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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 members at the summer IEP team meetings. An essential team member includes the general educator. It is not sufficient to have someone identified as the “general educator” if the employee does not work as a general educator. For instance, an Assistant Principal is not the general educator unless the Assistant Principal actually teaches a class in the school. Every meeting should include, at a minimum, the parents, general educator, special educator, and school system representative. The latter is someone who is qualified to provide or supervise the provision of special education and is knowledgeable about the general curriculum and school system resources. You also need an evaluation interpreter who can interpret the instructional implications of evaluation results. Team members can do double duty for this position. For instance, the Special Education Coordinator may be able to interpret the results of the academic testing.

Every school system should have a process in place for securing essential team members for summer IEP team meetings. There is nothing wrong with having essential team members participate by telephone if they are on vacation or otherwise unable to get to the meeting in person. They can be paid for their telephone participation even though they cannot attend the meeting in person.

Rochelle’s Special Education Tips (“Tips”) are designed to be helpful and thought provoking, but should not be considered legal advice as they may not be accurate for use in all situations. Tips are based on my opinions and positions in accordance with federal and Maryland law and my over 35 years of experience in the special education legal field. – Rochelle S. Eisenberg, Esquire
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