IDEA says the school district must give parents a notice explaining the procedural safeguards available to parents (their rights) at least one time per year or:
- Upon initial referral or parent request for evaluation;
- Upon receipt of the first special education complaint filed with TEA;
- Upon receipt of the first due process hearing complaint in a school year;
- When a decision is made to take disciplinary action that constitutes a change in placement; or
- Upon your request.
IDEA also states that the procedural safeguards should be understandable to the general public. Currently, Texas Procedural Safeguards Notice contains information on the following topics:
- Prior Written Notice – when the school is required to put things in writing
- Consent – when the school needs to get parental consent
- Independent Educational Evaluations
- Discipline Procedures
- Educational Records
- Voluntary Private School Placement by Parents
- Private School Placement when FAPE is at Issue
- Transfer of Rights When Your Child Turns 18
- Surrogate Parents Rights
- Resolving Disagreements – Dispute Resolution process
Prior Written Notice
This section of the procedural safeguards is important for parents to understand. You have a right to be given information in writing. The notice must be given to you at least five school days in advance.
You have a right to information in writing when the school proposes to OR refuses to initiate or to change:
- The identification (does your child have a disability or need special education to benefit from education);
- The evaluation (initial evaluation, re-evaluation, dismissal);
- The placement of your child; or
- How the child is provided a “free appropriate public education (FAPE).
Prior written notice should also be provided when a parent revokes their consent for special education services. Prior written notice must:
- Describe the action the school proposes or refuses to take;
- Explain why the school is proposing or refusing the action;
- Describe each evaluation procedure, assessment, record, or report the school used in making its decision;
- Include a statement that you have protections under IDEA;
- Tell you how to get a copy of the Procedural Safeguards notice;
- Include contact information for individuals or organizations that can help you understand IDEA;
- Describe other choices that the ARD Committee considered and the reasons why those choices were rejected; and
- Provide a description of other reasons why the school proposes or refuses the action.
This notice should be written in the native language of the parents, if feasible, and in an easy to understand manner. If your native language or other mode of communication is not a written language, then the school must translate the notice orally or by other means so that you can understand it.
You can find the complete Procedural Safeguards at https://framework.esc18.net/display/Webforms/LandingPage.aspx
Legal Framework for the Child Centered Process – Prior Written Notice
For more information on Procedural Safeguards in IDEA 2004 from the U.S. Dept. of Education:
- http://idea.ed.gov/explore/view/p/,root,dynamic,VideoClips,7,.html (video)