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Steven A. Greenburg, Education Law
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Santa Cruz Special Education Law for Parents Blog

Important details to know about school suspensions in California

The threat of school disciplinary measures affects every student differently. Some are willing to do whatever they can do avoid penalties like suspension while others may not see such actions as that problematic. However, it is crucial for parents and other adults to ensure that whatever discipline occurs at a school is both lawful and fair. 

For instance, did you know that there are strict rules for if and when public schools can discipline students in California with suspension?

3 educational strategies and trends parents might see in schools

Approaches to education are constantly changing, whether the changes stem from political shifts, financial strain or the availability of new research. And it seems that every school year, there are new things for parents to understand about their child's education.

As noted in this Washington Post article, numerous trends are emerging in schools across the country today that attempt to change the way students are taught and succeed. Below, we look at a few of the strategies that could be particularly interesting to parents of children with special educational needs. 

The traits of an effective special education teacher

A challenging and rewarding career can await a special education teacher. But let’s be realistic: It’s no picnic as the demands can by trying. They must juggle the different personalities of their classroom students, the parents and school administrators. The workload can be heavy, too, in adapting teaching plans for children who may have an assortment of physical, mental and emotional disabilities.

An effective special education teacher requires a number of additional skills compared with a traditional teacher, too. But at their core, special education teachers are attentive, considerate, helpful and cooperative. A person with such traits just may have the foundation to become a good special education teacher.

Is your child's IEP truly individualized?

If your child has special education needs, he or she likely has an individualized education program. The purpose of this program is to identify the resources and tools a student needs in the academic setting and then establish them in a comprehensive plan.

However, many parents of children with special needs know that having an IEP does not ensure success. Not only are there failings to comply with IEPs, but recent research suggests that the plans themselves are not properly developed.

What can happen when accommodations are unavailable

Children with special needs can often remain in mainstream classes and learn alongside other students, as long as they have some accommodations to help them.

Parents and special education students often feel this is the best possible solution, as it allows children with special needs to stay with their peers and have a better opportunity to realize their academic potential while also providing them with the tools they need to learn. If these accommodations are not provided, a few things occur.

Legal battles continue if schools don't comply with court orders

Special education students in California have the right to receive educational services and resources when their school receives federal funding for such programs. Unfortunately, too many students do not receive what has been promised.

When this happens, parents can seek legal action to address the situation and protect their child. This is what one mother is doing after she says her daughter's school tried to relocate the student to another school and failed to comply with court orders.

Tips for parents heading into an IEP meeting

If you have a child who requires special education services, then you will likely be meeting with school teachers and administrators on a regular basis. These meetings ensure your child is receiving the support he or she needs and they keep everyone on the same page.

If your child has an Individualized Education Program, one of these meetings you will attend every year is an IEP meeting. Whether you have been through these meetings before or not, it is important that you take some steps to prepare if you have one coming up. 

Why many special education teachers leave the profession

Special education teachers may be going onto the endangered list. Their numbers have declined more than 17 percent in the decade leading to 2016. Why? There are many factors, but all have aligned to limit a special education teacher’s time in the classroom -- the sole reason many got into teaching in the first place.

A special education teacher’s job can be filled with struggles resulting in Eiffel Tower-high stress, burn-out and an eventually departure from the teaching profession. This is not good for the students who need them.

How California laws address truancy

Students skipping school is an unfortunate -- but very old -- problem for families and schools across California. For some kids, skipping class is an act of rebellion; for others it's an indication of boredom; others skip because they are not prepared.

Whatever the reasons may be for skipping school, it can be very upsetting when a child is found to be truant and in danger of certain penalties. If your child's school has notified you that your child is a truant, then you should understand truancy laws in California and understand the options you have to address this difficult situation.

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