Sweet Stevens to Offer Audit Services for School Districts
New Britain, PA – For school boards frustrated with settlement agreements or dealing with a significant amount of litigation, the law firm of Sweet, Stevens, Katz & Williams LLP announces a new service: Audit of Operations and Practices. The service will help districts reduce the risk of exposure to potential litigation and defend against it.
“With audit services,” explains Managing Partner Sharon W. Montanye, “we do a deep dive into pupil services and special education operations and practices to assess organizational alignment and departmental staffing, and flag potential issues.”
As part of the process, the Sweet Stevens attorneys:
- Conduct structured interviews with school principals, special education teachers, psychologists, reading specialists, nurses, math and other core class department chairs, guidance counselors, teachers of the gifted, special education supervisors, Title IX coordinators and directors of pupil services, curriculum, and human resources.
- Review standardized test data, the child study procedure manual, multi-tiered support system protocols, discipline procedures, Section 504 practices and procedures, Title IX procedures, school counseling services and supports, collective bargaining agreements, selected job descriptions, training materials, meeting notes, and PowerPoints.
- Examine special education due process hearing complaints and decisions, complaint letters, and settlements, and compare those with districts of similar size and/or location.
- Examine student files, including but not limited to evaluation and re-evaluation reports, Section 504 Service agreements, and Gifted IEPs.
Additionally, the team identifies matters of concern, areas for improvement or adjustment, internal procedures that are working well, and those that potentially need to be revamped. Recommendations for programming, training, resource development, job descriptions, and hiring of additional professional and clerical staff are also offered.
Noted Managing Partner John G. Audi, “We provide districts with a data-driven perspective, and recommendations designed to reduce litigation time and expense. The audit report and its contents are confidential and protected by attorney-client privilege for the beneficial use of authorized persons only within the district.”
For more information on the audit service, or to schedule a consultation, contact the firm at (215) 345-9111.
Sweet, Stevens, Katz & Williams, LLP was formed in 1995 by nine experienced education lawyers who created the first private law practice in Pennsylvania dedicated entirely to Education Law. Since then, the firm has grown to 24 attorneys who represent over 290 school and municipal entities as Solicitors or as Special Counsel in more than 50 counties throughout Pennsylvania.