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  • 1. The  Power  of  Prior  Wri,en  No/ce:   When,  Why,  and  How  to  Use  It   January  17,  2014   The  Power  of  Prior  Wri,en  No/ce:   When,  Why,  and  How  to  Use  It   ACSA  Every  Child  Counts  Symposium   January  17,  2014   Presenters:   Heather  M.  Edwards,  A,orney  at  Law   Amy  Andersen,  Director,  El  Dorado  County  Charter  SELPA   IDEA  Procedural  Safeguards   •  IDEA  establishes:   –  Abstract  goals  –  requiring  districts  to  provide  each   child  with  a  disability  with  a  “free  appropriate   public  educa/on”   –  Detailed  process  for  achieving  these  goals  –   /melines,  assessment,  formula/on  of  IEPs,  and   dispute  resolu/on  processes  all  specified  in  detail   Presented  by  Heather  Edwards,  Girard  &   Edwards  and  Amy  Andersen,  El  Dorado   County  Charter  SELPA   1  
  • 2. The  Power  of  Prior  Wri,en  No/ce:   When,  Why,  and  How  to  Use  It   January  17,  2014   Purpose  of  PWN   •  Provides  comprehensive  documenta/on  of   proposed  and  refused  ac/ons  made   •  Ensures  LEA  and  parents  are  “on  the  same  page”   about  a  child’s  educa/onal  program   •  Provides  parents  an  opportunity  to  voice  any   concerns  or  sugges/ons   •  Provide  sufficient  informa/on  to  ensure  that   parent  understands  the  ra/onale  behind  an  LEA’s   decision  making  regarding  a  par/cular  proposed   or  refused  ac/on   Purpose  of  PWN   •  Ensures  that  informed  parental  consent  is  obtained,  as   necessary   •  Assists  parent  in  determining  basis  for  any  disagreement(s)   with  proposed  and/or  refused  ac/ons  addressed  in  the   PWN  and  whether  to  seek  resolu/on  of  any  dispute   through  local  dispute  resolu/on  procedures,  a  state   complaint,  media/on  or  a  due  process  hearing.   •  The  U.S.  Department  of  Educa/on  (USED)  Office  of  Special   Educa/on  Programs  (OSEP)  opined  that  the  purpose  for   providing  PWN  is:   –  to  ensure  that  a  parent  understands  the  special  educa/on  and   related  services  which  an  LEA  has  proposed  or  refused  to   provide  to  a  student.  If  a  parent  does  not  understand  the   services  being  proposed,  it  follows  that  the  parent  could  not   have  agreed  to  the  proposed  services.   Presented  by  Heather  Edwards,  Girard  &   Edwards  and  Amy  Andersen,  El  Dorado   County  Charter  SELPA   2  
  • 3. The  Power  of  Prior  Wri,en  No/ce:   When,  Why,  and  How  to  Use  It   January  17,  2014   Prior  Wri,en  No/ce  (“PWN”)   •  Vital  component  of  procedural  safeguards   that  schools  make  available  to  special   educa/on  students  and  their  parents.   •  Providing  /mely  and  correct  PWN  allows  a   clear  record  of:   –  Decisions  that  have  been  made  –  but  not  yet   acted  upon   –  The  basis  for  those  decisions   –  Ac/ons  that  will  or  will  not  be  taken   Poten/al  Procedural  Viola/on   •  Not  all  procedural  errors  give  rise  to  the   denial  of  FAPE.     •  If  parents  have  not  been  denied  the   opportunity  for  meaningful  par/cipa/on  and   the  student  has  not  suffered  any  loss  of   educa/onal  opportunity,  then  student  may   have  received  FAPE  regardless  of  procedural   viola/ons.   Presented  by  Heather  Edwards,  Girard  &   Edwards  and  Amy  Andersen,  El  Dorado   County  Charter  SELPA   3  
  • 4. The  Power  of  Prior  Wri,en  No/ce:   When,  Why,  and  How  to  Use  It   January  17,  2014   When  Should  PWN  Be  Provided?   Whenever  a  school  PROPOSES  or  REFUSES  to:   1.  Ini/ate  or  change  iden1fica1on  of  a  student.   2.  Ini/ate  or  change  evalua1on  of  a  student.   3.  Ini/ate  or  change  educa1onal  placement  of  a   student.   4.  Ini/ate  or  change  the  provision  of  free,   appropriate  public  educa1on  to  a  student.      34  C.F.R.  §  300.503(a).   When  Should  PWN  Be  Provided?   PWN  must  be  provided  within  a  reasonable   1me  before  any  of  these  4  ac/ons.     34  C.F.R.  §  300.503(a).     “We  do  not  believe  that  it  is  necessary  to  subs/tute  a  specific   /meline  to  clarify  what  is  meant  by  the  requirement  that  the  no/ce   be  provided  within  a  reasonable  period  of  /me,  because  we  are  not   aware  of  significant  problems  in  the  /ming  of  prior  wri,en  no/ces.  In   addi/on,  prior  wri,en  no/ce  is  provided  in  a  wide  variety  of   circumstances  for  which  any  one  /meline  would  be  too  rigid  and,  in   many  cases,  might  prove  unworkable.”    Analysis  of  Comments  and  Changes  (71  Fed.Reg.  46691  (Aug.  14,  2006).)       Presented  by  Heather  Edwards,  Girard  &   Edwards  and  Amy  Andersen,  El  Dorado   County  Charter  SELPA   4  
  • 5. The  Power  of  Prior  Wri,en  No/ce:   When,  Why,  and  How  to  Use  It   January  17,  2014   Best  Prac/ce   •  Provide  PWN  at  conclusion  of  IEP  mee/ng,  or   •  Send  it  to  parents  aier  the  mee/ng  with  a   copy  of  the  IEP.   •  What  Circumstances  Require  PWN?     This  list  should  not  be  considered  as  an  exhaus/ve   lis/ng,  but  rather  used  as  a  guide  that  addresses  the   most  common  circumstances  that  a  local  educa/onal   agency  may  encounter  regarding  the  provision  of   PWN.   •  Iden1fica1on   –  Referral  for  ini/al  evalua/on   –  Change  in  eligibility  category   •  Evalua1on   –  Consent  for  ini/al  evalua/on  or  reevalua/on   –  Refusal  to  conduct  an  evalua/on,  including  an   independent  educa/onal  evalua/on  (“IEE”)   Presented  by  Heather  Edwards,  Girard  &   Edwards  and  Amy  Andersen,  El  Dorado   County  Charter  SELPA   5  
  • 6. The  Power  of  Prior  Wri,en  No/ce:   When,  Why,  and  How  to  Use  It   January  17,  2014   What  Circumstances  Require  PWN?     •  Educa1onal  Placement   –  Ini/al  placement  into  special  educa/on   –  Any  change  in  educa/onal  placement,  or  refusal   to  to  so   –  Gradua/on  with  regular  diploma   –  Disciplinary  removal  for  more  than  10  consecu/ve   school  days  or  series  of  removals   –  Disciplinary  removal  to  an  interim  alterna/ve   educa/onal  placement  for  not  more  than  45   school  days   What  Circumstances  Require  PWN?   •  Provision  of  FAPE   –  Generally,  this  means  any  change  to  the  type,  amount,  or   loca/on  of  special  educa/on  or  related  service  being   provided  to  child  would  trigger  PWN  requirement.   –  Dele/on  or  addi/on  of  a  related  service  (or  refusal  to  do   so)   –  Change  in  annual  goals   –  Changes  in  accommoda/ons  or  modifica/ons   –  Increase  or  decrease  in  special  educa/on  services  or   related  services  (or  refusal  to  do  so)   –  How  student  will  par/cipate  in  statewide  and  district  wide   assessments   –  Revoca1on  of  consent  (34  C.F.R.  § 300.300(b)(4)).   Presented  by  Heather  Edwards,  Girard  &   Edwards  and  Amy  Andersen,  El  Dorado   County  Charter  SELPA   6  
  • 7. The  Power  of  Prior  Wri,en  No/ce:   When,  Why,  and  How  to  Use  It   January  17,  2014   PWN  Required  Even  if  Parent  Agrees   to  Changes  in  an  IEP  Team  Mee/ng   •  If  during  an  an  IEP  mee/ng,  the  team,   including  parent,  agrees  to  a  change  in  the   child’s  services,  the  LEA  must  provide  wri,en   no/ce  of  such  change.     •  Providing  such  no/ce  following  an  IEP  team   mee/ng  allows  the  parent  /me  to  fully   consider  the  change  and  determine  if  he/she   has  addi/onal  sugges/ons,  concerns,  or   ques/ons.     PWN  Not  Limited  to  Changes  with   which  Parent  is  in  Disagreement   •  Nothing  in  IDEA  indicates  that  the  PWN   requirement  is  related  to  a  parent’s  aktude   toward  any  changes  proposed  or  refused  by   LEA.   •  PWN  provides  clarity.  You  might  sit  in  a   mee/ng  and  think  you  agree  on  something.   Then  you  put  it  in  wri/ng,  and  disagreements   may  surface  aier  all.   Presented  by  Heather  Edwards,  Girard  &   Edwards  and  Amy  Andersen,  El  Dorado   County  Charter  SELPA   7  
  • 8. The  Power  of  Prior  Wri,en  No/ce:   When,  Why,  and  How  to  Use  It   January  17,  2014   •  Parents  oien  agree  to  certain  proposed  and/or  refused   ac/ons,  but  then  change  their  mind  later.     •  The  fact  that  a  parent  does  not  make  an  issue  out  of  a   par/cular  decision  during  an  IEP  mee/ng  does  not   necessarily  mean  that  the  decision  will  not  at  some   point  in  the  future  be  the  basis  for  a  state  complaint,   media/on,  and/or  a  due  process  hearing.     •  A  well  wri,en  PWN  is  great  documenta/on  that   parents  were  fully  aware  of  the  ra/onale  behind  any   proposed  or  refused  ac/on.   Is  PWN  Required  Before  Implemen/ng   a  Proposed  IEP?   •  YES   •  Wri,en  no/ce  shall  be  given  to  the  parent  a   reasonable  /me  before  it  implements  a   change  the  provision  of  FAPE   •  The  no/ce  allows  the  parents  /me  to  seek   resolu/on  if  they  disagree  with  the  school’s   decision.       Presented  by  Heather  Edwards,  Girard  &   Edwards  and  Amy  Andersen,  El  Dorado   County  Charter  SELPA   8  
  • 9. The  Power  of  Prior  Wri,en  No/ce:   When,  Why,  and  How  to  Use  It   January  17,  2014   Is  PWN  Required  Regarding  a  Change   Requested  by  a  Parent?     •  YES.   •  Regardless  of  how  a  change  is  suggested,  it  is   the  responsibility  of  the  LEA  to  make  a  final   decision  and  actually  implement  any   determined  change.   Is  PWN  Required  Before  Conduc/ng   an  IEP  Mee/ng?   •  NO.   •  The  use  of  the  word  “propose”  may  be  confusing  because  it   could  be  interpreted  to  mean  that  PWN  is  required  before   the  school  considers  or  suggests  or  thinks  about  proposing   an  ac/on.   •  But  remember  that  the  purpose  of  PWN  is  to  document   decisions  made  by  the  LEA  and  is  intended  to  give  parents   adequate  no/ce  before  the  decision  is  implemented.     •  Generally,  no  proposal  exists  un/l  the  IEP  team  has  met  and   made  its  decisions.   •  However,  a  mee/ng  no/ce  must  be  sent  prior  to  the   mee/ng.   •  Make  sure  that  staff  and  parents  understand  the  dis/nc/on   between  a  mee/ng  no/ce  and  prior  wri,en  no/ce.   Presented  by  Heather  Edwards,  Girard  &   Edwards  and  Amy  Andersen,  El  Dorado   County  Charter  SELPA   9  
  • 10. The  Power  of  Prior  Wri,en  No/ce:   When,  Why,  and  How  to  Use  It   January  17,  2014   Don’t  Replace  IEP  Mee/ngs  with  PWN   •  When  a  parent  makes  a  specific  request  (e.g.,   increased  speech  services),  schedule  an  IEP   mee/ng  to  discuss  to  avoid  claims  of   predetermina/on.   Is  PWN  Required  When  Student   Changes  Schools?   •  PWN  not  required  where  a  child  is  simply  moving   from  elementary  school  to  middle  school  as  part   of  the  normal  progression  that  all  students   follow,  and  where  the  child's  program  will  be   substan/ally  and  materially  similar  to  their   elementary  school  program.     •  However,  PWN  may  be  required  if,  for  example,   the  child  would  not  be  a,ending  the  middle   school  he  or  she  would  normally  a,end,  pursuant   to  an  IEP  team  decision.   Presented  by  Heather  Edwards,  Girard  &   Edwards  and  Amy  Andersen,  El  Dorado   County  Charter  SELPA   10  
  • 11. The  Power  of  Prior  Wri,en  No/ce:   When,  Why,  and  How  to  Use  It   January  17,  2014   PWN  May  Be  Necessary  When   Changing  Loca/on  of  Placement     •  Change  in  loca/on  due  to  school  closure  may   give  rise  to  a  “change  in  placement”  where   least  restric/ve  environment  considera/ons   are  at  issue.     •  Even  if  same  services  are  being  implemented   at  a  new  school,  could  be  viewed  as  different   placement  if  opportunity  for  interac/on  with   nondisabled  children  are  affected.     Series  of  IEP  Mee/ngs   •  LEAs  oien  find  themselves  having  to  convene  more  than  one   IEP  mee/ng  to  fully  develop,  review,  and/or  revise  an  IEP     •  The  regula/ons  do  not  require  that  PWN  be  provided  aier   every  IEP  mee/ng  in  a  series  of  mee/ngs  while  the  IEP  is  s/ll   under  development,  no  final  IEP  is  being  proposed  and   parental  consent  is  not  being  sought.     •  Providing  PWN  in  such  a  piecemeal  fashion  to  simply   document  the  discussions,  agreements,  disagreements,   proposed  and  refused  ac/ons  that  occurred  during  each  of   the  mee/ngs  is  not  required  by  state  and/or  federal  special   educa/on  laws  and  regula/ons.   •  The  IEP  development  process  is  a  fluid  process,  wherein   previously  discussed  and  seemingly  agreed  upon  items  may   be  revisited  and  altered.     Presented  by  Heather  Edwards,  Girard  &   Edwards  and  Amy  Andersen,  El  Dorado   County  Charter  SELPA   11  
  • 12. The  Power  of  Prior  Wri,en  No/ce:   When,  Why,  and  How  to  Use  It   January  17,  2014   Is  PWN  Required  when  a  School  Conducts  a  Screening   with  all  Students  in  a  School/Grade/Class?   •  If  screening  includes  basic  tests  that  are   administered  to  all  students,  or  procedures   that  are  used  with  all  students  in  a  school,   grade,  or  class,  PWN  is  not  required.   What  steps  should  a  school  district  take  when  it   receives  a  parents  wri,en  revoca/on  of  consent?   •  School  districts  must  provide  the  parent  with  prior  wri,en   no/ce  in  accordance  with  34  C.F.R.  300.503  before  ceasing   the  provision  of  special  educa/on  and  related  services.   •  Must  be  provided  within  a  reasonable  1me  before  the   district  ceases  services.     •  U.S.  Dept.  of  Ed.  expects  districts  to“promptly”  respond  to   receipt  of  wri,en  revoca/on  of  consent  by  providing  PWN.   •  This  provides  parents  the  necessary  informa/on  and  /me   to  fully  consider  the  change  and  determine  if  they  have  any   addi/onal  ques/ons  or  concerns  regarding  the   discon/nua/on  of  services.     Presented  by  Heather  Edwards,  Girard  &   Edwards  and  Amy  Andersen,  El  Dorado   County  Charter  SELPA   12  
  • 13. The  Power  of  Prior  Wri,en  No/ce:   When,  Why,  and  How  to  Use  It   January  17,  2014   What  steps  should  a  school  district  take  when  it   receives  a  parent’s  wri,en  revoca/on  of  consent?   •  A  school  district  may,  but  is  not  required  to,  offer  to   meet  with  the  parents  to  discuss  their  concerns.   •  However,  any  addi/onal  mee/ngs  must  be  voluntary   and  cannot  delay  or  deny  the  discon/nua/on  of   special  educa/on  services.     •  A  school  district  may  inquire  as  to  why  a  parent  is   revoking  consent,  but  may  not  require  the  parent  to   provide  an  explana/on.   •  Remember:  school  districts  are  not  required  to   “convince”  parents  to  accept  special  educa/on   services  that  are  offered,  nor  to  “dissuade”  parents   from  revoking  consent.     Best  Prac/ce  Tip   •  If  you  are  ques/oning  whether  a  specific   situa/on  warrants  the  need  for  PWN,  it  is   recommended  that  you  prepare  a  properly   comprised  PWN  to  address  the  issue.     •  Be,er  to  have  provided  the  no/ce  and  find   that  it  was  not  required  than  to  have  not   provided  the  no/ce  and  find  that  it  was   required.   Presented  by  Heather  Edwards,  Girard  &   Edwards  and  Amy  Andersen,  El  Dorado   County  Charter  SELPA   13  
  • 14. The  Power  of  Prior  Wri,en  No/ce:   When,  Why,  and  How  to  Use  It   January  17,  2014   What  Content  Should  the  Prior   Wri,en  No/ce  Include?   •  7  Items  PWN  Must  Contain   1.  Descrip/on  of  ac/on  proposed  or  refused  by  school   2.  Explana/on  of  why  school  proposed  or  refused  to  take   the  ac/on   3.  Descrip/on  of  each  evalua/on  procedure,  assessment,   record,  or  report  the  agency  used  as  a  basis  for  the   proposed  or  refused  ac/on   4.  Statement  that  parents  of  the  child  with  a  disability  have   protec/on  under  IDEA  and,  if  this  no/ce  is  not  an  ini/al   referral  for  evalua/on,  the  means  by  which  a  copy  of  a   descrip/on  of  procedural  safeguards  can  be  obtained.        34  C.F.R.  §  300.503(b).   What  Content  Should  the  Prior  Wri,en   No/ce  Include?   • 7  Items  PWN  Must  Contain   5.  Sources  for  parents  to  contact  to  obtain   assistance  in  understanding  the  provisions  of   IDEA   6.  Descrip/on  of  any  other  op/ons  the  IEP  team   considered  and  the  reasons  why  those  op/ons   were  rejected   7.  Descrip/on  of  the  other  factors  relevant  to  the   school’s  proposal  or  refusal      34  C.F.R.  §  300.503(b).   Presented  by  Heather  Edwards,  Girard  &   Edwards  and  Amy  Andersen,  El  Dorado   County  Charter  SELPA   14  
  • 15. The  Power  of  Prior  Wri,en  No/ce:   When,  Why,  and  How  to  Use  It   January  17,  2014   Means  of  Providing  PWN   •  Except  for  requiring  that  no/ce  be  in  wri/ng,   neither  federal  nor  state  special  educa/on   regula/ons  specify  the  format  in  which  PWN   must  be  provided.   •  Any  of  the  following  formats  are  permissible:     –  Formal  le,er  on  le,erhead   –  Fill  in  the  blank  form;     –  Online  system  generated;     –  E-­‐mail;  or     –  Use  of  the  IEP.   PWN  Can  Include  the  IEP  Document  Itself.   •  “There  is  nothing  in  the  [IDEA]  or  these   regula/ons  that  would  prohibit  a  public  agency   from  using  the  IEP  as  part  of  the  prior  wri,en   no/ce  so  long  as  the  document(s)  the  parent   receives  meet  all  the  requirements  in  Sec.   300.503.”     Analysis  of  Comments  and  Changes  (71  Fed.Reg.  46691  (Aug.  14,  2006).)     •  Ask    yourself….  Does  the  child’s  IEP  include  all  7  required   components  of  PWN?   •  If  not,  you  should  provide  parents  a  PWN  along  with  a   copy  of  the  IEP  to  ensure  all  components  are  covered.       Presented  by  Heather  Edwards,  Girard  &   Edwards  and  Amy  Andersen,  El  Dorado   County  Charter  SELPA   15  
  • 16. The  Power  of  Prior  Wri,en  No/ce:   When,  Why,  and  How  to  Use  It   January  17,  2014   Using  Electronic  IEP  Forms   •  If  using  an  online  program  (such  as  SEIS)  to   prepare  PWN  do  not  let  the  prescribed  allowance   of  characters  limit  the  content  and/or  length  of   the  document.     •  Ensure  that  the  program  allows  sufficient  room   for  capturing  all  of  what  needs  to  be  wri,en  into   the  no/ce.     •  Otherwise,  use  a  supplementary  document  to   accompany  the  online  document  or  complete  the   en/re  document  separately.   Who  May  Develop  PWN?   •  Neither  federal  nor  state  special  educa/on   regula/ons  require  that  PWN  indicate  who   prepared  it  and/or  who  provided  it  to  the  parent.   •  PWN  may  be  prepared  and  provided  by   –  Case  manager   –  IEP  team  chairperson;  or     –  LEA  representa/ve   •  Best  prac-ce:    should  be  someone  who  has   “firsthand”  knowledge  of  what  was  discussed   during  the  decision-­‐making  process  associated   with  any  proposed  and/  or  refused  ac/ons.   Presented  by  Heather  Edwards,  Girard  &   Edwards  and  Amy  Andersen,  El  Dorado   County  Charter  SELPA   16  
  • 17. The  Power  of  Prior  Wri,en  No/ce:   When,  Why,  and  How  to  Use  It   January  17,  2014   Parental  Disagreement  with  PWN   •  PWN  is  completed  by  the  LEA,  not  the  parents.     •  It  is  based  on  the  informa/on  which  was   provided  by  the  parent,  along  with  other   members  of  the  team,  orally  and/or  wri,en,   during  the  decisionmaking  processes  associated   with  the  evalua/on,  iden/fica/on,  placement,   and  provision  of  FAPE  for  their  child.     •  Parents  cannot  require  an  LEA  to  add,  subtract,   or  otherwise  include  informa/on  in  PWN  if  the   LEA  does  not  deem  it  necessary.     Single  PWN  for  Mul/ple  Ac/ons   Allowed   •  There  is  nothing  in  the  federal  and  or  state   special  educa/on  laws  and  regula/ons  which   would  prohibit  an  LEA  from  including  all  of  its   proposed  and  refused  ac/ons  into  a  single  prior   wri,en  no/ce,  as  long  as  there  is  a  descrip/on  of   each  ac/on  that  was  proposed  or  refused.   •  The  descrip/on  provided  should  be  wri,en  as  a   statement  that  is  factually  grounded  or   informa/ve,  rather  than  being  wri,en  in  a  vague,   generic,  and  norma/ve  format.   Presented  by  Heather  Edwards,  Girard  &   Edwards  and  Amy  Andersen,  El  Dorado   County  Charter  SELPA   17  
  • 18. The  Power  of  Prior  Wri,en  No/ce:   When,  Why,  and  How  to  Use  It   January  17,  2014   PWN  Must  Be  Understandable   •  PWN  must  be  wri,en  in  language  understandable  to   the  general  public   •  Provided  in  na/ve  language  or  other  mode  of   communica/on  used  by  parents,  unless  clearly  not   feasible  to  do  so.   –  If  na/ve  language/mode  of  communica/on  is  not   wri,en  language,  school  must  take  steps  to   translate  PWN  orally  or  by  other  means  ensuring   parent  understands  the  no/ce.   –  School  must  document  steps  taken  to  ensure   parent  understands  no/ce.      34  C.F.R.  §  300.503(c).   PWN  Must  be  in  WRITING.   •  Providing  parents  with  verbal  no/ce  as  a  subs/tute  for   wri,en  no/ce  does  not  fulfill  the    PWN  requirements  of  the   IDEA,  regardless  of  whether  the  verbal  no/ce  is   substan/vely  proper   •  Example:  Parent,  believing  child  needed  more  interac/on   with  typical  peers,  requested  a  less  restric/ve  placement.   •  IEP  team  agreed  to  place  student  in  general  educa/on  class   for  several  weeks  for  half  of  the  day  on  a  trial  basis.     •  Acceding  to  parent's  wishes,  district  agreed  not  to  record   the  change  in  the  IEP,  but  to  refer  to  it  as  "an  assessment   period"  aier  which  the  team  would  reconvene.  Then   parent  filed  complaint  claiming  that  the  district  commi,ed   procedural  viola/ons.     Presented  by  Heather  Edwards,  Girard  &   Edwards  and  Amy  Andersen,  El  Dorado   County  Charter  SELPA   18  
  • 19. The  Power  of  Prior  Wri,en  No/ce:   When,  Why,  and  How  to  Use  It   January  17,  2014   PWN  Must  be  in  WRITING.   •  IDEA  does  not  carve  out  different  categories  of   placement,  some  of  which  must  appear  in  an  IEP,  and   some  which  need  not.  "Whether  a  new  placement  is   deemed  'temporary,'  'diagnos/c'  or  an  'assessment   period,'  under  the  law,  it  must  be  reflected  in  the  IEP,”.     •  District  violated  IDEA  by  failing  to  note  the  change  in   the  document,  although  it  did  so  at  the  parent's  request   •  PWN  requirement  is  unequivocal  and  recognizes  no   excep/ons  for  'personally'  no/fying  parents  of  the   proposed  change.”     Pikes  Peak  Bd.  of  Coopera-ve  Educ.  Services,  9  ECLPR  15  (SEA  CO  2011).   PWN  S/ll  Required  for  Amendments  to   IEPs   •  Rather  Than  Redraiing  En/re  IEP,  A  Wri,en  Document   May  Be  Developed  to  Amend  or  Modify  a  Child’s   Current  IEP,  Aier  the  Annual  IEP  Team  Mee/ng  for  a   School  Year  [34  CFR  §  300.324(a)(4)].   •  Amendment  May  Be  Made  by  Either:   –  En/re  IEP  Team  at  IEP  Mee/ng,  or   –  Parent  and  District  Agree  Not  Necessary  to  Convene  an  IEP   Mee/ng  to  Make  Such  Changes   •  PWN  s1ll  required  for  amendments  to  IEPs  whenever  any  of   the  4  ac/ons  are  taken.   •  IEP  amendment  must  contain  required  7  points  of   informa/on.   Presented  by  Heather  Edwards,  Girard  &   Edwards  and  Amy  Andersen,  El  Dorado   County  Charter  SELPA   19  
  • 20. The  Power  of  Prior  Wri,en  No/ce:   When,  Why,  and  How  to  Use  It   January  17,  2014   Tips  for  Crea/ng  Compliant  PWN   • Avoid  using  phrases  such  as  “N/A”  or  “see  above”   – There  may  be  instances  in  which  no  other   op/ons  were  considered,  if  so,  avoid  using  the   phrases  “no  other  op/ons  considered,”   “none,”  or  “not  applicable”  without  an   explana/on.   •  Example:  There  were  no  other  factors,  outside  of  those   listed  above,  that  were  considered  by  the  IEP  team.   Neither  the  parents,  nor  any  LEA  personnel  par-cipa-ng   in  the  mee-ng,  presented  any  other  factors  that  needed   to  be  considered.     Tips  for  Crea/ng  Compliant  PWN   •  Ensure  each  item  of  informa/on  is  understandable   on  its  own  merit.   –  Don’t  rely  on  another  form  or  document  to   convey  informa/on  that  PWN  must  communicate   (e.g.,  “see  Psych  Evalua/on”   •  Avoid  abbrevia/ons  and  educa/onal  jargon   •  Review  it  with  parent  if  possible   •  Be  sure  PWN  is  dated  (and  that  date  is  correct)   •  Acknowledge  that  you  considered  parent’s  requests     Presented  by  Heather  Edwards,  Girard  &   Edwards  and  Amy  Andersen,  El  Dorado   County  Charter  SELPA   20  
  • 21. The  Power  of  Prior  Wri,en  No/ce:   When,  Why,  and  How  to  Use  It   January  17,  2014   Tips  for  Crea/ng  Compliant  PWN   •  Document  any  oral  or  wri,en  informa/on  provided  by  parent   from  a  private  provider,     –  Iden/fy  the  provider  by  name   –  Ensure  that  the  wri,en  documenta/on  can  also  be  easily   iden/fied,  such  as,  the  type  of  informa/on  being  provided   (i.e.,  psychological  evalua/on,  le,er  from  physician,  etc.)   –  Date  the  document  was  prepared  and/or  provided   •  Example:  The  IEP  team  considered  a  psychological  evalua-on   from  Dr.  Noe  Itall,  which  was  completed  on  January  12,  2013.   The  evalua-on  was  provided  by  the  parents  during  an  IEP   mee-ng  convened  on  January  23,  2013.   Tips  for  Crea/ng  Compliant  PWN   •  The  IDEA  does  not  require  that  schools  ask  parents   to  acknowledge  the  receipt  of  prior  wri,en  no/ce.   –  However,  given  poten/al  ramifica/ons  for  not   sending  no/ce,  schools  should  consider  how  to   document  the  fact  that  no/ce  was  sent.   •  Clearly  ar/culate  what  your  LEA  is  proposing  or   refusing  to  do   –  Use  asser/ve  language  when  describing  LEA’s   ac/ons   –  The  District  “proposes”  or  “refuses”  rather  than   the  District  “feels”  or  “believes”   Presented  by  Heather  Edwards,  Girard  &   Edwards  and  Amy  Andersen,  El  Dorado   County  Charter  SELPA   21  
  • 22. The  Power  of  Prior  Wri,en  No/ce:   When,  Why,  and  How  to  Use  It   January  17,  2014   Tips  for  Crea/ng  Compliant  PWN   •  Avoid  “cukng  and  pas/ng”  from  previously  completed  PWN   documents,  especially  when  it  involves  another  child,  and  have   someone  “proofread”  prior  to  issuing  it  to  parents  to  ensure   that  school  avoids  common  mistakes,     –  Referring  to  a  child  by  the  wrong  gender/name,   –  Misspelling  names,     –  Entering  other  “incorrect”  informa/on.     •  Such  errors  may  not  result  in  a  denial  of  FAPE,  but  could  give   parents  impression  that  IEP  team  either  does  not  know  their   child  or  that  it  did  not  base  its  proposed  or  refused  ac/ons  on   informa/on  relevant  to  their  child   •  Addi/onally,  it  could  give  impression  that  school  does  not  value   the  importance  of  the  PWN  and  could  also  compromise  privacy.   Sample  PWNs     •  •  •  •  •  •  Ini/al  Assessment   Triennial  Assessment   Independent  Educa/onal  Evalua/on   Denial  of  Requested  Service   Gradua/on   Revoca/on  of  Consent  for  Special  Educa/on   Presented  by  Heather  Edwards,  Girard  &   Edwards  and  Amy  Andersen,  El  Dorado   County  Charter  SELPA   22  
  • 23. The  Power  of  Prior  Wri,en  No/ce:   When,  Why,  and  How  to  Use  It   January  17,  2014   Presenter  Contact  Informa/on   Heather  M.  Edwards   GIRARD  &  EDWARDS   Tel:  (916)  706-­‐1255   Fax:  (916)  706-­‐2672   Email:   edwards@girardedwards. com     Presented  by  Heather  Edwards,  Girard  &   Edwards  and  Amy  Andersen,  El  Dorado   County  Charter  SELPA   Amy  Andersen   El  Dorado  County  Charter   SELPA   Tel:  (530)  295-­‐2453   Fax:  (530)  676-­‐4337   E-­‐mail:     23