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Shortened School Day. What is the school's responsibility when he is home for half days?

Charlotte Ann


I am helping parents of a 2nd grade boy who has been on an IEP since the beginning of this school year.  He has intense sensory issues especially noise and touch. He screams, bites, destroys property and on occasion will elope, but at the same time very likable. He is being evaluated for autism.  His aggression has caused some injury. He has had a FB and a BIP. He is getting services at school from a Behavior Therapist and Occupational Therapist. He is on medication. There was an incident that triggered a manifestation determination and it was determined that it was related to his disability and then a short time later another incident occurred and the school decided to place him on half days. This was not determined at an IEP meeting. The Principal presented a document to her in the parking lot and the frustrated parent signed it on the hood of her car.  The Principal did suggest she take it home and think about it, but she signed it anyway.  We know that this decision for shortened days must be made at an IEP meeting.  The primary questions is, what is the responsibility of the school when the child is home all afternoon with no direction or guidance? Parents both work so it is a nightmare for them. 

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This is a change in placement under the IEP.  The parents are entitled to request a meeting.  Unfortunately, the IDEA allows amendments to IEP documents without holding a meeting if both the school district and the parent agree.  And in this case, I'm guessing the document the parent signed gave her agreement to the amendment.  However, if she regrets that decision, she can still request a meeting and ask if a sufficient "individualized inquiry" was done to make sure her son is in the least restrictive environment (required under the IDEA).  I don't know what is in the BIP, but have all supplementary aids, services, and supports been explored to avoid the home placement?

If the school will not budge on its decision, then yes, it has to provide instruction in the home, including both general education and special education instruction.  This time a meeting should definitely be requested so that the team can figure out the logistics of accomplishing this.  Until then the student should NOT be switched to half days because FAPE is unable to be provided.

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