1 PROCEDURAL SAFEGUARDS PRIOR WRITTEN NOTICE, PARENTAL RIGHTS by cantexplainthis

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									                           PROCEDURAL SAFEGUARDS:
           PRIOR WRITTEN NOTICE, PARENTAL RIGHTS STATEMENT, CONSENT,
                   MEDIATION, DUE PROCESS, STATE COMPLAINTS


                                         PRIOR WRITTEN NOTICE

When is it necessary to provide prior written notice?
   Parents must be provided prior written notice a reasonable time before proposals or refusals to
   initiate or change the identification, evaluation, placement or provision of FAPE to students with
   disabilities. See "Parental Prior Written Notice" form in Appendix C. Generally, written notice is
   provided of decisions made by the DCSD that parents may disagree with through requesting a due
   process hearing. This prior written notice is not an invitation to a meeting. It is the policy of DCSD
   that written notice must be provided within 10 days of making a decision, or within 10 days of
   receiving a request from the parent that the DCSD intends to refuse. Departures from the 10-day
   notice policy must be explained and documented in the student’s file. The "Notes" form
   (Appendix D) may be used for this purpose.

   The Site Administrator (or designee) must ensure that a student’s record contains documentation that
   the parents have been provided written notice of the following DCSD decisions:

       §    proposal/refusal to conduct an initial evaluation and determine eligibility
       §    proposal/refusal to conduct a reevaluation
       §    proposal to conduct initial evaluation or reevaluation without obtaining additional data
       §    proposal/refusal to change an IEP
       §    proposal/refusal to change a placement (including a disciplinary action that is a change of placement)
       §    proposal/refusal to discontinue special education and related services (including graduation)
       §    proposal to implement an IEP where parent does not agree with contents (parent must then request a
            due process hearing to suspend the district’s implementation and the provisions of “stay put” then
            apply)
       q    any other proposals or refusals regarding identification, evaluation, placement or provision of FAPE


What must the notice include?
   The notice must include the following components, and each is contained in the "Parental Prior
   Written Notice" form:

       q    A description of the action proposed or refused;
       q    An explanation of why the district proposes or refuses to take the action;
       q    A description of any other options considered and the reasons why those options were rejected;
       q    A description of each evaluation procedure, test, record, or report the district used as the basis for the
            proposed or refused action;
       q    A description of any other factors that are relevant to the district’s proposal or refusal;
       q    A statement that the parents have procedural safeguards and, in DCSD, a copy of the parental rights
            statement; and
       q    Sources for parents to contact to obtain assistance in understanding the provisions of state and federal
            special education law.

What language or mode of communication should be used?
   The notice must be written in language understandable to the general public and provided in the
   native language of the parent or other mode of communication used by the parent unless it is clearly
   not feasible to do so. If the native language or other mode of communication of the parent is not a
   written language, DCSD communicates the content orally in the native language or the mode of
   communication that would normally be used by the parent (i.e., sign language, Braille, audio tape,
   etc.). The student's records must contain written evidence that these requirements have been met
   and that the parent understood the content of the notice.



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                                  PARENTAL RIGHTS STATEMENT

When must parents be given a copy of the parental rights statement?
   A copy of the "Special Education Rights of Parents and Children" (Appendix E) must be given to the
   parents at a minimum when the DCSD:

       •   makes an initial referral for evaluation and seeks parent consent for the evaluation
       •   sends written notice of an IEP meeting
       •   sends prior written notice of a proposal to conduct a reevaluation
       •   receives a request for a due process hearing

   In addition, in DCSD a copy of the rights statement is given to parents whenever prior written notice
   of a proposal or refusal is provided.

How does the DCSD inform parents of the procedural safeguards available to them?
   DCSD utilizes the Nevada Department of Education “Special Education Rights of Parents and
   Children” which explains the following procedural safeguards available to parents:

       q   independent educational evaluation
       q   prior written notice
       q   parental consent
       q   access to educational records
       q   opportunity to present complaints and to initiate due process hearings
       q   the child’s placement during the pendency of due process proceedings
       q   procedures for students subject to placement in an interim alternative educational setting
       q   requirements for unilateral placement by parents of children in private schools at public expense
       q   mediation
       q   due process hearings, including disclosure requirements
       q   state-level appeals
       q   civil action
       q   attorneys’ fees
       q   state complaint procedures

   The document is written in a language understandable to the general public and must be provided in
   the native language of the parent or other mode of communication used by the parent unless it is
   clearly not feasible to do so. If the native language or other mode of communication of the parent is
   not a written language, DCSD communicates the content orally in the native language or the mode of
   communication that would normally be used by the parent (i.e., sign language, Braille, audio tape,
   etc.). The student's records must contain written evidence that these requirements have been met
   and that the parent understood the content of the notice and/or consent.


                                                  CONSENT

What does it mean for consent to be "informed"?
   A parent gives "informed" consent when (1) the parent has been fully informed of all information
   relevant to the activity for which consent is sought, in his or her native language or other mode of
   communication; (2) the parent understands and agrees in writing to the carrying out of the activity for
   which his or her consent is sought, and the consent describes that activity and lists the records (if
   any) that will be released and to whom; (3) the parent understands that the granting of consent is
   voluntary on the part of the parent and may be revoked at any time; and (4) the parent understands
   that if the parent revokes consent, that revocation is not retroactive.

When must parental consent be obtained?
   Informed written consent must be obtained before the DCSD conducts an initial evaluation to
   determine whether a student is eligible for special education and before the initial provision of special


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   education and related services. Also, whenever the DCSD conducts a reevaluation that requires data
   in addition to that already available to the team, parental consent must be obtained. If parents do not
   respond to a request for consent for reevaluation, the DCSD may proceed with the reevaluation if the
   district can document it has taken reasonable measures to obtain consent and the child's parent has
   failed to respond. Reasonable measures may include correspondence, phone calls, visits to the
   home or place of employment, or other measures appropriate to the given situation. Use the "Notes"
   form to record details of reasonable measures taken.

   Parental consent is not required before reviewing existing data as part of an evaluation or
   reevaluation, or administering a test that is administered to all children unless consent is required of
   all parents.

   Two consent forms pertaining to evaluation and provision of services are contained in this procedures
   manual. The first is the consent for initial evaluation OR for a reevaluation requiring additional data
   (Appendix F); the second is the consent for initial provision of special education and related services
   (Appendix G).

   See the section on CONFIDENTIALITY for circumstances under which parental consent must be
   obtained before disclosing personally identifiable information.

What if parents refuse to give consent?
   A parent's lack of consent generally occurs for the following reasons: the parent has neglected to
   return the consent form; the parent does not understand the basis for the action; or the parent
   disagrees with the proposed action and intends to withhold consent.

   If the parents refuse consent for an initial evaluation, reevaluation, or the initial provision of special
   education and related services, the DCSD will first attempt to use informal means to obtain consent.
   If informal means are unsuccessful, the DCSD may pursue mediation and/or due process to attempt
   to override the refusal to consent. The student's file must contain information to show that DCSD first
   attempted informal means to obtain consent, and then considered and decided whether to use
   mediation and/or due process to override the refusal to consent. Each of these decisions should be
   made by the Site Administrator in consultation with the District Director of Special Services.

What if parents want to revoke consent?
   The granting of consent is voluntary on the part of the parent and may be revoked at any time. The
   U.S. Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) has clarified that "at any time" means "at any time
   before the revocation ceases to be relevant because the activity has already taken place." In other
   words, revocations are not retroactive—a revocation will not negate an action that has occurred after
   the consent was given and before the consent was revoked. So, for example, if a parent wants to
   revoke consent for an initial evaluation, and the evaluation has already been conducted, the
   revocation is ineffective. Similarly, if the parent revokes consent for the initial provision of special
   education and related services, and the initial provision of services has already begun, the revocation
   is ineffective. However, the parent may use mediation and/or due process to disagree with the
   district's intent to continue providing services.


What if parents want to withdraw their children from special education after services
have begun?
   Occasionally, a parent may simply ask that special education services no longer be provided to an
   eligible student or directly refuse to allow the continuation of services, without initiating due process.
   In this situation, the DCSD will first attempt informal means to discuss this decision with the parent,
   which could include parent conferences, telephone calls, correspondence, reconvening the IEP
   committee to make revisions, and so forth. If informal means do not result in the parent's willingness
   to have services continue, the DCSD may pursue mediation and/or due process if it believes those
   actions are warranted under the circumstances. Alternatively, the district may reconsider its proposal


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    and decide that the student can receive FAPE in regular education without any special education
    support and that it is appropriate to terminate special education services. Another possibility is that
    the district may consider whether the services may be provided to the student under the protections
    of Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. The student's file must contain information to
    document the district's actions, considerations, and decisions. Each of these decisions should be
    made by the Site Administrator in consultation with the District Director of Special Services.


                                               MEDIATION

What is mediation, and when is it available?
    IDEA outlines a process for state-funded mediation of special education disputes to be offered as a
    voluntary option for matters regarding identification, evaluation, educational placement, or provision of
    a free appropriate public education to a student. Parties wishing to be involved in mediation of
    disputes should be referred to the Director of Special Services. Mediation must be available at a
    minimum any time a due process hearing is requested. Mediation is voluntary, conducted by a
    qualified and impartial mediator, is not used to deny rights to due process. The agreement reached
    by the parties is set forth in a confidential written mediation agreement.


                                     DUE PROCESS HEARINGS

What is a due process hearing and when may one be initiated?
  A parent or the district may initiate a hearing to propose or refuse a change regarding the
  identification, evaluation, educational placement or provision of a free appropriate public education to
  a student. Due process hearings are conducted by an impartial hearing officer and all information
  remains confidential. A decision made in an impartial due process hearing is final, unless one party
  appeals the decision. During any judicial proceeding, the student involved remains in the current
  educational placement (commonly known as the “stay put” clause).

    All requests for due process hearings must be immediately forwarded to the Director of
    Special Services.

    If a parent asks for assistance in requesting a due process hearing, a copy of the "Model Form to
    Assist Parents in Filing a Due Process Request" (Appendix H) must be given to the parent.


                                         STATE COMPLAINTS

What are state complaints and how are they resolved?
    Any person may file a complaint with the Nevada Superintendent of Public Instruction alleging that
    the school district has violated a provision of IDEA or the NAC. The complaint must be in writing and
    include facts related to the alleged violation. Within 60 days, the Nevada Department of Education
    will investigate the allegations and render its decision. If the district has violated state or federal
    requirements, the Department will order the district to take corrective actions and provide
    documentation of those actions to the Department.




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