Procedural Safeguards at a Glance Parents have an important role in the special education process when a child is suspected of having an educational disability. Parental consent initiates the process and the parent is included as a valuable member of the multidisciplinary team. The special education process affords parents the opportunity to be very involved in the development of the child’s educational programs beginning with evaluation and continuing through identification, program and placement.
A complete copy of Procedural Safeguards (Parent Rights) is given to parents at the time of referral and on an annual basis, usually at the annual review meeting of the Special Education Team. The information below includes a brief outline of parental rights in special education. Your rights are more completely described in the following:
Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), 2004 http://idea.ed.gov/explore/home
NH Rules for the Education of Students with Disabilities http://www.education.nh.gov/instruction/special_ed/documents/nh_rules_2012_web.pdf
Some important parental rights in Special Education include:
Parent Participation: As a parent of a child who is receiving special education or special education and related services, you are important member of the IEP team. You have the right to actively participate in all educational decisions involving your child and to attend team meetings including all evaluation, IEP, and placement meetings.
Right to Consent: The school district must obtain your informed consent before any evaluation is conducted or any program or placement decision is made in special education, even if the placement is being renewed. Written consent is also required before identification of a child with an educational disability, changing identification, or changing the nature or extent of special education and related services for a child. You may refuse to provide written consent. If the school district feels that the education plan is in the best interest of the child, the school district may initiate Due Process procedures to carry out its recommendation.
Written Prior Notice: You have the right to receive written notice in language understandable to you whenever the school district proposes to initiate or change the identification, evaluate, an Individual Education Plan, placement or the provision of a free and appropriate public education. The written notice should explain the proposed action and any evaluation(s), records, or reports used to support the action.
Records: You have the right to examine all relevant records kept by the school district regarding identification (coding), evaluation, IEP, placement, and the provision of a free and appropriate public education for your child.
Least Restrictive Environment: You have the right to have your child educated with students who do not have disabilities to the maximum extent that is appropriate for your child. You have the right to know that the school district provides a continuum of alternative educational environments for children with disabilities.
Educational Evaluations: You have the right to a full and individual evaluation of your child’s educational needs. By law, a re-evaluation must be conducted every three years. You also have the right to request an independent educational evaluation of your child at the school district’s expense if you disagree with the school district’s evaluation. However, the school district may begin Due Process proceedings to show that its evaluation is valid. If the district evaluation is shown to be valid, you still have the right to an independent evaluation but not necessarily at the school district’s expense. The school district must inform you where and how the evaluation can be obtained and must consider the evaluation for any identification, program, placement decision or hearing.
Right to Appeal: You have the right to disagree with a decision made by the school district. You have the right to appeal any decision of the school district regarding identification, evaluation, IEPs, provision of a free and appropriate public education, or placement of a child with a disability. See additional information below regarding Alternative Dispute Resolution and Due Process.
Complaint Procedures: You have the right to file a complaint with the New Hampshire Department of Education regarding actions taken or not taken by the school district, the New Hampshire Department of Education, or other public agencies that are not in compliance with state or federal requirements. The complaint must be written and contain information about how the organization violated a state or federal law regarding the education of a child with an educational disability, and contain facts on which the complaint is based. Complaints shall be directed to the Commissioner of Education, 101 Pleasant Street, Concord, New Hampshire 03301. Complaints regarding special education may be sent to the Director of Special Education for Governor Wentworth Regional School District at P.O. Box 190, Wolfeboro Falls, New Hampshire 03896. For more information about how to file a complaint go to: http://www.education.nh.gov/instruction/special_ed/documents/how_to_file_a_special_education_complaint.pdf ???????
Alternative Dispute Resolution: You have the right to request that you and the school district participate in the Special Education Mediation or Third Party Discussion Led by a Moderator programs sponsored by the New Hampshire Department of Education. Mediation and Third Party Discussion involve the use of a qualified impartial mediator/hearing officer to help develop a compromise agreement or reach resolution. It can be used to avoid due process procedures. For more information please refer to http://www.education.nh.gov/legislation/documents/third-party.pdf or http://www.education.nh.gov/legislation/documents/usersguide2014.pdf ???????????
Due Process: You have the right to request a Due Process Hearing to appeal a special education decision taken by the local school district. At the time the process begins, the appealing party shall give to the other party written notice of the decision being appealed, the reason for the appeal, and the solution being requested. Upon request, the school district must provide you with a copy of the laws and the process related to a special education hearing. A copy of “Pro-se Parent Guide to Impartial Due Process Hearings can be found at http://www.education.nh.gov/legislation/special_ed_due_process.htm
Please Note: A copy of the GWRSD Special Education Policy and Procedures Manual is located in the Diagnostic Prescriptive Teacher’s office at each school and at the Superintendent’s Office.
SAU 49 Office PO Box 190, 140 Pine Hill Road Wolfeboro Falls, NH 03896 Phone: (603) 569-1658 ~ Fax: (603) 569-6983 email: firstname.lastname@example.org