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School Law in Massachusetts

  • Book

  • 590 Pages
  • May 2024
  • Region: United States
  • Massachusetts Continuing Legal Education, Inc. (MCLE)
  • ID: 5971720
School Law in Massachusetts is a comprehensive and highly practical guide to the wide range of legal issues surrounding public elementary and secondary schools in Massachusetts. The book sets out the essential information for each topic using numerous easy-to-access headings, lists, examples, Web references, and exhibits. Frequent practice notes explain the best approaches for practitioners, and special commentary addresses diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) issues in school law practice. Among the topics covered are school governance and regulation; employment and labor issues; student issues (such as safety and discipline, student assessment, and use of technology); special education; tort liability; and school finance. The book's exceptional materials on special education include an overview of the applicable law, a discussion of practice before the Bureau of Special Education Appeals, and a review of approaches to advocacy on behalf of both students and school districts.

This latest version of the book brings updated resources within your immediate reach - for fast, accurate, and practical answers to your questions.

Highlights from the many developments addressed in this edition include

  • a new section on school-related challenged faced by military families, in-cluding issues arising out of the recently enacted SPEED Act (An Act Rela-tive to Military Spouse Licensure Portability, Education and Enrollment of Dependents);
  • procedures required to establish single district virtual schools;
  • an extension of the COVID-19-era adjustments to open meeting procedures and a recent Supreme Judicial Court decision limiting the restrictions that school committees may place on participation;
  • a 2022 law requiring efforts to avoid imposing suspensions in response to alleged student misconduct;
  • a recent U.S. Supreme Court decision ruling that students need not exhaust their remedies under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) in order to pursue Section 504 or Americans with Disabilities Act remedies that are not allowed under the IDEA;
  • expanded guidance on the use of mediation and resolution meetings to resolve disputes at the Bureau of Special Education Appeals (BSEA);
  • an updated BSEA standing order outlining the current procedures for elec-tronic filing, including provisions for service on other parties and require-ments for hearing exhibits and lengthy submissions;
  • the operation of the BSEA 'five-day rule' authorizing the exclusion of evidence that has not been disclosed in a timely manner; and
  • an amendment to Rule 1.15A of the Massachusetts Rules of Professional Conduct mandating the retention of 'files relating to the representation of a minor.

Table of Contents

Chapter 01 - Types of Schooling Available
Kristin E. Valcourt, Esq.,
Department of Elementary & Secondary Education, Commonwealth of Massachusetts
Checklist 1.1 - Commonwealth and Horace Mann Charter Application for New Operators
Exhibit 1A - Advisory on Interdistrict School Choice Pursuant to G.L. c. 76, § 12B
Exhibit 1B - Guidelines for the Vocational Technical Education Program Nonresident Student Tuition Process Pursuant to M.G.L. c. 74
Exhibit 1C - Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education Advisory on Approval of Massachusetts Private Schools Pursuant to Mass. Gen. Laws c. 76, § 1
Chapter 02 - Powers and Responsibilities of the School Committee
Nicholas J. Dominello, Esq.,
Valerio Dominello & Hillman, LLC
Elizabeth B. Valerio, Esq.,
Valerio Dominello & Hillman, LLC
Exhibit 2A - Sample Form for School Committee Meeting Minutes (Open Session)
Exhibit 2B - Sample Form for School Committee Meeting Minutes (Executive Session)
Chapter 03 - The State and Federal Roles in Massachusetts Public Schools
Rhoda Schneider, Esq.,
MA Dept. of Elementary & Secondary Education
Chapter 04 - Collective Bargaining in Public Education
David M. Connelly, Esq.,
Morgan, Brown & Joy LLP
Chapter 05 - Employment Issues Involving School Employees in General
Demitrios M. Moschos, Esq.,
Seder & Chandler
Checklist 5.1 - Checklist of Required Elements of Sexual Harassment Policies
Chapter 06 - Employment Issues Involving Teachers
Gregor Pagnini, Esq.,
Brody, Hardoon, Perkins & Kesten LLP
Exhibit 6A - Decisions Addressing Procedural Issues Arising in Connection with Teacher Dismissal and Nonrenewal
Exhibit 6B - Internet Sites
Exhibit 6C - Decisions Involving the Best Interest Standard - Teachers Retained
Exhibit 6D - Decisions Involving the Best Interest Standard - Teachers Dismissed
Exhibit 6E - Decisions Addressing the Elevation of Performance Standards
Exhibit 6F - Decisions Addressing Allegations of Insubordination
Exhibit 6G - Decisions Involving Allegations of Conduct Unbecoming
Chapter 07 - Student Safety and Discipline in Public Schools
Rebecca L. Bryant, Esq.,
Stoneman, Chandler & Miller LLP
Exhibit 7A - Decisions Illustrating Analysis of Facts in Cyber Speech Cases
Chapter 08 - Preventing and Responding to Harassment and Bullying in Public Schools
Justin Gomes, Esq.,
Stoneman, Chandler & Miller LLP
Colleen Shea, Esq.,
Stoneman, Chandler & Miller LLP
Exhibit 8A - Antiharassment Policy
Exhibit 8B - Harassment Grievance Policy Checklist
Exhibit 8C - Administrative Guidelines for Responding to Complaints of Peer Harassment by Students
Chapter 09 - Student Enrollment, Curriculum, and Assessment
Felicia S. Vasudevan, Esq.,
Murphy, Hesse, Toomey & Lehane LLP
Chapter 10 - Student Records
John C. Foskett, Esq.,
Valerio Dominello & Hillman, LLC
Caroline Thibeault, Esq.,
Chapter 11 - Public Schools, Online Speech, and Electronic Devices and Data
Leslie Crofton Carey, Esq.,
Long, DiPietro, and Gonzalez, LLP
Rosann DiPietro, Esq.,
Long, DiPietro, and Gonzalez, LLP
Exhibit 11A - Selected Decisions Addressing Free Speech and Online Student Expression
Exhibit 11B - Selected Decisions Addressing Employee Online Speech Outside of Work
Chapter 12 - An Overview of Special Education Law
Daniel W. Ahearn, Esq.,
Checklist 12.1 - Special Education Eligibility Checklist
Checklist 12.2 - Checklist for Examining the Independent Evaluation Option
Checklist 12.3 - Services and Placements Checklist
Checklist 12.4 - Checklist for Special Education Hearings
Exhibit 12A - IDEA Discipline Outline
Chapter 13 - Special Education: Practice Before the Bureau of Special Education Appeals
Sara P. Berman, Esq.,
Bureau of Special Education Appeals, Commonwealth of Massachusetts
Alina Kantor Nir, Esq.,
Commonwealth of Massachusetts
Checklist 13.1 - Checklist of the Basic Elements of a BSEA Expedited Hearing Schedule
Exhibit 13A - IEP Rejection/Nonresponse Packet and BSEA Mediation Options
Exhibit 13B - Hearing Rules for Special Education Appeals
Exhibit 13C - BSEA Standing Orders
Exhibit 13D - Hearing Request Form
Exhibit 13E - Notice of Hearing - Parent Initiated Hearing
Exhibit 13F - Notice of Hearing - School Initiated Hearing
Exhibit 13G - Notice of Accelerated Hearing - Parent Initiated Hearing
Exhibit 13H - Notice of Accelerated Hearing - School Initiated Hearing
Exhibit 13I - Notice of Expedited Hearing - Parent Initiated Hearing
Exhibit 13J - Notice of Expedited Hearing - School Initiated Hearing
Exhibit 13K - LEA Notice of Hearing
Exhibit 13L - Advancement/Postponement Request Form
Exhibit 13M - Statement on the Effect of BSEA Decision and Rights of Appeal
Chapter 14 - Special Education: Advocating on Behalf of Students and Parents
Robert K. Crabtree, Esq.,
Eileen M. Hagerty, Esq.,
Kotin, Crabtree & Strong LLP
Checklist 14.1 - Checklist of Questions for Initial Review of Client’s Records
Exhibit 14A - Sample SPED Intake Form
Exhibit 14B - Feedback from BSEA Hearing Officers
Chapter 15 - Special Education: Advocating on Behalf of School Districts
Rebecca L. Bouchard, Esq.,
Chicopee Public Schools
Checklist 15.1 - Specific Areas of Need to Be Considered in Developing IEPs for Students with Autism Spectrum Disorder
Exhibit 15A - Technical Assistance Advisory SPED 2014-1: DSM-5 Changes and the Impact on Students with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD)
Exhibit 15B - Technical Assistance Advisory SPED 2007-1: Autism Spectrum Disorder
Exhibit 15C - Transition Planning Form (TPF)
Exhibit 15D - Chart Showing Options for Disciplining Children with Disabilities
Exhibit 15E - Chart Showing Requirements for “Removals” Under 1999 IDEA Regulations
Chapter 16 - Tort Liability of Schools and School Employees
Gregor Pagnini, Esq.,
Brody, Hardoon, Perkins & Kesten LLP
Checklist 16.1 - Checklist of Actions to Be Taken by a School Employee Sued in Tort
Exhibit 16A - Motion to Dismiss Count I of Plaintiff’s Complaint
Exhibit 16B - Memorandum of Law in Support of Defendant’s Motion to Dismiss Count I of Plaintiff’s Complaint
Exhibit 16C - Motion to Amend Track Designation
Exhibit 16D - Decisions After Brum v. Town of Dartmouth Illustrating Protection to Schools Under G.L. c. 258, § 10(j)
Exhibit 16E - Petition for Approval of Minor Settlement Pursuant to G.L. c. 231, § 140C½
Exhibit 16F - Motion to Impound Complaint and to Use Pseudonyms
Chapter 17 - Basic Rules of Public School Budgeting and Finance
Kelly T. Gonzalez, Esq.,
Long, DiPietro, and Gonzalez, LLP
Michael J. Long, Esq.,
Long, DiPietro, and Gonzalez, LLP

Authors

Editor(s)

Rhoda E. Schneider, Esq.
Department of Elementary & Secondary Education, Commonwealth of Massachusetts, Everett

DEI Commentator(s)

Tere Ramos, Esq.
Ramos Law LLC, Wellesley Hills

Author(s)

Daniel W. Ahearn, Esq.
Wenham

Sara P. Berman, Esq.
Bureau of Special Education Appeals, Commonwealth of Massachusetts, Malden

Rebecca L. Bouchard, Esq.
Chicopee Public Schools, Chicopee

Rebecca L. Bryant, Esq.
Stoneman, Chandler & Miller LLP, Boston

Leslie Crofton Carey, Esq.
Long, DiPietro, and Gonzalez, LLP, Hingham

David M. Connelly, Esq.
Morgan, Brown & Joy LLP, Boston

Robert K. Crabtree, Esq.
Jamaica Plain

Rosann DiPietro, Esq.
Long, DiPietro, and Gonzalez, LLP, Hingham

Nicholas J. Dominello, Esq.
Valerio Dominello & Hillman, LLC, Westwood

John C. Foskett, Esq.
Valerio Dominello & Hillman, LLC, Westwood

Justin Gomes, Esq.
Stoneman, Chandler & Miller LLP, Boston

Kelly T. Gonzalez, Esq.
Long, DiPietro, and Gonzalez, LLP, Hingham

Eileen M. Hagerty, Esq.
Kotin, Crabtree & Strong LLP, Newton

Michael J. Long, Esq.
Long, DiPietro, and Gonzalez, LLP, Hingham

Demitrios M. Moschos, Esq.
Seder & Chandler, Worcester

Alina Kantor Nir, Esq.
Commonwealth of Massachusetts, Boston

Gregor Pagnini, Esq.
Brody, Hardoon, Perkins & Kesten LLP, Boston

Rhoda E. Schneider, Esq.
Department of Elementary & Secondary Education, Commonwealth of Massachusetts, Everett

Colleen Shea, Esq.
Stoneman, Chandler & Miller LLP, Boston

Caroline Thibeault, Esq.

Kristin E. Valcourt, Esq.
Department of Elementary & Secondary Education, Commonwealth of Massachusetts, Everett

Elizabeth B. Valerio, Esq.
Valerio Dominello & Hillman, LLC, Westwood

Felicia S. Vasudevan, Esq.
Murphy, Hesse, Toomey & Lehane LLP, Quincy