Navigating Special Ed Compliance in 2023: Guide for School Districts

Navigating Special Ed Compliance in 2023: Guide for School Districts

IEP Compliance10/18/2023

Simply creating Individualized Education Programs (IEPs) for children with disabilities in public schools isn’t enough.

Special educators, SLPs (Speech Language Pathologists) and others associated with the child's education in the school environment must ensure that they achieve and maintain compliance inside and outside the classroom.

All special educators and other teachers involved in the execution of the IEP are bound by federal & state law to support the children who require special education classes.

Our previous article on Perez vs. Sturgis shows how severe the ramifications of non-compliance to the IDEA (special education) laws can be.

Who Verifies the Special Ed Compliance of a School District?

The primary requirement under IDEA is the creation of IEPs for each student who needs special education. There are 13 different disabilities currently recognized by IDEA and the IEPs need to be tailored according to the unique needs of each child with a disability in a particular school or school district.

Special education teachers, class teachers, parents, the student and other school staff come together to create personalized IEP plans that suit the learning needs of the child. The IEP serves as the master guide for the team to deliver the services and support the child requires in a specific manner.

Although IEP serves as a guide, it is legally binding. Every state in the US has different requirements that need to be present in the IEP.

The State Department of Education should oversee the local school districts and their special ed compliance. However, the parents can reach out to the district’s special education coordinator or file for a due process hearing, if they have reason to believe that their child’s IEP is not being followed by the school.

In case the school is found to be non-compliant with the rules and regulations set forth by IDEA, the parents can claim damages from the school district.

What are the Different Areas of Compliance as per the State Department of Education?

Each state has different compliance requirements. However, almost all State Departments of Education have a few rules and regulations in common. At a minimum, each school district must make records of -

  • The details of each student’s current level of performance in school
  • The short-term and long-term goals for improving performance
  • A plan of how the child’s progress will be monitored for the session or year
  • The methods special ed teachers use to provide the necessary services to the child
  • Ways to integrate the general education curriculum into the student’s IEP
  • Maintaining the records of behavioral data for each student receiving special education
  • IEP meetings with other teaching professionals and the parents
  • Changing the IEP according to the performance and needs of the student
  • Informing the parents about IEP changes
  • Sharing the copy/copies of the performance report with the parents and other specialists

Use Special Education Software to Foster Compliance

Keeping track of so many factors is next to impossible for a special ed teacher as well as SLPs. It is especially challenging when there are multiple students in different grades with completely different sets of goals and progress rates.

Choosing the right special education software like AbleSpace can help you remain compliant with your state’s special ed rules and regulations.

While choosing the software, ensure that it allows you to -

  • Collect student data and edit the data in real-time
  • Collect student data in a group setting (for group therapy sessions)
  • Set individualized goals for each student, and track them too
  • Generate reports from student data easily
  • Create IDEA-compliant reports that can be shared easily across multiple platforms
  • Set up schedules for IEP meetings and send out reminders to everyone involved
  • Focus on the SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound) goals
  • Minimize the errors and loss of data due to software/device incompatibility issues

Most importantly, the goal-tracking cum special-ed compliance software should be HIPAA compliant.

Why Choose a Special Ed IEP Goal-Tracking Software?

AbleSpace provides end-to-end IEP data collection on top of detailed and accurate record keeping.

This special ed compliance software allows users to automate multiple processes, including recording of session data, setting up IEP meetings, tracking service minutes & assessment reminders, and generating progress reports from student data.

Such a tool enables transparent and consistent communication between the teachers, SLPs, and the parents of the child.

Using a HIPAA-compliant special education goal-tracker tool can save you a lot of trouble and completely revolutionize the way you perform your daily tasks.

Are you a special ed teacher looking for goal-tracking tools to help with compliance issues? Then look no further! Try AbleSpace’s free trial and save hours each day!

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