Most educators were ready for a much deserved break as soon as the final school buses leave the building. While some things may resume at the start of the next school year, many mandates of the Individuals with Disabilities Act and Ohio Operating Standards do not take a summer break.

1. The 60-day timeline applies: Even if parents request an evaluation at the end of the school year, districts may not wait until the start of the 2024-2025 school year to complete the evaluation. Schools have thirty (30) calendar days after a request for an evaluation to obtain parent consent and only sixty (60) calendar days after consent to complete the evaluation. After that,  the IEP must be completed in thirty (30) days.

 If, for instance, the District tells a parent, “The beginning of the year will include a lot of review. Let’s set some things in place and wait until after the first 9 weeks next year. Then we’ll evaluate.” Caution is warranted.  Schools may not use interventions to delay an evaluation, and a parent may successfully argue that the school may have violated its Child Find obligation. Potential consequences could include corrective action or the parent being declared the prevailing party in a due process complaint with an award of attorney fees.

 2. Consulting with private schools: Each school district must engage in meaningful consultation with representatives of nonpublic schools within their jurisdiction. Since this includes discussions of how the consultative process will operate throughout the school year, it may be beneficial to engage in those conversations while school is not in session.

 3. ESY services include data collection: While IEP teams have already made ESY decisions for eligible students, data collection and progress monitoring during these summer sessions may prove critical for informing future services for the student as well as the necessity for ESY services in the future. Moreover, such documentation is important to establish that students received the required specially designed instruction and related services over the course of the summer program.

4. Due process timelines prevail: In the unfortunate circumstance of a due process complaint at the end of the school year or during the summer months, there is no flexibility to wait until the commencement of the new school year. Indeed, the absence of IEP team members or other witnesses during the summer months is not a justification for delaying the due process complaint. Moreover, schools need to prepare to conduct a resolution session within fifteen (15) days of the notice of the due process – with or without staff participation.