A Special Education Law Blog from Kotin, Crabtree & Strong, LLP
By Eileen Hagerty and Alicia Parmentier
February 17, 2017
Our commentary on the Bureau of Special Education Appeals (“BSEA”) decisions and rulings for the third quarter of 2016, written by KCS attorneys Eileen Hagerty and Alicia Parmentier for the Massachusetts Special Education Reporter, is now available on our website.
The commentary offers summaries of recent cases, along with useful tips for parents and practitioners. As the comment headings show, the range of subjects is wide and the outcomes are varied.
Among the topics discussed:
- Lenox Public Schools: Student’s absence from school is excused; district’s failure to provide tutoring is not.
- Framingham Public Schools: District’s failure to explain placement options and stay-put rights to parents leads to award of compensatory education.
- Boston Collegiate Charter School: Behavior need not be the same in all circumstances, in order to constitute manifestation of disability in disciplinary context.
- Abby Kelley Foster Charter School and Walpole Public Schools: Lack of expert testimony dooms pro se parents’ cases.
- Belchertown Public Schools: No reimbursement for unilateral placement in unapproved private school; no relief for district’s inappropriate transition planning.
- Randolph Public Schools: Residence of guardian determines district responsibility for student over 18.
- Westford Public Schools, North Middlesex Regional School District, and Natick Public Schools: The alphabet soup of joinder – when are state agencies such as DMH and DCF necessary parties to special education cases?
- Andover Public Schools and Arlington Public Schools: Discovery disputes, including rulings on discoverability of peers’ IEPs, text messages exchanged by school employees, and test protocols.
- Maynard Public Schools, Norton Public Schools, and Holyoke Public Schools: To exhaust or not to exhaust – are special-education-related damages claims required to be filed first at the BSEA before parents resort to court?
- Shrewsbury Public Schools and Natick Public Schools: General pleading principles (statute of limitations, sufficiency of parents’ hearing request).
- Medford Public Schools: No basis in stay-put law for order changing student’s placement from public to private placement pending BSEA decision.