Prepare for Special Education Procedural Changes Enacted in New Remote Learning Law

Franczek P.C.
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Franczek P.C.

We recently let you know about a pending bill that would make changes to several special education procedures. Senate Bill 1569 has now been signed by Governor Pritzker as PA 101-0643. The law makes numerous changes related to remote learning. For purposes of special education, consider the following action steps to meet the new requirements:

  1. Determine effective and efficient methods to inform parents that they can select how they want to receive draft documents prior to eligibility and IEP meetings and collect their responses. Options must include regular mail and picking up the documents at the school. Other options could include email or a secure portal.
  2. Revise the notice of conference form to include a request that parents respond indicating or confirming their preferred way to receive draft documents prior to the meeting.
  3. Revise the notice of conference form to inform parents of their right to request a copy of their student’s records prior to the meeting.
  4. Review procedures for preparing for eligibility and IEP meetings to ensure adequate time to get draft documents to parents 3 school days prior to meetings.
  5. Ensure related service logs are maintained for the following services: speech-language, occupational therapy, physical therapy, social work, counseling, psychology, and nursing.
  6. Draft or revise a sample notice to provide to parents in case IEP services are not provided within 10 school days of when the services were due to be initiated.
  7. Create or review a procedure for parents to request compensatory services, including a contact person. Include the procedure with the notice that IEP services have not been timely initiated.
  8. Review procedures related to RTI or MTSS to ensure that parents receive written notification when their student is participating in RTI or MTSS as well as access to the data collected as part of that process.

Include these steps as you get ready for any summer meetings as well as the upcoming school year. As you prepare a procedure for parents to request compensatory services if IEP services are not initiated in a timely manner, consider that many parents may also be requesting compensatory services related to remote learning. Planning now to create a process for reviewing and responding to these requests will help you manage this new challenge.

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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