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What caregivers need to know about Extended School Year (ESY)

Written by  Sussan, Greenwald & Wesler What is ESY? If your child has a disability and receives special education and related services, you'll want to know. The New Jersey Department of Education defines "extended school year" or "ESY" as educational programming beyond the traditional 180-day school year for eligible students with disabilities as outlined by the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). As part of each annual review of a child's individualized educational plan (IEP), the school is required to consider the need for ESY. ESY most commonly takes the form of a four week to eight week school program offered during...

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When should I ask for an Independent Educational Evaluation?

The school district tells you that your child no longer needs occupational therapy but you disagree. The child study team has evaluated your child and did not identify a problem which you believe affects his or her school performance. Your child’s IEP fails to address an area of need which you believe is a manifestation of his or her disability. The school has administered one test to your child, but you think it was the wrong test for getting at the issue with which your child struggles. These are all reasons to consider asking your student's child study team for an independent educational evaluation. The right...

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How does the school decide if my child has a specific learning disability?

Written by  Sussan, Greenwald & Wesler Many parents know that a child with a specific learning disability may qualify to receive special education and related services. But what is a specific learning disability, and how does a school district determine if a child has one? Some parents wonder why their child who already has a diagnosed learning disability is not receiving services from their school. Federal and state law provide guidance as to what constitutes a specific learning disability for purposes of a child receiving his or her free, appropriate education, and when such a disability requires the school to classify...

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Before you walk into your next IEP meeting

Written by Sussan, Greenwald & Wesler It’s anxiety-provoking for many parents: the thought of sitting down with your child’s case manager, principal, teachers, therapists--and people you may not even recognize--to talk about what your child’s school program will look like for the coming year. It's not that you haven't prepared. You have spoken with your child’s teachers throughout the year about your child's progress. You have organized your three-ring binder in chronological order with your child’s schoolwork, report cards, progress reports, standardized tests and evaluations (school or private) that relate to your child's disability. You will use these documents to make...

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