Toolbox Tuesday: Tool #7

In our firm’s Toolbox training we call Tool #7 “The FAPE-Free Zone.” That’s because Tool #7 authorizes campus administrators to remove a student from the placement called for by the IEP without providing any services.  A three-day out of school suspension, for example, would be a good example of the use of Tool #7. While the student is at home, the IEP is not being implemented, not one little bit. But the law says that this is OK as long as the student is within “The FAPE-Free Zone.”  That Zone lasts only ten days, cumulatively, through the school year. 

So this is a simple tool that the Campus Behavior Coordinator can use unilaterally. It does not require consultation with a teacher, as Tool #8 does. Nor does it require an ARDC meeting, as Tools #5 and #6 do.  However, there is one wrinkle that state law added in 2019.  Section 37.005(e) requires the school to provide that suspended student with “an alternative means of receiving all course work provided in the classes in the foundation curriculum….that the student misses as a result of the suspension.” 

Google Classroom, right?  Not so fast. The statute says that at least one option for providing the course work must not involve using the Internet.  Keep in mind that this requirement applies to out of school as well as in-school suspension, and it applies to all students, general and special education alike.  Is your district complying with this? 


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Tomorrow: Why we’ll be getting less money for our special education programs….