Live Seminar

IEPs and 504 Plans: A Legal Compliance Guide



2 Day Seminar
Tuesday, March 27, 2018 -
Wednesday, March 28, 2018


9:00 AM - 4:30 PM

Product ID#:



Hilton Garden Inn Rockville-Gaithersburg

14975 Shady Grove Road

Rockville, MD 20850


$565 / Each Additional

Registration Includes Course Book

Credit Information

Continuing Legal Education

  • VA CLE - 12.00


  • IACET - 1.20

Program Description

Two Full Days of Essential IEP and 504 Plan Information

IEPs and 504 plans are essential tools to ensure positive learning outcomes for many students. They also have the potential to cause legal issues for schools if they aren't properly planned and carried out. Join our experienced faculty for this comprehensive two day workshop on mitigating legal liabilities in IEPs and 504 plans. Take away valuable information you can use to spot potential issues in your school's IEP and 504 plan processes. Register today!

  • Obtain critical special education legal updates and avoid compliance mistakes.
  • Confidently handle IEP evaluation and eligibility disputes.
  • Ensure your IEP meeting processes and procedures are legally compliant.
  • Create legally defensible IEPs that have clear and measurable goals.
  • Confidently handle difficult 504 plan eligibility situations.
  • Understand how the Endrew F. decision affects the schools.
  • Understand what services a school must provide special needs students during disciplinary removal.

Who Should Attend

This basic-to-intermediate level program on creating legally compliant IEPs and 504 plans is for:

  • School Administrators
  • Special Education Department Heads
  • School Psychologist
  • School Counselors
  • Special Education Teachers
  • Attorneys
  • Paralegals

Course Content

Day One

  1. Special Education Legal Updates
  2. IEP Evaluations and Eligibility
  3. Creating Legally Defensible IEPs: A Step-by-Step Guide
  4. The IEP Meeting Process: Legal Pitfalls to Avoid
  5. IEP Goal Progress Monitoring: Ensuring Legal Compliance
  6. Avoiding Common IEP Errors and Mistakes

Day Two

  1. How the 504 Plan Process Works: Critical Legal Essentials
  2. 504 Plan Eligibility: What are the Determining Factors?
  3. 504 Plan Reviews and Reevaluations: Legal Best Practices
  4. The Endrew F. Decision: What it Means for Schools
  5. Handling IEP and 504 Plan Disputes
  6. Discipline and Expulsion Best Practices

Continuing Education Credit

Continuing Legal Education – CLE: 12.00

International Association for Continuing Education Training – IACET: 1.20

* denotes specialty credits

Agenda / Content Covered

Day One

  1. Special Education Legal Updates
    9:00 - 10:00, Lisa Seltzer Becker
    1. The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) and Special Education
    2. Recent Dear Colleague Letters
    3. OSEP Policy Letters
    4. State Law Updates
  2. IEP Evaluations and Eligibility
    10:00 - 11:00, Caitlin McAndrews
    1. Child Find Essentials
    2. IDEA Eligibility Categories
    3. Best Practices for Difficult-to-Place Disabilities
    4. Documentation Essentials
    5. Evaluation and Eligibility Disputes: Legal Best Practices
  3. Creating Legally Defensible IEPs: A Step-by-Step Guide
    11:15 - 12:15, Brian Gruber
    1. Overview of the Development Process: Who Should be Involved?
    2. Functional Performance and Academic Achievement
    3. Measurable Annual Goals
    4. Special Education Aids and Services
    5. Participation in Mainstream Classrooms
    6. Appropriate Measurable Post-Secondary Goals
    7. Legally Appropriate IEP Modifications
  4. The IEP Meeting Process: Legal Pitfalls to Avoid
    1:15 - 2:15, Lynndolyn T. Mitchell
  5. IEP Goal Progress Monitoring: Ensuring Legal Compliance
    2:30 - 3:30, Ashley S. VanCleef
    1. What the IDEA Says About Progress Monitoring
    2. Documenting Progress
    3. Reporting Lack of Progress
  6. Avoiding Common IEP Errors and Mistakes
    3:30 - 4:30, Ashley S. VanCleef
    1. Predetermination on IEPs
    2. IEPs with no Meaningful Educational Benefit
    3. Failure to Document Changes in Placement Decisions
    4. Failure to Properly Include Parents in the Process

Day Two

  1. How the 504 Plan Process Works: Critical Legal Essentials
    9:00 - 9:45, Lisa Seltzer Becker
  2. 504 Plan Eligibility: What are the Determining Factors?
    9:45 - 10:45, Lisa Seltzer Becker
    1. Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act: What it Does and Doesn't Cover
    2. Disability Definition Ambiguities
    3. Documenting the Evaluation Process
    4. Substantial Limitations What is the Bar?
    5. Impairment Determinations: What Can and Cannot be Considered?
    6. IEP, 504 Plan or Both - Unravelling Difficult Eligibility Situations
  3. 504 Plan Reviews and Reevaluations: Legal Best Practices
    11:00 - 12:00, Caitlin McAndrews
  4. The Endrew F. Decision: What it Means for Schools
    1:00 - 2:30, Michael J. Eig
    1. The New Endrew F. FAPE Standard: Gauging the Real-World Implications
    2. Progress in Light of the Child's Individual Circumstances
    3. The IEP Development Process: How Much Deference do Courts Allow Schools?
    4. Ensuring Schools Use Appropriate Progress Standards
    5. What is a "Careful Consideration of Potential for Growth."
    6. How Endrew F. Affects IEP Disputes and Due Process Complaints
  5. Handling IEP and 504 Plan Disputes
    2:45 - 3:30, Michael S. Gerton
  6. Discipline and Expulsion Best Practices
    3:30 - 4:30, Melissa Little
    1. Providing Services During Disciplinary Removal
    2. Changes in Placement
    3. Multiple Suspensions and Denials of FAPE
    4. Due Process Hearing Essentials

LISA SELTZER BECKER is of counsel at McMillan Metro P.C., where she practices education and family law (divorce and custody related issues). In her education practice, she represents students and families in school disciplinary matters, Title IX matters, special education cases, and other education matter. In her family law practice, Ms. Becker frequently handles custody cases involving special needs children. Since 2016, she has been the co-chair of the Education Law Section of the Bar Association of Montgomery County, Maryland. In November 2016, Ms. Becker moderated the CLE, Handling Special Needs Children in Family Law Cases: A Legal and Practical Guide, given by the Bar Association of Montgomery County. Ms. Becker presented National Business Institute’s Maryland Special Education Law in June 2013. She has been licensed to practice law since 1996, and barred in Maryland and the District of Columbia. Ms. Becker  earned her B.A. degree from the University of Maryland and her J.D. degree from the American University, Washington College of law.

MICHAEL J. EIG is the founder and owner of Michael J. Eig & Associates, P.C. He has been practicing special education law and advocacy since 1975. A former public school teacher, Mr. Eig has combined his interest and training in education with a commitment to special education law. He has served as counsel and/or amicus in special education cases before federal courts, including the Supreme Court. Mr. Eig has participated in countless IEP meetings and due process hearings. He has lectured and written in the area of special education law, including authoring the article on education of the disabled in the Dictionary of American History, as well as a number of articles on the special education rights of twice exceptional children. Mr. Eig earned his B.A. degree from Brandeis University, his M. Ed. degree from Harvard University, and his J.D. degree from Georgetown University Law Center.

MICHAEL S. GERTON is an attorney with the Law Office of Brian K. Gruber, P.C. His practice is focused on defending the rights of students and families in school discipline and special education matters across all levels and age groups. Mr. Gerton routinely provides representation to clients in Maryland and the District of Columbia who have encountered suspensions, expulsions, academic sanctions and other disciplinary issues from elementary school all the way through postsecondary (college and graduate) settings. He also delivers services related to Child Find, IEPs, manifestation determinations, state complaints, mediation and administrative (due process) hearings. Mr. Gerton is a member of the American Bar Association, Maryland State Bar Association, Bar Association of the District of Columbia, Bar Association of Montgomery County, Learning Disabilities Association and COPAA. He earned his B.A. degree, with high distinction, from the University of Rochester; his J.D. degree from the University of Maryland School of Law; and completed post-graduate training at the Institute of Special Education Advocacy at William and Mary Law School.

BRIAN GRUBER heads up the Law Office of Brian K. Gruber, P.C., a Washington, D.C., area law firm whose entire practice is dedicated to school law. Mr. Gruber has been representing children with special needs and their parents since 1997. He is well known in special education circles as a collaborative advocate who often is able to obtain the desired outcome for his clients without having to resort to adversarial, and costly litigation. Mr. Gruber has participated in well over 1100 IEP meetings, spanning several states, and more than 24 different school systems. As a special education trial lawyer, Mr. Gruber has been lead counsel in more than 200 special education meditations and due process hearings, and has appeared before in federal court, as well as the D.C. Circuit and 4th Circuit Courts of Appeals. In 2003, he was admitted to the bar of the United States Supreme Court. Mr. Gruber is a frequent speaker in professional and academic circles including the 2013, 2014, and 2015 LDA conferences. Mr. Gruber is a member of the American Bar Association, Council for Exceptional Children, LDA, and COPAA.

MELISSA LITTLE is an attorney in Blankingship & Keith, PC’s education law and litigation practice. Her primary focus is representing school districts in special education. She has worked in matters advocating for youth in school administrative hearings. Ms. Little has experience representing both plaintiffs and defendants in civil matters in state courts throughout the Commonwealth of Virginia. She holds various leadership positions within the American Bar Association and the Virginia State Bar. Ms. Little is an ABA Young Lawyers Division liaison for the American Bar Association’s Center on Children and the Law and serves on the American Bar Association’s Youth at Risk Advisory Committee. She serves on the Virginia State Bar Young Lawyer’s Conference Board of Governors and is a liaison for the Joint Alternative Dispute Resolution Committee Council. As a commissioner for the Children Youth and Families Collaborative Commission, Ms. Little works with the city of Alexandria, Alexandria City Public Schools, and related public and private entities to ensure that the city best meets the needs of its youth. She earned her J.D. degree from the University of Akron School of Law and her B.A. degree, summa cum laude, from the University at Albany. Ms. Little served as the assistant editor of the Akron Law Review and clerked for Judge Annalisa Williams of the Akron Municipal Court. She is admitted to the District of Columbia and the Virginia State Bar. Ms. Little is the 2017 recipient of the Virginia State Bar R. Edwin Burnette Jr. Young Lawyer of the Year Award.

CAITLIN McANDREWS is an attorney with McAndrews Law Offices, P.C., where she concentrates her practice on special education, estate planning and special needs trusts and planning. Prior to becoming an attorney, she worked as a special educator in schools in the Philadelphia area. Since law school, she has continuously represented individuals with special needs and their families. Ms. McAndrews  presents on special education and disability related topics across multiple states and for national organizations. She is admitted to practice in Delaware, the District of Columbia, Virginia and Maryland. Ms. McAndrews earned her B.S.F.S. degree from Georgetown University, 30 credits toward M.S. degree (Special Education) from Penn State University, and earned her J.D. degree from George Mason University.

LYNNDOLYN T. MITCHELL is the owner of Lynndolyn T. Mitchell Law Offices, in Rockville, Maryland. Ms. Mitchell has been representing clients from all economic and social backgrounds in juvenile, family, misdemeanor criminal, and traffic matters in Maryland, Virginia, and the District of Columbia for more than 27 years. She has served as a senior assistant public defender in Virginia Beach in juvenile division and felony trial division, and deputy public defender in the juvenile division of the Riverside County Public Defender’s Office. Ms. Mitchell has represented juveniles in delinquency and dependency matters in California, Virginia, and Maryland. She served an assistant adjunct professor for the University of Maryland University College’s Europe (UMUC) in the disciplines of paralegal studies and criminal justice from 1998-2003. Ms. Mitchell has extensive experience representing military families in all aspects of family law matters. She is a member of Maryland State Bar Association's Solo Small Firm Section (2007-present), Bar Association of Montgomery County’s Education Law Section (2007-present), co-chair 2009-2012, and has served as a member of the school board at Montrose Christian School in Rockville (2005-2008). Ms. Mitchell is admitted to practice in Virginia (1993), California (1987) (inactive), District of Columbia (2001), Maryland (2006), State Bar of California (inactive), and Montgomery County. She earned her B.A. degree from the University of Irvine and her J.D. degree from Antioch School of Law, Washington D.C. Ms. Mitchell currently handles pro bono education law matters for the Maryland Disability Law Center.

ASHLEY S. VANCLEEF is an attorney and a certified special educator with the Law Office of Brian K. Gruber, P.C. Prior to joining the firm, Ms. VanCleef led the Resolution and Compliance Unit (RACU) and served as the 504 coordinator for the Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) in Maryland. There she instituted informal, collaborative solutions to assist families and school system staff to resolve concerns through the least adversarial means focusing on win-win resolutions. Prior to moving to Maryland, Ms. VanCleef worked for the state departments of education in both Texas and Oklahoma providing compliance monitoring of school districts, technical assistance for families to access the dispute resolution options of Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), and providing statewide training on special education requirements. Ms. VanCleef works with multiple groups to provide professional learning on federal and state education requirements. She is an adjunct professor at Morgan State University where she teaches legal aspects of educational administration and has been a guest lecturer for other colleges. Ms. VanCleef earned her B.S. degree from the University of Central Oklahoma and her J.D. degree from the University of Baltimore School of Law. She is a member of the Maryland State Bar Association and Mental Health Management Authority Board of Directors for Frederick County.

Please refer to Continuing Education Credit FAQ for general information about seeking credit for your participation in one of our continuing education programs.

Additionally, our team of credit specialists are here to answer your specific credit-related questions weekdays 7am - 5pm Central:

Phone: 866-240-1890


Accreditation Details:

Continuing Legal Education

VA CLE: 12.00
This course has been approved by the Virginia Mandatory Continuing Legal Education Board for 12.0 hours of credit, which includes 0.0 hour of ethics.

International Association for Continuing Education Training

N IACET: 1.20
NBI, Inc. is accredited by the International Association for Continuing Education and Training (IACET) and is authorized to issue the IACET CEU. NBI, Inc. is authorized by IACET to offer 1.2 CEUs for this program. At the end of the program, participants must complete a self-assessment in order to receive credit. 100% attendance is required. (Provider #1004558)

Upon completion of this course, attendees should be able to: 1. State how the Every Student Succeeds Act affects special education. 2. Describe the IDEA eligibility categories. 3. Give an example of a measurable annual goal on an IEP. 4. State how to avoid IEP meeting legal pitfalls. 5. Identify what the IDEA says about IEP progress monitoring. 6. State two common IEP errors. 7. Describe how the 504 plan process works. 8. State what the determining factors are for a 504 plan. 9. Describe the effect the Endrew F. decision has on schools. 10. State legal best practices for 504 plan reviews. 11. Describe how to handle IEP disputes. 12. State how to handle changes in placement during disciplinary removal.

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