Shrewsbury Public Schools – BSEA # 10-1237
COMMONWEALTH OF MASSACHUSETTS
BUREAU OF SPECIAL EDUCATION APPEALS
In Re: Shrewsbury Public Schools
BSEA # 10-1237
RULING ON REQUEST FOR CLARIFICATION OF LEGAL STANDARD
This Ruling addresses the parties’ joint request for clarification of the legal standard that would likely govern the resolution of this matter should it proceed to an evidentiary hearing.
During a January 15, 2010 pre-hearing conference, it became apparent to both parties and to the Hearing Officer that there was a principal point of disagreement regarding a question of law. The parties and Hearing Officer agreed that if this question of law could be clarified by the Hearing Officer, the clarification may allow the parties to settle this matter without the need for an evidentiary hearing.
Accordingly, on January 22, 2010, the parties filed a joint request for clarification of legal standard (motion). Briefs on the motion were filed on January 29, 2010, and there was a telephonic hearing on the motion on February 3, 2010.1
II. Summary of Dispute
The parties’ motion sought clarification from the Hearing Officer regarding the following question: “What legal standard, pursuant to state and federal special education laws, should be applied in this matter to determine whether the Student is eligible for the special education services of academic support and the related services of occupational therapy and physical therapy, where the Student has been retained in kindergarten?”
The context, within which the parties’ motion is to be addressed, is central to understanding the dispute. Student is a young boy who, at Parent’s request, is repeating kindergarten during the current school year.2 Consequently, he may be approximately one year older than many of his peers.
When it became apparent to Shrewsbury that Student would be repeating kindergarten, the IEP Team proposed a reduction of special education and related services. The Shrewsbury members of the IEP Team took the position that because Student had made progress during his first year in kindergarten, he no longer needed certain services during his second year in kindergarten either to access the kindergarten curriculum or to make sufficient progress within the kindergarten classroom.
When Shrewsbury proposed an IEP that would reduce services, Parent invoked her stay put rights, seeking to have Student continue to receive all those services that had, by agreement, been provided during Student’s first year in kindergarten. Shrewsbury then filed a hearing request with the BSEA for the purpose of obtaining an order affirming the decision of the Shrewsbury members of the IEP Team that Student’s services should be reduced.
Parent takes the position that the stay-put IEP continues to be appropriate since Student’s need for and right to special education and related services should be determined on the basis of his chronological age, developmental expectations, and individual potential. Shrewsbury disagrees, taking the position that Student’s need for services should be based upon his ability to access the curriculum and make sufficient progress, all within the context of his current grade, which is kindergarten.
Although there is no doubt that retention precipitated the parties’ disagreement regarding entitlement to services, the parties agree that the resolution of the instant dispute does not turn on Student’s retention in kindergarten since Student’s entitlement to any particular special education or related services would be the same as for any other kindergartner whose birthday and learning profile are identical to Student’s.
The parties have stipulated to the following facts:
1. Student is a six year old boy enrolled in the Shrewsbury Public Schools. He was born on July 28, 2003. Student has been diagnosed with Marfan’s Syndrome, which affects the eyes, skeleton, blood vessel and connective tissue.
2. One aspect of Student’s Marfan’s Syndrome symptoms has been lens dislocation and subsequent lens extraction resulting in bilateral aphakia in each eye. Student has had five eye surgeries to attempt to correct this problem. Student currently wears glasses and contact lenses that correct his vision to 20/50. He has a mild reduction in visual acuity as a result of the bilateral aphakia.
3. Student began to attend kindergarten at the Beal Early Childhood Center in Shrewsbury in September 2008. Student was referred for a special education evaluation shortly after beginning school.
4. A speech and language evaluation was completed on October 16, 2008. Speech services twice weekly for 30 minute sessions were recommended to target improving speech production skills, compensate for word finding difficulties, model grammatical skills and improve ability to follow directions.
5. An occupational therapy evaluation was completed by Loubaina Buxamusa, M.Ed., OTR/L of the Shrewsbury Public Schools on September 11, 18 and 19, 2008. See Exhibit A (OT evaluation).
6. A Team meeting was held on November 10, 2008 to review the speech and language and occupational therapy evaluations. Student was found to be eligible for special education services.
7. The Team agreed that additional testing should be done in the areas of cognitive and academic skills and physical therapy needs and noted that a vision assessment was being scheduled. The Team developed an IEP for Student for the year November 10, 2008 to November 10, 2009. See Exhibit B (IEP).
8. The November 10, 2008 IEP was partially accepted/partially rejected by Parent on November 24, 2008. Parent noted in her response that the assessment had not been done in a timely manner, that social/emotional needs should be considered, and that a vision consultant should be added to the service delivery, among other concerns. Parent consented to the delivery of all services proposed on the IEP.
9. A physical therapy evaluation was completed on November 21, 2009 by Margaret Fishkind of the Shrewsbury Public Schools. See Exhibit C (PT evaluation).
10. An academic evaluation was completed on November 20, 2008 by Karen Kowaleski, M.A. See Exhibit D (academic evaluation).
11. A neuropsychological evaluation was completed by Dr. Susan Waisbren, Senior Psychologist at Children’s Hospital in Boston on December 18, 2008. See Exhibit E (neuropsychological evaluation).
12. A Team meeting was held on January 21, 2009 to review the physical therapy and academic evaluations and Dr. Waisbren’s report. The Team determined that services should be added in academic support and physical therapy. One session of 30 minutes per week was added for physical therapy. The Team proposed two sessions of academic support of 30 minutes each per week to be provided in the kindergarten classroom and three sessions of academic support of 30 minutes each per week to be provided as pull out services. The Team added goals for gross motor, reading/language arts and mathematics. These additional services and goals were accepted at the Team meeting by Parent. See Exhibit F (IEP).
13. A functional vision evaluation and learning media assessment were completed by Teri Turgeon of the Perkins School for the Blind on January 12, 22 and 26, 2009. See Exhibit G (evaluation and assessment).
14. The Team reconvened on March 25, 2009 to consider the functional vision evaluation and learning media assessment. The IEP Team developed an IEP at this meeting. This IEP was proposed with the intention that Student was transitioning to first grade and the goals were relevant to the co-teaching program which was offered. See Exhibit H (IEP).
15. During the summer of 2009, Parent sought Student’s retention in kindergarten. The Shrewsbury Public Schools made an administrative decision to honor this request and agreed that Student would be retained in kindergarten for the 2009-2010 school year.
16. On August 3, 2009, Parent partially rejected the March 25, 2009 IEP. See Exhibit I (Parent’s rejection).
17. An IEP Team meeting was convened on September 4, 2009, to consider changes that might be needed to the March 2009 IEP as a result of Student’s retention in kindergarten. An IEP was proposed for September 1, 2009 to October 22, 2009. See Exhibit J (IEP).
18. Student has been attending a full-day kindergarten program since the beginning of the 2009-2010 school year. The full-day kindergarten program is not a special education service.
19. The IEP Team reconvened on October 22, 2009 for the annual review. The IEP Team developed an IEP at that meeting. See Exhibit K (IEP). The October 22, 2009 IEP was rejected by Parent on November 23, 2009.
20. Student was evaluated by Eileen Elkies, M.S., OTR/L at the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and Children’s Hospital on November 9, 2009, resulting in a written evaluation report. See Exhibit L (evaluation report).
21. Student was evaluated by Andrea Schroeder, PT/s and Rachel Tombeno, DPT, at Children’s Hospital on November 12, 2009, resulting in a written evaluation report. Exhibit M (evaluation report).
22. Progress reports have been issues by the Shrewsbury Public Schools for Student. See Exhibit N (progress reports).
The parties’ motion is framed in terms of “eligibility” for certain special education and related services. However, it is not disputed that Student is an individual with a disability, falling within the purview of the federal Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA)3 and the Massachusetts special education statute;4 and, therefore, it is not disputed that he is generally eligible to receive special education and related services.
The parties agree that the dispute pertains to what particular special education and related services Student is entitled to receive in order to be provided with a free appropriate public education (FAPE) in the least restrictive environment. I therefore begin the discussion with a review of general principles regarding FAPE.
FAPE is defined by the IDEA to include state educational standards, which may exceed the federal floor .5 The Massachusetts educational standards are found within state statute and state education regulations and include a FAPE requirement.6
Student’s right to FAPE, including compliance with both state and federal standards, is assured through the development and implementation of Student’s individualized education program or IEP.7 Each IEP must be “custom tailored to address the handicapped child’s unique needs in a way reasonably calculated to enable the child to receive educational benefits.”8
FAPE does not require Shrewsbury to provide special education and related services that will maximize Student’s educational potential.9 Similarly, the educational services need not be “the only appropriate choice, or the choice of certain selected experts, or the child’s parents’ first choice, or even the best choice.”10
One FAPE standard addresses the importance of a student’s receiving sufficient special education and related services to allow access to what is being taught in school. As the Supreme Court has explained, “Congress sought primarily to make public education available to handicapped children and to make such access meaningful.”11
A second and related FAPE standard pertains to a student’s educational progress. The Supreme Court has held that the IEP must be “reasonably calculated to enable the child to receive educational benefits.”12 “[M]eaningful progress … is the hallmark of educational benefit under the [federal] statute.”13
The IDEA has been further interpreted to require special education and related services that are designed to result in progress that is “effective”.14 Massachusetts special education regulations similarly provide that specially designed instruction and related services described within the IEP must be sufficient “to enable the student to progress effectively in the content areas of the general curriculum.”15 And, Shewsbury’s proposed IEPs for Student are framed in terms of his receiving specially designed instruction and accommodations “necessary for the student to make effective progress.”16 Massachusetts also requires that the special education services be designed to develop a student’s educational potential.17
Regarding the application of these standards, the Supreme Court has explained that the “determination of when handicapped children are receiving sufficient educational benefits to satisfy the requirements of the [IDEA] presents a more difficult problem” than a simple recitation of the applicable FAPE standards.18 This is because “[ i]t is clear that the benefits obtainable by children at one end of the spectrum will differ dramatically from those obtainable by children at the other end, with infinite variations in between .”19 Thus, under the IDEA, the determination of whether a student is “receiving sufficient educational benefit” (or is making sufficient educational progress) is made by considering the student’s educational benefits (or progress) within the context of the particular student’s educational profile, including his learning deficits and potential.20 In addition, pursuant to Massachusetts special education regulations, for purpose of determining whether a student is making effective progress, consideration must be given to a student’s “chronological age and developmental expectations” as well as his or her “individual educational potential”.21
Thus, in the instant dispute, Student is entitled to receive special education and related services in order to gain meaningful access to the curriculum that is being taught in kindergarten. Student is also entitled to receive special education and related services in order to make meaningful and effective progress in kindergarten, commensurate with his chronological age, developmental expectations, and individual educational potential.
I am not aware of any substantive disagreement between the parties regarding the applicability of these standards to the determination of what special education services (in the instant dispute, academic support) should be provided to Student. However, Parent takes the position that these standards do not define Student’s right to receive related services (in the instant dispute, occupational therapy and physical therapy).
Parent has correctly pointed out that the issue becomes more complex with respect to related services because, as compared to specialized academic instruction, there is not necessarily a curriculum or grade-based standard established for each particular related service. For example, a student might be eligible for related services of nursing assistance or counseling to address medical, emotional or behavioral deficits,22 and there would be no particular curriculum content or grade expectations per se that are relevant to the need for these services.
Thus, Parent’s argument continues, the legal standard for determining whether, in the instant dispute, Student is entitled to a particular related service cannot be limited to a determination of whether Student is accessing the kindergarten curriculum or making meaningful and effective progress within the context of a kindergarten classroom. Parent concludes that the proper standard for determining Student’s entitlement to the related services of occupational and physical therapy is whether, without these services, he could make effective progress that is commensurate with his chronological age, developmental expectations, and individual potential.23 Under this standard, it is not relevant that Student is in kindergarten since his entitlement is determined independent of his current grade level.24
Shrewsbury disagrees, taking the position that the need for a related service must always be determined within the context of a student’s current grade level, including, where appropriate, the curriculum for that grade.
Parent takes the position that there is no substantive difference between Massachusetts and federal legal standards regarding this aspect of the case, yet neither party has been able to identify a Massachusetts or federal judicial or administrative decision (nor have I been able to locate one) that squarely addresses the question of whether a student’s chronological age, developmental expectations and individual potential may be determinative of a student’s entitlement to related services. Accordingly, I consider related services decisions that provide general guidance.
The Supreme Court addressed the question of whether a school district must provide, under the IDEA, a procedure known as clean intermittent catheterization. The Court determined that this procedure was an appropriate related service. The Court explained that a mandated related service is one that would be necessary to provide a student with “meaningful access to education” and that “ only those services necessary to aid a handicapped child to benefit from special education must be provided.”25 State and federal special education statute and regulations include similar standards.26
I also consider court decisions that, typically within the context of a residential placement dispute, have explored the question of whether related services must be provided to address a student’s social, emotional, or behavioral deficits where there is no disagreement that the student has substantial needs in one or more of these areas. For example, the Eighth Circuit has explained as follows:
The District Court accurately described A.C.’s problems as “social and emotional in nature,” and concluded from this that they were “separable from the learning process.” … That conclusion does not follow.… If the problem prevents a disabled child from receiving educational benefit, then it should not matter that the problem is not cognitive in nature or that it causes the child even more trouble outside the classroom than within it. What should control our decision is not whether the problem itself is “educational” or “non-educational,” but whether it needs to be addressed in order for the child to learn .27
Similarly, in a dispute regarding a school district’s mandate to provide related services to address a student’s behavioral issues within the home, the First Circuit stated that “[t]he question is whether these behavioral disturbances interfered with the child’s ability to learn.”28 In another First Circuit decision which also involved the question of what services must be provided to address behavioral problems at home, the Court explained that the school district is not mandated to provide services to address “problems truly ‘distinct’ from learning problems.”29 Other federal circuit courts are in accord.30
I understand these decisions to mean that in order to establish the right to a related service of counseling or behavioral services, for example, it is not sufficient to demonstrate that a student has substantial emotional or behavioral deficits within the context of his or her chronological age, developmental expectations, and individual potential. It must always be shown that these deficits interfere with student’s ability to learn. For these purposes, the term “learn” or “learning” refers not to learning better behavior or emotional responses, but rather, for example, learning from instruction in the classroom.
As applied to the instant dispute, this means that there is no requirement that Shrewsbury provide occupational or physical therapy solely because Student is not making effective progress (regarding his fine or gross motor skills) commensurate with his chronological age, developmental expectations, and individual potential . Student is entitled to receive the related services of occupational and physical therapy only if those services are necessary in order for him to learn, to benefit from his special education or to gain meaningful access to his education, all within the context of kindergarten.
As previously discussed with and agreed by the parties, in the event that the parties are not able to resolve this matter informally with the benefit of the above clarification of relevant legal standards, this matter is scheduled to proceed to an evidentiary hearing on the merits on March 10, 11, and 15, 2010.
By the Hearing Officer,
Date: February 18, 2010
I note, with appreciation, the excellent oral and written arguments presented by Parent’s attorney (Tim Sindelar) and Shrewsbury’s attorney (Alisia St. Florian).
Shrewsbury special education staff recommended that Student enter 1 st grade in September 2009, rather than repeat kindergarten, but retention is considered a regular education decision.
20 USC 1400 et seq .
MGL c. 71B.
20 USC 1401(9)(b); Winkelman v. Parma City School Dist., 127 S.Ct. 1994, 2000-2001 (2007) (“education must … meet the standards of the State educational agency); Mr. I. v. Maine School Administrative District No. 55, 480 F.3d 1 , 11 (1 st Cir. 2007) (state may “ calibrate its own educational standards, provided it does not set them below the minimum level prescribed by the [IDEA]”); Town of Burlington v. Department of Education , 736 F.2d 773, 792 (1 st Cir. 1984) (states are “free to exceed, both substantively and procedurally, the protection and services to be provided to its disabled children”).
MGL c. 71B, ss. 1, 2, 3.
20 USC 1414(d)(1)(A)(i)(I)-(III); Honig v. Doe, 484 U.S. 305, 311-12 (1988) ; Bd. of Educ. of the Hendrick Hudson Central Sch. Dist. v. Rowley, 458 U.S. 176, 182 (1982).
Lenn v. Portland Sch. Comm., 998 F.2d 1083, 1086 (1 st Cir.1993) (internal quotations and citations omitted). See also 20 USC 1400(d)(1)(A) (IDEA enacted “to ensure that all children with disabilities have available to them a free appropriate public education that emphasizes special education and related services designed to meet their unique needs and prepare them for further education, employment, and independent living”); 20 USC 1401(9), (29) (“free appropriate public education” encompasses “special education and related services,” including “specially designed instruction, at no cost to Parents, to meet the unique needs of a child with a disability”); Honig v. DOE , 484 U.S. 305, 311 (1988) (FAPE must be tailored “to each child’s unique needs”); Lessard v. Wilton Lyndeborough Cooperative School Dist. , 518 F.3d 18, 23 (1 st Cir. 2008) (noting the school district’s “obligation to devise a custom-tailored IEP”).
Bd. of Educ. of the Hendrick Hudson Central Sch. Dist. v. Rowley, 458 U.S. 176, 197, n.21 (1982) (“Whatever Congress meant by an “appropriate” education, it is clear that it did not mean a potential-maximizing education.”).
G.D. v. Westmoreland Sch. Dist., 930 F.2d 942, 948 (1 st Cir. 1991). See also Lt. T.B. ex rel. N.B. v. Warwick Sch. Com., 361 F.3d 80, 83 (1 st Cir. 2004) (“IDEA does not require a public school to provide what is best for a special needs child, only that it provide an IEP that is ‘reasonably calculated’ to provide an ‘appropriate’ education as defined in federal and state law.”).
Irving Independent School District v. Tatro , 468 U.S. 883, 891 (1984) (internal quotations omitted), quoting Rowley, 458 U.S. at 192.
Rowley , 458 U.S. at 207, quoted in Lessard v. Wilton-Lyndeborough Coop. School Dist . , 518 F.3d 18, 27 (1 st Cir. 2008) (1 st Cir. 2010) .
DB v. Sutton, 07-cv-40191-FDS (D.Mass. 2009). See also Houston Independent School Dist. v. VP , 2009 WL 1080639 (5 th Cir. 2009)(after reviewing Rowley standard, concluding that IEP must be reasonably calculated to provide “meaningful educational benefit”); Lauren P. v. Wissahickon School Dist. , 2009 WL 382529 (3 rd Cir. 2009)(IEP must confer “significant learning” and “meaningful benefit” on student); A.B. ex rel. D.B. v. Lawson , 354 F.3d 315, 319 (4 th Cir. 2004) (“state must provide children with ‘meaningful access’ to public education”); Alex R.. v. Forrestville Valley Community Unit School Dist. # 221, 375 F.3d 603, 612 (7 th Cir. 2004) (question presented is whether the school district appropriately addressed the student’s needs and provided him with a meaningful educational benefit), cert. denied , 543 U.S. 1009 (2004); Deal v. Hamilton County Board of Education, 392 F.3d 840 (6 th Cir. 2004); Shore Regional High School Bd. of Educ. v. P.S. , 381 F.3d 194, 198 (3d Cir. 2004); L.E. v. Ramsey Bd. of Educ ., 435 F.3d 384, 395 (3d Cir. 2006), citing T.R. ex rel. N.R. v. Kingwood Twp. Bd. of Educ ., 205 F.3d 572, 577 (3d Cir. 2000) (phrase “some educational benefit”, as utilized by Supreme Court in Rowley , requires provision of a “meaningful educational benefit”); Adams v. Oregon , 195 F.3d 1141, 1145 (9 th Cir. 1999); Town of Burlington v. Dep’t of Educ ., 736 F.2d 773, 789 (1st Cir. 1984) (“federal basic floor of meaningful, beneficial educational opportunity”), aff’d 471 U.S. 359 (1985); Hunt v. Bureau of Special Education Appeals , 109 LRP 55771, CA No. 08-10790-RGS (D.Mass. 2009) (“School districts provide a FAPE by designing and implementing an IEP ‘reasonably calculated’ to insure that the child receives meaningful ‘educational benefits’ consistent with the child’s learning potential” citing Rowley ).
20 USC 1400(d)(4) (purposes of this title are . . . to assess, and ensure the effectiveness of , efforts to educate children with disabilities” (emphasis added); North Reading School Committee v. Bureau of Special Education Appeals, 480 F.Supp.2d 479, 489 (D.Mass. 2007 ) (educational program “must be reasonably calculated to provide effective results and demonstrable improvement in the various educational and personal skills identified as special needs”), quoting Lenn v. Portland Sch. Comm., 998 F.2d 1083, 1090 (1 st Cir. 1993) and Town of Burlington v. Dep’t of Educ., 736 F.2d 773, 788 (1 st Cir. 1984), aff’d 471 U.S. 359, 105 S.Ct. 1996, 85 L.Ed.2d 385 (1985).
602 CMR 28.05(4)(b) (“The Team shall carefully consider the general curriculum, the learning standards of the Massachusetts Curriculum Frameworks, the curriculum of the district, and shall include specially designed instruction or related services in the IEP designed to enable the student to progress effectively in the content areas of the general curriculum.”). See also 603 CMR 28.02(9) ( “ An eligible student shall have the right to receive special education and any related services that are necessary for the student to benefit from special education or that are necessary for the student to access the general curriculum.”).
Exhibits B, F, H, J, K.
MGL c. 71B, s. 1 ( term “special education” defined to mean “educational programs and assignments including, special classes and programs or services designed to develop the educational potential of children with disabilities.”); 603 CMR 28.01(3) ( purpose of regulations as “to ensure that eligible Massachusetts students receive special education services designed to develop the student’s individual educational potential.”).
Rowley , 458 U.S. at 202.
See Id . See also Lessard v. Wilton Lyndeborough Cooperative School Dist. , 518 F.3d 18, 29 (1 st Cir. 2008) (“levels of progress must be judged with respect to the potential of the particular child. So here: while the reported progress is modest by most standards, it is reasonable in the context of Stephanie’s manifold disabilities and low IQ”); Beth R. v. Forrestville Valley Comm. Unit Sch. Dist. No. 221, 375 F.3d 603, 615 (7 th Cir. 2004) (“ requisite degree of reasonable, likely progress varies, depending on the student’s abilities” ), cert. denied, 125 S. Ct. 628 (2004); Shore Regional High School Bd. of Educ. v. P.S. , 381 F.3d 194, 198 (3 rd Cir. 2004) (“IEP must be reasonably calculated to enable the child to receive meaningful educational benefits in light of the student’s intellectual potential”) (Alito, J.); Alex R. ex rel. Beth R. v. Forrestville Valley Cmty. Unit Sch. Dist. No. 221, 375 F.3d 603, 615 (7th Cir. 2004)“) (“requisite degree of reasonable, likely progress varies, depending on the student’s abilities.”); Deal v. Hamilton County Board of Education, 392 F.3d 840 (6 th Cir. 2004) (“IDEA requires an IEP to confer a ‘meaningful educational benefit’ gauged in relation to the potential of the child at issue”); Mrs. B. v. Milford Board of Ed. , 103 F.3d 1114, 1122 (2d Cir. 1997) (“child’s academic progress must be viewed in light of the limitations imposed by the child’s disability”); Hunt v. Bureau of Special Education Appeals , 109 LRP 55771, CA No. 08-10790-RGS (D.Mass. 2009) (“School districts provide a FAPE by designing and implementing an IEP ‘reasonably calculated’ to insure that the child receives meaningful ‘educational benefits’ consistent with the child’s learning potential” citing Rowley ).
See 603 CMR 28.02(17) (“ Progress effectively in the general education program shall mean to make documented growth in the acquisition of knowledge and skills, including social/emotional development, within the general education program, with or without accommodations, according to chronological age and developmental expectations, the individual educational potential of the student, and the learning standards set forth in the Massachusetts Curriculum Frameworks and the curriculum of the district.”)
34 CFR §300.34.
In particular, Parent relies upon 34 CFR §300.11 (making clear that a student who is advancing from grade to grade may nevertheless be eligible to receive special education services); 34 CFR §300.324 (requiring consideration of the developmental and functional needs of a student when developing an IEP); 603 CMR 28.02(17) (“ Progress effectively in the general education program shall mean to make documented growth in the acquisition of knowledge and skills, including social/emotional development, within the general education program, with or without accommodations, according to chronological age and developmental expectations, the individual educational potential of the student, and the learning standards set forth in the Massachusetts Curriculum Frameworks and the curriculum of the district.”)
If Parent’s position is correct, Student may be entitled to receive related services that teach gross motor skills or fine motor skills which are not normally taught in kindergarten.
Irving Independent School District v. Tatro , 468 U.S. 883, 891, 894 (1984).
See 20 USC § 1401 (26)(A) (“The term “related services” means transportation, and such developmental, corrective, and other supportive services … as may be required to assist a child with a disability to benefit from special education ….”); 34 CFR §300.34(a) (“Related services means transportation and such developmental, corrective, and other supportive services as are required to assist a child with a disability to benefit from special education ….”); 603 CMR 28.05(4)(a) (“The IEP shall include specially designed instruction to meet the needs of the individual student and related services that are necessary to allow the student to benefit from the specially designed instruction, or may consist solely of related services that are necessary to allow the student to access the general curriculum, consistent with federal and state requirements.”).
See Board of Education of Montgomery County v. Brett Y , 155 F.3d 557 (4th Cir. 1998) (“medical, social, or emotional problems that are segregable from the learning process” need not be addressed by the school district); Mrs. B. v. Milford Board of Education , 103 F.3d 1114, 1122 (2nd Cir. 1997) ( support services provided by a residential program must be provided if necessary for student “to make educational progress ”); See McKenzie v. Smith, 771 F.2d 1527 (D.C.Cir.1985) (requiring state to fund residential care for child with severe emotional disabilities, where child required highly structured environment in order to learn); Kruelle v. New Castle County School District, 642 F.2d 687, 693 (3d Cir.1981) (school district need not provide services to address “medical, social or emotional problems that are segregable from the learning process”).