Welcome to the Parent Information Page
Under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act - IDEA - children with disabilities and their parents have many important rights. The law is complex, if your child is being considered for special education or is already in such a program, information on your child's rights under IDEA can be obtained from the District Office, Pupil Personnel Office (773-8816) or on line at Office of Vocational &Educational Services for Individuals with Disabilities (VESID).
What Your Child is Entitled to Under Federal Law
IDEA guarantees a "free appropriate public education" - FAPE - to children with disabilities. The law also seeks to ensure that children with disabilities are, to the maximum extent appropriate, educated alongside non-disabled children and given access to the grade-appropriate curriculum. This means that a district should make every effort to ensure children receive services and supports to allow them to stay in a regular classroom, unless it is clear this is not beneficial. Children who cannot be educated in a regular classroom, even with supports and services, can be placed in separate classes or schools for children with special needs.
Evaluations and Individualized Education Plans
The first step in the process is an evaluation. If the child is eligible to receive services, a team of professionals and his parent will develop an Individualized Education Plan, or IEP, which will determine how a disabled child is to be schooled, give goals for instruction, list services, etc.. A child's educational services plan and placement must be based on his needs.
Your Child's Rights
The IDEA created an extensive list of safeguards and rights to protect parents and children. These are called your Due Process Rights. For example, if you have any concerns relating to your child's school program or his progress, you can ask for a new IEP meeting, mediation, or have a hearing to contest the services or recommendations made. If the school recommends moving a student with a disability to a new setting, the law allows the child to stay put, a concept called "pendency."