A Capehart Scatchard Blog

Tag: accommodations

What You Need to Know About OCR Complaints & Investigations – Part 2

By on April 3, 2018 in Other with 0 Comments

By: Lauren E. Tedesco, Esq. Editor: Sanmathi (Sanu) Dev, Esq. Last week we discussed the Office for Civil Rights’ (“OCR”) jurisdiction to enforce anti-discrimination laws in school districts, as well as the filing of complaints with the OCR and opening letters and data requests. Today, we will discuss best practices to responding to a data request, and discuss further investigation procedures, including interviews and letters of finding. Responding to a data request can be a time consuming process, as many times the OCR will ask for extensive information and documentation. Along with speaking to staff members involved, it is important […]

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What You Need to Know About OCR Complaints & Investigations – Part 1

By on March 27, 2018 in Other with 0 Comments

By: Lauren E. Tedesco, Esq. Editor: Sanmathi (Sanu) Dev, Esq. The Office for Civil Rights (“OCR”) is the federal agency charged with enforcing anti-discrimination laws in programs or activities that receive federal financial aid from the United States Department of Education (“USDOE”). The OCR investigates alleged discrimination on the basis of race, color, and national origin pursuant to Title IV of the Civil Rights Act of 1964; sex discrimination pursuant to Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972; discrimination on the basis of disability pursuant to Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973; and age discrimination pursuant to […]

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Third Circuit Upholds Dismissal of Parents’ Complaint for Failure to Exhaust Administrative Remedies – Again

By on February 27, 2018 in Special Education/504 with 0 Comments

In the last year, our federal courts have addressed the exhaustion of administrative remedies requirement for parents who bring claims against a school district on behalf of a disabled student under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act (“Section 504”). Notably, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in February 2017 in Fry v. Napoleon Community Schools that parents are required to exhaust administrative remedies under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (“IDEA”) when the heart of their complaint alleges a denial of a free appropriate public education (“FAPE”). The Third Circuit Court of Appeals, which applies to New Jersey, recently applied the […]

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Court Finds Exhaustion of Administrative Remedies Was Required in Service Animal Case

By on October 27, 2017 in Students with 1 Comment

By: Lauren E. Tedesco, Esq. Editor: Sanmathi (Sanu) Dev, Esq. A District Court in New Hampshire recently ruled that the parents of an 8-year-old boy who uses a service animal could not bring forth claims under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act (“Section 504”) and Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”) against a school district because the parents failed to first exhaust their administrative remedies under the Individuals with Disabilities in Education Act (“IDEA”). In A.R. v. Sch. Admin. Unit #23, No. 15-CV-152-SM, 2017 WL 4621587 (D.N.H. Oct. 12, 2017), the student in question suffered from a […]

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District Court Addresses Issue Involving Waiver for Enrollment in Honors/AP Classes

By on September 26, 2017 in Special Education/504 with 0 Comments

The North Valley Regional High School District had a policy in which students could enroll in Honors or Advanced Placement classes by obtaining a teacher’s recommendation. Without a recommendation, a student could “waive” into such a class if the student and parents sign a document stating that they understand the requirements and demands of the course and that no accommodations would be made. Two parents of learning disabled students sued North Valley in federal court seeking injunctive relief. They claimed that the policy discriminated against the students in violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act. On September 6, 2017, the […]

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ALJ Finds Student Entitled to Section 504 Plan for Celiac Disease

By on April 25, 2017 in Special Education/504 with 1 Comment

On March 7, 2017, an Administrative Law Judge in K.I. o/b/o K.I. v. Moorestown Township Board of Education found that the Board violated Section 504 of Rehabilitation Act of 1973 by failing to offer a Section 504 plan to address the student’s celiac disease. The ALJ held that the Board failed to offer a free appropriate public education (“FAPE”) under Section 504 when it offered an individualized healthcare plan (“IHP”) instead of a Section 504 plan to address the student’s medical condition. The student was in elementary school when she was first diagnosed with celiac disease, an autoimmune disease in […]

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What You Need to Know About Service Animals in Schools – Part 2

By on March 28, 2017 in Students with 0 Comments

By: Lauren E. Tedesco, Esq. Editor: Sanmathi (Sanu) Dev, Esq. In Part 1 of this series, we discussed what qualifies as a service animal and what types of inquiries a school district is permitted to make. Today, we will discuss the parameters by which a school district may exclude a service animal from school, the responsibility of caring and supervising the animal, allergy and/or fear considerations, and liability insurance. Pursuant to 28 C.F.R. § 35.136 (b), once a school district permits the use of a service animal by a student with a disability, the service animal can only be removed from […]

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What You Need to Know About Service Animals in Schools – Part 1

By on March 20, 2017 in Students with 0 Comments

By: Lauren E. Tedesco, Esq. Editor: Sanmathi (Sanu) Dev, Esq. More often than not, school administrators face questions relating to requests for service animals to accompany students in school. What is a service animal? Who is allowed to bring a service animal to school? What restrictions may a school impose on the use of a service animal? In this two part series, we will explore these and other issues surrounding the use of service animals in schools. New Jersey school districts must permit access to service animals that accompany students with disabilities. N.J.S.A. 18A:46-13.2 and 13.3 and the Americans with Disabilities […]

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U.S. Supreme Court Rules Exhaustion of Administrative Remedies Not Required in Non-FAPE Cases

In a long awaited case involving a student requesting the use of a service dog in school, the United States Supreme Court unanimously ruled on February 22, 2017 in Fry v. Napoleon Community Schools that parents are not required to exhaust administrative remedies under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (“IDEA”) when the heart of their complaint does not allege a denial of a free appropriate public education (“FAPE”). This case involved a student with cerebral palsy who qualified for special education and related services under the IDEA when she attended a public school in Michigan. As a result, she […]

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