For the first time in nearly 35 years, the Supreme Court of the United States has addressed the legal standard by which courts determine whether a school district has provided a student with a disability a “free appropriate public education” (FAPE) through an individualized education program (IEP) under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). Specifically, in Endrew F. v. Douglas County School District RE-1, No. 15-827 (U.S. March 22, 2017), the Court held in a unanimous opinion authored by Chief Justice John Roberts that, “[t]o meet its substantive obligation under the IDEA, a school must offer an IEP reasonably calculated to enable a child to make progress appropriate in light of the child’s circumstances.” Id. at 11 (slip op.). Continue Reading
I am sick and tired of parents who think that middle school education is unimportant. Every spring, I receive a spate of emails from parents notifying me that they will be taking their children out of school for family vacation. I dutifully follow up with the parents to tell them that school is in session on the days that they are planning to be on vacation. However, some parents politely tell me that their children are young only once, and that family vacation is certainly more important over the long term than two weeks of middle school. Other parents simply tell me that they don’t care what I think and that I am not the boss of them. When they even bother to try to justify their decisions, they tell me that, as the parents, they have the right to excuse their child’s absence from school.
As a committed educator, I feel that I should do something, but I don’t want to step in mud. I dimly remember that there are some rules around this whole excused/unexcused absence thing. Do I have the right to override a parent’s attempt to excuse these absences or do I have to accept their decisions, however ill-advised?
An Absence-Minded Principal Continue Reading