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Virginia Coalition for Students with Disabilities

Legal Updates

Diploma Options for Students With Disabilities in Virginia
Virginia now offers several high school diplomas. This Guide is designed to help parents understand the requirements for each high school diploma option and determine a diploma track that is appropriate for their child. A complete listing of additional resources referenced in this document is also available here.

PDF imageDiploma Options for Students With Disabilities in Virginia
[PDF format, 9 pages, 223 KB]


Selecting a Special Education Attorney/Advocate
Selecting a special education attorney or advocate is an important decision. You should interview the attorney and/or advocate you are considering to have represent/advise you in special education matters. Our parent-friendly 4-page brief offers valuable advice on how to select an attorney or advocate, including several critical question that you should ask.

PDF imageSelecting a Special Education Attorney/Advocate
[PDF format, 4 pages, 163 KB]


Prior Written Notice
One of the most significant procedural safeguards provided under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) is the right to what is called Prior Written Notice. Our parent-friendly 4-page brief on this important topic is designed to help parents and advocates understand this issue.

PDF imagePrior Written Notice
[PDF format, 4 pages, 183 KB]


Extended School Year (ESY) Services
Children protected by the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) are by law entitled to a free appropriate public education (FAPE). The unique educational needs of these children are addressed in the childs individualized education program (IEP). For some of these children, the provision of FAPE involves development of a program of special education and related services in excess of the normal school year. IEP-based programming that takes place during school breaks is commonly referred to as extended school year services, or ESY. These resources, provided by the Virginia Legal Advocacy Center, will provide an understanding of this important issue:

PDF imageOverview & Tips for Parents - This document offers a brief overview and history of ESY Services, plus 6 tips for parents on maximizing your childs chances for meaningful ESY Services. [PDF format, 4 pages, 45 KB]

PDF imageDetermining Which ESY Factors are Applicable to Your Child - Critical questions to ask to determine if your child needs ESY services. [PDF format, 7pages, 35KB]

PDF imageAnalyzing the Need For Extended School Year Services This document offers quotes from important court decisions defining ESY standards. [PDF format, 11 pages, 72 KB]

PDF imageVA. Dept. of Education's Extended School Year Services / Technical Assistance Resource Document - This document provides guidance for addressing the legal requirement for extended school year services, if those services are needed for a students free appropriate public education. [PDF format, 10 pages, 38 KB]


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