For school boards frustrated with settlement agreements or dealing with a significant amount of litigation, a comprehensive audit can help.
Sometimes, the operations and practices embedded in a district’s approach to special education and pupil services can leave schools especially vulnerable to litigation. By addressing those issues, we can help reduce the risk of exposure to potential litigation and, if it does occur, more effectively defend against it. That’s the focus of our Audit of Operations and Practices team, which does a deep dive into your district’s litigation history, policies and practices, and identifies areas of strength, as well as those that need adjustment.
We pride ourselves in being a preeminent authority on pupil services and special education law in Pennsylvania and use that depth of knowledge to identify issues that need to be addressed, including those pertaining to special education.
The audit, always tailored to the needs of a specific educational entity, could include the following:
- Review of special education due process hearing complaints and decisions, complaint letters, and settlements, and a comparison to districts of similar size and/or location.
- Review of standardized test data, 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 agreement, selected job descriptions, training materials, meeting notes and PowerPoints, and special education files for the elementary, middle and high school levels.
- Examine student files, including but not limited to evaluation and re-evaluation reports, Section 504 Service agreements, and Gifted IEPs.
- Structured interviews with all individuals who are determined to be relevant to identify problem or concern areas, areas for improvement or adjustment, as well internal procedures that are working well and those that potentially need to be revamped. This will include 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.
- Development of practices and procedures for a number of areas including child study team, multi-tiered support system, special education document development, programming, training, resource development, and more, including special areas of interest for your district.
The audit team offers recommendations for programming, training, resource development, job descriptions, and hiring of additional professional and clerical staff. Most importantly, the audit report and its contents will be confidential and protected by attorney-client privilege for the beneficial use of authorized persons only within your district.
To learn more about our work in this area, contact us today.