On Sept. 30, the U.S. Department of Education released a document to assist districts in understanding their obligations under the federal Individuals with Disabilities Education Act.

The document, in a question and answer format, is from the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services and is titled the “Return to School Roadmap: Development and Implementation of Individualized Education Programs in the Least Restrictive Environment under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act.”

Topics covered under this latest resource, focusing on Individualized Education Programs, include:

  • Ensuring IEPs are in effect at the start of the school year.
  • Convening the IEP team.
  • Consideration of special factors:
    • Considering the assistive technology needs of a child with a disability.
    • Addressing the social, emotional, behavioral, and mental health needs of children with disabilities.
    • Addressing the school-related health needs of children with disabilities with underlying medical conditions.
  • Determining appropriate measurable annual goals and considering the child’s need for compensatory services.
  • Making extended school year services determinations.
  • Considering secondary transition services.
  • Making educational placement decisions.
  • Resolving disagreements regarding a child’s educational program.

This question-and-answer publication is the second one issued by the USDOE concerning the IDEA. The first, released Aug. 24, concerned child-find obligations under Part B of the IDEA.

For questions regarding the information in any of these documents, please contact the NJSBA Legal, Labor Relations and Policy staff at (609) 278-5254 or your board attorney.