Ask the Advocate

Presented by Staci Greenwald, Esq.

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Do you have a question for an education advocate? Here is your opportunity to ask. Staci Greenwald has 27 years experience as a lawyer in this field and has a personal connection to making things right. Staci J. Greenwald is a partner in Sussan, Greenwald & Wesler, Esquires, in Cranbury, New Jersey, where she handles special education matters and offers advocacy in cases involving the Division of Developmental Disabilities (DDD), guardianship, and estate planning for families of special needs students. Ms. Greenwald is admitted to practice in New Jersey, the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey and the Third Circuit Court of Appeals. She is a member of the New Jersey State Bar Association’s School Law Committee and has been a long time volunteer for Volunteer Lawyers for Justice where she represents families in special education matters and serves as a mentor for other attorneys. She presents annually at the Rutgers Law School Special Education Clinic and is also a frequent lecturer for The Institute for Continuing Legal Education and other professional and parent organizations regarding special education and children’s rights under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act (IDEIA).



  1. JSchmidt says

    If a student is on medication is documentation required for either a 504 or an IEP?

    • S.Greenwald says

      There is nothing in the law that says you have to share that your child is on medication but if you choose to share that information it is usually included in the IEP and/or 504.

  2. KPringle says

    Regarding accommodations in college – what is typically considered reasonable?

    • SGreenwald says

      It depends on the student but as a general rule extra time on tests, testing in a different location, using a computer to answer questions are all reasonable. Depending on the level of support a student needs it could also include the provision of notes. It really depends on the level of support the college provides and the individuals needs.

  3. LNeilsen says

    I would like to know if a CST feels that a child needs a paraprofessional can the administration have a say as to if this service will be provided or not?

    • SGreenwald says

      Legally no but practically they usually do. If a CST is willing to put in writing that the student needs a paraprofessional then it would be near impossible for the administration to veto the service.

  4. SFlora says

    As a parent what if my daughter’s 504 or an IEP isn’t followed?

    • SGreenwald says

      You can file a complaint investigation with the Office of Special Education Programs in NJ (if you are a NJ resident. IF you are in another state I am assuming it works the same way.) The NJ Department of Education has on line forms which you would fill out. The DOE would then investigate and if the District is found in violation the DOE would mandate compliance.

  5. tleggio says

    Who determines how many and which tests will be provided to determine a child’s eligibility for services?

    • SGreenwald says

      It is usually a CST decision. As a parent you have input but at the end of the day the District can do what they want. If you disagree you then have the right to ask for independent evaluations if you feel the testing was not complete and did not test in all areas of suspected disability.

  6. lshadis says

    Please comment on school based evaluations for services under a 504 particularly a parent’s right to request an independent evaluation?

    • SGreenwald says

      If a parent disagrees with the results of school evaluations the parent has a right to ask for an independent evaluation with professionals of your choosing. The District does have a right to limit the cost to what is reasonable and customary. If the evaluator charges more than what is reasonable and customary you have a right to pay the difference. If the District disagrees with your request for an IEE they have to take you to Due Process to show why the evaluations are not needed.

  7. mmothersead says

    Who is the designated person in school that can see a 504?

  8. SGreenwald says

    Multiple people can see the 504. The Team that meets to develop the plan, which usually includes a Teacher, all of the child’s teachers and anyone else who comes in contact with the student where knowledge of the 504 plan would be relevant. The building Principal, nurse (if needed) are also individuals with access.

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