Entries by Lisa H. Woloszynek

Is someone listening? What districts can do about a student monitoring device

Safety-oriented assistive technology for children with special needs has proliferated in recent years. One of the more recent devices is called AngelSense. The name sounds innocuous, but its potential misuse is raising concerns for school districts. Recently, districts have been faced with an increased number of requests to permit AngelSense in their classrooms. The device […]

New Ohio Law Changes Student Discipline Procedures and School Resource Officer Requirements

On Friday, November 2, 2018, HB 318 goes into effect, which implements new school discipline procedures for students. It also mandates particular qualifications and specialized training requirements for school resource officers (SRO). Changes to Student Discipline HB 318 changes student suspension, expulsion and emergency removal procedures. These revised student discipline procedures are divided into two […]

First FDA-Approved Cannabidiol Medication Creates Confusion for School Districts

As Ohio medical marijuana dispensaries begin to open, a new medication with marijuana plant derivatives, Epidiolex, is causing some confusion for Ohio school districts. Epidiolex is a cannabidiol oral solution medication for the treatment of seizures associated with Lennox-Gastaut syndrome or Dravet syndrome. This uncharted territory now leaves school districts to interpret how to address […]

Potential Consequences for Alternate Assessment Noncompliance

The U.S. Department of Education (DOE) has recently outlined parameters to enforce a key limit of one form of alternate testing for students with disabilities. The Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act (IDEIA) and the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) provide two options for alternate assessments for students with disabilities, based on: • grade-level academic […]

Ohio School Truancy: Excessive Absences No Longer Include Medically Excused Absences

Beginning October 17, 2019, a student’s medically excused absences are no longer included in Ohio school districts’ calculations toward “excessive absences” under Ohio truancy laws. Since 2017, Ohio school districts have been required to calculate student hours of absences, including those with or without a legitimate excuse.  Previously, medically excused absences were included in the […]

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COVID-19 and ESEA School Assessment Obligations

March 13, 2020 Ohio schools are actively instituting Governor Mike DeWine’s mandatory three-week closure of all elementary and secondary schools, including public, private, and charter schools, in an attempt to battle the spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). This comes at the same time that schools across the state were gearing up for spring testing […]

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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 […]

Sexual Harassment and Discrimination in Schools: New Title IX Regulations Issued by U.S. Department of Education

May 7, 2020  On May 6, 2020, the U.S. Department of Education released the new Regulations under Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 (Title IX). These highly anticipated Regulations, which have been pending under a series of public comment opportunities and review, expand not only the scope of unlawful discrimination on the basis […]

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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 […]

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Ohio Legislature Passes Bill Extending Qualified Civil Immunity for COVID-Related Claims

September 15, 2020  On September 14, 2020, Governor DeWine signed Ohio Amended Substitute House Bill 606 (“H.B. 606”) affirming the Ohio Legislature’s extension of qualified civil immunity for COVID-19-related claims. H.B. 606 specifically expands Ohio qualified civil immunity provisions and precludes civil lawsuits for “injury, death, or loss to person or property” when the cause […]

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Amended House Bill 404: Open Meetings, Local CARES Act Redistribution, License Deadlines and More

November 23, 2020 When House Bill (“HB”) 197 went into effect last spring, during the initial phase of the coronavirus (“COVID-19”) pandemic, it provided relief to Ohio school districts in many important areas of school functions.  HB 197 provisions are set to sunset on December 1, 2020 while school districts continue to face the COVID-19 pandemic, […]

New Ohio Law Allows for Standardized Testing and Graduation Requirement Flexibility

March 25, 2021 Effective immediately, Ohio House Bill 67, which Governor DeWine signed into law on March 20, 2021, extends the state spring testing windows for the 2020-2021 school year, waives the administration of the state American History test, and provides flexibility for graduation requirements. HB 67 also temporarily adjusts the Ohio Department of Education’s […]