All posts by Lori Arons

AMENDING AN IEP WITHOUT A MEETING

Parents often ask about amending an IEP without a meeting, and whether it is legal for the school to change their child’s Individualized Education Program without a meeting of the IEP Team. Under both the Federal and New Jersey regulations, the short answer is yes. While an IEP must be developed by the IEP Team, changes to the IEP can be made without a meeting of the IEP Team.

The Code of Federal Regulations at 34 C.F.R. §300.324(a)(4)(i) provides: “In making changes to a child’s IEP after the annual IEP Team meeting for a school year, the parent of a child with a disability and the public agency may agree not to convene an IEP Team meeting for the purposes of making those changes, and instead may develop a written document to amend or modify the child’s current IEP.”

The New Jersey Special Education Law at N.J.A.C. 6A:14-3.7(d) provides: “The IEP may be amended without a meeting of the IEP team as follows:

1. The IEP may be amended if the parent makes a written request to the district board of education for a specific amendment to a provision or provisions of the IEP and the district agrees;

2. The school district provides the parent a written proposal to amend a provision or provisions of the IEP and, within 15 days from the date the written proposal is provided to the parent, the parent consents in writing to the proposed amendment;

3. All amendments pursuant to (d)1 and 2 above shall be incorporated in an amended IEP or an addendum to the IEP, and a copy of the amended IEP or addendum shall be provided to the parent within 15 days of receipt of parental consent by the school district; and

4. If an IEP is amended pursuant to this subsection, such amendment shall not affect the requirement in (i) below that the IEP team review the IEP at a meeting annually, or more often if necessary.”

Amending an IEP without a meeting may be done if the school and parents agree, but does not affect the requirement that the IEP Team review the IEP at a meeting annually, or more often if necessary. If you need help navigating the process of obtaining a Free Appropriate Public Education for your child, Lori E. Arons, Esq. is available help. Contact Lori today by calling 201-388-9533 or by using the Contact Us form.

Recording IEP Meetings in New Jersey

The question of whether and under what circumstances parents may use an audio recording device at an IEP meeting comes up a lot. I often see well meaning parents in special needs Facebook groups posting misinformation about the law on recording IEP meetings in New Jersey. This is understandable considering I’ve seen board attorneys tell parents they cannot record the meeting because they didn’t submit written notice the day before. The law does not require parents to give notice in writing, nor does it require notice be days or hours in advance of the IEP meeting. Here’s exactly what the law requires for recording IEP meetings in New Jersey:

The New Jersey Special Education Law at N.J.A.C. 6A:14-2.3(k)(8) provides: “Participants at the IEP meeting shall be allowed to use an audio-tape recorder during the meeting provided notice is given to the other participants prior to the start of the meeting that such a device is being utilized.”

When parents record a meeting the district will also record, and will appreciate advance notice so they have a recording device ready before the meeting starts. As a matter of courtesy, and to avoid delay, it is a good practice to send an email beforehand to advise you will be recording the IEP meeting. However, there is no legal requirement that you do so. Simply saying “I am recording the meeting” before the meeting starts is sufficient notice under the law.

It is always a good idea to record the meeting. An accurate account of exactly what transpired can be helpful in a variety of ways. If you need help navigating the process of obtaining a Free Appropriate Public Education for your child, Lori E. Arons, Esq. is available help. Contact Lori today by calling 201-388-9533 or by using the Contact Us form.

“Stay Put” Rights in Special Education

What are “Stay Put” Rights in Special Education?

“Stay Put” rights in Special Education are something every parent whose child is receiving special education services should know about. If you disagree with changes the school wants to make to your child’s Individualized Education Program (IEP), you can stop the changes from going into effect by invoking your child’s “stay put” rights. Your child can then continue to receive their “then-current” program until the dispute is resolved.

“Stay Put” rights in Special Education are governed by both State and Federal Law. The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) is the federal law that ensures qualified children with disabilities a Free Appropriate Public Education (FAPE). The IDEA requires that schools give parents written notice before making any change to an IEP. State laws vary as to the length of advance notice, and how to invoke “Stay Put” rights.

How to Invoke your child’s “Stay Put” Rights in New Jersey

New Jersey State law requires that schools give parents 15 days written notice before making any change to an IEP. Most often, written notice is given at an IEP meeting when the school presents a new IEP. Issues often arise when the school proposes to change placement, or to reduce or eliminate related services. You are deemed to have signed the IEP and agreed to the changes unless you file a petition within 15 days. Once the IEP is signed, or deemed signed, the school will implement the changes.

If you do not agree with changes to your child’s IEP, you can take action. You must file a Petition for Mediation or Due Process before the change goes into effect. Usually, the change goes into effect 15 days after you are provided with the new IEP. However, if the proposed changes have not yet been implemented, there may still be time to prevent them from going into effect.

If you need help invoking your child’s “Stay Put” rights, Lori E. Arons, Esq. is available to help file a Petition for Mediation or Due Process. Contact Lori today by calling 201-388-9533 or by using the Contact Us form.

Private Schools for Students with Disabilities

The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) requires that a full continuum of placements be available to meet the needs of students eligible for special education and related services. The continuum of placements includes private schools for students with disabilities. Below is a list private schools for students with disabilities that are approved by the New Jersey Department of Education. Hyperlinks are provided, and listed both alphabetically by school and by county.

If you need help securing an appropriate placement for your child, whether in one of the New Jersey approved private schools for students with disabilities or another school on the continuum of placements, Lori E. Arons, Esq. is available to help. Contact Lori today by calling 201-388-9533 or by using the Contact Us form.

New Jersey Approved Private Schools for Students with Disabilities – Alphabetically by School 

1ST CEREBRAL PALSY OF NEW JERSEY
ACADEMY 360: UPPER SCHOOL
ACADEMY 360: LOWER SCHOOL
ALLEGRO SCHOOL
ALPHA SCHOOL
ALPINE LEARNING GROUP, INC.
ARC KOHLER SCHOOL, THE
ARCHBISHOP DAMIANO SCHOOL
ARCHWAY PROGRAMS, ATCO
BANCROFT NEUROHEALTH PEDIATRIC, VOORHEES
BANCROFT NEUROHEALTH SCHOOL
BANCROFT NEUROHEALTH SCHOOL, CHERRY HILL
BANYAN SCHOOL
BANYAN UPPER SCHOOL
BENWAY SCHOOL
BERGEN CENTER FOR CHILD DEVELOPMENT
BONNIE BRAE SCHOOL
BRIDGE ACADEMY
BROOKFIELD ACADEMY
BROOKFIELD ACADEMY TRANSITION TO COLLEGE PROGRAM
BROOKFIELD ELEMENTARY SCHOOL
C.P.C. HIGH POINT ADOLESCENT AND ELEMENTARY SCHOOL
CALAIS SCHOOL
CELEBRATE THE CHILDREN
CENTER FOR EDUCATION, THE
CENTER FOR EDUCATIONAL ADVANCEMENT SCHOOL AT SOUTH HUNTERDON
CENTER SCHOOL
CHANCELLOR ACADEMY
CHAPEL HILL ACADEMY
CHILDREN’S CENTER OF MONMOUTH CO.
CHILDREN’S DAY SCHOOL
COASTAL LEARNING CENTER ATLANTIC
COASTAL LEARNING CENTER, HOWELL
COLLIER SCHOOL
COMMUNITY ELEMENTARY SCHOOL
COMMUNITY HIGH SCHOOL
CREATIVE ACHIEVEMENT ACADEMY
CRESCENT HILL ACADEMY
CTC ACADEMY – FAIR LAWN
CTC ACADEMY INC, OAKLAND
DAVID GREGORY SCHOOL
DAYTOP NEW JERSEY ACADEMY, A NEW JERSEY NONPROFIT CORP
DELAWARE VALLEY SCHOOL FOR EXCEPTIONAL CHILDREN
DERON SCHOOL I
DERON SCHOOL II
DURAND, INC.
E.C.L.C., HO-HO-KUS CAMPUS
EAST MOUNTAIN SCHOOL, A DIVISION OF CARRIER CLINIC
ECLC OF NEW JERSEY, CHATHAM CAMPUS
EDEN SCHOOL, THE
EDUCATION ACADEMY
EDUCATIONAL PARTNERSHIP FOR INSTRUCTING CHILDREN (EPIC)
ESSEX VALLEY SCHOOL
FEDCAP – 4T (TEACHING, TRAINING, TOWARDS TRANSITION)
FELICIAN SCHOOL FOR EXCEPTIONAL CHILDREN
FIRST CHILDREN SCHOOL
FORUM SCHOOL
GARDEN ACADEMY
GARFIELD PARK ACADEMY
GATEWAY SCHOOL
GLENVIEW ACADEMY
GRAMON SCHOOL
GREEN BROOK ACADEMY
HAMPTON ACADEMY
HARBOR SCHOOL
HAWKSWOOD SCHOOL(FORMERLY SCHOOL FOR CHILDREN)
HIGH POINT SCHOOL OF BERGEN COUNTY
HOLLYDELL SCHOOL
HOLMSTEAD SCHOOL
HONOR RIDGE ACADEMY
HORIZON SCHOOL
HORIZON HIGH SCHOOL
INCLUSIVE LEARNING ACADEMY BUTLER CAMPUS-AARON DECKER SCH.
INCLUSIVE LEARNING ACADEMY BUTLER CAMPUS-BUTLER MIDDLE SCH.
INCLUSIVE LEARNING ACADEMY-BUTLER HIGH SCHOOL
INCLUSIVE LEARNING ACADEMY-STANHOPE CAMPUS
INSTITUTE FOR EDUCATIONAL ACHIEVEMENT (IEA)
JARDINE ACADEMY
KINGSWAY LEARNING CENTER
KINGSWAY LEARNING CENTER- SECONDARY
LAKELAND-ANDOVER SCHOOL
LAKEVIEW LEARNING CENTER
LAKEVIEW SCHOOL
LARC SCHOOL
LEARNING CENTER FOR EXCEPTIONAL CHILDREN
LEGACY TREATMENT SERVICES – MARY A. DOBBINS SCHOOL
LEHMANN SCHOOL
LORD STIRLING SCHOOL
MATHENY SCHOOL AND HOSPITAL
MIDLAND SCHOOL
MILTON SCHOOL
MONTGOMERY ACADEMY
MOUNT CARMEL GUILD ACADEMY
NEW BEGINNINGS
NEW BEGINNINGS ANNEX AT MACOPIN MIDDLE SCHOOL
NEW BEGINNINGS ANNEX AT MAPLE ROAD SCHOOL
NEW BEGINNINGS AT APSHAWA
NEW BEGINNINGS AT MEMORIAL SCHOOL C/O NORTH HALEDON
NEW ROAD SCHOOL OF OCEAN
NEW ROAD SCHOOL OF PARLIN
NEW ROAD SCHOOL OF SOMERSET
NEWGRANGE SCHOOL
NEWMARK HIGH SCHOOL, INC.
NEWMARK SCHOOL, INC., THE
NJEDDA ELEMENTARY SCHOOL
NJEDDA HIGH SCHOOL
NORTH HUDSON ACADEMY
OAKWOOD SCHOOL
OCEAN ACADEMY
P.G. CHAMBERS SCHOOL
PHOENIX CENTER
PINELAND LEARNING CENTER AND HIGH SCHOOL
PRINCETON CHILD DEVELOPMENT INST.
REED ACADEMY
ROCK BROOK SCHOOL
RUGBY SCHOOL, INC., THE
SCHOOL FOR CHILDREN WITH HIDDEN INTELLIGENCE
SCHROTH SCHOOL
SEARCH DAY PROGRAM
SEARCH DAY PROGRAM-MARLBORO
SHEPARD PREPARATORY HIGH SCHOOL
SHEPARD SCHOOL
SOMERSET HILLS LEARNING INSTITUTE
ST. JOSEPH’S SCHOOL FOR THE BLIND
STEPPING STONE SCHOOL
STRANG SCHOOL
SUMMIT SPEECH SCHOOL
THE ARC OF ESSEX COUNTY STEPPING STONE SCHOOL
THERAPEUTIC SCHOOL AND PRESCHOOL
TITUSVILLE ACADEMY
WASHINGTON ACADEMY
WESTBRIDGE ACADEMY
WILLOWGLEN ACADEMY @JEAN MANFRA SCHOOL
WINDSOR BERGEN ACADEMY
WINDSOR LEARNING CENTER
WINDSOR PREP
WINDSOR SCHOOL
Y.A.L.E. SCHOOL EAST, NORTHFIELD
Y.A.L.E. SCHOOL NORTH II, KIRBY’S MILL
Y.A.L.E. SCHOOL NORTH, MEDFORD
Y.A.L.E. SCHOOL SOUTHEAST, EVESHAM
Y.A.L.E. SCHOOL, ATLANTIC
Y.A.L.E. SCHOOL, ATLANTIC II
Y.A.L.E. SCHOOL, CENTRAL
Y.A.L.E. SCHOOL, CHERRY HILL
Y.A.L.E. SCHOOL, SOUTHEAST II- AUDUBON
Y.A.L.E. SCHOOL, SOUTHEAST III MANSION AVENUE
Y.A.L.E. SCHOOL, WEST – ELLISBURG
Y.C.S. FORT LEE EDUCATION CENTER
Y.C.S. SAWTELLE LEARNING CENTER ANNEX, KEARNY
GEORGE WASHINGTON SCHOOL
Y.C.S., SAWTELLE LEARNING CENTER- MONTCLAIR
YOU AND ME SCHOOL

New Jersey Approved Private Schools – Alphabetically by County

Atlantic County

COASTAL LEARNING CENTER ATLANTIC
Y.A.L.E. SCHOOL EAST, NORTHFIELD
Y.A.L.E. SCHOOL, ATLANTIC
Y.A.L.E. SCHOOL, ATLANTIC II

Bergen County

ALPINE LEARNING GROUP, INC.
BERGEN CENTER FOR CHILD DEVELOPMENT
COMMUNITY ELEMENTARY SCHOOL
COMMUNITY HIGH SCHOOL
CTC ACADEMY – FAIR LAWN
CTC ACADEMY INC, OAKLAND
DAVID GREGORY SCHOOL
E.C.L.C., HO-HO-KUS CAMPUS
EDUCATIONAL PARTNERSHIP FOR INSTRUCTING CHILDREN (EPIC)
FELICIAN SCHOOL FOR EXCEPTIONAL CHILDREN
FORUM SCHOOL
HIGH POINT SCHOOL OF BERGEN COUNTY
HOLMSTEAD SCHOOL
INSTITUTE FOR EDUCATIONAL ACHIEVEMENT (IEA)
REED ACADEMY
WINDSOR BERGEN ACADEMY
WINDSOR PREP
Y.C.S. FORT LEE EDUCATION CENTER
GEORGE WASHINGTON SCHOOL

Burlington County

BANCROFT NEUROHEALTH SCHOOL
GARFIELD PARK ACADEMY
HAMPTON ACADEMY
KINGSWAY LEARNING CENTER- SECONDARY
LEGACY TREATMENT SERVICES – MARY A. DOBBINS SCHOOL
Y.A.L.E. SCHOOL NORTH II, KIRBY’S MILL
Y.A.L.E. SCHOOL NORTH, MEDFORD
Y.A.L.E. SCHOOL SOUTHEAST, EVESHAM
Y.A.L.E. SCHOOL, CENTRAL

Camden County

ARCHWAY PROGRAMS, ATCO
BANCROFT NEUROHEALTH PEDIATRIC, VOORHEES
BANCROFT NEUROHEALTH SCHOOL, CHERRY HILL
BROOKFIELD ACADEMY
BROOKFIELD ACADEMY TRANSITION TO COLLEGE PROGRAM
BROOKFIELD ELEMENTARY SCHOOL
CRESCENT HILL ACADEMY
KINGSWAY LEARNING CENTER
LARC SCHOOL
Y.A.L.E. SCHOOL, CHERRY HILL
Y.A.L.E. SCHOOL, SOUTHEAST II- AUDUBON
Y.A.L.E. SCHOOL, SOUTHEAST III MANSION AVENUE
Y.A.L.E. SCHOOL, WEST – ELLISBURG

Cape May County

None

Cumberland County

CREATIVE ACHIEVEMENT ACADEMY
PINELAND LEARNING CENTER AND HIGH SCHOOL

Essex County

1ST CEREBRAL PALSY OF NEW JERSEY
ACADEMY 360: UPPER SCHOOL
ACADEMY 360: LOWER SCHOOL
BANYAN SCHOOL
DERON SCHOOL II
ESSEX VALLEY SCHOOL
FEDCAP – 4T (TEACHING, TRAINING, TOWARDS TRANSITION)
GARDEN ACADEMY
GLENVIEW ACADEMY
GRAMON SCHOOL
HORIZON SCHOOL
HORIZON HIGH SCHOOL
HUNTERDON PREPARATORY SCHOOL
MILTON SCHOOL
MOUNT CARMEL GUILD ACADEMY
NEW BEGINNINGS
PHOENIX CENTER
THE ARC OF ESSEX COUNTY STEPPING STONE SCHOOL
THERAPEUTIC SCHOOL AND PRESCHOOL
WASHINGTON ACADEMY
WESTBRIDGE ACADEMY
Y.C.S., SAWTELLE LEARNING CENTER- MONTCLAIR

Gloucester County

ARCHBISHOP DAMIANO SCHOOL
DURAND, INC.
HOLLYDELL SCHOOL

Hudson County

NORTH HUDSON ACADEMY
ST. JOSEPH’S SCHOOL FOR THE BLIND
Y.C.S. SAWTELLE LEARNING CENTER ANNEX, KEARNY

Hunterdon County

CENTER FOR EDUCATIONAL ADVANCEMENT SCHOOL AT SOUTH HUNTERDON
HUNTERDON PREPARATORY SCHOOL

Mercer County

BRIDGE ACADEMY
CHILDREN’S DAY SCHOOL
DELAWARE VALLEY SCHOOL FOR EXCEPTIONAL CHILDREN
EDEN SCHOOL, THE
NEWGRANGE SCHOOL
PRINCETON CHILD DEVELOPMENT INST.
TITUSVILLE ACADEMY

Middlesex County

GATEWAY SCHOOL
LAKEVIEW SCHOOL
NEW ROAD SCHOOL OF PARLIN
YOU AND ME SCHOOL

Monmouth County

C.P.C. HIGH POINT ADOLESCENT AND ELEMENTARY SCHOOL
CHILDREN’S CENTER OF MONMOUTH CO.
COASTAL LEARNING CENTER, HOWELL
COLLIER SCHOOL
HARBOR SCHOOL
HAWKSWOOD SCHOOL(FORMERLY SCHOOL FOR CHILDREN)
OAKWOOD SCHOOL
RUGBY SCHOOL, INC., THE
SCHROTH SCHOOL
SEARCH DAY PROGRAM
SEARCH DAY PROGRAM-MARLBORO

Morris County

ALLEGRO SCHOOL
CALAIS SCHOOL
CELEBRATE THE CHILDREN
CHANCELLOR ACADEMY
CHAPEL HILL ACADEMY
DAYTOP NEW JERSEY ACADEMY, A NEW JERSEY NONPROFIT CORP
ECLC OF NEW JERSEY, CHATHAM CAMPUS
INCLUSIVE LEARNING ACADEMY BUTLER CAMPUS-AARON DECKER SCH.
INCLUSIVE LEARNING ACADEMY BUTLER CAMPUS-BUTLER MIDDLE SCH.
INCLUSIVE LEARNING ACADEMY-BUTLER HIGH SCHOOL
P.G. CHAMBERS SCHOOL
SHEPARD PREPARATORY HIGH SCHOOL
SHEPARD SCHOOL

Ocean County

ALPHA SCHOOL
CENTER FOR EDUCATION, THE
EDUCATION ACADEMY
LEHMANN SCHOOL
NEW ROAD SCHOOL OF OCEAN
OCEAN ACADEMY
SCHOOL FOR CHILDREN WITH HIDDEN INTELLIGENCE

Passaic County

BANYAN UPPER SCHOOL
BENWAY SCHOOL
LAKEVIEW LEARNING CENTER
LEARNING CENTER FOR EXCEPTIONAL CHILDREN
NEW BEGINNINGS ANNEX AT MACOPIN MIDDLE SCHOOL
NEW BEGINNINGS ANNEX AT MAPLE ROAD SCHOOL
NEW BEGINNINGS AT APSHAWA
NEW BEGINNINGS AT MEMORIAL SCHOOL C/O NORTH HALEDON
NJEDDA ELEMENTARY SCHOOL
NJEDDA HIGH SCHOOL
WINDSOR LEARNING CENTER
WINDSOR SCHOOL

Salem County

STRANG SCHOOL

Somerset County

BONNIE BRAE SCHOOL
CENTER SCHOOL
EAST MOUNTAIN SCHOOL, A DIVISION OF CARRIER CLINIC
GREEN BROOK ACADEMY
LORD STIRLING SCHOOL
MATHENY SCHOOL AND HOSPITAL
MIDLAND SCHOOL
MONTGOMERY ACADEMY
NEW ROAD SCHOOL OF SOMERSET
ROCK BROOK SCHOOL
SOMERSET HILLS LEARNING INSTITUTE

Sussex County

INCLUSIVE LEARNING ACADEMY-STANHOPE CAMPUS
LAKELAND-ANDOVER SCHOOL
WILLOWGLEN ACADEMY @JEAN MANFRA SCHOOL

Union County

ARC KOHLER SCHOOL, THE
DERON SCHOOL I
FIRST CHILDREN SCHOOL
HONOR RIDGE ACADEMY
JARDINE ACADEMY
NEWMARK HIGH SCHOOL, INC.
NEWMARK SCHOOL, INC., THE
SUMMIT SPEECH SCHOOL

Warren County

STEPPING STONE SCHOOL

Disclaimer: This list is intended for informational and educational purposes only. The reader should contact the school(s) for further information.

The Root Cause of School Shootings

School shootings have become part of our culture. There is much debate over how to prevent such horrific events from occurring, and most center around politics and gun control laws. While my personal view is that no civilian citizen needs an assault rifle, or any other weapon of mass destruction for that matter, the focus on gun control detracts from the underlying cause of the problem. The root cause of school shootings is emotional disturbance. There is talk about mental illness, but there is no talk about addressing emotional disturbance through special education and related services.

The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) includes a “Child Find” obligation, which requires all school districts to identify, locate and evaluate all children with disabilities so that they may receive appropriate special education services. By all accounts everyone in the Parkland Florida community knew the 19 year old shooter was emotionally disturbed. The school expelled him rather than place him in a program for emotionally disturbed children and provide appropriate instruction so he might live as an independent functioning member of our society.

All too often, schools take the position that it’s not their problem because it’s a “medical problem” (never mind that emotional disturbance is one of the IDEA’s disability classification categories). Child study teams must recognize that it most certainly is their problem, and if they don’t, they run the risk of kids like this returning to their former schools armed with assault rifles and mass murdering people.

Some have suggested in Facebook posts that we arm the teachers. The only weapon the teachers need is a referral form. Child study teams need to be receptive and less concerned with protecting their coffers than they are with getting these kids the help they need, the help we all need them to have. The Parkland shooter wasn’t the first, and likely won’t be the last. The question is, will the schools live up to their responsibility to educate these kids appropriately so they might not become mass murderers.

Special Education Acronyms, Initialisms & Abbreviations

The ABCs of IEPs – special education acronyms, initialisms, & abbreviations

Acronyms, initialisms, and abbreviations . . . it can all be a bit confusing. In the world of special education there are a lot of acronyms, initialisms, and abbreviations that are important to know, if for no other reason than to keep up with the conversation. You don’t want to miss the substance of what is said at an IEP meeting because your brain is busy trying to decipher the meaning of the letters being tossed about like they are common sight words. It is helpful to become familiar with the lingo.

For those of you who appreciate the nuances of language, I’ll quickly share that according to the strictest definition, only abbreviations that are pronounced as words qualify as acronyms. For example, IDEA is an acronym. Abbreviations that shorten a phrase by using the first letter of each word are initialisms. IEP is an initialism. Sometimes initialisms are also acronyms; such as FAPE. The list below is not completely exhaustive, but they are the abbreviations parents are most likely to come across.

  • ABA: Applied Behavioral Analysis
  • ABC: Antecedent, Behavior, Consequence
  • ADA: Americans with Disabilities Act
  • ADHD: Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder
  • ADLs: Activities of Daily Living
  • ALJ: Administrative Law Judge
  • APE: Adaptive Physical Education
  • ASD: Autism Spectrum Disorder
  • ASL: American Sign Language
  • AT: Assistive Technology
  • AYP: Adequate Yearly Progress
  • BIP: Behavioral Intervention Plan
  • BOE: Board of Education
  • CAPD: Central Auditory Processing Disorder
  • CST: Child Study Team
  • DB: Deaf/Blindness
  • DD: Developmental Disability
  • DOE: Department of Education
  • DSM: Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders by the American Psychiatric Association
  • ED: Emotionally Disturbed
  • EI: Early Intervention
  • ESY: Extended School Year
  • FAPE: Free Appropriate Public Education
  • FBA: Functional Behavioral Assessment
  • FERPA: Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act
  • FOIA: Freedom of Information Act
  • HI: Hearing Impaired
  • HoH: Hard of Hearing
  • I&RS: Intervention and Referral Services
  • IDEA: Individuals with Disabilities Education Act
  • IEE: Independent Educational Evaluation
  • IEP: Individualized Education Program
  • IFSP: Individualized Family Service Plan
  • LD: Learning Disability
  • LEA: Local Education Agency
  • LRE: Least Restrictive Environment
  • MD: Multiply Disabled
  • MDR: Manifestation Determination Review
  • OCD: Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder
  • OCR: Office for Civil Rights
  • ODD: Oppositional Defiant Disorder
  • OHI: Other Health Impairment
  • OI: Orthopedically Impaired
  • OSEP: Office of Special Education Programs
  • OAL: Office of Administrative Law
  • OT: Occupational Therapy
  • PLAAFP: Present Level of Academic Achievement and Functional Performance
  • PLoP: Present Level of Performance (replaced by PLAAFP)
  • PT: Physical Therapy
  • RTI: Response to Intervention
  • SEA: State Education Agency
  • SEPAC: Special Education Parent Advisory Committee
  • SLD: Specific Learning Disability
  • SLP: Speech/Language Pathologist
  • TBI: Traumatic Brain Injury

If you have questions about Special Education Law in New Jersey, Lori E. Arons, Esq. is available to help. Contact Lori today by calling 201-388-9533 or using the Contact Us form.

Independent Educational Evaluation

Special education is governed by both federal and state Law. The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) is the federal law that promises qualified children with disabilities a Free Appropriate Public Education (FAPE).  Accurate and appropriate evaluations are a driving force behind the IDEA. Children receive public evaluations and reevaluations to determine eligibility and their needs. IDEA provides both for school evaluations and for publicly funded Independent Educational Evaluations. New Jersey law gives you the right to request an Independent Educational Evaluation (IEE) if you disagree with the school’s evaluation of your child.

“The object of the parents’ obtaining their own evaluation is to determine whether grounds exist to challenge the District’s. The IEE is a ‘second opinion’ as it arises only when there are problems with the evaluation, or the school failed to fully evaluate ‘all areas of need.’” Warren G. v. Cumberland County School District, 190 F.3d 80 (3rd Cir. 1999)

The Supreme Court acknowledged that IDEA “ensures parents access to an expert who can evaluate all the materials that the school must make available, and who can give an independent opinion. They are not left to challenge the government without a realistic opportunity to access the necessary evidence, or without an expert with the firepower to match the opposition.” Schaffer v. Weast, 546 U.S. 49 (2005),

Disagreement with the school’s evaluation can be based on its validity, appropriateness of the tests used, or that it fails to answer necessary questions. You are not required to explain to the school why you object to the school’s evaluation. It is important, however, that you request each assessment necessary to address your concerns because you are allowed only one request for an Independent Educational Evaluation per evaluation period.

The school district is responsible for the cost of the independent evaluation unless it can show, at an administrative hearing that it requests within twenty (20) days of receipt of the written parental request for an IEE, that the school district’s assessment was accurate, complete, and met the proper legal requirements. It is not uncommon for school districts to file a due process petition seeking to prevent parents from obtaining an independent evaluation at public expense.

If you have questions about Independent Educational Evaluations or the New Jersey Special Education Laws, Lori E. Arons, Esq. is available to help.  Contact Lori today by calling 201-388-9533 or using the Contact Us form.