Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Charter School Law

KGK's Hope N. Kirsch, M.A.(Ed.), Esq. will be presenting Charter School Law, filming at the Federal Bar in Alexandria, Virginia, on March 2, 2016.  She brings her experience both as an educator and for the past 10 + years as an attorney representing students in disputes against charter schools.
http://mylawcle.com/products/video-broadcasts/charter-school-law/


For more information about Hope Kirsch and Lori Kirsch-Goodwin, visit Kirsch-Goodwin & Kirsch, PLLC

Sunday, January 1, 2017

Student Discipline

Do parents need lawyers for school disciplinary matters?
The education lawyers at Kirsch-Goodwin & Kirsch counsel and represent students in disciplinary matters.  We can represent you, or prepare you for the hearing. We also advise students and their parents / legal guardians about student rights and what schools must do, may do and cannot do, beginning with the student bring asked for a statement, the parameters of the investigation, and the amount of due process to which the student is entitled. Students and their parents ought to know their legal rights BEFORE a school administrator questions the student.  Know your rights and just how much due process your child is entitled to in a public school and a charter school, and the difference if your child attends a private school.

Saturday, December 31, 2016

About Special Education attorneys Lori Kirsch-Goodwin and Hope Kirsch

Before We Were in the Courtroom, We Were in the Classroom
School districts, charter schools and private schools have attorneys advising them and protecting their interests. You and your child should have an education attorney on your side to protect you both, to advise you of your legal rights, and to assure you that your child is receiving the education to which he or she is entitled to under the federal and state statutes and regulations. Remember, BOTH you and your child have legal rights. As lawyers, not only do we have the legal knowledge and skills to represent you, but we also have personal experience in special education.
  • As the mother of a young adult with special needs, attorney Lori Kirsch-Goodwin has navigated the school system as a parent and as an attorney. She knows that all parents want to ensure that their children have the best possible future, and that sometimes they need someone in their corner. She has walked in your shoes.
  • Attorney Hope Kirsch has both her Bachelor's degree and her Master's degree in Special Education. She was a special education teacher and school administrator for nearly 20 years in NYC. She taught in self-contained classes, special education schools, day treatment programs and hospital schools. She obtained licenses and certifications in special education, special education supervision and school administration in New York, and Certification from the Arizona Department of Education to teach students with Emotional Disabilities, grades K-12. When she represents you and your child at a school meeting or hearing, no one from the school can tell her she doesn't know what it's like in the classroom -- SHE DOES! She knows the language schools speak and she knows what goes on behind the scenes. In addition to her B.S. and M.Ed. in Special Education, Hope completed extensive post-graduate work in school administration. She trained and supervised teachers in curriculum development, teaching strategies, methodology, behavior management and writing IEPs. She is nationally recognized in special education law, and is regularly invited to speak to and train parent groups, mental health professionals, school administrators and teachers, other attorneys and education advocates.
Visit our website for more information, Kirsch-Goodwin & Kirsch

U.S. Department of Education Releases Guidance on Civil Rights of Students with Disabilities

U.S. Department of Education Releases Guidance on Civil Rights of Students with Disabilities

DECEMBER 28, 2016
The U.S. Department of Education released three new sets of guidance today to assist the public in understanding how the Department interprets and enforces federal civil rights laws protecting the rights of students with disabilities. These guidance documents clarify the rights of students with disabilities and the responsibilities of educational institutions in ensuring that all students have the opportunity to learn.
The guidance released today includes a parent and educator resource guide; a Dear Colleague letter (DCL) and question and answer document on the use of restraint and seclusion in public schools; and a DCL and question and answer documents on the rights of students with disabilities in public charter schools.
“These guidance documents share information with our full school communities – educators, parents, and students – about important educational rights, including school obligations to identify, evaluate, and serve students with disabilities,” said Catherine E. Lhamon, the Department’s assistant secretary for civil rights. “Vigilant attention to the rights of students with disabilities will help ensure fair treatment for every student and that every student has equal access to educational programs and has an opportunity to experience success.”
The Parent and Educator Resource Guide to Section 504 in Public Elementary and Secondary Schools, issued by the Department’s Office for Civil Rights (OCR), provides a broad overview of Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (Section 504). The guidance describes school districts’ nondiscrimination responsibilities, including obligations to provide educational services to students with disabilities, and outlines the steps parents can take to ensure that their children secure all of the services they are entitled to receive.
Among other things, the Section 504 Parent and Educator Resource Guide:
  • Defines and provides examples to illustrate the meaning of key terms used in Section 504.
  • Highlights requirements of Section 504 in the area of public elementary and secondary education, including provisions related to the identification, evaluation, and placement of students with disabilities, and procedures for handling disputes and disagreements between parents and school districts.
The second guidance package released by OCR addresses the circumstances under which use of restraint or seclusion can result in discrimination against students with disabilities, in violation of Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The Department’s May 15, 2012, Restraint and Seclusion: Resource Document suggested best practices to prevent the use of restraint or seclusion, recommending that school districts never use physical restraint or seclusion for disciplinary purposes and never use mechanical restraint, and that trained school officials use physical restraint or seclusion only if a child’s behavior poses imminent danger of serious physical harm to self or others. The DCL and question and answer document released today offer additional information about the legal limitations on use of restraint or seclusion to assist school districts in meeting their obligations to students with disabilities.
The third guidance package released today was developed by OCR and the Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services (OSERS). The jointly-issued Dear Colleague Letter and question and answer documents will help update educators, parents, students, and other stakeholders to better understand the rights of students with disabilities in public charter schools under Section 504 and IDEA. These documents provide information about how to provide equal opportunity in compliance with Section 504 in key areas such as charter school recruitment, application, admission, enrollment and disenrollment, accessibility of facilities and programs, and nonacademic and extracurricular activities. The documents are responsive to the U.S. Government Accountability Office’s 2012 report, Charter Schools: Additional Federal Attention Needed to Help Protect Access for Students with Disabilities, which included the recommendation that the Department issue updated guidance on the obligations of charter schools.
“It is critical to ensure that children with disabilities have access to a free appropriate public education in charter schools,” said Sue Swenson, delegated the authority to perform the functions and duties of the Department’s assistant secretary for special education and rehabilitative services. “These guidance documents are designed to support states, local education agencies, and charter school personnel to understand their responsibilities under IDEA and Section 504.”
  • Explains that charter school students with disabilities (and those seeking to attend) have the same rights under Section 504 and Title II of the ADA as other public school students with disabilities.
  • Details the Section 504 right to nondiscrimination in recruitment, application, and admission to charter schools.
  • Clarifies that during the admission process a charter school generally may not ask a prospective student if he or she has a disability.
  • Reminds charter schools, other entities, and parents that charter school students with disabilities have the right to a free appropriate public education (FAPE) under Section 504.
  • Emphasizes that children with disabilities who attend charter schools and their parents retain all rights and protections under Part B of IDEA (such as FAPE) just as they would at other public schools.
  • Provides that under IDEA a charter school may not unilaterally limit the services that must be provided a particular student with a disability.
  • Reminds schools that the least restrictive environment provisions require that, to the maximum extent appropriate, students with disabilities attending public schools, including public charter schools, be educated with students who are nondisabled.
  • Clarifies that students with disabilities attending charter schools retain all IDEA rights and protections included in the IDEA discipline procedures.
In addition to these documents, the Department also released a Know Your Rights document designed for parents to provide a brief overview of the rights of public charter school students with disabilities and the legal obligations of charter schools under Section 504 and the IDEA.
The mission of OCR is to ensure equal access to education and to promote educational excellence throughout the nation through the vigorous enforcement of civil rights. Among the federal civil rights laws OCR is responsible for enforcing are Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964; Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972; Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973; and Title II of the ADA. The mission of OSERS is to improve early childhood, educational, and employment outcomes and raise expectations for all people with disabilities, their families, their communities, and the nation. OSERS is responsible for administering the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act of 2004 (IDEA).
For more information about OCR and the anti-discrimination laws that it enforces, please visit its website and follow OCR on twitter @EDcivilrights. For more information about OSERS and IDEA, please visit its website and follow OSERS on twitter @ed_sped_rehab.
The Special Education Attorneys at Kirsch-Goodwin & Kirsch can provide further assistance to help your child.  Visit our website for more information, Kirsch-Goodwin & Kirsch.


Monday, December 12, 2016

What is special education?

What is special education and specialized instruction?

What Is Special Education?

Special education is the educational instruction specially designed to meet the unique needs of children with disabilities. At no cost to parents, this specialized education can be administered in classrooms, homes, hospitals, and other institutions. 

Hope Kirsch and Lori Kirsch-Goodwin are special education attorneys with Kirsch-Goodwin & Kirsch, PLLC, representing students with disabilities and their families throughout Arizona. For over 15 years, they have devoted their practice to obtaining appropriate educational service, supports and placements for students in schools, hospitals and residential treatment programs.
In this CLE class clip, Hope and Lori discusses What is Special Education?
Lori Kirsch-Goodwin, Esq.
Hope N. Kirsch, M.A. (Ed.), Esq.
Kirsch-Goodwin & Kirsch, PLLC
8900 East Pinnacle Peak Rd., Suite 250
Scottsdale, Arizona 85255
www.azspecialeducationlawyers.com
http://kgklaw.blogspot.com
www.facebook.com/KGKLAW
You can watch the complete Special Education Law CLE class here:
Special Education Law CLE
Specialized education consists of physical education, speech-language, travel training, vocational education, and any other related services. Specially designed instruction, means education that adapts appropriately to the needs of an eligible child. Holistically, the content, methodology, and delivery of the instructions must be appropriate to the unique needs of each individual child, all while meeting the educational standards of the child’s given jurisdiction.
Students with severe cognitive disabilities, may not require instruction in the general curriculum, yet they are indisputably eligible for special education and related services under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. For those students, education may consist of daily living and self-care skills, in addition to other related services that meet their unique needs. 
Related services are considered to be transpiration to and from school, as well as other developmental, corrective, and supportive services intended to assist the child with disability, so they fully benefit from special education. 
Examples of related services:
  • Speech and Language: pathology and audiology services
  • Interpreting services
  • Psychological services
  • Physical Therapy & Occupational Therapy
  • Recreation, including therapeutic recreation
  • Early identification and assessment of disabilities
  • Counseling service, including rehabilitation counseling
  • Orientation and mobility services
  • Medical services for diagnostic, or evaluation purposes
  • School health services and school nurse services
  • Social work services
  • Parent counseling and training

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

WRIGHTSLAW Coming to Phoenix, February 2017

http://www.wrightslawaz.info/
/http://www.wrightslaw.com/blog/event/phoenix-az/



Wrightslaw Special Education Law & Advocacy Conference 2017

23 - FEBRUARY - 2017 - PHOENIX (GLENDALE), AZ

Presented by Kirsch Goodwin & Kirsch Pllc & Parent Support Arizona