August 2022 –
The MLO Minute: “Back-To-School Guide: How to Prepare for a Successful School Year” –
A Two-Part Series by Dennis McAndrews, Esq. and Jennifer Grobe, Esq.
Part 1: IEPs, Service Plans, and the Beginning of the School Year
“You know that the beginning is the most important part of any work, especially in the case of a young and tender thing…. anything received into the mind at that age is likely to become indelible and unalterable.”
– Plato, The Republic
Everyone involved in education recognizes the importance of the first few weeks of school. Students who acclimate to their new teachers and surroundings become enthusiastically engaged in the learning process and are much more likely to be successful throughout the entire school year.
Students with IEPs and 504 Service Plans are particularly challenged in transitioning into the new school year, adjusting to new routines and changing support staff. It is essential that critical aspects of IEPs and Service Plans be implemented with fidelity throughout the school year, and, often most importantly, at the start of the current year.
At the same time, the start of the school year is often a hectic and complicated time for teachers, especially those who must implement IEPs and Service Plans, which can be lengthy and detailed documents. This year in particular, many schools are dealing with significant staff shortages.
A major issue we see in our special education practice is the failure of school districts and charter schools to fully implement IEPs or Service Plans until several weeks after the beginning of the school year. This is not only contrary to federal and state special education law, but also sets the student up for far more difficulty down the road.
If you have concerns about your child’s educational progress, please know that we look forward to being of assistance to your family. We are privileged to serve parents and students throughout Pennsylvania and Delaware in special education matters, and our initial consultations are at no charge, with most cases handled without fees advanced by the family. Please let us know if we can assist you! Call us Today at 610-648-9300 or Click here to Contact Us!