Students and Special Education

What We Do

We understand the school district’s obligation to serve all students. DWK’s Students Practice Group actively supports school districts and other educational agencies in addressing their students’ needs. Our deep knowledge and experience in this area enables us to provide practical, efficient, and results-oriented legal services that promote better outcomes for students and the schools that educate them. With a statewide education practice, we can assist your district in a broad range of services. Some of the many areas we handle include:

  • Student discipline
  • Student conduct and behavioral issues
  • Temporary Restraining Orders and emergency behavioral interventions
  • Inter and intra district transfers
  • Pupil records/FERPA
  • Uniform Complaint Procedures
  • CDE compliance complaints
  • OCR complaints
  • Title IX complaints (including investigations, decision-making, and appeals)
  • Disability accommodations
  • IDEA and Section 504 compliance
  • Mediation and Alternative Dispute Resolution
  • Due process hearings
  • Federal and state court litigation
  • Writ petitions
  • Interagency obligations, complaint handling and coordination
  • Constitutional rights and responsibilities (such as, students’ free speech rights, religion in the schools, and school searches)
  • Foster and homeless youth rights
  • SELPA guidance
  • Discrimination, bullying and harassment
  • Student civil rights and equity issues
  • Discrimination, bullying and harassment
  • Student injuries and other incidents
  • Independent impartial investigations

Students and Special Education – the DWK Way

  • Our team provides school districts with a level of support to match their needs from advice and counsel to collaboration on the development of programs and policy reviews, and to the handling of complex litigation matters.
  • Because of our deep knowledge of student matters, we can provide “on the spot” consultation to quickly give you the answer you need in a cost-effective and timely manner. We also take pride in rolling up our sleeves and supporting our clients for the long haul in student cases.
  • In the special education context, we can provide support from the initial records request, to attending Individualized Education Program meetings, to litigating due process cases, and to carrying the matter through all the way on appeal.
  • Our service model is student-centered and geared to achieving results that benefit all stakeholders, taking into account the important relationships that support and sustain our clients’ work.
  • We are well versed in the rights guaranteed to students under state and federal law, and we provide our clients with guidance and updates on challenging and ever-changing student issues. We anticipate problems before they arise to enable our clients to address issues proactively and comprehensively.

Sample Trainings and In-Services

Our trainings empower administrators, teachers, staff and board members to navigate challenges and provide better outcomes for students. We also  provide updates on school laws and cases which directly impact districts.

To help you prevent legal issues before they arise, we offer a wide variety of trainings on issues confronting districts, with new trainings regularly added to address new and evolving compliance concerns. Below is a sampling of the workshops we can provide:

  • Bullying Intervention & Prevention
  • Best Practices for IEPs: Process and Substance
  • Student Discipline 101
  • A Legal Primer for Special Education Teachers, Specialists and Aides
  • Eligibility Criteria for Special Education
  • Due Process Hearing Procedures
  • A Special Education Primer for Board Members
  • Special Education Self-Audit
  • Addressing Student Mental Health Needs
  • Tips for Handling Contentious IEP Meetings
  • Student Records
  • Title IX Investigations and Compliance
  • Supporting Transgender Students/Student Privacy

Interested in scheduling a training for your team?