The cases interpreting and applying the Endrew F. standard have continued to grow and expand the definition of what is required of school districts in their effort to provide a free, appropriate education to students.
The following are bullet points and links to what we have learned since the Endrew F. decision and hopefully will provide a blue-print for parents to advocate for students.
- The IEP must be individualized. This means that the IEP document must address your child’s unique needs. (high achieving or high ability students are often provided a one size fits all program). This response is common. Schools may state that this is what we have, or this is our program.
- The IEP must be reasonably calculated to help your child make progress.
- The student must be afforded the opportunity to meet challenging objectives.
- A cookie cutter approach to checking the boxes is not going to pass legal muster.
- Parent input is essential.
- The IEP must be ambitious in light of your child’s circumstances.
How do I make this happen?
- Develop an Agenda for the IEP.
- Have current data regarding your child’s abilities and functioning.
- Have a clear sense of what are the appropriate goals and objectives for your child.
- Set the bar appropriately high for your child.
- Don’t settle for the response that “this is what we have” or “this is what our school does.”
- Be clear about the goals.
- Remain calm but firm.