As a parent of a special needs student, the District is responsible for giving you notice for various events related to your student’s individualized education plan and/or any changes to your student’s special education plan. These events include, but are not limited to; the holding of an IEP meeting, any assessments that the District is planning to do for your child and any changes that will be made to your student’s education plan, including proposed changes in services, placement, accommodations or modifications to the plan.
In addition, the District must also give a parent notice of any request made by the parent for changes in the identification, evaluation or placement that the District is refusing to provide for the student. This includes, but is not limited to; if a parent asks for their student’s placement to be changed (for example from a special day class to a general education environment or from a public school to a non-public school) or if a parent makes a request for an independent educational evaluation, or requests a change in related services. If it is the District’s intention to refuse any of these types of requests, they must do so in writing, which is called giving Notice.
A notice from the District is required to contain the following information:
- A description of the change being proposed or the request being refused
- An explanation as to why the District is proposing or refusing a change
- A description of the documentation the District is using to support its position of proposing a change or refusing a request
- Alert the parent to their right to receive and review their Procedural Safeguards for their protection and safety as a parent of a child with a disability and how the parent can access their Procedural Safeguards
- Sources that a parent can reach out to for assistance in understanding the Notice and its implications
- Clarify the other options that were considered by the IEP team and why those options are not being offered
- Include any other relevant factors to the specifics of the situation
All forms of notice to the parent must be written in understandable/ordinary terms that are understood by the general public. If you are a parent whose primary language is one other than English, the notice must be provided to you in your native language. If you receive a notice that you cannot read, you are entitled to contact the District and request the notice be translated into your native tongue, in writing, for you to read.
In the event that your native language, or your particular mode of communication is not one that is in written form, the District must provide you with another means for you to fully understand the notice. This can include presenting the notice to you orally, or in American Sign Language, or even braille.
The most important aspect of the District’s requirement to provide parents with notice, is that as a parent you have the right to be fully informed about every aspect of your student’s individualized education plan.