Special Ed Connection Article on IEP Time Limits Features Christina Stephanos Interview
(New Britain, PA) - "Can a school district set reasonable time limits for IEP development without impeding the parents' participation rights?" That was the question at the heart of the January 29, 2020 issue of "Special Ed Connection," the offical publication of www.specialedconnection.com, a website created by special education attorneys, editors, journalists, and others who research federal statutes and regulations, legal cases, federal policies and news from all over the U.S. to share interpretations, applications, and tips.
A recent ruling in Colorado involved a school district that held five IEP meetings over eight months and about 15 hours of discussion, and a parent that alleged that the district predetermined their child's IEP and exluded her from the process.
The Special Ed Connection team asked several experts in the field how a school shcould respond to this, including Sweet Stevens partner Christina Stephanos. Stephanos offered several helpful approaches for a school to take before, during and at the completion of the meetings.
Stephanos has the benefit of bringing a multifaceted professional perspective to her practice: in addition to her law degree, she earned a diploma in Special Education, certificates in both Reading and Elementary Education and taught Language Arts and Special Education for six years. Her practice involves ongoing consultation and representation of school districts in a variety of matters, including but not limited to IEP and Section 504 meetings and due process administrative hearings. She also prepares and presents special education audits with specific recommendations for overall programming, staffing and supports. She also provides in-house professional development programs on a variety of topics, including mock due process hearings, discipline, special education programming, the role of the local educational agency, and inclusion.
Sweet, Stevens, Katz & Williams, LLP was formed in 1995 by nine experienced education lawyers who created one of the first private law practices in Pennsylvania dedicated entirely to Education Law. Since then, the firm has grown to 20 attorneys who represent over 290 school and municipal entities as Solicitors or as Special Counsel in more than 50 counties throughout Pennsylvania.