Newsroom Article

Pool Counsel Quarterly Lookback, March 2024: See what you missed!

A roundup of topics covered recently as part of the firm’s subscriber-based service.

Posted on in Press Releases and Announcements

Sweet, Stevens, Katz & Williams LLP is proud to offer a unique subscription-based service entitled "Pool Counsel" to school entities.

With this service, any member of the Pool Counsel service can email on-demand questions anytime on various operational issues related to Special Education or Technology, and all subscribers are "pooled" on the email distribution of the responses.

Here are some topics covered recently:

  • Artificial Intelligence

The firm addresses whether there is an ethical or legal barrier to school psychs using AI to write assessment summaries or recommendations, and the implications of when someone's AI assistant participates in a student services video conference.

The firm provides guidance on the department of education memo on Pennsylvania's "high risk" status, due to the fact that more than 1% of students are taking the alternative assessment.

Details on two new Supreme Court rulings regarding government officials who faced First Amendment lawsuits for blocking comments on social media, and a suggested updated social media policy for schools, given those rulings.

How shall schools preparing for next year's term respond to parents while a decision from the Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court on the age 22 issue is pending? Should model forms now reflect the right to public education through the 22nd birthday?

  • Parental Rights

The firm addresses whether parents of an 18-year-old student who has left home and is now classified as an "unaccompanied youth" have the right to information related to his or her education or living situation and.

In a follow up question, the firm focuses on the same issue, but related to a student that is (a) no longer a minor and (b) married.

In yet another district query, an 18-year-old student moves out of her parents' house, refuses contact with them, and notifies the school she wishes to drop out. Must the district honor this request?

What are the procedures for billing a resident district for costs related to the education of a student in a residential treatment facility?

  • IEPs, ERs and RRs

What specific action affects the date of an evaluation or reevaluation report? Is there a deadline or timeline to convene an IEP team meeting after a reevaluation has been completed? What happens when a parent wants instruction in her son's IEP that ensures his participation in interscholastic sports?

A district where two siblings attend parochial school, but whose parents list residency in another state, wonders if it is responsible for the provision of equitable participation?

Is it a legal requirement to translate key special education documents for parents who have limited English proficiency?

What are the implications of new legislation amending how schools to adopt day/hour minimums for a school term?

A path for schools to identify the enrollment process when parents have not established residency in a district in the traditional manner.

The firm provides new versions for required notices for school district and IU websites, as well as those required to be delivered in writing or in a newspaper.

Is a homeschooled student that physically attends some academic classes for a portion of the day exempt from traditional attendance requirements?

If a student is labeled with a disability in an evaluation report, but the disability does not impact the student's classroom performance, should a goal be created to address it?

  • Related Services

One subscriber shares concerns that related servcies in IEPs are sometimes over-prescribed, while another a subscriber wonders how to discontinue a service while leaving a related classification in place.

With cyber insurance providers requiring such systems to be in place, the firm shares a model cyber incident response plan that is specific to school districts and intermediate units.

Benefits of the Pool Counsel service include not only the ability to ask questions 24/7, but also an electronic “Resource Room,” where members can log in to access the full library of all past Pool Counsel answers, searchable by topic and archived by year

To learn more, contact Andy Faust (Special Education) or Mark Cheramie Walz (Technology) or call 215-345-9111.