Entries by Kathryn I. Perrico

Appeals Court Rules Against Public School District in Special Education Case

In a recent surprise ruling, the Sixth Circuit held that a school district’s failure to mainstream a student with Down Syndrome violated special education law, entitling his parents to tuition reimbursement. Although their son was considerably behind his second-grade peers, his parents refused a self-contained setting and insisted that the team use the standard curriculum […]

State Bans Vape Pens on School Buses and Calls for Drivers to Wait at Bus Stops

The Ohio Board of Education recently adopted changes to rules for students who ride in school transportation vehicles (O.A.C. 3301-83-08) and established clearer policies for bus drivers (O.A.C. 3301-83-13). These changes will go into effect for the 2019-2020 school year, so districts and their transportation departments are required to work collaboratively to ensure they are […]

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Students with Disabilities and Team Considerations During the COVID-19 Crisis

March 19, 2020 As we all continue to navigate the ever-evolving landscape of the COVID-19 crisis and review the various guidance documents from federal, state, and local officials, several guiding principles have begun to emerge in relation to the provision of services to students with disabilities.  First, students with disabilities are entitled to commensurate distance […]


School Closure Clarification Released

April 30, 2020 On April 29, 2020, Dr. Amy Acton, as acting director of the Ohio Department of Public Health (ODH), signed the Second Amended Order relating to the closure of K-12 schools, a copy of which can be found here. Within this Order, Dr. Acton again makes it clear that school buildings are closed […]

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Ohio H.B. 164 Provides School Districts Some Relief from Anticipated 2020-2021 Third Grade Reading Guarantee Impact

June 22, 2020  Ohio Governor Mike DeWine signed Ohio House Bill 164 (H.B. 164) on Friday, June 19, 2020, also known as the Ohio Student Religious Liberties Act of 2019. In light of the coronavirus pandemic, H.B. 164 goes beyond its religious provisions to also address a variety of issues that Ohio school districts face […]

ODE Proposes Rule Changes and Calls for Comments

The Ohio Department of Education has posted a variety of proposed changes to the Operating Standards, and is soliciting comments on those proposed changes through July 31, 2020.  While everyone’s focus is understandably the safe reopening of schools this fall, we encourage everyone to spend time reviewing the proposed changes and to submit comments.  We specifically urge […]

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Student Attendance During Remote Learning for the 2020-2021 School Year

July 17, 2020  To assist school districts in developing remote learning plans for the 2020-2021 school year, the Ohio Department of Education recently released guidance addressing student attendance during remote learning activities. At the outset, ODE urges school districts to maintain student and parent contact information, learn about families’ digital access, and build collaboration and […]

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Ohio Department of Health Extends Contact Sports Order, Clarifies Definition of Contact Sports

August 4, 2020  On August 1, 2020, the Ohio Department of Health (ODH) issued a third Order related to contact sports, which extends the expiration date of its second amended Order. Notably, unlike previous orders that had a set expiration date, the third Order will remain in effect until either the State of Emergency declared […]

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Ohio Department of Health Releases Order Allowing Sports to Move Forward with Stipulations

August 21, 2020  On Tuesday, August 18, 2020, Governor Mike DeWine announced that all sports (both contact and non-contact) would be permitted to move forward this fall. The Order, issued by the Interim Director of the Ohio Department of Health (ODH) has been in effect since Wednesday, August 19, 2020, at 11:59 p.m. This development […]

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Ohio Department of Health Director Signs K-12 COVID-19 Reporting and Notification Order

September 4, 2020  The Director of the Ohio Department of Health (“ODH”) issued an order on September 3, 2020 requiring reporting and notification regarding COVID-19 cases in K-12 schools (the “Order”). The Order requires all K-12 schools to maintain a reporting system for parents to report positive tests and/or cases of COVID-19 and encourages parents […]

The Supreme Court Weighs In: Can Schools Regulate Off-Campus Student Speech?

June 24, 2021  On June 23, 2021, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that a Pennsylvania school district violated the First Amendment rights of a student and cheerleader when it punished her for off-campus student speech. The Court’s opinion significantly affects how and to what extent schools can regulate students’ off-campus expressions without running afoul of […]