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Parent Rights in Special Education Betsy Peterson, Parent Coordinator Office of Special Education and Achievement
Individuals With Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) • Federal Law – Public Law 94 -142 the Education for All Handicapped Children Act of 1975 – Law mandated the role of parents as equal partners in making educational decisions for their children – Empowers parents to become Educational Advocates for their children
Terminology Used • • IEP-Individualized Education Program FAPE-Free Appropriate Public Education LRE-Least Restrictive Environment PBS-Positive Behavior Supports BIP-Behavior Intervention Plan FBA-Functional Behavioral Assessment ESY-Extended School Year IFSP-Individual Family Support Plan
Terminology Used-con’t • Disabilities: – BD-Behavior Disability – LD-Learning Disability – DD-Developmentally Delayed – CD-Communication Disorder – VI-Visually Impaired – HI-Hearing Impaired
Terminology Used-con’t • Placements – RE: FT-Regular Education Full Time with modification – RE: PT-Regular Education Part Time with resource services or special class services – SC-Special Education Program: Separate Class – SS-Special Education Program: Separate School – OOS-Special Education Program: Out of School Environment – RF-Special Education Program: Residential Facility
Terminology Used-con’t • Related Services – – – – Assistive Technology Transportation to and from school Counseling for child and/or family Recreation or special physical education School health services Physical Therapy-PT Occupational Therapy-OT Speech/Language therapy
Identification and Referral • Child Find – District activity that seeks to locate and identify children and youth, ages 3 -21 who may have developmental delays or exceptionalities and may need special education and related services. Activities may be: • • Teacher observations Parent observations Conferences Developmental screenings
Identification and Referral con’t • Parent Referral – A written request to have your child tested to see if he/she would benefit from specially designed instruction. • • School Assistance Team Interventions Conferences Multidisciplinary Evaluation Team (MDET)
Identification and Referral con’t – Multidisciplinary Evaluations • • • Health Vision Hearing, social and emotional status Adaptive skills Behavioral performance General intelligence Academic performance Communicative status Motor abilities Assistive technology services and/or devices
Identification and Referral con’t • Multidisciplinary Evaluation Team (MDET) – At least one teacher or other specialist with knowledge in the area of suspected exceptionality. – The student’s regular education teacher; or – A regular education teacher qualified to teach a student of that age; – At least one person qualified to conduct individual diagnostic examinations of students, such as a certified school psychologist, speech-language pathologist or audiologist.
Eligibility Committee – Eligibility Committee (EC) • Evaluations are discussed. Be sure to ask questions if you do not understand something. • Utilize the results of the multidisciplinary evaluation as the primary source of information to determine the student’s educational needs and if: – the student meets the eligibility criteria in one of the designated exceptionalities; and – Needs specially designed instruction.
Individualized Education Program (IEP) • Individualized Education Program (IEP) – – – – – 30 days after a student is determined eligible for services Present Levels of Educational Performance (PLEPs) Measurable goals Special education services Related Services An explanation of the extent to which your student will NOT participate with non-exceptional peers A statement explaining HOW the student will participate in the statewide testing program. The date when services are to begin and how they will continue. A statement of how and when parents will be informed of progress toward annual goals. Signatures of all those ATTENDING the meeting.
Placement • Placement is the appropriate learning environment for your child. – IEP team must consider placement in the regular education setting first. • Modifications – a change in the type and amount of work expected of the students • Accommodations - change how students learn and the ways they demonstrate what they have learned.
Annual Review Your child’s progress in achieving the goals on the IEP must be reviewed and revised each year. – Your observations about any changes should be made at this time. • Have goals been met? • Were the goals too easy? • Were the goals too hard? – Comments, both positive and negative about the IEP should be made at this time – If you feel changes need to be made to your child’s IEP before the Annual Review, ask for a review.
Reevaluations • Can occur every 3 years (or more frequently) • MDET reviews existing evaluation data on the student with input from the student’s parents to determine if additional data are necessary • Parents must be notified of this decision
Independent Evaluation • If a parent disagrees with an evaluation obtained by the school system, a parent has the right to an independent educational evaluation at public expense. • The school system will provide to the parents information about where an independent educational evaluation may be obtained, upon the parents request.
Complaint • Any interested person may file a complaint: – – – Parents of eligible students Organizations Groups School district employees Individuals from West Virginia or another state • Must be written and signed • Must include: – – Name of the county school district Student's name The facts on which the complaint is based The laws or regulations you believe are not being followed
Complaint con’t • A copy must be sent to the district school system. • 60 day timeline to investigate the complaint. • Letter of Findings (LOF) issued to district • LOF includes corrective actions if violations are determined.
Early Resolution of a Complaint • Initiated by either party • Informal conference to discuss issue(s) • If resolution is achieved, complaint is withdrawn • Verification of Early Resolution Form submitted to OSE
Mediation • Meeting to encourage mediation • Voluntary and informal • Conducted by qualified and impartial mediator • At no cost to parent • Written agreement • Confidential
Impartial Due Process Hearing • Initiated by parent or district by written request to the OSE • Dispute must be relevant to the proposal or refusal of district to initiate or change the identification, evaluation or educational placement or the provision of a free appropriate public education (FAPE) • Resolution session must be convened by the district within 15 days • 45 day timeline for hearing
Parent Rights • The right to be considered a full participating member of the IEP team when planning for your child. • The right to provide information about your child that can be used in developing interventions , evaluations planning and educational programs.
Parent Rights con’t • The right to insure that your written permission is given before any formal evaluations are begun. • The right to receive written notice prior to any changes in placement for your child. • The right to access your child’s records, and have some one available to explain the records, if requested.
Parent Rights con’t • The right to a complete evaluation, which includes more than one test or procedure and is completed by trained personnel from various education and/or medical areas of expertise, to receive copies of those results, and to have those results explained in a language you understand. • The right to confidentially of all records about the student.
Parent Rights con’t • The right to a free and appropriate public education (FAPE) that addresses your child’s individual needs. • The right to request an independent assessment at no cost to yourself if you disagree with the assessment results. • The right to be involved in the development of your child’s Individual Education Program (IEP).
Parent Rights con’t • The right to receive transportation and other related services necessary for the student to benefit from his or her special education services. • The right to mediation and due process if differences regarding your child’s program or services can not be resolved by other means.
Parent Responsibilities • To be involved. • To participate in meetings regarding your child and be ready to discuss issues of concern that you have. • To ask questions and be sure you understand what is happening. • To provide all the relevant information that is needed in planning and program development
Parent Responsibilities con’t • To let the school personnel know about any changes in your child’s life, both positive and negative, including areas of growth, changes in health and medication and difficulties your child is having. • To educate yourself regarding the rules and regulations governing special education services.
Parent Educator Resource Centers - PERCs • • • In 38 West Virginia Counties Staffed by parents and teachers Offer training and support to families Will assist you through the IEP process A friendly ear that has been there
Resources: • West Virginia Department of Education Office of Special Education Achievement 1900 Kanawha Boulevard, East Building 6 Room 304 Charleston, WV 25305 http: //wvde, state. wv. us/ose
Resources con’t • West Virginia Parent Training and Information Center 1 -800 -281 -1436 http: //www. wvpti. org • Mountain State Parents CAN 1 -800 -244 -5385 http: //mspcan. org • West Virginia Advocates 1 -800 -950 -5250 http: //www. wvadvocates. org
Resources con’t • West Virginia Birth to Three System 1 -800 -642 -9704 http: //www. wvdhhr. org/mcfh/birth 23
Thank you for your time!! Betsy Peterson, Parent Coordinator [email protected] k 12. wv. us West Virginia Department of Education Office of Special Education Achievement 1 -800 -642 -8541 http: //wvde. state. wv. us/ose