SPECIAL EDUCATION PARENT HANDBOOK
Governor Wentworth Regional School District

Statement of Purpose

Clarification of Disability Categories

Special Education Programs in GWRSD

Parental Rights

General Definitions

Referral sources

Special Education Personnel in GWRSD

LINKS to Local and State Resources

Referral Process

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Parental Rights In Special Education (Procedural Safeguards)

 

Parents have an important role in the evaluation 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 assessment, through identification and placement.

A complete copy of Parental 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 Evaluation/Placement Team. This handbook includes a brief outline of parental rights in special education; your rights are more completely described in the following:

  • Public Law 105-17, Individuals with Disabilities Act
  • NH Standards for the Education of Students with Disabilities
  • Code of Federal Regulations 34 Part 300

 

Some important parental rights in Special Education include:

  1.  
  2. Parent Participation As the parent of a child who is receiving special education or special education and related services, you are an 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 team meetings.

     

  3. Right to Consent You have the right to know that the school district must obtain your informed written consent before any evaluation is conducted or any placement is made in special education, even if a placement is being renewed. Written consent is also required before identification of a child with an educational disability, changing the identification, or changing the nature or extent of special education and educationally related services for a child. You may refuse to provide written consent. If the school 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.

     

  4. 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, evaluation, placement, or the provision of a free and appropriate public education. The notice should explain the proposed action and any evaluation, tests, records, or reports used to support the action.

     

  5. 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, appropriate, public education to your child.

     

     

     

  6. 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 students with disabilities.

     

  7. 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 student 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 assessment but not necessarily at the school's expense. The school district must inform you where and how an evaluation can be obtained and must consider the evaluation for any coding, placement decision, or hearing.

     

  8. Right to Appeal You have the right to appeal any decision of the school district regarding identification, evaluation, IEP's, provision of a free and appropriate public education, or placement of a disabled student. Due Process Hearing Procedures will be followed.

     

  9. Complaint Procedures You have the right to file a complaint with the NH Department of Education regarding actions taken or not taken by the local school district, the New Hampshire Department of Education, or other public agencies that are not in compliance with state or federal requirements. Such complaint shall be written and contain information that the organization violated a state or federal law regarding the education of a child with educational disabilities, and contain the facts on which the statement is based. Complaints shall be directed to the Commissioner of Education, 101 Pleasant Street Concord, NH 03301. Complaints regarding special education may be registered with the Director of Special Education for School Administrative Unit #49 at 569-5167.

     

  10. Mediation You have the right to request that you and the school district participate in the Special Education Mediation Program sponsored by the New Hampshire Department of Education. Mediation involves the use of a qualified impartial mediator to help develop a compromise agreement. It can be used to avoid due process procedures.

     

  11. 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 is begun, 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.
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