ED522 Legal Aspects of Spec Educ Law

for U1P 2008

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Mission Statement: The mission of the School of Graduate and Professional Studies at Park University is to provide leadership and directions to Park University's graduate and professional programs to assure that they are specialized, scholarly, innovative, and designed to educate students to be creative, independent, and lifelong learners within the context of a global community.

School For Education Mission Statement
The School for Education at Park University, an institution committed to diversity and best practice, prepares educators to be effective school professionals, reflective change agents, and advocates for equity and excellence for all learners.

Vision Statement: Park University's School of Graduate and Professional Studies will be an international leader in providing innovative graduate and professional educational opportunities to learners within a global society.

School For Education Vision Statement
The School for Education at Park University is to be known as a leader in the preparation of educators who will address the needs, challenges, and possibilities of the 21st century.

Park University School for Education  Conceptual Framework


ED 522 Legal Aspects of Special Education


U1P 2008 EDI


Pate, Victoria J.


Senior Professor/Adjunct Faculty


Juris Doctor
Mediation Certification

Daytime Phone





Semester Dates

June 2 - July 27, 2008

Class Days


Class Time

8:30 - 1:00 PM

Credit Hours



The Answer Book on Special Education Law5th ed., J. Norlin, LRP Publications, 2007.

ISBN# 1-57834-054-3

Please be sure that you purchase the fifth edition of this book.


Textbooks can be purchased through the Parkville Bookstore

Additional Resources:

McAfee Memorial Library - Online information, links, electronic databases and the Online catalog. Contact the library for further assistance via email or at 800-270-4347.
Career Counseling - The Career Development Center (CDC) provides services for all stages of career development.  The mission of the CDC is to provide the career planning tools to ensure a lifetime of career success.
Park Helpdesk - If you have forgotten your OPEN ID or Password, or need assistance with your PirateMail account, please email helpdesk@park.edu or call 800-927-3024
Resources for Current Students - A great place to look for all kinds of information http://www.park.edu/Current/.

Course Description:
Review and analysis of current case law and litigation related to children with disabilities. Focus on the legal system that assures children with disabilities of a Free Appropriate Public Education with emphasis on due process procedures and other procedural safeguards, discipline, program accessibility, and application of Least Restrictive Environment alternative principles to special education programming.

Educational Philosophy:
To provide an interactive and interdisciplinary learning opportunity for the student in which the student will develop an ethical, legal and objective approach to educating children with disabilities.

Learning Outcomes:
  Core Learning Outcomes

  1. Demonstrate knowledge of the historical, social, and political issues which impact the education of children with disabilities.
  2. Demonstrate knowledge of landmark cases that resulted in the implementation of educational programming for children with disabilities.
  3. Apply knowledge of case law related to Least Restrictive Environment (LRE), Free Appropriate Public Education (FAPE), discipline, accessibility.
  4. Apply knowledge of the sequence and interrelatedness of the special education referral process.
  5. 5. Apply knowledge of statutory requirements related to procedural safeguards; due process; and evaluation and placement (including the Individual Education Plan).
  6. Demonstrate positive ethical dispositions related to the education of children with disabilities.

Core Assessment:

All Park University courses must include a core assessment that measures the relevant Program Learning Outcomes.  The purpose of this assessment is to determine if expectations have been met concerning mastery of learning outcomes across all instructional modalities.  The core assessment for this course is development of a written presentation for Special Education Parents Night.    Students will be required to develop a presentation for an “open house” held by a hypothetical school for parents who are “new” to the special education process.  The presentation should identify the various steps in the special education process and should include identification of school and parent responsibilities as well as describe the dispute resolution process.  Additionally, the presentation should identify the goals the school has for a successful educational experience for both parent and child.  Rubric is attached below.


This activity constitutes 20% of the total grade for the course.  It should be no longer than five (5) typed, double spaced pages.  It is due not earlier than week 6 of the course and not later than week 7.  This activity assesses outcomes 1 – 6.

Link to Class Rubric

Class Assessment:
No mid-term or final exams.  Final grades will be based on class participation in discussion, group projects, daily worksheets and a Core Assessment Activity.  Group projects are designed to reinforce the lecture material.  Worksheets are designed to assess the student's understanding of and ability to apply the weekly reading assignments, case readings and lecture material to specific issues concerning the week's main topics.  You will benefit from reading the text and case assignments prior to each class session.


Participation = 40 points (5 points @ day)

Worksheets    = 80 points (10 points @ day)

Core Assessment Activity = 30 points

Total possible points = 150

90 -100% = A

80 - 89% = B

70 - 79% = C

60 - 69% = D

below 60%= F

Late Submission of Course Materials:
Five (5) points will be deducted from worksheets submitted after the due date.  If you know you will be absent you may submit your worksheet by email.  However, your work must be received on the due date in order to escape point deduction.  No credit will be given for late submission of the Core Assessment Activity except in exceptional circumstances.

Classroom Rules of Conduct:
Students whose behavior is detrimental to good order in the classroom or whose behavior interferes with the learning of other students will be subject to disciplinary action ranging from dismissal from the classroom to expulsion from Park University.  Such behavior includes, but is not limited to, the use of abusive or obscene language, attending the class under the influence of drugs or alcohol, excessive tardiness and excessive absences.

Course Topic/Dates/Assignments:

Week Date Topics Text Assignments/Case Readings
1 June 7 Overview and structure of the laws governing the education of students with disabilities; IDEA terminology and concepts; the interrelationship between Sec. 504 of the Rehabilitation Act and the IDEA

Chapter 1

2 June 14
Procedural Safeguards: the parental rights to notice, consent, participation, due process hearings and the transfer of rights to the student; confidentiality and access to records; the zero-reject principle.

Special Project #1:  mock IEP meeting


Chapter 7; see also question 5 on 1:3 and questions 25-40 on 4:19 - 30
Timothy W. v. Rochester, New Hampshire School District, 875 F.2d 954 (1st Cir. 1989)
3 June 21 Due Process hearings; the stay-put requirement and statutory exceptions; students "suspected" of being disabled; the voluntary mediation option.

Chapter 8; see also questions 19-20 on 11:14-15; also questions 26-31 on 11:18-22

Cronin v. Board of Education of East Ramapo Central School District, 689 F.Supp.197 (S.D.N.Y.1988)
4 June 28 Private schooling for students with disabilities; persons in a parental role; testing and evaluation standards; the right to an IEE

Chapters 2 and 10; see also questions 4-9 on 7:2-7 and questions 33-40 on 12:20-26

Zobrest v. Catalina Foothills School Distict, 509 U.S. 1 (1993)

5 July 5

The legal standards of an "appropriate" education; extended school year services; legal compliance with the "least restrictive environment" mandate.

Special Project #2:  Documentation in support of change of placement

Chapters 3 and 5

Board of Education of the Hendrick Hudson Central School District v. Rowley, 458 U.S. 176 (1982)
Alamo Heights Independent School District v. State Board of Education, 790 F.2d 1153 (5th Cir. 1986)
Greer v. Rome City School District, 950 F.2d 688 (11th Cir. 1991)
Oberti v. Board of Education, 995 F.2d 1204 (3rd Cir. 1993)
6 July 12

Earliest Core Assessement Activity may be turned in.

Related Services; assistive technology devices and services; extra-curricular activities; duty of care issues concerning students with disabilities.

Chapter 6; see also questions 39-40 on 3:22-25

Irving Independent School District v. Tatro, 468 U.S. 883 (1984)

7 July 19

Core Assessment Activity due.

Discipline; the legal standards for conducting behavioral assessments and manifestation determinations; the Missouri Safe Schools Act and the disabled student; transition services.

Chapter 11; see also questions 33-37 on 3:20-21

Honig v. Doe, 484 U.S. 305 (1988)
S-1 v. Turlington, 635 F.2d 342 (5th Cir. 1981)
8 July 26 Compensatory education services; tuition reimbursement; attorney fees and the "prevailing party" standard; IEP content requirements.

Chapters 12, 13 and 4; see also questions 15-31 on 14:15-20

Burlington School Committee v. Department of Education of Massachusetts, 471 U.S. 359 (1985)
Lester H. v. Gilhool, 916 F.2d 865 (3rd Cir. 1990)

Academic Honesty:
Academic integrity is the foundation of the academic community. Because each student has the primary responsibility for being academically honest, students are advised to read and understand all sections of this policy relating to standards of conduct and academic life.   Park University 2007-2008 Graduate Catalog Page 24-26


Plagiarism involves the appropriation of another person's ideas, interpretation, words (even a few), data, statements, illustration or creative work and their presentation as one's own. An offense against plagiarism constitutes a serious academic misconduct. Although offenses against academic integrity can manifest themselves in various ways, the most common forms of offenses are plagiarism and cheating. Plagiarism goes beyond the copying of an entire article. It may include, but is not limited to: copying a section of an article or a chapter from a book, reproduction of an art work, illustration, cartoon, photograph and the like and passing them off as one's own. Copying from the Internet is no less serious an offense than copying from a book or printed article, even when the material is not copyrighted.

Plagiarism also includes borrowing ideas and phrases from, or paraphrasing, someone else's work, published or unpublished, without acknowledging and documenting the source. Acknowledging and documenting the source of an idea or phrase, at the point where it is utilized, is necessary even when the idea or phrase is taken from a speech or conversation with another person.

Park University 2007-2008 Graduate Catalog Page 24-26

Attendance Policy:

Professors are required to maintain attendance records and report absences. Excused absences can be granted by the instructor, for medical reasons, school sponsored activities, and employment-related demands, including temporary duty. Students are responsible for any missed work. Absences in excess of four (4) class periods, in a 16-week semester (or 2, in an 8-week term) will be reported to the Director of the individual graduate program, or to the Dean, for appropriate action. Students with such a record of absences, without an approved excuse, may be administratively withdrawn from the class and notified by mail that an "F" will be recorded, unless the student initiates official withdrawal from the class(es).Park University 2007-2008 Graduate Catalog Page 28
Since participation is an integral part of this course, missing any class will result in zero participation points for that day regardless of whether the absence is excused or unexcused.

Disability Guidelines:
Park University is committed to meeting the needs of all students that meet the criteria for special assistance. These guidelines are designed to supply directions to students concerning the information necessary to accomplish this goal. It is Park University's policy to comply fully with federal and state law, including Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, regarding students with disabilities. In the case of any inconsistency between these guidelines and federal and/or state law, the provisions of the law will apply. Additional information concerning Park University's policies and procedures related to disability can be found on the Park University web page: http://www.park.edu/disability .


Core Assessment



CompetencyExceeds Expectation (3)Meets Expectation (2)Does Not Meet Expectation (1)No Evidence (0)
Cognitive Skills - Develop a presentation to hypothetical parents which identifies and explains the steps in the special education process                                                                                                                 
1. Content 2. Analysis 3. Synthesis 4. Application 2-5                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               
Exceeds expectations – Five or more steps are correctly addressed. Meets expectations – Three to four steps are correctly addressed Does not meet expectations – Two to three steps are correctly addressed Shows no evidence of meeting expectations – One or fewer steps are correctly addressed. 
Identifies responsibilities of both school and parent in the special education process : Responses may be incorporated either in the explanations of the special education process steps (above) or included separately in the presentation.               
1. Content 2. Analysis 3. Synthesis 4. Application 2-5                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               
Exceeds expectations – Five or more responsibilities are correctly addressed. Meets expectations – Three to four responsibilities are correctly addressed Does not meet expectations – Two to three responsibilities are correctly addressed Shows no evidence of meeting expectations – One or fewer responsibilities are correctly addressed. 
1. Special education dispositions & principles - Identify primary principles and or dispositions necessary for a successful special education experience and briefly explain their importance.                                                             
1, 6                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 
Exceeds expectations – Four or more principles are identified and discussed Meets expectations – Three principles are identified and discussed Does not meet expectations – One or two principles are identified and discussed Shows no evidence of meeting expectations – Did not identify any principles or failed to provide an appropriate discussion. 


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Last Updated:4/5/2008 10:00:49 AM