What Parents Need to Know About Procedural Safeguards
Procedural safeguards define the ground rules for how you’ll work with the school if your child has an IEP or needs special education services. Here is a list of ten (10) significant procedural safeguards and what they mean for your child and you.
- Procedural Safeguards Notice
You must be given a written description of your privileges under IDEA and your state’s law by the school. This description or notice is provided to you as a printed procedural safeguards notice. You can also ask for a verbal explanation to aid further understanding.
- Participation of Parents
You have a right to participate in gatherings or meetings about your child’s education. You can also call an IEP team gathering at any moment.
- Permission to Access Educational Records
The right to see and access your child’s school records is also a procedural safeguard. Also, you can ask for revisions. These rights are safeguarded by IDEA and the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA).
- Privacy of Information
The school is mandated to keep your child’s information confidential. Personal data, like your child’s name, location, social security number, and other private details should be treated as confidential. There are a few exceptions, though.
- Parental Consent
The school is required to notify you before assessing your child for special education services. You must also be informed of what it entails. You are also required to give your approval in writing before the school can proceed.
- Initial Written Notice
As a guardian or parent, you have to be provided a written report by the school before altering your child’s educational placement. It includes when the school plans to add or reject services. It must tell you what it chooses to do and why.
- Simple Language
When given a written report by the school, the school must use language that is understandable to the general public. The notice must also be in your native language.
- Independent Educational Evaluation (IEE)
If you do not support or agree with the school’s test results, you have the freedom to get an IEE. An IEE is a test of your child’s abilities and education needs by an independent evaluator. The school must assess the results of the IEE, even though the school isn’t compelled to acknowledge the findings.
- Stay-Put Protection
You can request stay-put protection in a situation where you oppose a change to your child’s IEP services or academic placement. Stay-put protection holds your child’s recent IEP in position while you and the school work out things, but you have to act quickly.
- Conflict Resolution Options
You have the right to disagree with the school concerning what’s best for your child, and IDEA gives you several conflict resolution choices.
You can choose to handle the dispute with the school amicably or use mediation, where an indifferent third party helps you and the school resolve the conflict. You also have the right to due process, which begins with a written complaint and ends with a hearing.
Lastly, you can file an objection with the Office for Civil Rights for the U.S. Department of Education if you think your child has been discriminated against or treated unjustly.