All special education and related services, supplementary aids and services, program modifications, and supports for school personnel that are included on a student’s IEPs are required to be documented so that all involved with developing and implementing the IEP have a clear understanding of what will be provided to the student. The IEP is required to specify the anticipated frequency, location, and duration of services. (20 USC Section 1414(d)(1)(A)(i)(VII)).
Everyone on the IEP team, including parents, should know the amounts of services being offered. J.L. v. Mercer Island School District (9th Cir. 2010) 592 F.3d 938. Recently, in contrast to prior rulings, the 9th circuit held that IEPs create a contractual relationship between the school and a student’s representative (parent, guardian, etc.). M.C. v. Antelope Valley Union High School District (9th Cir. 2107) 852 F.3d 840. The IEP is a formal, written offer to provide certain services to a student. When the IEP is written clearly, many factual disputes regarding what services, placement, or additional educational assistance was offered can be avoided. Union School District v. Smith (9th Cir. 1994) 15 F.3d 1519.
An IEP which doesn’t detail the anticipated frequency, location, and duration of the proposed specialized academic instruction may seriously infringe on a parent’s right to participate in the IEP process, especially where the offer improperly delegates the determination of frequency and duration of specialized instruction to teachers outside the IEP. R.E.B. v. State of Hawaii Dept. of Education (9th Cir. 2017) 870 F.3d 1025. The IEP is the blueprint for enforcement and requires a formal, specific offer. R.E.B. citing Union School Dist.
If you are unable to understand what services your child should receive as a part of their IEP, contact Kristin Springer at (925) 551-1041 to discuss having your child’s IEP reviewed.
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