You know that huge packet of boring legal information the school district gives you at the end of your IEP meetings? You likely have multiple copies at home. Well, it’s changing. The Ohio Department of Education (ODE) has issued a new procedural safeguards notice. Instead of the “Whose IDEA is This?” notice, you will soon begin receiving A Guide to Parent Rights in Special Education. Districts must switch over to the new document no later than August 1st, 2017.
The biggest difference, aside from colorful photographs, is that the number of pages has been drastically reduced: Whose IDEA has 80 pages, whereas the Guide has only 34. The procedural safeguards themselves haven’t changed; rather, ODE shortened its summary of the laws to make it easier for parents to digest and comprehend.
The district must provide you with a procedural safeguards notice at least once a year if your child receives special education services. In addition, they have to offer you another copy whenever one of the following situations takes place:
- If you or the district are seeking to have your child evaluated for special education services
- If there is a change of placement for disciplinary reasons
- When you file a due process complaint or write a complaint to Ohio Department of Education
- Whenever you ask for another copy.
Now that the document is a more manageable size, I do hope that you will take the time to sit down and read it. You’re not going to remember every little detail—nor do you need to! But it is a great overview to let you know what rights you have so, when certain situations arise, you will know enough to ask more questions.