Fourth Quarter 2018 BSEA Commentaries – Now Available

The 4th Quarter 2018 BSEA Commentaries are now available on our website.  The districts “ran the table” in the 5 placement decisions this quarter, each time establishing that the program the district proposed provided FAPE.  Families and their attorneys and advocates can take solace in the fact that the hearing officers found the programs appropriate in each case only after it was demonstrated that the student was making significant, specific and demonstrable progress in the district’s placement and that the district incorporated recommendations from private evaluators. In Winchester Public Schools, BSEA #1804106, 24 MSER 227 (Berman 2018), we see again that programmatic perfection is not the standard because the district’s transition program, while not perfect, adequately addressed the student’s needs. In Swampscott Public Schools, BSEA #1806246, 24 MSER 271 (Berman 2018), the student received no specialized instruction in her private kindergarten and 1st grade.  Prior to entering the public school, Swampscott proposed ESY services before the student’s first year in the public school as well as a meaty IEP for the school year. The district did not stand pat on this IEP, but rather revised it 4 times during the year, even providing mid-year placement in their language based program.  In two cases, Nauset Regional School District and Roy, BSEA #1900585, 24 MSER 247 (Oliver 2018) and Somerset Public School and Ilya, BSEA #1902332, 24 MSER 266 (Byrne 2018), the parents failed in their attempts to keep their students in more inclusive settings.  In Dracut Public Schools, BSEA #1903603, 24 MSER 285 (Figueroa 2018) and Haverhill Public Schools, BSEA #1900557 24 MSER 260 (Byrne 2018), the BSEA continued its consistent handling of discovery of peer information by allowing that production pursuant to certain conditions. Please take a look at the commentaries!

Daniel T.S. Heffernan, Esq. is a partner in the Special Education & Disability Rights practice group at Kotin, Crabtree & Strong, LLP in Boston, Massachusetts.

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