Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Timelines Are Important!

This time of year, it is important to think about certain timelines with regard to special education and certain requests.

Once you make a request for any special education-related assessment, a school district has 15 days to give you a response and/or an assessment plan to sign. Once a parent signs and returns that assessment plan to a school district, they have 60 days to complete the assessment and hold an IEP meeting to discuss the assessment results.

You may be asking "So why does this time of year have anything to do with that?" Good question. Those statutory timelines are tolled during school holidays of 5 days or longer. That means that all timelines stop during summer break. So if you request an assessment, and sign an assessment plan, and on day 59 the school district goes into summer break. that means your IEP will take place no later than the 2nd day of school NEXT school year.

The school district can finish the process sooner, but they are not compelled to do so by law. This also goes for a direct request for an IEP meeting, which the school district must comply with within 30 days. If that 30 days goes into summer, again it will take place NEXT school year.

The moral of the story is: Be prepared to wait, or, in the alternative, make sure to get those requests in prior to 2 months before summer break if you want your meetings to happen during the "current" school year.

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