Special Education Tip of the Week
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Archived Tips: New Tips are posted every week on Friday. When new Tips are posted, old Tips are moved to the Archive below.
- Consideration/Assessment as part of the IEP development process or IEP recommendations
- Classroom implementation on a time limited basis
- Serve as temporary loaner during device repair or while waiting for funding
- Provide an accommodation for a student on a short-term basis
- Professional development (teacher training, skill development, etc.)
Although families are not eligible to use the ADE AT lending library, they can access a similar program provided by the Arizona Technology Access Program. Parents may borrow items from the AzTAP AT Loan program at no charge for a 2-week trial period. Families can also make appointments with AzTAP for free demonstrations of the assistive technology products it has in its inventory. For more information on assistive technology, visit the ADE Assistive Technology webpage.
The educational services a child will receive during days of removal will depend on the circumstances and need not replicate everything in the child’s IEP. The United States Department of Education/Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) offers the following guidance: “We believe the extent to which educational services need to be provided and the type of instruction to be provided would depend on the length of the removal, the extent to which the child has been removed previously, and the child’s needs and educational goals. For example, a child with a disability who is removed for only a few days and is performing near grade level would not likely need the same level of educational services as a child with a disability who has significant learning difficulties and is performing well below grade level.” [34 C.F.R. Part 300, Analysis of Comments and Changes, Subpart E-Procedural Safeguards, Federal Register, Vol.71, No. 156, p. 46717 (August 2006)]
In the case of a child whose behavior impedes the child’s learning or that of others, the federal regulations require IEP teams to consider the use of positive behavioral interventions, supports, and other strategies to address that behavior. [34 C.F.R. § 300.324(a)(2)(i)] IEP teams have wide latitude in determining how to best address a child’s behavior, including behavioral goals, behavioral supports and services (such as a behavior coach or counseling services), or through a behavioral intervention plan. Additionally, behavior can be addressed outside of the IEP process through a behavior contract or through the use of informal strategies.
In Arizona, a party who disagrees with a finding of noncompliance in a State complaint decision may bring an action for administrative review pursuant to A.R.S. § 41-1092.03. Upon receiving such a request, the Department will schedule a hearing at the Arizona Office of Administrative Hearings. Additionally, “[i]f after the SEA’s final decision is issued, a party who has the right to request a due process hearing and who disagrees with the SEA’s decision may initiate a due process hearing, provided that the subject of the State complaint involves an issue about which a due process hearing can be filed and the two-year statute of limitations for due process hearings (or other time limit imposed by State law) has not expired.” [34 C.F.R. Part 300, Analysis of Comments and Changes, Subpart B – State Eligibility, Federal Register, Vol.71, No. 156, p. 46607 (August 2006)]
- Emotional disability: verification of a disorder by a psychiatrist, licensed psychologist, or a certified school psychologist. [A.A.C. R7-2-401(E)(6)(a)]
- Hearing impairment: an audiological evaluation by an audiologist. [A.A.C. R7-2-401(E)(6)(b)]
- Other health impairment: verification of a health impairment by a doctor of medicine. [A.A.C. R7-2-401(E)(6)(c)]
- Orthopedic impairment: verification of a physical disability by a doctor of medicine. [A.A.C. R7-2-401(E)(6)(e)]
- Speech-language impairment: an evaluation by a certified speech-language therapist. [A.A.C. R7-2-401(E)(6)(f)]
- Traumatic brain injury: verification of the injury by a doctor of medicine. [A.A.C. R7-2-401(E)(6)(h)]
- Visual impairment: verification of a visual impairment by an ophthalmologist or optometrist. [A.A.C. R7-2-401(E)(6)(i)]
• A statement of the child’s present levels of academic achievement and functional performance;
• A statement of measurable annual goals;
• A description of how the child’s progress toward meeting the annual goals will be measured and when periodic reports on the child’s progress will be provided;
• A statement of the special education and related services and supplementary aids and services to be provided to the child;
• A statement of the program modifications or supports for school personnel;
• An explanation of the extent, if any, to which the child will not participate with nondisabled children in the regular class and activities;
• A statement of accommodations necessary to measure academic achievement and functional performance on State and districtwide assessments;
• The projected date for the beginning of the services, and the anticipated frequency, location, and duration of those services.
• If the IEP team determines that the child must take an alternate assessment, a statement explaining why;
• If the child turns 16 while an IEP is in effect, appropriate measurable postsecondary goals based upon age-appropriate transition assessments related to training, education, employment, and, where appropriate, independent living, and transition services needed to assist the child in reaching the postsecondary goals. [34 C.F.R. § 300.320(a)]
The United States Supreme Court has stated that the requirement to provide a child with a FAPE is satisfied when a school provides “personalized instruction with sufficient support services to permit the child to benefit educationally from that instruction.” [Board of Education of the Hendrick Hudson Central School District v. Rowley, 455 U.S. 175, 102 S.Ct. 3034 (1982)] “In addition, the IEP, and therefore the personalized instruction, should be formulated in accordance with the requirements of the Act and . . . should be reasonably calculated to enable the child to achieve passing marks and advance from grade to grade.” [Id.] Consequently, if a school offers an appropriate program, it is not obligated to utilize a methodology preferred by the child’s parent. [see Carlson v. San Diego Unified School District, 54 IDELR 213 (9th Cir. 2001)]
Complaints alleging that a public education agency has violated the confidentiality requirements with respect to records that are collected, maintained, or used under Part B of the IDEA may be addressed to Arizona Department of Education/Dispute Resolution. Allegations that a public education agency has violated a child’s right to confidentiality with respect to records that are not collected, maintained, or used under Part B of the IDEA should be addressed to the U.S. Department of Education/Family Policy Compliance Office (FPCO), the agency that administers FERPA, at 400 Maryland Avenue, SW; Washington, D.C. 20202-5920. On the state level there is a parallel mechanism available. Arizona Revised Statutes state that “[a]ny person who suspects that a school district or charter school has knowingly violated [FERPA] may notify the principal of the charter school or the superintendent of the school district. If the matter is not satisfactorily resolved by the principal of the charter school or the superintendent of the school district within 60 days after the notice, the person may file a complaint with the [Arizona] superintendent of public instruction.” [A.R.S. § 15-142(C)] Such a complaint should be addressed to the Arizona Department of Education; Director of Legal Services, 1535 W. Jefferson, Bin 62, Phoenix, AZ 85007.
The regulations that implement the IDEA do not identify adapted PE as a related service; however, special education is defined to mean “specially designed instruction, at no cost to the parents, to meet the unique needs of a child with a disability, including – – (i) Instruction conducted in the classroom, in the home, in hospitals and institutions, and in other settings; and (ii) Instruction in physical education.” [34 C.F.R. § 300.39(a)(1)] (Emphasis added) If an eligible student needs adaptive PE in order to receive a free appropriate public education, as determined by the child’s IEP team, the school must make such service available.
Although there is no specific IDEA regulation that defines comparable services, the United States Department of Education has opined that, “[w]e do not believe it is necessary to define ‘comparable services’ because the Department [of Education] interprets ‘comparable’ to have the plain meaning of the word, which is ‘similar’ or ‘equivalent.’” [34 C.F.R. Part 300, Analysis of Comments and Changes, Subpart D–Evaluation, Eligibility Determinations, IEP, Educational Placement. Federal Register, Vol.71, No. 156, p. 46681 (August 2006)]
See the entire OSERS document on transportation at Q and A: Questions and Answers on Transportation
Arizona Department of Education, Dispute Resolution
Kacey Gregson, Director of Dispute Resolution
1535 W. Jefferson St., Bin #62
Phoenix, AZ 85007
Tel: (602) 542-3084
Fax: (602) 364-0641
For questions about Tip of the Week, please e-mail Bob Fitzsimmons or telephone 520 628-6616.