Article by Jennifer E. Levy, Esq.

Navigating the complexities of your child’s education can be a daunting task, especially when faced with challenges in the school system. As a school law attorney and former principal with over 20 years of experience in education, I understand the intricacies of these issues. There are profound challenges parents may encounter.  Legal guidance can be an invaluable resource in finding effective solutions.

Let’s explore two common scenarios that parents often face in dealing with school districts. The first is the proactive district – one that reaches out to parents to address learning and behavioral concerns. While this approach can be beneficial, it may also lead to tensions when parents perceive criticism or a lack of objectivity from the school. In some cases, the child’s placement in a less-than-ideal environment exacerbates the situation, creating a rift between the district and parents.

Conversely, there’s the type of district that fails to notice a child’s struggles, whether it be frustration with homework, hurtful interactions with teachers or classmates, or overall confusion with schoolwork. In these instances, parents often find themselves reaching out to the school, only to feel dismissed or imposed upon. The lack of awareness on the part of the district may result in parents not feeling equipped to communicate their concerns effectively or assert their legal rights.

These scenarios, though seemingly extreme, are unfortunately common and can cause significant frustration and despair among well-meaning parents.

At our law firm, we want to dispel the notion that legal assistance is only necessary when litigation is imminent. On the contrary, seeking advice and counseling from a school law attorney can help prevent situations from escalating to the point where litigation becomes the only recourse. Our goal is to guide parents through the educational landscape, providing support and resources at every step.

Here’s how our expertise can benefit you before a trial is even needed:

  • Referrals for Educational Evaluations: We can guide you in obtaining outside educational evaluations to better understand your child’s needs.
  • IEP Meeting Representation: We will be by your side during Individualized Education Program (IEP) meetings, ensuring that your child’s unique needs are considered and addressed.
  • Accommodation and Modification Recommendations: Offering valuable feedback on the accommodations and modifications that would best benefit your child’s education.
  • Legal Advice and Counsel: Providing insights into legal issues that may arise, as well as educating parents about their rights and the rights of their children.
  • Mediation and Conflict Resolution: Attending conferences and mediations to facilitate communication between parents and the school district, aiming for amicable resolutions.
  • Document Drafting and Review: Assisting with the preparation of court documents and other necessary paperwork, ensuring your case is well-presented.
  • Settlement Negotiations: Striving to settle matters outside of the courtroom when possible, saving time, money, and emotional stress for all parties involved.
  • Educational Guidance: Reviewing transcripts and school records, explaining reports to parents, and outlining available services within the school system.

Our approach is grounded in the belief that proactive, informed advocacy can lead to positive outcomes for students and their families. By seeking legal guidance early in the process, parents can empower themselves to navigate the complexities of the education system and ensure their child receives the free and appropriate education they deserve.

If you find yourself facing challenges in your child’s education, remember that affordable and effective legal assistance is within reach. Let us be your partners in finding solutions and advocating for the best interests of your child feel free to reach out to Raff & Raff.