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Expert Q&A

If a student with a disability is suspended, is the school required to let them make up work with credit?

If a student on an IEP due to a learning disability is suspended from school, does he have to be allowed the opportunity to make up missed work for credit? The school policy is that suspended students cannot receive credit for work during a suspension.

Dear Marsha:

Your question addresses whether a student with a disability receiving special education is entitled to make up missed work for credit during the period of suspension. As a general matter, school districts are governed by state and local district procedure with respect to how they handle the right to make up missed work during a period of suspension.

However, as a general matter, the courts have made clear that when a student is suspended, even when they may have a disability, for a period of less than 10 school days, they are generally not legally entitled to make up the missed work for credit. This is generally true whether or not they have an IEP.

If a student is subject to disciplinary exclusion for periods in excess of 10 days and they do have an IEP, the schools are generally required to provide them with the opportunity to keep up with the work, unless the IEP team makes an individualized decision that the period of exclusion is sufficiently brief that it will not interrupt the students academic progress.

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