Thursday, December 7, 2017

OSEP Issues Guidance On The Meaning of Endrew F. #FAPE

The federal Office of Special Education Programs issued regulatory guidance today on the meaning and implications of the Endrew F decision by SCOTUS. The document is in question and answer format. There are twenty questions and answers. {Suggestion for new name: 20 Questions About Endrew!}

To whet your appetite, here are two of my favorites:
15. What actions should IEP Teams take if a child is not making progress at the level the IEP Team expected? An IEP is not a guarantee of a specific educational or functional result for a child with a disability. However, the IDEA does provide for revisiting the IEP if the expected progress is not occurring. This is particularly important because of the Court’s decision in Endrew F., which clarifies that the standard for determining whether an IEP is sufficient to provide FAPE is whether the child is offered an IEP reasonably calculated to enable the child to make progress that is appropriate in light of the child’s circumstances. At least once a year, IEP Teams must review the child's IEP to determine whether the annual goals for the child are being achieved. The IEP Team also may meet periodically throughout the course of the school year, if circumstances warrant it. For example, if a child is not making expected progress toward his or her annual goals, the IEP Team must revise, as appropriate, the IEP to address the lack of progress. Although the public agency is responsible for determining when it is necessary to conduct an IEP Team meeting, the parents of a child with a disability have the right to request an IEP Team meeting at any time. If a child is not making progress at the level the IEP Team expected, despite receiving all the services and supports identified in the IEP, the IEP Team must meet to review and revise the IEP if necessary, to ensure the child is receiving appropriate interventions, special education and related services and supplementary aids and services, and to ensure the IEP’s goals are individualized and ambitious. Public agencies may find it useful to examine current practices for engaging and communicating with parents throughout the school year as IEP goals are evaluated and the IEP Team determines whether the child is making progress toward IEP goals. IEP Teams should use the periodic progress reporting required at 34 CFR §300.320(a)(3)(ii) to inform parents of their child’s progress. Parents and other IEP Team members should collaborate and partner to track progress appropriate to the child’s circumstances. 
16. Must IEPs address the use of positive behavioral interventions and supports? 
Where necessary to provide FAPE, IEPs must include consideration of behavioral needs in the development, review, and revision of IEPs.17 IEP Teams must consider and, if necessary to provide FAPE, include appropriate behavioral goals and objectives and other appropriate services and supports in the IEPs of children whose behavior impedes their own learning or the learning of their peers.  

You can see the press release here. The full question and answer document is available here.

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