Friday, October 23, 2009

While We Were Away

As you may have noticed the posts were sparse for there for awhile. Unfortunately, it is not because we all took a vacation to somewhere fabulous but rather we had a lot on our collective plate. In addition to the back to school rush that we deal with every September (the typical failure of the school districts to implement agreements or have service providers available), we've been dealing with cases at three different levels of the court system, which has made for some pretty late nights/early mornings, beyond normal caffeine consumptions, and just not enough time to blog (and sometimes shower).

At the administrative level we had a six-day hearing for a preschooler with autism and apraxia (the school district thinks it is impossible by the way to have both). The school district claimed the LRE for this student was a class with no typical peers because he was not potty-trained at the time of the last IEP. The school district also refused to offer more than 60 minutes per week of LAS or describe the frequency and duration. Parents have been providing a private placement and private services for a year now so we we're arguing for appropriate services and reimbursement for the unilateral placement and related services. We had quite a lot of expert witnesses in this case (all the more reason to get behind COPAA's efforts to support the IDEA Fairness Restoration Act), a lot of evidence and just got done filing our closing brief and reply brief.

In district court we have a case pending, and had briefs due this past month, regarding the unilateral placement of a student who is twice-exceptional in a school that is not certified as a NPS. The school district in that matter offered a placement at a NPS without specifying the school and parents enrolled him in a private school. We are appealing a decision from the administrative level that found that the school district's failure to offer a specific placement was proper.

In the Ninth Circuit we also had a case pending, and the inevitable briefs due, regarding a student with CP who the school district kept segregated from any district school. The student has since passed and we are litigating the issue that Parents still have claims for reimbursements for services provided. We are also appealing the district court's decision to impose attorneys' fees on this matter on Parents' attorneys for moving forward with litigation after the death of the student.

As you can see we've been busy busy but we are excited about the possibility of (hopefully) making some good law on some of these cases and moving forward in the next few months.

We hope to keep any future hiatuses to a minimum and we thank you for hanging in there with us.

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