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Using Prior Written Notice as a tool

July 8, 2014 in Special Education Advisor Blog by Doug Goldberg

How many parents attended IEP’s recently where you requested changes to your child’s IEP only to be met with resistance and ultimately the School District refused to make the change.  This happens often and many times the parents leave the meeting unsatisfied and not understanding why their request was not approved.  If that is the case the School District is not adequately following the requirements under Prior Written Notice (PWN).  Not only are decisions about your child’s IEP supposed to be Team decisions BUT they are also supposed to be fully thought out, based in facts and put in writing.  This is why the Prior Written Notice requirement was put in place.  It’s easy for a School to say no, it’s not always so easy for them to articulate why they said no.  It becomes increasingly more difficult for the School to explain if the real reason they said no was not based on your child’s individual needs but based on budget concerns or other monetary issues. Read the rest of this entry →

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Strong Advocacy & Positive School Relationships are not Mutually Exclusive

July 5, 2014 in Special Education Advisor Blog by Doug Goldberg

I don’t understand why every time we post an article on Special Education Advisor regarding advocacy or relationships with your child’s school we always get the same type of comments. If the article is discussing how to collaborate with your school or create a positive relationship I receive comments about how utilizing this philosophy would put you in a weak position. On the other hand, every time we post an article about being a strong advocate for your child we get comments about how this is counterproductive to the collaborative nature of the IEP Meeting. Since when did we start living in a universe where you can’t have a positive relationship with your child’s school and be a strong advocate for their needs? You absolutely can do both, but it requires finesse. Before we talk about how to do this I want you to see two of these comments we have received. On the article Top Ten Methods to Foster IEP Team Collaboration we received this comment: Read the rest of this entry →

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Resolving Disputes Between Parents and Schools

April 12, 2014 in The National Dissemination Center for Children with Disabilities by Jess

In drafting the provisions of IDEA, our nation’s special education law, Congress clearly contemplated that, at times, there would be disagreements between parents of children with disabilities and the school districts providing special education and related services to their children.

While it is expected that parents and school personnel will work in partnership to ensure children with disabilities are provided appropriate services, there are times when the child’s parents and school officials cannot reach consensus on what constitutes a free appropriate public education (FAPE) for an individual child. When such disagreements occur, parents and school districts can turn to IDEA’s procedural safeguards and dispute resolution options. . Read the rest of this entry →

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The Right to Disagree

April 12, 2014 in The National Dissemination Center for Children with Disabilities by Jess

Parents have the right to disagree with decisions that the school system makes with respect to their child with a disability. This includes the school’s decisions about:

  • the identification of the child as a “child with a disability”;
  • the child’s evaluation;
  • the child’s educational placement; and
  • the special education and related services that the school provides to the child. Read the rest of this entry →
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Parental Consent

April 12, 2014 in The National Dissemination Center for Children with Disabilities by Jess

One of parents’ most important rights is the right to give (or not give) their consent for certain actions of the school system with respect to their child with a disability.

This short page will explain this right in detail.

The Definition of “Consent” Read the rest of this entry →

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Right to Receive Prior Written Notice

April 12, 2014 in The National Dissemination Center for Children with Disabilities by Jess

Parental rights under IDEA include the right to receive prior written notice from the school each time that the school proposes to take (or refuses to take) certain actions with respect to your child. Specifically, the school must provide parents with prior written notice each time that it:

  • proposes to initiate or change the identification, evaluation, or educational placement of your child;
  • proposes to initiate or change the provision of FAPE to your child (that’s a free appropriate public education);
  • refuses to initiate or change the identification, evaluation, or educational placement of your child;
  • refuses to initiate or change the provision of FAPE to your child. Read the rest of this entry →
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Right to Obtain an Independent Educational Evaluation

April 12, 2014 in The National Dissemination Center for Children with Disabilities by Jess

If you, as a parent of a child with a disability, do not agree with the results of the individualized evaluation of your child, as conducted by the school system, you have the right to obtain what is known as an Independent Educational Evaluation, or an IEE (§300.502). This means that you may ask that a professional, competent evaluator who is not employed by the school system conduct another evaluation of your child.

If you request an IEE of your child, the school must provide you with information about where you can obtain such an evaluation. Read the rest of this entry →

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Parental Right to Participate in Meetings

April 12, 2014 in The National Dissemination Center for Children with Disabilities by Jess

The right to participate in meetings related to their child is one of the most important and powerful of parent rights.

Parents have the right to participate in meetings with respect to the:

  • their child’s identification,
  • their child’s evaluation,
  • their child’s educational placement, and
  • provision of FAPE (free appropriate public education) to their child. Read the rest of this entry →
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Confidentiality and Access to Student Records

April 12, 2014 in The National Dissemination Center for Children with Disabilities by Jess

IDEA and other federal laws protect the confidentiality of your child’s education records. These safeguards address the following three aspects:

  • the use of personally identifiable information;
  • who may have access to your child’s records; and
  • the rights of parents to inspect their child’s education records and request that these be amended to correct information that is misleading or inaccurate, or that violates the child’s privacy or other rights. Read the rest of this entry →
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Right to Receive a Complete Explanation of IDEA’s Procedural Safeguards

April 12, 2014 in The National Dissemination Center for Children with Disabilities by Jess

At least one time a year, the parents of a child with a disability must receive from the school system a complete explanation of all the procedural safeguards available to them, as parents, under IDEA. This explanation is called the “Procedural Safeguards Notice.”

In this page, we’ll examine the purpose and contents of this notice, the times that parents will receive it, and other aspects of this important safeguard. Read the rest of this entry →

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