Bar Foundation Offers Free Special Education Law Seminar

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Updated Jan. 8, 2013: The New Jersey State Bar Foundation cancelled this event due to low registration.

NEW BRUNSWICK — The New Jersey State Bar Foundation will address the educational needs and rights of students with disabilities and their parents at a free public seminar on Wednesday, Jan. 16, 2013, from 7-9 p.m. at the New Jersey Law Center, One Constitution Square off Ryders Lane in New Brunswick. Parents, school administrators, teachers and all interested members of the general public are invited to attend. Admission is free but registration is required.

What is the current state of your child’s Individualized Education Program (IEP)? IEPs 101: What You Need to Know to Ensure Your Child is Provided with a Free and Appropriate Public Education will take a personalized view of special education with dialogue among the panel, comprised of three experienced special education law attorneys, and the audience.

The seminar will cover topics that parents and guardians frequently inquire about:

- “Child Find”—a school district’s responsibility to locate and evaluate students with disabilities who may be in need of special education and related services, who qualifies for special education and what constitutes a free, appropriate public education.

- Individualized Education Programs or IEPs—how they serve as a blueprint for the education and related services provided by a school district.

- An in-depth look at the Present Levels of Academic Achievement and Functional Performance or PLAAFP component of an IEP and what the PLAAFP should contain.

- What constitutes appropriate and measurable annual goals and benchmarks or short-term objectives in an IEP.

After the presentations, the focus will be on questions from the audience and discussion among the panelists on any and all topics relating to parents’ and the school’s rights and responsibilities concerning special education.

Speakers at the seminar will include Rebecca Spar of Cole, Schotz, Meisel, Forman & Leonard in Hackensack; David Giles, a solo practitioner in South Orange; and Staci Greenwald of Sussan & Greenwald in Cranbury and a Certified Teacher of the Handicapped.

Spar is a frequent lecturer and author and has represented parents and children in several precedent-selling educational cases. She is on the Board of Trustees for the New Jersey Tourette Syndrome Association, a former chair of the NJSBA’s Children’s Rights Committee and School Law Committee and currently serves on the Education Law Center’s Board of Trustees. She holds degrees from the University of Kansas, the University of Minnesota, Pace University and Rutgers School of Law-Newark.

Giles has represented parents and students in school-related matters, including special education and school discipline cases, since 1989. He originally practiced law in California, where he worked for nine years with California Rural Legal Assistance and East Palo Alto Community Law Project. Subsequently he worked for the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights. In 2001 he joined the Education Law Center, a nonprofit, Newark-based law office with a statewide practice dedicated to helping New Jersey children receive a thorough, efficient and appropriate education. Since 2003 Giles has maintained a private education law practice.

Greenwald was a special education teacher before attending law school. She has a degree in speech pathology and is a Certified Teacher of the Handicapped. She represents the disabled in various forums from the Office of Administrative Law to the Federal courts. Besides special education issues, she offers advocacy in matters involving the Division of Development Disabilities and guardianship.

The seminar is free and open to the public; however, advance registration is required. To register, or for more information on Foundation seminars, programs and publications, visit the Foundation online at www.njsbf.org or call 1-800-FREE-LAW. The Foundation’s seminar series is made possible by funding from the IOLTA Fund of the Bar of New Jersey.

Founded in 1958, the New Jersey State Bar Foundation is the educational and philanthropic arm of the New Jersey State Bar Association. The Bar Foundation’s mission is to promote public understanding of the law through a free, comprehensive public education program. Among its activities, the Foundation conducts seminars and conflict resolution training, publishes materials, operates a videotape loan library and speakers bureau, and coordinates elementary, middle and high school mock trial competitions. For more information about the Foundation’s programs and publications, visit us online at www.njsbf.org or call 1-800-FREE-LAW.


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