Friday, April 19, 2013

Parental Rights in Special Education - Prior Written Notice

The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act's (IDEA) implementing regulations require that a school district give written notice to the parent of a child with a disability within a reasonable time before:

(1) the school plans to take (or refuses to take) actions proposed by either the parent or the school district related to the identification, evaluation, or educational placement of the child; or

(2) the school plans to take (or refuses to take) actions proposed by either the parent or the school district related to the provision of a free appropriate public education (FAPE) to the child. (34 CFR §300.503(a)).

Prior written notice must include:
  • a description of the action proposed or refused by the school;
  • an explanation of why the school proposes or refuses to take the action;
  • a description of each evaluation procedure, assessment, record, or report the school used as a basis for its decision;
  • a statement that the IDEA’s procedural safeguards provide the parents of the child with a disability with rights and procedures for resolving disputes related to the subject matter of the prior written notice, and how the parents can obtain a copy of them;
  • resources for parents in order to obtain assistance in understanding these procedures;
  • a description of other options that the IEP Team considered and the reasons why those options were rejected; and
  • a description of other factors relevant to the school’s proposal or refusal. (§ 300.503(b))
For example, a parent must receive this notice:
  1. when the school wants to conduct an initial evaluation of the child;
  2. when the parent has asked for the child to be evaluated and the school denies the request;
  3. when the school wants to initiate or change the child’s identification as a "child with a disability;"
  4. when the school proposes or refuses to provide a particular educational placement for the child;
  5. when the school wants to change the child’s educational placement;
  6. when the school wants to change aspects of the special education or related services that the child is receiving; and
  7. when the school refuses a parent’s request in regard to the educational services the child is receiving.
If a parent has made a request of the school, or the school has proposed or refused to take action, and the parent has not received the required prior written notice, the parent should ask the school to provide it.  I recommend that parents do this by email, and retain both that email and the school district's response in order to create a record.

1 comment:

  1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    ReplyDelete