• Special Education

    Welcome to Special Education!
     
    Topics:
    Individuals With Disabilities Education Act (IDEA)
    Special Education Placement Process At A Glance
    Referral for Assessment to Determine Eligibility
    Sample Letter — Requesting a Student Study Team (SST) Meeting
    Sample Letter — Referral for Special Education
    Assessment Plan Development
    IEP Team Meeting
    Special Education Programs, Services, & Placements
    Transition
    Procedural Safeguards
    Alternatives to Due Process
    Due Process and Parents’ Rights
    Confidentiality of Information
    Parents’ Record Keeping

    Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA)
    You, the parent, and your child have certain legal rights. IDEA is a federal law which mandates and affirms the right of all disabled children to a free public education. The purposes of IDEA are to do the following:
    • to ensure that all children with disabilities have available to them a free appropriate public education that emphasizes special education and related services designed to meet their unique needs and prepare them for employment and independent living;
    • to ensure that the rights of children with disabilities and parents of such children are protected;
    • to assist States, localities, educational service agencies, and Federal agencies to provide for the education of all children with disabilities;
    • to assist States in the implementation of a statewide, comprehensive, coordinated, multidisciplinary, interagency system of early intervention services for infants and toddlers with disabilities and their families;
    • to ensure that educators and parents have the necessary tools to improve educational results for children with disabilities by supporting systemic-change activities; coordinated research and personnel preparation; coordinated technical assistance, dissemination, and support; and technology development and media services; and
    • to assess, and ensure the effectiveness of, efforts to educate children with disabilities.

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    Special Education Placement Process At A Glance
    • Special education services begin when an Individualized Education Program (IEP) team, including the parent(s), determine that a child is a "child with a disability" who "requires special education and services". This team meeting is the result of multiple steps that precede it. (See sample letter)
      • First, a child will have been identified as a child with a need, by either the child’s teacher or parent.
      • At this point, a problem-solving team, including the parent, will convene to discuss the concern(s) and ways to address it. This is referred to by many names, including Student Success Team, Student Study Team, Child Study Team, Student Assessment Team. A meeting can also be more informal, involving a parent and teacher only, for example. The "SST" process is recommended in order to begin and document modifications and accommodations.
      • One of the many options of a team like this is to gather further information, from recommending eye exams, to academic assessments, to a referral for an assessment to determine eligibility for special education services.
    • The team or a parent may submit a written referral for assessment to determine eligibility for special education program and services. The school has fifteen (15) days from the date of a written referral to present an assessment plan.

    If, down the road, a student is assessed for eligibility for special education, the IEP team must be able to document that modifications and accommodations have been attempted and are not adequate for the child’s success, as a condition of eligibility for special education.

    The school district does have the right to decline to assess, with valid reasons; but, in those rare circumstances, the district must provide you with notice of the decline, and the reasons why.

    • A representative of the school will contact you to review the proposed assessment plan and secure your signature. The school has sixty (60) days (excluding school breaks of more than five (5) days) from the time of signed parent consent for assessment, to schedule and hold the Individualized Education Program (IEP) team meeting.
    • An IEP team meeting will be held. The IEP team will determine if the student is eligible for special education programs and services. If the student is eligible, the IEP team will develop goals and objectives and determine appropriate services and placement. We suggest that you make a written request for the assessment results and other information pertinent to the IEP before the IEP meeting. This will give you the opportunity to read carefully all the documents.
    • Services will begin on the date designated in the IEP, after the IEP is signed by you.
    • Children can transition from Early Start early intervention services into special education preschool services at three years of age. The transition Individualized Family Service Plan (IFSP) process addresses the transition steps necessary for movement into preschool services including a projected IEP process.

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    Referral for Assessment to Determine Eligibility
    "Referral" is a term used broadly for many purposes. Teachers and parents can refer a student for discussion of concerns to a Student Success Team-type meeting, or to a special intervention program, or to Mental Health/Children’s System of Care for services, etc. An SST team consists of the parents and school staff familiar with the child. Remember, you may bring a friend, SEPAC representative, or other support person to this meeting. A referral for problem-solving support to a Student Study Team is usually the first step when a teacher or parent has concerns about a child’s learning needs. This allows a team to develop accommodations, modifications, supports, resources, or any number of kinds of services immediately, and to assess the results of any such modifications.
    Parents, teachers, counselors, principals, school nurses, or other persons who have an interest in the child’s welfare can make referrals. School personnel have a major responsibility to identify children who may have special needs and refer them, if there is a suspected disability, for assessment. Written notice of referral by the school personnel will be sent to parents. Individualized assessment cannot be conducted, however, without your written permission. Parents have the right and are encouraged to make referrals to the local school staff for assessment of their child’s possible needs, when a disability is suspected.
    Write a specific request to the attention of your child’s principal, teacher or the district’s Special Education Administrator, asking for a Student Study Team meeting (see sample letter). Or, if you suspect a disability, you may write a letter requesting that a referral to assess for eligibility for special education services be initiated, including your reasons why you suspect that your child may have a disability. Keep a copy of the request for your child’s records. See the following "Sample Request for Referral for Assessment".
    The school has 15 (fifteen) days from the date of a written referral to present an Assessment Plan.
    At either a Student Study or Success Team Meeting, or at a subsequent Individualized Education Program (IEP) team meeting, one possibility that may occur is that a child is recognized as a child with a disability which would qualify the child for services under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. The definition of "disability" under 504 is much broader than the definition in IDEA (see following pages on Section 504). Therefore, a student may be "disabled" and eligible for a "504 Accommodation Plan", but not necessarily be eligible under IDEA.
    In order to be eligible under IDEA, a student must be identified as having a:
    a. hearing impairment
    b. hearing and visual impairment
    c. language or speech disorder
    d. visual impairment
    e. severe orthopedic impairment
    f. other health impairment
    g. autistic-like behaviors
    h. mental retardation (or developmental delay below the age of 5)
    i. emotional disturbance, or
    j. specific learning disability, which cannot be the result of limited school experience or poor school attendance.

    In addition, the team must determine that the degree of the impairment requires special education.

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    Sample Letter — Requesting a Student Study Team (SST) Meeting
    Ms. Bev Blue
    Address
    City, State, Zip Code
    Telephone Number
    Date
    Mr./Mrs. Principal
    Local Unified School District
    Addres
    City, State, Zip Code
    Dear Mr. Green:
    I am the parent of John Blue , who is currently enrolled at the Regular Elementary School in the fifth grade. John is not doing well in school and I am concerned about his academic performance.
    I am therefore requesting a Student Study Team meeting to develop educational strategies and modification for John.
    Sincerely,

     

    Bev Blue

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    Sample Letter — Referral for Special Education
    Ms. Bev Blue
    Address
    City, State, Zip Code
    Telephone Number
    Date
    Mr./Mrs. Principal
    Local Unified School District
    Address
    City, State, Zip Code
    Dear Mr. Green:
    I am the parent of John Blue, who is currently enrolled at the Regular Elementary School in the fifth grade. We have had a Student Success Team (SST) meeting and the recommendations of that team have been implemented. John is still not doing well in school: (define here what those concerns are)
    I am writing to make a referral for assessment to determine eligibility for special education services for John. I am requesting that John be given a comprehensive assessment in the area(s) of suspected disability(s) which is by the school district to determine if John is eligible for special education and/or related services under IDEA and/or Section 504.
    I look forward to receiving an assessment plan within 15 days. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me. Thank you for your cooperation and assistance.
    Sincerely,

     

    Bev Blue
    cc: Director of Special Education

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    ASSESSMENT PLAN DEVELOPMENT
    After a child is referred for special education assessment, a representative of the school will contact you to review an assessment plan. The school representative will:
    1. Review the reason(s) for referral;
    2. Explain the evaluation process and the methods or tests, which will be used to obtain more information about the child. Testing will be done in the child’s native language or other means of communication, unless other provisions are necessary;
    3. Explain the rights of the parents to:
    a. review all relevant information;
    b. obtain an independent evaluation, if the parents disagree with the assessment;
    c. have an impartial due process hearing if they are not satisfied with the results;
    4. Ask the parents to provide written permission for an assessment to be conducted;

    This may occur at the same meeting where determination to make a referral is made. The assessment process has two major purposes: 1) to gather all information possible about the student and assess needs, through observation, testing, and gathering information from those who have worked with the child, including the parent, teachers, nurses, therapists and psychologists and any other pertinent information written or otherwise; and 2) to determine if a student is eligible for special education programs and services.

    The school has 60 days (excluding days during school breaks of more than 5 days) from the time of signed parent consent for assessment, to schedule and hold the Individualized Educational Program (IEP) team meeting. During that time, communication with your child’s teacher(s) and assessors may be helpful in both keeping informed as to progress of the process, and in developing a viable, understandable IEP at the meeting.

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    IEP TEAM MEETING
    Before your child receives any special education services, a written individualized education program (IEP) must be developed. This will be developed at the IEP team meeting. You have the right and are encouraged to present information during the IEP team meeting for use in developing the most appropriate (individualized) IEP for your child. You are encouraged to request in writing the assessment results, blank IEP forms to familiarize yourself with, and other information pertinent to the IEP before the IEP team meeting. Remember, you may bring a SEPAC representative or other support person to this meeting.
    A number of items make up the IEP. They include:
    • Statements of the child’s level of educational performance
    • Statements of yearly goals and short-term educational objectives
    • Those individuals responsible for helping to accomplish the objectives
    • Criteria and evaluation procedures for measuring the achievement of the educational objectives
    • A statement of the specific special education programs and the related services needed by the student, and the degree of participation anticipated in the regular program
    • Projected dates for beginning services and how long the services should continue
    • Determination of participation in state and district-wide assessments

    The parent(s) or guardian will be asked to give written approval of the newly developed individualized education program at the IEP meeting. You are not required to sign the IEP at this time. You have ten (10) days to sign, and approve a portion or all of the IEP. A system to measure progress for the student will be developed and reviewed at least yearly. The parent(s) or guardian must give permission before a change in educational placement or program of the student is implemented.

    The student’s program is a cooperative effort among the school, the home, and the student. Communication between home and school should be continued after the IEP team meetings take place. Requests for informal conferences with the student’s teachers, requests to visit the student’s classroom, notes or phone calls are all ways of learning about the child’s program and performance. Another important way of finding out about program and performance is through talking with your child!

    It is the team’s right and responsibility to request an IEP team meeting or review at any time. A sample IEP agenda follows on the next page herein.

    If your child does not qualify for special education services, he or she may still be eligible for services under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, see page 27.

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    IEP AGENDA

    1. INTRODUCTIONS — Who is on the team?

    2. PURPOSE OF MEETING — Why are we here?

    3. REVIEW OF PARENTS’ RIGHTS/PROCEDURAL SAFEGUARDS

    4. REVIEW OF REPORTS AND PRESENT LEVELS OF PERFORMANCE

    How is the student currently doing? What are the student’s strengths?

    • Parent’s Report
    • Academic (District & Statewide testing results; regular and special education
    • Health/Development
    • Speech/Language
    • Cognitive
    • Social Emotional
    • Behavioral
    • Others

    What are the parents’ greatest concerns?

    5. ELIGIBILITY

    (LD,SL, Developmentally Delayed, Hard of Hearing, Deaf, VI, ED, Orthopedicallly Impaired, OHI, Multidisabled, Deaf&Blind, Autism, TBI)

    6. INDIVIDUAL TRANSITION PLAN (for those16 years and older)

    7. GOALS & OBJECTIVES — To achieve the student’s long term goals, what does he/she need to learn or demonstrate?

    • What is the long-term transition goal for the student? (Graduation, meet promotion standards, etc.)
    • Goals & Objectives linked to the present levels of performance & support general education curriculum as appropriate
    • Review progress upon annual goals and objectives and/or develop goals and objectives
    • How will parents be kept informed of the student’s progress

    8. DETERMINE APPROPRIATE SERVICES & PLACEMENT — What services are needed to provide the agreed upon goals?

    • Least restrictive environment: student to participate to the maximum extent possible with non-disabled peers
    • Classroom accommodations/modifications as needed
    • District & statewide assessments
    • Assistive technology needed to access general education curriculum
    • Services/Placement-programs & coordination of services
    • Related Services/DIS necessary to access general education curriculum (SL, APE, OT, Mobility, Transportation)

    9. SIGNATURES

    • Review IEP with parent
    • Team members sign
    • If there is a dissent, written comments or a statement of disagreement will be attached

    This agenda to be modified if it is necessary to make a referral to a nonpublic school/agency services, mental health, expulsion meeting, etc.

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    SPECIAL EDUCATION PROGRAMS, SERVICES, & PLACEMENTS
    The Special Education Department provides a range of special education programs and services for students ages three to twenty-two residing in Placer County.* Through special education, instructional techniques, materials, and equipment will be adapted to meet the individual educational needs of your child.

    Students receiving special education and DIS related services will be educated with general education students to the maximum extent appropriate. They will be integrated as much as possible in school activities and regular classroom activities as determined by the IEP team. If separate facilities and services for your child are necessary, they will be comparable to those provided for general education students.

    Special education and DIS related services will be provided on behalf of your child, without cost, except for those fees that are charged to regular education students. Services will be provided in an appropriate setting as close to their homes/home school as feasible. When transportation to a more distant school, class or center is necessary, such transportation is to be provided without cost to the student.

    *For infants aged birth to three years who are suspected of having a disability, please call the Alta California Regional Center at 916/786-8110, or the Placer Infant Program at 916/652-1025.

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    LEAST RESTRICTIVE EDUCATIONAL ENVIRONMENT
    "Least restrictive environment" is that placement or program which can best meet an individual student’s needs and which does so with a minimum loss of contact with general class, students, and programs. Here is a brief look at how the IEP team might decide the least restrictive setting for the student to be educated, while still making sure that the student has the opportunity to interact with students who do not have disabilities.
    • The IDEA has a strong preference for educating students with disabilities in regular classes with appropriate aids and services.
    • The student’s placement in the general education classroom is the first option the IEP team must consider.
    • Considering just the student, the IEP team answers the question: What supplementary aids and services would ensure that the student’s IEP can be appropriately implemented in the regular classroom?
    • If the IEP team decides that the student can be educated satisfactorily in the regular classroom, then that placement is the LRE for that student.
    • The IEP team may decide that the student cannot be educated satisfactorily in the regular classroom; even when appropriate aids and services are provided. The IEP team must then consider other placements and/or services.
    • The public agency must have other placements available within the SELPA to the extent necessary to ensure that the student’s IEP can be implemented. These might include: instruction in regular classes, special classes, special schools, home instruction, and instruction in hospitals and institutions.
    • The IEP team decides which of these other placements is best for the student, given the student’s individual needs and the importance of being educated, to the maximum extent appropriate, with students who do not have disabilities.

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    RESOURCE SPECIALIST PROGRAM (RSP) / LEARNING CENTERS
    The Resource Specialist Program provides, directly or indirectly, instructional and other services for students whose needs have been identified by the IEP team as being exceptional. Students are assigned to regular classroom teachers for the majority of the school day and receive Resource Specialist services as determined by the IEP team.

    The Resource Specialist coordinates services for children, provides instructional planning, special instruction, consultant services, resource information, and materials regarding individuals with special needs, to classroom teachers, parents or guardians. Such services can be within the regular classroom, in a RSP class, or through a Learning Center, and are often provided with the assistance of an aide,

    SPECIAL DAY CLASSES (SDC)
    Special Day Classes provide services to students who have more intensive needs than can be met by regular education school programs, the Resource Specialist program, and/or Designated Instruction and Services. Students are placed in an SDC for a majority of the school day and grouped with other students who have similar instructional needs. Each SDC includes a special education teacher and instructional aide. The Special Day Class teacher works cooperatively with regular classroom teachers, Program Specialists, and with IEP personnel to implement and review the Individualized Education Programs for students with special needs.
    DESIGNATED INSTRUCTION AND SERVICES (DIS)/RELATED SERVICES
    Designated instruction and services are provided by specialists and are specific services not normally provided in a regular classroom, special class program, or the Resource Specialist program. Instruction may be given in any appropriate setting, starting with regular classroom. Services shall be specified in the Individualized Education Program.

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    TRANSITION
    Transition Defined. The definition of transition has evolved over the past few years. Nationally, it has been perceived as a period of time which includes high school, graduation, post-secondary education/training options, adult services, and the initial years of employment. Public Law 105-17, The Individuals With Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), defines transition services as:

    "A coordinated set of activities for a student with a disability that is designed within an outcome-oriented process, which promotes movement from school to post-school activities, including post-secondary education, vocational training, integrated employment (including supported employment), continuing and adult education, adult services, independent living, or community participation; based upon the individual student’s needs, taking into account the student’s preferences and interests; includes instruction, community experiences, the development of employment and other post-school adult living objectives, and, when appropriate, acquisition of daily living skills and a functional vocational evaluation."

    Individual Transition Plan (ITP). The ITP is an articulated, interagency educational plan designed to facilitate a student’s move from school to employment and quality adult life. The Individualized Education Plan/Individualized Transition Plan (IEP/ITP) addresses critical aspects of a student’s transition, including employment goals, residential placement, guardianship, transportation, independent living, and income support. Ideally, an ITP should be done in conjunction with an IEP and supports the development of appropriate goals for the student.

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    PROCEDURAL SAFEGUARDS
    The law requires that the school districts shall establish procedures to protect the rights of special education students and their parents or guardians; these procedures are called Procedural Safeguards. These Procedural Safeguards are described throughout this handbook as they pertain to the different topics discussed. They are summarized below, however:
    • the right of parents to inspect and review all of their child’s educational records;
    • the right of parents to obtain an independent educational evaluation (IEE) of their child;
    • the right to written prior notice on matters regarding the identification, evaluation, or educational placement of their child, or the provision of FAPE to their child;
    • the right to request a due process hearing on these matters, which must be conducted by an impartial hearing officer;
    • the right to appeal the initial hearing decision to the State Educational Agency (SEA) if the SEA did not conduct the hearing;
    • the right of the child to remain in his or her current educational placement, unless the parent and the agency agree otherwise, while administrative or judicial proceedings are pending (this provision has come to be known as the "stay-put" provision);
    • the right to bring civil action in an appropriate State or Federal court to appeal a final hearing decision;
    • the right of the parent to request reasonable attorney’s fees from a court for actions or proceedings brought under IDEA (under certain circumstances);
    • the right of parents to give or refuse consent before their child is initially evaluated or placed in a special education program for the first time.

    Many of these procedural safeguards remain unchanged. Some have been amended, and some are new, as described below:

    • Rather than always sending a detailed description of the procedural safeguards available to parents under the law, public agencies may now, in certain, well specified instances, merely provide to parents, as part of written prior notice, a statement that the parents of a child with a disability have protections under the procedural safeguards and indicate where parents might obtain assistance in understanding these safeguards. In other specific instances, the public agency must send parents a copy of a detailed description of the procedural safeguards.
    • Parents must now notify the public agency when they intend to remove their child from the public school and place the child in a private school at public expense.
    • Parents must now notify the SEA or the LEA, as the case may be, when they intend to file a due process complaint.
    • States must now have a voluntary mediation process in place, as a means of resolving dispute between LEAs and parents of children with disabilities.
    • Specific requirements have been added to the law regarding the disciplining of children with disabilities. Under certain circumstances, such as the child bringing a weapon to school or a school function, the child may be removed from his or her current educational placement and placed in an interim alternative educational setting or suspended or expelled from school.
    • Attorneys’ fees may, under certain circumstances, be reduced or denied. Among the circumstances is when an attorney representing the parent did not provide the school district with the appropriate information in the due process complaint in accordance with IDEA. Attorneys’ fees may not be awarded relating to any meeting of the IEP team unless the meeting is called as a result of a due process hearing or judicial action, or, at the discretion of the State, for a mediation that is conducted prior to the filing of a due process complaint.

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    ALTERNATIVES TO DUE PROCESS
    At times, parents may feel that there is a disagreement brewing between their school district’s plans and the parents’ wishes. The Placer Nevada SELPA believes very strongly in positive, effective communication that is student-focused. In situations where parents are concerned about potential disagreements, they have several dispute resolution options to use for support, if a solution cannot be reached with communication with the district:

    1. Call your district’s parent SEPAC representative; you can obtain the name and telephone number from your child’s special education teacher or the SELPA office at 530/889-5975;

    2. Call your SELPA Program Specialist. A list of Program Specialists and their assignments can be found on page 33;

    3. Ask for a Facilitated IEP Meeting; a facilitated IEP is one with a clear agenda and special focus which identifies the area of concern. It is facilitated by a trained, neutral person, usually from outside the district, specifically to address the area of concern.

    4. Ask for an Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) panel meeting; an ADR panel is composed of three trained persons, at least one of whom is a parent, and all of whom are from outside the district. They provide the opportunity to support enhanced communication between the parties by hearing the concerns, which are "in dispute". Both parties participate in crafting a mutually satisfying resolution.

    5. Ask for mediation through the Special Education Hearing Office at McGeorge School of Law;

    6. Call the Procedural Safeguards and Referral Service, 800/926-0648, if you have a complaint. The complaint procedure is used to allege a matter which, if true, would constitute a violation of federal or state law or regulation governing special education and related services, including allegations of unlawful discrimination. A parent may allege a violation by the district of federal or state law or regulation by filing a written complaint with the district’s superintendent. If relief is not found, a complaint may be filed with the Superintendent of Public Instruction by calling the Complaint Management Unit of the California Department of Education at the number referred to above.

    If a solution is not reached by using any or all of the alternatives to due process, the next step may be to consider filing for a due process hearing.

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    DUE PROCESS AND PARENTS RIGHTS
    Due process is a right guaranteed by the Constitution of the United States and federal and state laws and regulations. In regard to special education, "due process" assures that both school agencies and parents have the right to request a hearing to resolve disagreements relative to the appropriateness of the special education programs and services offered or being provided to an individual child.

    A due process hearing ensures that specific procedures and timelines are followed whenever there is a proposed significant change in a child’s educational program and the change is challenged. Issues which may be included for consideration under the due process hearing concept are limited to identification, assessment, the Individualized Education Program, and placement of individuals with exceptional needs.

    It is the intent of the Legislature that parties to special education disputes be encouraged to seek resolution through mediation prior to filing a request for a due process hearing. It is also the intent of the Legislature that these "voluntary prehearing request mediation conferences" be an informal process conducted in a non-adversarial atmosphere to resolve issues relating to the identification, assessment, or educational placement of the child, or the provision of a free, appropriate public education to the child, to the satisfaction of both parties. Therefore, attorneys or other independent contractors used to provide legal advocacy services, shall not attend, or otherwise participate in any alternatives to the hearing, or in the "prehearing request mediation conferences". Participating in a mediation conference is not, however, a prerequisite to requesting a due process hearing. Willingness to do so may be indicated to the Special Education Hearing Office at Mc George School of Law by requesting "mediation only" versus a hearing.

    Due process procedures include an informal conference, a mediation conference, and an informal administrative hearing at the state level. Parents are assured specific rights in connection with the due process procedures, including the right to waive the mediation conference.

    Either the parent or school district may submit a written request for a due process hearing to the Special Education Hearing Office (SEHO) at McGeorge School of Law, 3200 Fifth Avenue, Sacramento, CA 95817. A copy of the hearing request must be provided to the other party at the time the request is initiated. The SEHO will then schedule a hearing date, and it must be scheduled within thirty (30) days of the date the due process hearing request is filed. A mediation conference, however, is encouraged, and the parties to the prehearing mediation conference agree to extend the time for completing the hearing. This is different from the "voluntary prehearing request mediation conference", even though it is also called "mediation". In this situation, attorneys or other advocates are allowed to attend or participate. The due process hearing must be completed within forty-five (45) days; or for good cause, the SEHO may extend the forty-five (45) day time limit, but only if the party who requested the hearing is agreeable to the extension.

    Included in the rights of parents in relation to the due process hearing are:

    • The right to examine and receive copies of any documents contained in your child’s file
    • The right to be accompanied at the hearing by a representative(s) of your choosing
    • The right to give or withhold permission for placement of the child
    • The right to be advised and represented by counsel and/or by individuals with special knowledge or training related to problems of disabled children

    Attorney fees may be recoverable under certain circumstances, in accordance with the "Handicapped Children’s Protection Act of 1986"-P.L. 99-372.

    If either party disagrees with the decision of the Hearing Officer, they may appeal to a court of competent jurisdiction.

    For more detailed information, consult your school district office or the Special Education Local Plan Area (SELPA) office, 530/889-5975.

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    CONFIDENTIALITY OF INFORMATION
    Each local educational agency has an obligation to protect the confidentiality of personally identifiable information which is gathered on children in special education. "Personally identifiable information" includes the name of the child, the child’s parents, or other family members; address of the child; the child’s social security number or student number; or a list of personal characteristics or other information which would make it possible to identify the child with reasonable certainty.
    Access to Records
    As a parent(s) or guardian(s), you have the right to inspect and review any education records relating to your child. A child who is eighteen years of age or older has the same right to review records. With your approval, your representative may also look at the records.

    If you want to look at your child’s records, make a verbal or written request to the educational agency. Access to the records must be granted within five days of your request. The agency may charge a small reasonable fee if you ask for a copy of the records. If you are financially unable to pay this fee, it may be waived. You may also make reasonable requests for explanations and interpretations of the records.

    Amendment of Records
    If you believe that the information contained within the education record is inaccurate or misleading or that it violates the privacy or other rights of your child, you may request the educational agency to amend the information in the student record.

    All such requests are referred to the Superintendent who will meet with the parent and the employee who wrote the material or will designate a representative to do so. Following the meeting, the Superintendent or designee may direct that all, part, or none of the challenged material be removed.

    If the parent is dissatisfied with this decision, you may, within thirty (30) days, appeal the decision in writing to the district Governing Board.
    The Board, within thirty (30) days, is required to meet in closed session with the parent, the employee who wrote the material, and the Superintendent to review the actions taken.

    The Board may sustain the actions of the Superintendent or modify them completely or partially, and order the Superintendent to take corrective action.

    The actions of the Governing Board are final and all records of the proceedings are kept in a confidential manner.

    If the decision is unfavorable to the parent, the parent may submit a written statement of their objections to the material. Such a statement becomes part of the pupil record.

    Destruction of Records
    Mandatory permanent records are not destroyed but are kept on file permanently for all students. Personally identifiable information about students may be retained permanently unless the parents request it be destroyed.

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    PARENTS’ RECORD KEEPING
    As the parent of a child with special needs, you will gather a tremendous amount of information about your child from various professionals and service agencies. Each time you seek services for your child, you may be asked to provide information about your child. Record keeping is not mandatory for parents of children with disabilities, but good records prove to be helpful in day-to-day contacts. The SELPA provides a folder to all parents of special education children in the Placer Nevada SELPA. It, or any folder or binder of your choice, may be used to organize any paperwork for your child.

    It may be helpful to have information on the following categories:

    • Family History: May include child’s birthdate, place of birth, parent’s name, address, phone number and family history.
    • Developmental History of the Child: May include mother’s health during pregnancy and any unusual circumstances at the birth of your child. May also include milestones and at what age your child reached them.
    • Medical History and Reports: May include information on the child and family health history, nature of serious illnesses and operations, record of the child’s immunization, and medications taken.
    • Educational History: May include names and dates of schools attended, copies of IEPs, test results and progress reports.
    • Copies of records from any other agencies with which you have had contact.
    • Correspondence: Keep copies of all correspondence written by you and received by you.

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    Special Education Parent Advisory Committee (SEPAC)
    Parents comprise a majority of the membership of the Special Education Parent Advisory Committee; and of these members, the majority must be parents of children receiving special education services. Members of local PTCs or PTAs, special education teachers, regular classroom teachers and other school personnel, disabled students, and/or representatives of related public and private agencies may also be represented.

    The Special Education Parent Advisory Committee is advisory to the SEAC and the Special Education Local Plan Area (SELPA). The primary responsibilities and activities of the SEPAC include, but need not be limited to:

    • Advising the administration of the Special Education Local Plan Area and the Superintendent of the Responsible Local Agency regarding the development and review of programs and services
    • Informing and advising Special Education Local Plan Area staff regarding community conditions, aspirations, and goals for individuals with special needs
    • Making recommendations and suggestions for annual priorities to be addressed
    • Assisting in parent education and in recruiting parents, volunteers, and agencies who may contribute to the implementation of the Local Plan
    • Encouraging community awareness and involvement in the development and review of the Local Plan
    • Supporting activities on behalf of individuals with special needs
    • Facilitating communication between schools, parents and community

    Participation in regular monthly meetings helps to keep members well informed about current programs and legislation, and facilitates closer communication and better understanding of the mutual goals of school administrators, faculty, parents, and the community.

    Your school district Administrator of Special Education or the Special Education Local Plan Area (SELPA) office will be able to give you information on Special Education Parent Advisory Committee meetings. You may also access meeting information by going to the website at www.placercoe.k12.ca.us and clicking on the SELPA link. All meetings are open to anyone interested. We encourage your participation.

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    Craig Garabedian
    Director