as June 1 By: Andrew Scott, Esquire The Maryland General Assembly recently enacted legislation that will begin impacting employers as early as this summer. Effective June 1, 2019, Maryland’s minimum wage is set to increase 75 cents every January […]

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Special Education Tip – I Want Everyone In My Child’s Class To Be Like My Child – 126 – 2019

Rochelle’s Special Education Tips I Want Everyone In My Child’s Class To Be Like My Child How often does an attorney or advocate (or parent) argue that a child needs to be in a nonpublic placement because the child wants to be with children that learn like him? Or that the child has school anxiety […]

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April Insurance Insight

Interested in having PK Law’s Insurance Insights delivered monthly to your inbox? Sign Up Now For Email Newsletters you can trust.      New case law, analysis, trends and news for those in the liability, risk management and insurance industry    Volume 20  |  April 2019 Five Things to Know About the Wild West of Insurance and […]

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Special Education Tip – You Don’t Always Have To Hit A Home Run – 125 – 2019

Rochelle’s Special Education Tips You Don’t Always Have To Hit A Home Run How often are you accused of not providing a FAPE because a student has not achieved or made substantial progress on goals? Achieving a goal is not a condition of providing a FAPE. After all, that is why it is called a “goal” […]

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April HR Tip

VOLUME 19 | April 2019 The Tide is Changing in the Department of Labor Overtime Rulemaking By: Adam Konstas, Esquire   On March 7, 2019, the United States Department of Labor issued a notice of proposed rulemaking to revise the federal overtime regulations. Specifically, the Department of Labor proposal would: ·     increase the salary level to […]

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Special Education Tip – Happy Days Are Here Again – 124 – 2019

Rochelle’s Special Education Tips Happy Days Are Here Again – A Great Decision From the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals The Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals just issued a significant special education decision involving the Cecil County Public Schools (CCPS): R.F. v. Cecil County Public Schools, 4th Cir. No. 18-1780 (March 25, 2019). In a published, […]

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Special Education Tip – Just Because You Are Thinking It Does Not Mean You Have To Say It – 123 – 2019

Rochelle’s Special Education Tips Just Because You Are Thinking It Does Not Mean You Have To Say It We have all done this. We have a thought that we should keep to ourselves, but somehow instead of keeping quiet, we say what we are thinking. You cannot go around with masking tape covering your mouth, […]

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March Insurance Insight

Interested in having PK Law’s Insurance Insights delivered monthly to your inbox? Sign Up Now For Email Newsletters you can trust.      New case law, analysis, trends and news for those in the liability, risk management and insurance industry    Volume 19  |  March 2019 Not What the Doctor Ordered: Maryland’s Non-Economic Damage Cap Reaches […]

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Special Education Tip – Emails – A Never Ending Source of Problems – 122 – 2019

Rochelle’s Special Education Tips Emails – A Never Ending Source of Problems E-mails are not your friends. Almost every e-mail you write, except for those that are privileged because they are to your attorney, is subject to disclosure either through FERPA, Maryland’s Public Information Act, or a subpoena. When you can, instead of writing an e-mail, pick […]

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Special Education Tip – Make Your Position Loud And Clear – 120 – 2019

Rochelle’s Special Education Tips Make Your Position Loud And Clear When school based members of an IEP team must defer to a parent’s decision, such as the decision not to enroll the child in an alternative education program that does not issue or provide credits toward a Maryland high school diploma, or identify the child […]

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Special Education Tip – Exactly How Are You Planning to Implement That Service? – 121 – 2019

Rochelle’s Special Education Tips Exactly How Are You Planning to Implement That Service? It’s Greek to Me! If you examine IEPs from across the State, and even within a school system, you will see some IEP teams provide a clear explanation of how services will be provided in the section of the Services page that […]

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February HR Tip

VOLUME 18 | February 2019   Snow Days and Sick and Safe Leave Do Not Make for a Wintery Weather Mix  By:  David Burkhouse, Esquire As we all deal with closures related to inclement winter weather, employers in Maryland may be faced with employees who wish to utilize Sick and Safe Leave, which is mandated […]

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Special Education Tip – Don’t Let the Freezing Cold Weather Freeze Your Brain – 119 – 2019

Rochelle’s Special Education Tips Don’t Let the Freezing Cold Weather Freeze Your Brain All we seem to be recently talking about is the cold weather, as if it is a complete surprise to all of us to have below freezing temperatures in January and February. So when you finish talking about the cold weather at […]

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January Insurance Insight

Interested in having PK Law’s Insurance Insights delivered monthly to your inbox? Sign Up Now For Email Newsletters you can trust.    New case law, analysis, trends and news for those in the liability, risk management and insurance industry    Volume 18  |  January 2019 Named Perils Coverage for Mass Shootings   By: Patricia McHugh Lambert, […]

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Special Education Tip -Everything’s Coming Up Roses-Unfortunately, Not This Week – 118 – 2019

Rochelle’s Special Education Tips Everything’s Coming Up Roses-Unfortunately, Not This Week Some weeks are better than others. But if everything was perfect, there would not be anything to write about. So here are some Tips for the week:   Do not stay silent during an IEP meeting when inaccurate statements are made. Speak up. Make […]

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December HR Tip

VOLUME 17 | December 2018   Is Your Business ICE-Ready? By: Andrew Scott, Esquire According to data recently released by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), the agency initiated 6,848 worksite investigations and 5,981 I-9 audits in fiscal year 2018—both substantial increases from 2017. As a result of ICE enforcement actions over the course of […]

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Special Education Tip – Implementation Of a BIP is Not a Discretionary Task – 117 – 2019

Rochelle’s Special Education Tips Implementation Of a BIP is Not a Discretionary Task When a Behavior Intervention Plan (BIP) is developed, it must be implemented. No exceptions. The educators responsible for the implementation of the BIP should be keeping data (1) to prove it is being implemented and (2) to determine if the BIP is […]

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Special Education Tip – A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words, Unless the Picture is Totally Confusing – 116-2018

Rochelle’s Special Education Tips A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words, Unless the Picture is Totally Confusing Often the IEP is projected on the wall as it is being reviewed and/or revised at the IEP team meeting. Remember that what is projected does not match the paper IEP document. This makes no sense, of course […]

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Special Education Tip – You Better Be Able to Prove It – 115 – 2018

Rochelle’s Special Education Tips You Better Be Able to Prove It Make sure there is good data to support progress reports. The days of just being able to say, “making progress” are far behind us. Now you need a baseline and regular data to determine if progress is being made. Work samples are helpful. The […]

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Special Education Tips – Here, There, and Everywhere – 114-2018

Rochelle’s Special Education Tips Here, There, and Everywhere It sometime happens that your IEP team meeting may be the victim of an attempted hijacking by a parent, parents’ attorney, or advocate. They do not care about the IEP team’s agenda and want to discuss what they want to discuss, when they want to discuss it. […]

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November Insurance Insight

Interested in having PK Law’s Insurance Insights delivered monthly to your inbox? Sign Up Now For Email Newsletters you can trust.      New case law, analysis, trends and news for those in the liability, risk management and insurance industry    Volume 17  |  November 2018 Maryland’s New Law on Advising Patients On Pros and Cons […]

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November HR Tip

VOLUME 17 | November 2018 The ADEA’s Expanded Reach In the Public Sector May Contain a Grim Forecast For The Private Sector – Is Individual Liability On The Horizon? By: Adam Konstas, Esquire On November 6, 2018, the United States Supreme Court issued its first ruling of the new term — a unanimous 8-0 decision (Justice […]

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October HR Tip

VOLUME 16 | October 2018 Maryland Signals its Intent to Expand Paid Leave Protections By: David Burkhouse, Esquire In the wake of the controversy that led to Maryland’s adoption of the Maryland Healthy Working Families Act which requires private employers to provide certain employees paid sick and safe leave, Maryland has continued to expand the […]

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Special Education Tip – A Cure For Insomnia Is Not Necessarily The Best Way To Review A Draft IEP – 113-2018

Missed Some Tips? Click HERE to access the full list of past Tips. Rochelle’s Special Education Tips A Cure For Insomnia Is Not Necessarily The Best Way To Review A Draft IEP We have gotten away from having assessment reports read word for word at IEP team meetings. The reports are received ahead of time by the parents […]

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Special Education Tip – No No No No No No No No No No – 112-2018

Rochelle’s Special Education Tips No No No No No No No No No No Whatever you do, do not advise a parent that a disabled child could benefit from tutoring during the summer. If that tutoring is not provided by the school system, it looks even worse. Do not offer your services or that of […]

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Special Education Tip – What Do You Do When the Standardized Test Scores Do Not Reflect What You See In The Classroom? – 111-2018

Rochelle’s Special Education Tips What Do You Do When the Standardized Test Scores Do Not Reflect What You See In The Classroom? Not infrequently, you will receive private assessment results that do not match the student in your classroom. While you must “consider” the private assessment results, your decision-making need not be ruled by them. […]

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October Insurance Insight

Interested in having PK Law’s Insurance Insights delivered monthly to your inbox? Sign Up Now For Email Newsletters you can trust.    New case law, analysis, trends and news for those in the liability, risk management and insurance industry    Volume 16  |  October 2018 Litigation Financing: 10 Tips For Claims Executives By:  Patricia McHugh Lambert, Esq. […]

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September HR Tip

VOLUME 15 | September 2018   Are Some Employee Breaks Compensable? By: Andrew Scott, Esquire The United States Department of Labor (DOL) recently issued an opinion letter determining whether non-exempt employees’ 15-minute rest breaks were compensable time under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). The employees at issue required 15-minute rest breaks every hour, as certified by […]

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September Insurance Insight

Interested in having PK Law’s Insurance Insights delivered monthly to your inbox? Sign Up Now For Email Newsletters you can trust.    New case law, analysis, trends and news for those in the liability, risk management and insurance industry    Volume 15  |  September 2018 A New Form of Opioid Liability: Will Big Pharma be the […]

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Special Education Tip -There Is No Need to Write the IEP Version of War and Peace When You Are Developing Present Levels and Goals and Objectives – 110-2018

Missed Some Tips? Click HERE to access the full list of past Tips. Rochelle’s Special Education Tips There Is No Need to Write the IEP Version of War and Peace When You Are Developing Present Levels and Goals and Objectives The IEP is a working document. It is supposed to be helpful to the reader. Too often, school […]

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Special Education Tip – Take Me Out to the Ballgame-Or at Least Let Me Go Outside – 109-2018

Missed Some Tips? Click HERE to access the full list of past Tips. Rochelle’s Special Education Tips Take Me Out to the Ballgame-Or at Least Let Me Go Outside What are we doing to our children? Everyone knows they need outside time and should not be sitting without physical breaks. Yet the time for mid-day after lunch exercise […]

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Special Education Tip – Are We Testing Reading Comprehension or Listening Comprehension? – 108-2018

Missed Some Tips? Click HERE to access the full list of past Tips. Rochelle’s Special Education Tips Are We Testing Reading Comprehension or Listening Comprehension? Schools do get some good data from the mountains of tests being administered nowadays. But not always. Take, for instance, the use of a human reader on tests given to evaluate the ability […]

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Special Education Tip – Groundhog Day: Reliving the Same IEP Team Issues – 107-2018

Rochelle’s Special Education Tips Same Old, Same Old All of us like to think we do not make the same mistakes twice. Maybe you do not repeat your errors, but some of our IEP teams do. In the last two weeks, the following has occurred: 5-day documents have not been sent home in a timely […]

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August Insurance Insight

 New case law, analysis, trends and news for those in the liability, risk management and insurance industry    Volume 14  |  August 2018 Ten Things Attorneys and Insurance Professionals Should Know About Using Drones in Insurance Claims By: Justin Fine, Esquire The commercial application of drones is increasing. Drones are being used to fight forest fires, […]

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Special Education Tip – Same Old, Same Old – 106-2018

Rochelle’s Special Education Tips Same Old, Same Old Some reminders as the year begins: Comply with the 5-day disclosure rule. If you think a document may be discussed in the meeting, send it in the disclosure packet. This includes samples of student work. If documents like Meeting Notices or Prior Written Notices (PWNs) are being […]

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August HR Tip

VOLUME 13 | August 2018   The NLRB’s New Standard for Evaluating Workplace Rules, Policies, and Employee Handbook Provisions Have Taken Flight – Are You on Board? In Boeing Company and Society of Professional Engineering Employees in Aerospace, IFPTE Local 2001 , 365 NLRB No. 154 (December 14, 2017), the National Labor Relations Board announced a new […]

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Special Education Tip – What Do You Want To Tell The New Kid In Town? – 105-2018

Rochelle’s Special Education Tips What Do You Want To Tell The New Kid In Town? You will be working with a lot of new special educators and related service providers in just a few weeks. What are some of the tips that you should provide to them to help them avoid making mistakes as they […]

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July Insurance Insight

Interested in having PK Law’s Insurance Insights delivered monthly to your inbox? Sign Up Now For Email Newsletters you can trust.    New case law, analysis, trends and news for those in the liability, risk management and insurance industry    Volume 13  |  July 2018   Sex, Porn, And Spoofs: Maryland Aims At Protecting Against Harassment […]

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Special Education Tip – The Continuing Demand for Publicly Funded IEEs – 104-2018

Rochelle’s Special Education Tips The Continuing Demand for Publicly Funded IEEs Some More Guidance on When a School System Must Pay for an IEE Maryland’s Office of Administrative Hearings (OAH) recently issued a decision answering the question: When does the school system have to publicly fund an Independent Educational Evaluation (IEE)? The IEE requested was […]

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July HR Tip

VOLUME 12 | July 2018 Maryland Employers – Are You Paying Your Employees the Required Wage? By: David Burkhouse, Esquire Employers in Maryland generally, and in Montgomery County specifically, need to be aware that two changes in the minimum wage became effective on July 1, 2018. Statewide, the minimum wage increased from $9.25 per hour […]

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Special Education Tip – Testing Trumps IEP Service Hours – 103-2018

Rochelle’s Special Education Tips Testing Trumps IEP Service Hours No, the reference to “Trump” does not make this Tip political. Nevertheless, we have received advice from the United States Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) that makes sense. In a 2018 letter of advice ( Letter to Kane,72 IDELR 75), OSEP concluded that if scheduled […]

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Special Education Tip – My Dance Card is Filling Up – 102-2018

Rochelle’s Special Education Tips My Dance Card is Filling Up Scheduling IEP team meetings is an art form, and takes a lot of persistence, particularly during the summer. Make scheduling a priority and do not become sidetracked. First ask for immediate responses from team members as to available dates. If you do not receive a […]

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June Insurance Insight

Interested in having PK Law’s Insurance Insights delivered monthly to your inbox? Sign Up Now For Email Newsletters you can trust.    New case law, analysis, trends and news for those in the liability, risk management and insurance industry    Volume 12  |  June 2018 Trends In Marijuana Insurance Litigation By: PK Law Insurance Group Insurance […]

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Special Education Tip – Hot Fun In The Summertime – 101-2018

Rochelle’s Special Education Tips Hot Fun In The Summertime As we jump from a never-ending winter to a hot summer, make sure your team members remember the following as they hold summer IEP meetings and plan for the coming school year: Never say anything like, “I can only fit in one session in per week […]

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June HR Tip

VOLUME 11 | June 2018   Maryland Employers Required to Protect Employees’ Personal Information By: Andrew G. Scott, Esquire As data breaches affecting businesses around the world continue to dominate the headlines, it’s worth ensuring that your business is complying with the recently amended Maryland Personal Information Protection Act (“MPIPA”). This statute, which was amended effective January 1, […]

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Special Education Tip – If It Looks Like a Duck – 100-2018

Rochelle’s Special Education Tips If It Looks Like a Duck, Swims Like a Duck, and Quacks Like a Duck, Then It Probably Is a Duck This week’s Tips is a little different, and is written because the writer had three (3) grooming cases three (3) days in a row, all in different school systems. “Grooming” […]

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Special Education Tip – Sweet Home Alabama – 99-2018

Rochelle’s Special Education Tips Sweet Home Alabama With the growing number of students receiving Home and Hospital Instruction (HHI), it is useful to highlight things you should keep in mind when a student is receiving HHI: Make sure the HHI teacher(s) are familiar with the HHI IEP. If data needs to be taken by the […]

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Special Education Tip – Sorry is a Sorry Word – 98-2018

Rochelle’s Special Education Tips Sorry is a Sorry Word If you play doubles tennis, you have probably noticed that most women say “sorry” to their partner when they miss a ball or double fault. The men rarely say “sorry.” The reasons for this difference between the sexes may be blamed on the Barbie doll or […]

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May Insurance Insight

Interested in having PK Law’s Insurance Insights delivered monthly to your inbox? Sign Up Now For Email Newsletters you can trust.    New case law, analysis, trends and news for those in the liability, risk management and insurance industry    Volume 11  |  May 2018 On the First Day of a First Party Claim: What a […]

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Special Education Tip – Didn’t Your Mother Teach You That If You Cannot Say Something Nice About A Person You Should Not Say Anything At All? -97-2018

Rochelle’s Special Education Tips Didn’t Your Mother Teach You That If You Cannot Say Something Nice About A Person You Should Not Say Anything At All? It is the end of the school year. Everyone is tired. But the IEP and 504 meetings keep rolling along. Some common errors are being made and we need […]

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May HR Tip

VOLUME 10 | May 2018       Don’t Get Caught Playing a Game of Telephone – Importance of Consistent Messaging to Federal, State, and Local Agencies By:  Adam Konstas, Esquire  When an employer has a legitimate non-discriminatory reason for terminating an employee, consistent messaging is important to avoid a potential dispute as to the true […]

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Special Education Tip – Is There a Connection? – 96-2018

Rochelle’s Special Education Tips Is There a Connection Between Special Education and the Mueller Investigation? Well, no, there is no direct connection between Special Education and the Mueller investigation. But any experienced special educator could be on Mueller’s investigatory team connecting the dots and seeing if the rules were followed. It would be a no […]

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Special Education Tip – Try to Remember the Kind of September – 95-2018

Rochelle’s Special Education Tips Try to Remember the Kind of September (or October, November, December . . . .) It is the end of the school year. Everyone is tired. But the IEP and 504 meetings keep rolling along. Some common errors are being made and we need to remember to cover all of our […]

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April Insurance Insight

Interested in having PK Law’s Insurance Insights delivered monthly to your inbox? Sign Up Now For Email Newsletters you can trust.    New case law, analysis, trends and news for those in the liability, risk management and insurance industry    Volume 10  |  April 2018 Canary in the Coal Mine? Do Emerging Attorney General Data Breach […]

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Special Education Tip – Preaching to the Choir – 94-2018

Rochelle’s Special Education Tips Preaching to the Choir The amazing rise in aggressive, disruptive behaviors in young children is not just something being experienced by your school system. It is evident throughout Maryland and if the discussions held at this past week’s annual conference in Dallas at LRP are any indication, it is something being […]

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April HR Tip

VOLUME 9 | APRIL 2018    Maryland Adopts New Sexual Harassment Protections By:  David Burkhouse, Esquire  With the Maryland Legislature’s passage of the Disclosing Sexual Harassment in the Workplace Act of 2018, SB1010, Maryland employers will face new restrictions in drafting, renewing, or extending employment agreements. Effective October 1, 2018: Any provision in an employment agreement […]

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Special Education Tip – All I’m Askin’ is for a Little Respect – 93-2018

Rochelle’s Special Education Tips All I’m Askin’ is for a Little Respect Have you noticed a remarkable deterioration in the way educators are treated at IEP team meetings and in communications outside of the IEP meetings? This occurs only in a minority of situations, but those cases eat away at the morale of staff. It […]

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Special Education Tip – The Overweight IEP -92-2018

Rochelle’s Special Education Tips The Overweight IEP At the rate that IEP documents are growing, you will soon need a forklift to pick one up. Teams are putting so much data into them that it is sometimes hard to discern exactly what is going on with the student. Make sure that the data you are […]

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March HR Tip

VOLUME 8 | MARCH 2018    Marijuana in the Workplace: What Maryland Employers Should Do By: Andrew G. Scott, Esquire and Toni Norris, Law Clerk Although current Maryland law is silent on the impact that medical marijuana may have in the work place, there are steps employers can take to a facilitate a smooth transition: Create […]

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Special Education Tip – Do Not Include the Kitchen Sink in the IEP – 91-2018

Rochelle’s Special Education Tips Do Not Include the Kitchen Sink in the IEP Only Write What is Necessary When you summarize the student’s Present Levels in the IEP, concentrate on the word “present.” Not “last year’s” or the “year before.” Eliminate old Present Levels. They do nothing but cause confusion for the readers of the […]

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March Insurance Insight

Interested in having PK Law’s Insurance Insights delivered monthly to your inbox? Sign Up Now For Email Newsletters you can trust.    New case law, analysis, trends and news for those in the liability, risk management and insurance industry    Volume 9  |  March 2018   What’s New in Federal Flood Case Decisions?Expand Beyond What is […]

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Special Education Tip – I Think That I Shall Never See – 90-2018

Rochelle’s Special Education Tips I Think That I Shall Never See A Poem Lovely As A Tree As the cherry trees are finally blossoming, our spirits are lifted and we look forward to warmer days and the sunlight of spring and summer. Some of us also have our spirits lifted when we examine well-kept data, […]

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Special Education Tip – Sweet Home Alabama – 89-2018

Rochelle’s Special Education Tips Sweet Home Alabama Things Aren’t So Sweet If You Do Not Do Them Right It is imperative that you meet to review and if necessary, revise the IEP when a student goes on Home and Hospital Instruction. Start from the first page and review every page thereafter. It is very likely […]

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Special Education Tip – Summertime, and the Living is Easy – 88-2018

Missed Some Tips? Click HERE to access the full list of past Tips. Rochelle’s Special Education Tips Summertime, and the Living is Easy Except it is Not Always Easy to Meet the ESY Timeline Spring is in the air. Make it your goal to address Extended School Year (ESY) eligibility for each student with an […]

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February HR Tip

VOLUME 7 | FEBRUARY 2018    The Need to Go Above and Beyond the ADA in Maryland: Disabled Applicants/Employees Need Individualized Assessments By: Adam E. Konstas, Esquire In light of developments in Maryland employment discrimination law, employers are strongly encouraged to re-examine their reasonable accommodation policies and procedures. When confronted with a reasonable accommodation request, […]

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Special Education Tip – You Are Not the White Rabbit – 87 – 2018

Missed Some Tips? Click HERE to access the full list of past Tips. Rochelle’s Special Education Tips You Are Not the White Rabbit Time Is Not Your Problem It is the obligation of the school system to implement the IEP. If a student needs three one-half hour sessions per week of speech and language therapy, […]

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Special Education Tip – I Heard it Through the Grapevine – 86-2018

Missed Some Tips? Click HERE to access the full list of past Tips. Rochelle’s Special Education Tips I Heard it Through the Grapevine If It Is Not In the PWN You Will Have a Hard Time Proving It Happened When you develop the Prior Written Notice (PWN) be sure to document what happened, in English. […]

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February Insurance Insight

Interested in having PK Law’s Insurance Insights delivered monthly to your inbox? Sign Up Now For Email Newsletters you can trust.    New case law, analysis, trends and news for those in the liability, risk management and insurance industry  Volume 8  |  February 2018 Mushrooming Claims: Recognizing When Simple Claims Threaten to Expand Beyond What is […]

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Special Education Tip – Since You Cannot Please Everyone – 85-2018

Missed Some Tips? Click HERE to access the full list of past Tips. Rochelle’s Special Education Tips Please Please Me Since You Cannot Please Everyone, Please Just Follow the Law This week’s Tips is going to repeat a familiar piece of advice: You cannot always comply with a parent’s wishes. Sometimes you just have to […]

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Special Education Tip – The Geometry of Endrew F. – 84-2018

Missed Some Tips? Click HERE to access the full list of past Tips. Rochelle’s Special Education Tips The Geometry of Endrew F. The New Angle Used by Advocates Leave it to the parents’ attorneys and advocates to create a new “gotcha” out of the Supreme Court’s 2017 decision in Endrew F. v. Douglas County School […]

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Special Education Tip – Pomp and Circumstance and Glass Houses – 83-2018

Missed Some Tips? Click HERE to access the full list of past Tips. Rochelle’s Special Education Tips Pomp and Circumstance and Glass Houses There have been a whirlwind of stories about students graduating from high school who have not fulfilled basic high school requirements, like passing tests or attending school. Before you throw stones at […]

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January Insurance Insight

Interested in having PK Law’s Insurance Insights delivered monthly to your inbox? Sign Up Now For Email Newsletters you can trust.      New case law, analysis, trends and news for those in the liability, risk management and insurance industry    Volume 7  |  January 2018 Liability of Healthcare Providers in the Wake of Maryland’s Opioid Crisis […]

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Special Education Tip – By the Light of the Silvery Moon – 82-2018

Missed Some Tips? Click HERE to access the full list of past Tips. Rochelle’s Special Education Tips By the Light of the Silvery Moon Dim Those Lights There are still over 4 months left of school and the unwarranted anger level of some parents at IEP team meetings is really rising. You can control whether […]

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Special Education Tip – “Just Say No” – 81-2018

Missed Some Tips? Click HERE to access the full list of past Tips. Rochelle’s Special Education Tips You Do Not Have to be Nancy Reagan to “Just Say No” Our prior First Lady Nancy Reagan advocated teaching children to “Just Say No” when confronted by peers seeking to involve them in illegal drug use. That […]

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Special Education Tip – I Can See Clearly Now – 80-2018

Missed Some Tips? Click HERE to access the full list of past Tips. Rochelle’s Special Education Tips I Can See Clearly Now How You Write It Matters At the risk of cutting down another tree, consider giving parents copies of the current IEP and draft IEP to look at during the IEP team meeting, in […]

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January HR Tip

VOLUME 7 | JANUARY 2018    Maryland Sick Leave Act Will Be Law in Maryland in 30 Days Contact information@pklaw.com for information on our flat rate reviews of existing paid leave policies or development of a new policy. On January 12, 2018, the Maryland Senate voted to override Governor Hogan’s veto of the General Assembly’s paid leave […]

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Special Education Tip – The Games People Play – 79-2018

Missed Some Tips? Click HERE to access the full list of past Tips. Rochelle’s Special Education Tips The Games People Play Scheduling IEP Team Meetings and Sending Home 5-Day Documents IEP teams need to stay in control of the scheduling of IEP team meetings. When meetings have to be scheduled by a certain date, forward […]

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Special Education Tip – The Wheels on the Bus Go Round and Round – 78-2018

Missed Some Tips? Click HERE to access the full list of past Tips. Rochelle’s Special Education Tips The Wheels on the Bus Go Round and Round Just like those wheels described in the song that goes on and on, some Tips’ advice needs to be repeated, if IEP team meetings attended this week are any […]

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December Insurance Insight

Interested in having PK Law’s Insurance Insights delivered monthly to your inbox? Sign Up Now For Email Newsletters you can trust.      New case law, analysis, trends and news for those in the liability, risk management and insurance industry    Volume 6  |  December 2017 NAIC’s Model Law Opens Door for State Data Security Standards There […]

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Special Education Tip – The Last Tip for 2017 – 77-2017

Missed Some Tips? Click HERE to access the full list of past Tips. Rochelle’s Special Education Tips The Last Tip for 2017 If we had to have one primary rule for avoiding due process issues, it would be to just follow the IEP, including the Behavior Intervention Plan (BIP), and keep data while following the […]

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Special Education Tip – Shoehorning Students’ Service Hours – 76-2017

Missed Some Tips? Click HERE to access the full list of past Tips. Rochelle’s Special Education Tips Shoehorning Students’ Service Hours: The Magical Mystery Tour From Elementary School to Middle School The winter holiday is around the corner and when school resumes, IEP teams will be gearing up for writing the next round of IEPs. […]

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December HR Tip

VOLUME 6 | DECEMBER 2017  Paid Sick Leave Legislation Appears Inevitable for Maryland Businesses By:  Andrew Scott, Esquire Last legislative session the Maryland General Assembly passed the Maryland Healthy Working Families Act (HB1/SB230) (“the Act”), which required employers with 15 or more employees to provide paid sick and safe leave. Although Governor Hogan later vetoed the Act, […]

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Special Education Tip – I’ve Got You Under My Skin – 75-2017

Missed Some Tips? Click HERE to access the full list of past Tips. Rochelle’s Special Education Tips I’ve Got You Under My Skin or Things That Threw Me for a Loop Last Week Here are some things that came up at IEP and 504 meetings last week that should not have occurred: A 504-Child Find […]

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Special Education Tip – With A Little Help From My Friends – 74-2017

Missed Some Tips? Click HERE to access the full list of past Tips. Rochelle’s Special Education Tips With A Little Help From My Friends-Our Instructional Assistants and Paraprofessionals When developing the Present Levels, in some cases it would be helpful to obtain information from the instructional assistants/paraprofessionals who are providing services to the students. Also, […]

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November Insurance Insight

Interested in having PK Law’s Insurance Insights delivered monthly to your inbox? Sign Up Now For Email Newsletters you can trust.      New case law, analysis, trends and news for those in the liability, risk management and insurance industry    Volume 5  |  November 2017 Insuring the Crops, Opportunity on the Vine Insurance coverage can be the difference […]

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Special Education Tip – A Seven Letter Word To Avoid- 73-2017

Missed Some Tips? Click HERE to access the full list of past Tips. Rochelle’s Special Education Tips A Seven Letter Word To Avoid We readily throw around the word “appropriate.” It really is the perfect word. You can talk about a free, appropriate public education. Or appropriate behavior. There are any number of occasions when […]

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November HR Tip

VOLUME 5 | NOVEMBER 2017  Staying Dry During the Flood of Sexual Harassment Claims – Steps Your Company Can Take to Create a Non-Discriminatory Work Environment By: Adam E. Konstas, Esquire Since news broke of the allegations of sexual harassment against Hollywood film producer Harvey Weinstein, the dam has breached, and the news has been […]

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Special Education Tip – Another Country Heard From – 72-2017

Missed Some Tips? Click HERE to access the full list of past Tips. Rochelle’s Special Education Tips Another Country Heard From It is true that nowadays, all you hear is “data, data, data.” You have to keep data on the goals and objectives. Parents want to see the data. You sometimes feel like you are […]

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Special Education Tip – Over And Over And Over Again My Friend – 71-2017

Missed Some Tips? Click HERE to access the full list of past Tips. Rochelle’s Special Education Tips Over And Over And Over Again My Friend Remember That A 504 Plan Is Not A Condolence Prize When a student is dismissed from special education services or is found ineligible for special education services in the first […]

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Special Education Tip – I Called the Doctor and the Doctor Said – 70-2017

Missed Some Tips? Click HERE to access the full list of past Tips. Rochelle’s Special Education Tips I Called the Doctor and the Doctor Said Have you ever received a note from a physician prescribing an IEP or 504 Plan for a child? When you do receive such a note, obtain consent from the parent […]

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October Insurance Insight

Interested in having PK Law’s Insurance Insights delivered monthly to your inbox? Sign Up Now For Email Newsletters you can trust.      New case law, analysis, trends and news for those in the liability, risk management and insurance industry    Volume 4  |  October 2017 Drafting Liability Releases in Maryland Six Things to Think About in Drafting Liability […]

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Special Education Tip – Suddenly I See – 69-2017

Missed Some Tips? Click HERE to access the full list of past Tips. Rochelle’s Special Education Tips Suddenly I See It keeps happening. Data is supposed to be taken to see if the student is making progress on IEP goals. But when the special educator is questioned, it turns out there is no data or […]

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Special Education Tip – The 5-Day Rule and the Death of Common Sense – 68-2017

Missed Some Tips? Click HERE to access the full list of past Tips. Rochelle’s Special Education Tips The 5-Day Rule and the Death of Common Sense You Can See the Forest Because the Trees Were All Cut Down to Comply with the 5-Day Rule One of the more poorly thought-out laws enacted by the State […]

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October HR Tip

VOLUME 4 | OCTOBER 2017  Obama’s Proposed Overtime Rule is Overruled In 2016, the Department of Labor issued a new overtime rule under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). The new rule was scheduled to take effect on December 1, 2016; however, prior to the new rule taking effect a federal court in Texas issued a nationwide […]

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Special Education Tip – OCR Investigatory Interviews – 67-2017

Missed Some Tips? Click HERE to access the full list of past Tips. Rochelle’s Special Education Tips Some Things I Learned This Week During OCR Investigatory Interviews Just when you think you have heard it all. School systems are constantly being judged and second guessed by the Office for Civil Rights of the U.S. Department […]

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Special Education Tip – Please Mr. Postman, look and see – 66-2017

Missed Some Tips? Click HERE to access the full list of past Tips. Rochelle’s Special Education Tips Please Mr. Postman, look and see If there’s a letter in your bag for me. Have you ever noticed that the postman manages to get all of the mail delivered, except for the IEP/504 Plan and related documents? […]

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September Insurance Insight

Interested in having PK Law’s Insurance Insights delivered monthly to your inbox? Sign Up Now For Email Newsletters you can trust.      New case law, analysis, trends and news for those in the liability, risk management and insurance industry    Volume 3  |  September 2017 Maryland’s New Enhanced Underinsured Motorist Coverage Law: How it will affect consumers, producers and […]

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Special Education Tip – Home and Hospital – 65-2017

Missed Some Tips? Click HERE to access the full list of past Tips. Rochelle’s Special Education Tips Home and Hospital-I Called the Doctor and the Doctor Said As the new school year begins, so too begins the deluge of Home and Hospital applications. If the student on Home and Hospital has an IEP or a […]

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Special Education Tip – Knock. Knock. Who’s There? – 64-2017

Missed Some Tips? Click HERE to access the full list of past Tips. Rochelle’s Special Education Tips Knock Knock. Who’s There? It is common knowledge that the essential members of the IEP team must be present at the IEP team meeting. This includes the special educator, general educator, a person who can make the financial […]

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September HR Tip

VOLUME 3 | SEPTEMBER 2017  Honesty Is The Best Policy Inflated, generic, or incomplete performance evaluations plague employers of all stripes. Ironically, most supervisors provide them to avoid or minimize conflict, but in the end, they often create larger problems. Below are a few steps to take to avoid the potential larger problems. Provide accurate […]

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Special Education Tip – Do As I Say, Not As I Do – 63-2017

Missed Some Tips? Click HERE to access the full list of past Tips. Rochelle’s Special Education Tips Do As I Say, Not As I Do It is not just the students who pay more attention to their electronic devices than to the speakers during class. This behavior includes some teachers too. It is imperative that […]

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Special Education Tip – Have I Got a Deal For You – 62-2017

Missed Some Tips? Click HERE to access the full list of past Tips. Rochelle’s Special Education Tips Have I Got a Deal For You Have you ever been the subject of a high pressured sales pitch? One where the salesperson tells you that you have only one day to close the deal or you will […]

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Special Education Tip – Accommodations for Parents – 61-2017

Missed Some Tips? Click HERE to access the full list of past Tips. Rochelle’s Special Education Tips Accommodations for Parents Who Want to Record Every Word You Utter By now, every school system should have a regulation or policy in place for taping IEP meetings. If you do not have one, you should develop one. […]

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August Insurance Insight

Interested in having PK Law’s Insurance Insights delivered monthly to your inbox? Sign Up Now For Email Newsletters you can trust.      New case law, analysis, trends and news for those in the liability, risk management and insurance industry    Volume 2  |  August 2017 Raising a Paw to Recent Animal Law Efforts in Maryland Whoever […]

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Special Education Tip – ESY Eligibility – 60-2017

Missed Some Tips? Click HERE to access the full list of past Tips. Rochelle’s Special Education Tips Yes. No. Why? ESY ELIGIBILITY Often the IEP team answers “yes” to one of the ESY eligibility questions during the IEP team meeting, but then answers “no” to the very last question (Will the benefits that the student […]

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Special Education Tip – Keep It Current – 59-2017

Missed Some Tips? Click HERE to access the full list of past Tips. Rochelle’s Special Education Tips Present Level of Academic Achievement and Functional Performance-Keep It Current When you write a new IEP, make sure the Present Levels are current. When you retain old scores, observations, or classroom performance from years before, you are setting […]

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August HR Tip

VOLUME 2 | AUGUST 2017  Website Accessibility – Are you Compliant? As companies continue the wait for the Department of Justice to publish regulations on website accessibility under Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), which are not expected until at least 2018, plaintiffs across the country are taking the battle to court, […]

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Special Education Tip – Form Over Substance – 58-2017

Missed Some Tips? Click HERE to access the full list of past Tips. Rochelle’s Special Education Tips Form Over Substance If it has not been clear before, it should be clear by now: When the Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE) investigates a State complaint, it will ding a school system based on documentation. MSDE […]

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Special Education Tip – Will This Meeting Ever End? – 57-2017

Missed Some Tips? Click HERE to access the full list of past Tips. Rochelle’s Special Education Tips Will This Meeting Ever End? Whatever happened to the one hour IEP meeting? Why are IEP team meetings taking up an entire morning or afternoon? It is obvious that the losers are the children. Plus, how effective is […]

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July Insurance Insight

Interested in having PK Law’s Insurance Insights delivered monthly to your inbox? Sign Up Now For Email Newsletters you can trust.      New case law, analysis, trends and news for those in the liability, risk management and insurance industry    Volume 1  |  July 2017 Maryland Legislation Update The following is a list of new legislation […]

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July HR Tips

VOLUME 1 | JULY 2017  Override of Paid Sick Leave Bill Likely in Next Session – 4 Things To Do Now to Prepare Although Governor Hogan vetoed the Maryland Healthy Working Families Act (HB1/SB230) which would have required employers with over 14 employees to provide paid sick and safe leave, it is expected that the […]

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Special Education Tip – IDEA Does Not Provide for Summer Exceptions – 56-2017

Missed Some Tips? Click HERE to access the full list of past Tips. Rochelle’s Special Education Tips IDEA Does Not Provide for Summer Exceptions Last week, Tips reviewed the necessity of complying with the 5-day rule for documents during the summer months. Another rule without a summer exception is the rule to have essential team […]

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Special Education Tip – The 5-Day Rule Applies in the Summer, Too – 55-2017

Missed Some Tips? Click HERE to access the full list of past Tips. Rochelle’s Special Education Tips The 5-Day Rule Applies in the Summer, Too, Even if Your Staff is Under the Boardwalk  This is such a difficult time of year to hold IEP team meetings. School is out and staff leave town. But IEP […]

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Special Education Tip – Put Your Hands Over Your Ears – 54-2017

Missed Some Tips? Click HERE to access the full list of past Tips. Rochelle’s Special Education Tips Put Your Hands Over Your Ears It is always a good time to remember what you do not want to hear at IEP team meetings. The following has been heard at recent meetings: “Putting the child in inclusion […]

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Special Education Tip – Let Me Speak My Mind – 53-2017

Rochelle’s Special Education Tips Let Me Speak My Mind If you have a student who requires Assistive Technology (“AT”) (low tech or high tech) to communicate, now is the time to plan staff training in the use of the AT. The AT training should be conducted immediately prior to the first student day of school. […]

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Special Education Tip – I Want My Child to Be Like Everyone Else – 52-2017

Rochelle’s Special Education Tips I Want My Child to Be Like Everyone Else You hear it a lot at IEP and 504 meetings: parents who do not want special transportation, pull-out instruction, or supplementary aids and services because they do not want their child to feel or look “different.” It is the obligation of the […]

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Special Education Tip – The UniServ Representative is Not a Member of the IEP Team – 51-2017

Rochelle’s Special Education Tips The UniServ Representative is Not a Member of the IEP Team IEP meetings are meant to be collaborative sessions between educators and parents. But sometimes things do not go well. When an educator feels bullied, overworked, or unfairly blamed, a natural instinct may be to get the UniServ representative involved. That […]

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Special Education Tip – The Russians are Coming, The Russians are Coming!!! – 50-2017

Rochelle’s Special Education Tips The Russians are Coming, The Russians are Coming!!!   We hear a lot in the news about Russian espionage in connection with national affairs. Of equal interest for readers of Tips is espionage during IEP team meetings. Not cloak and dagger espionage, but secret taping. Always assume you are being taped […]

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Special Education TIP – 5-Day Rule: MSDE Provides a New Interpretation – 49-2017

Rochelle’s Special Education Tips 5-Day Rule: MSDE Provides a New Interpretation Section 8-405 of the Education Article provides that except when there are extenuating circumstances, at least 5 business days before an IEP team meeting, the school system shall provide the parents with an accessible copy of each assessment, report, data chart, draft IEP or […]

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Special Education Tip – Say It Ain’t True – 48-2017

Rochelle’s Special Education Tips Say It Ain’t True Do you have relatives or friends who have favorite stories they tell over and over, embellishing the stories over the years until the stories barely resemble the originals? You smile and nod as they do this, as you are probably equally guilty of this very human flaw, […]

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Special Education Tip – Missing in Action-Violation of the Compulsory Attendance Law – 47-2017

Rochelle’s Special Education Tips Missing in Action-Violation of the Compulsory Attendance Law    Maryland has a compulsory attendance law, found at Section 7-301 of the Education Article of the Annotated Code of Maryland. Every Maryland school system has a process in place for dealing with truant students. Why, then, is it not uncommon to find […]

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Special Education Tip – Private Psychological or Medical Reports – 46-2017

Rochelle’s Special Education Tips When You Receive the Private Psychological or Medical Reports, What Should You Be Asking? The private psychological and medical reports regularly show up in IEP team meetings, filled with inaccurate authoritative statements supplied by the parents to the writers of the reports. Often the parent is describing the child in the […]

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Special Education Tip – No Good Deed Goes Unpunished – 45-2017

Rochelle’s Special Education Tips No Good Deed Goes Unpunished School staff oftentimes find themselves in a quandary when they overlook student misbehaviors as the misbehaviors are the result of the disability. Eventually, there comes a time when it becomes evident that no matter how many supports are put in place, the placement is inappropriate and […]

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Special Education Tip – Requests to Amend Student Records-Requests Your Mother Would Never Make – 44-2017

Rochelle’s Special Education Tips Requests to Amend Student Records-Requests Your Mother Would Never Make The helicopter parenting continues. Schools are encountering more instances of parents trying to change their children’s grades and other records. A recent decision of the Family Policy Compliance Office (known since January 2017 as the Office of the Chief Privacy Officer), […]

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Special Education Tip – What Do You Do with the Private Assessment Report? – 43-2017

Rochelle’s Special Education Tips What Do You Do with the Private Assessment Report? Whenever you receive a private assessment, it must be reviewed, discussed, and considered by the IEP or 504 team. As soon as you receive it, write the date of receipt on the front of the report. If it is received at the […]

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Special Education Tip – There is a Light at the End of the Tunnel – 42-2017

Rochelle’s Special Education Tips There is a Light at the End of the Tunnel and It Ain’t No Train Some good news. The NSBA Council of School Attorneys (“COSA”) met last week in Denver, Colorado. One of the speakers was former COSA Chair Tom Wheeler, now Acting Assistant Attorney General, Civil Rights Division, U.S. Department […]

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Special Education Tip – Supreme Court Issues Landmark Decision on the FAPE Standard – 41-2017

Rochelle’s Special Education Tips Supreme Court Issues Landmark Decision on the FAPE Standard The FAPE Standard is Whether the IEP is Reasonably Calculated to Enable a Child to Make Progress In Light of His Circumstances We have been eagerly awaiting the decision of the Supreme Court in Endrew F. v. Douglas County School District. On […]

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Special Education Tip – Data Data Data – 40-2017

Rochelle’s Special Education Tips Data Data Data Education is data driven. No area is more data driven than special education. Principals, Assistant Principals, and Supervisors: Make sure you are doing the following— Personally check to see if data is being kept for each child. Direct employees not to destroy data even after it is put […]

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Special Education Tip – Updating the IEP – 39-2017

Rochelle’s Special Education Tips Updating the IEP When you hold an annual review, do not skip pages in the IEP. For instance, the Parental Input section should be different from year to year. It may be the same message, but at least change the wording. The Present Levels should address the current Present Levels, not […]

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Special Education Tip – Observations and E-Mails-Another Reminder – 38-2017

Rochelle’s Special Education Tips Observations and E-Mails-Another Reminder Here is my observation on observations and an e-mail on the problem with e-mails. Observations: Every school system needs to have an observation policy/procedure/guideline. It does not matter where the rule is located. You just need to have one. It should include (1) the number of observations […]

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Special Education Tip – Wonder of Wonders – 37-2017

Rochelle’s Special Education Tips Wonder of Wonders – Supreme Court Opens Door for More Litigation in Cases Involving 504 and the ADA On February 22, 2017, the Supreme Court issued a decision in Fry v. Napoleon Community Schools et al. A school district had prohibited a student from bringing her service dog, Wonder, to school […]

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Special Education Tip – Restraint Is Not What You Think It Is – 36-2017

Rochelle’s Special Education Tips Restraint Is Not What You Think It Is School systems are faced with a growing number of children, particularly young children, who unfortunately engage in aggressive, harmful behaviors, which result in the need for the use of restraints to keep the children and others safe. No one is happy about the […]

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Special Education Tip – Parental Request for Records – 35-2017

Rochelle’s Special Education Tips Viewing Records Online or in Person Satisfies a Parental Request for Records Often, a school will receive repeated requests for records. The repeated copying of records is time consuming for staff and a waste of paper. According to a recent FERPA decision of the Family Policy Compliance Office (FPCO) of the […]

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Special Education Tip – Parental Input – 34-2017

Rochelle’s Special Education Tips Creating a Record and the Need to Give Proper Attention to Parental Input When the IEP or 504 team receives an assessment report or letter from a doctor, be sure the Prior Written Notice (PWN) or minutes of the meeting specifies that the team “reviewed, discussed, and considered” the document. That […]

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Special Education Tip – Signs of Parental Discontent – 33-2017

Rochelle’s Special Education Tips Signs of Parental Discontent It is rare for a parent who is satisfied with her child’s education to do the following; Hire a special education attorney or educational advocate. Hire an educational consultant to observe in the classroom. Send questionnaires to teachers to obtain information about the child’s school performance. Question […]

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Special Education Tip – Who Do You Communicate With When the Parents Hire an Attorney or Advocate? – 32-2017

Rochelle’s Special Education Tips Who Do You Communicate With When the Parents Hire an Attorney or Advocate? It is not uncommon for a parents’ attorney to insist that the school system limit communications regarding the student to the attorney and not to communicate with the parents. Do not follow this directive. The student is best […]

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Special Education Tip – Immediate Action Required – 31-2017

Rochelle’s Special Education Tips Immediate Action Required We are at the end of the first semester. You should be aware if students are making progress/gaining meaningful benefit from their reading programs. Do not delay making changes if they are not. Are you implementing the reading programs with fidelity? Does the reading methodology chosen still match […]

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Special Education Tip – The Bullying Issue and the Deliberate Indifference Standard – 30-2016

Rochelle’s Special Education Tips The Bullying Issue and the Deliberate Indifference Standard The Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals, which issues decisions binding on all Maryland school systems, set the legal standard for liability for bullying in 2016: so long as a school system can show that it did not respond with “deliberate indifference” it will […]

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Special Education Tip – Accessibility of the School System’s Website – 29-2016

Rochelle’s Special Education Tips Accessibility of the School System’s Website Today’s Tips is oriented towards the school system as a whole. Some of you have already been involved in difficult OCR investigations regarding the accessibility of your school system’s website to persons with vision impairments. This is both a 504 and Title II of the […]

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Special Education Tip – Basis For IEP Data – 10-2016

Rochelle’s Special Education Tips When you report to parents on a child’s reading comprehension, make sure the Present Levels in the IEP reflect whether the data provided is based on the child reading independently or being read to by an adult or by a form of Assistive Technology. Most people assume that when a teacher […]

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Special Education Tip – IEP and 504 Plans Spot Checks – 09-2016

Rochelle’s Special Education Tips Principals and Assistant Principals-When you observe teachers, include spot checks as to whether the teachers are implementing the accommodations identified in students’ IEPs and 504 Plans. Look at the IEPs and 504 Plans just as you look at teachers’ lesson plans. Make sure the IEPs and 504 Plans are being implemented. […]

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Special Education tip – IEP Team – 08-2016

Rochelle’s Special Education Tips When a parent brings an Independent Educational Evaluation (“IEE”) or any information to the IEP team, the obligation of the IEP team is to “consider” the information. The team does not have to agree with it. Make sure the Prior Written Notice (“PWN”) states that the IEE was “reviewed and considered” […]

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Special Education Tip – Independent Educational Evaluations – 07-2016

Rochelle’s Special Education Tips Every school system should keep an up-to-date list on where parents can obtain Independent Educational Evaluations (“IEEs”). On an annual basis, find out what private assessors are charging so that you can provide that information to the parents when they seek an IEE. The school system’s written IEE criteria should include […]

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Special Education Tip Number – 06-2016

Rochelle’s Special Education Tips When a parent makes a request for an Independent Educational Evaluation (“IEE”), you have two choices: (1) agree to pay for it or (2) file a request for a due process hearing. The IEE does not necessarily have to cover reading, writing, and math. A more frequent IEE request is for […]

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Special Education Tip – Agenda Book – 05-2016

Rochelle’s Special Education Tips Whatever you write in the IEP must be implemented. For instance, if you add the supplementary aid of “teacher to initial agenda book” but the student does not bring the teacher the agenda book and so it is not initialed, you have failed to implement the IEP. A reasonable parent may then […]

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Special Education Tip – 04-2018

Rochelle’s Special Education Tips If a student’s IEP identifies a certain number of minutes for reading instruction, be sure the student is receiving the required instruction as per the IEP.  A school administrator may not unilaterally change the amount of time the student is to receive reading instruction, even if the time period identified in […]

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Special Education Tip – 03-2016

Rochelle’s Special Education Tips If a student is not making progress in reading, determine if the teacher is implementing the reading program with fidelity.  Reading programs usually come with recommended protocols for implementation (days per week, minutes per day).  Failure to implement the program with fidelity may explain why the expected reading progress is not […]

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Special Education Tip – 02-2016

Rochelle’s Special Education Tips When attending an annual review, compare the old IEP with the draft IEP.  Are there changes?  If not, why?  No changes could mean a lack of progress or a failure to draft a new IEP.  Ask questions.  Do not let these issues slip by.  It is the responsibility of each IEP […]

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Special Education Tip – 01-2016

Rochelle’s Special Education Tips When holding an IEP team meeting, always include a general educator.  An administrative employee, such as an assistant principal, does not count as a general educator unless the assistant principal also teaches in the school. Rochelle’s Special Education Tips (“Tips”) are designed to be helpful and thought provoking, but should not […]

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