It’s the Law: Assistive Technology Devices and Services

Both IDEA and Section 504 guarantee a Free Appropriate Education (FAPE).

This includes assistive technology devices and services. Examples include:

* A laptop that 1) scans worksheets, which the student can then type on (because typing might be easier than writing), and 2) can be used to take pictures of the front board, notes, or any other information the child needs.

* A computer with a screen reader, to help with literacy

* Access to Learning Ally and other sources for audiobooks

* Noise-cancelling head-phones

*Voice-recognition software
If your child needs assistive technology devices or services, under both IDEA and Section 504, your child has the right to be provided them.

What Is An Education Record?

To fully access your student’s education records, you must have a full understanding of the definition of “education records”. The same holds true if you are trying to monitor whether the confidentiality of the student’s records is being maintained.

An education record simply isn’t a file consisting of report cards and progress reports. It includes such records as emails and legal invoices, too.

Freedom of Information Act

How to Submit a Freedom of Information Act Request

The Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) provides the public access to records held by public bodies.

As stated, the freedom of information act “is a vital part of our democracy.”

Learn how to write and submit a FOIA request, and learn about some of the issues that may arise in response to your request submission.

Are Schools Required To Conduct Their Own Evaluations After Independent Educational Evaluations Are Conducted?

Are Schools Required To Conduct Their Own Evaluations After Independent Educational Evaluations Are Conducted?

Are schools required to conduct their own evaluations after an independent educational evaluation (IEE) is conducted?

“No,” is the answer from Rory Duffield and Lourrie Duddridge, two senior specialists with Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS), one of the largest school districts in the United States.

5.10.21 VDOE emails Grant Award Notification and Routing

Virginia Department of Education, Carelessness & Literacy Grant Award Notifications

The Virginia Department of Education has long been known for partnering with Carelessness, just like the school districts below it.

May 10, 2021, Samantha Hollins forwarded grant award notification and routing information to a Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS) parent. The parent did not request the information. The parent had no reason for receiving the information. The parent wasn’t even aware of the existence of the information.

8.11.21 VDOE Letter of Findings: Noncompliance for Convening Eligibility and IEP Meetings Without Parent

June 22, 2021, a parent with a child enrolled in Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS), Virginia, filed a complaint with the Virginia Department of Education (VDOE). The complaint was based on FCPS holding an IEP and eligibility meeting without her in attendance.

My hope is that the analysis made by VDOE and how it interpreted and applied different regulations will 1) help other parents as they advocate for their children and 2) help educate the educators who are ignorant of the process.

Case Law They Use: IEPs & FAPE

Studying case law cited by your State Education Agency (SEA) and Local Education Agency (LEA) in response to parents’ state complaints, and studying case law cited by LEAs, LEA lawyers, and hearing officers during due process hearings is a good way to prepare yourself to 1) understand special education law, 2) understand the different ways it can be interpreted and inappropriately manipulated, and 3) how to use special education-related case law to argue your own case.

Student Records—Confidentiality: Regulations and Case Law Cited by School Divisions, Lawyers and State Education Agencies

This article focuses on student records—confidentiality regulations and case law that school divisions, school division lawyers, hearing officers, and state education agencies use in documents they issue.

It will be updated as new information is obtained.