Please read this information carefully.The Mountain Brook Schools Special Education Department will be monitored in January, and interviews with general education teachers will be part of that process. We go over this information every year, but a refresher will be beneficial so we are ready for our guests!There will be a discussion page on our Wiki for you to post any thoughts, comments or questions.We will use the posts to document that each teacher viewed this PowerPoint.
What you need to know about theFamily Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) This federal law gives parents the right to inspect and review their child’s education records that are maintained by the school district. This includes general education records and special education records. ‘Educational records’ include records, files, documents, emails, and other materials that contain information directly related to a student and are maintained by an educational agency or a person acting for such an agency or institution. That means us! ‘Educational records’ do not include sole possession records (files, notes, records that you have for yourself and have not shared with anyone else).
*School districts presume that the parents have the authority to review the records of their child unless properly advised that authority has been removed under Alabama laws governing such matter as guardianship, separation and divorce.*Parents may request copies of their child’s records when failure to do so would effectively prevent the parents from exercising their right to inspect and review the records. This might be the case if one parent lives in another city.*FERPA gives parents the right to request that a school correct records which they believe to be inaccurate or misleading. If the school decides not to amend the records, the parent has the right to request a formal hearing. If, after a hearing, the school still decides not to amend the records, the parent has the right to place a statement in the record stating his or her view of the contested information.
Schools must have written permission from the parent in order to release any information from a student’s record, except the following parties:
School officials with a legitimate educational interest
Another school to which a student is transferring
Specified officials for audit or evaluation purposes
Organizations conducting certain studies for or on behalf of the school
Appropriate officials in case of health and safety emergencies
Or to comply with a judicial order
**We need written permission from the parent before we talk to physicians, therapists, consultants, etc. concerning any student.
Confidentiality It is critical that we all maintain confidentiality when it comes to our students. Information should only be shared on a ‘need to know’ basis. This is especially true for students in special education. This is also especially difficult since we live in a small community, and parents are very visible in our school.
Special Education Records Education agencies have to ensure that the educational records of all students referred for evaluation and/or identified as disabled will be maintained in a limited access location that will ensure confidentiality. If you have a student’s IEP, it must be keep in a locked cabinet. If you happen to be interviewed by the State Department, they may ask to see your copy of a student’s IEP. At the end of each school year, copies of students’ IEPs must be returned to the case manager so they can be shredded. A student’s IEP must be accessible to each general education teacher, related service provider or other service provider who is responsible for implementing the IEP, and they must each be informed of his/her responsibilities related to implementing the child’s IEP and the specific accommodations, modifications, and supports that must be provided for the child in accordance with his/her IEP. For some students, this would include coaches and special subjects teachers. That would not be true for all students in special ed. The case managers will inform you if there are aspects of an IEP with which you need to be familiar. Once you have reviewed the IEP and/or received a copy, you will be asked to sign a documentation form. Parental consent is not required for a transfer of special education records from one education agency to another. Parents must be given prior notice before the transfer. Special education records are kept for five years after a student exits the system. Parents must be notified before the records are destroyed.
Amendments To Special Education RecordsAs with general education records, a parent may request that special education records be amended if they feel any information is inaccurate, misleading or violates the rights of the student.The district has 15 days to decide to amend the records.If they decide to refuse the request, a hearing may be conducted. If that hearing results in a ruling favorable to the parents, the records must be amended. If the ruling is in favor of the district, the records do not have to be amended, but the parents have the right to provide a written statement as to why they disagree with the ruling. This statement must be included in the educational record as long as the contested portion remains in the record.
Special Education ReferralsMost referrals are a result of screenings, child find activities or the RTI process. However, parents, school personnel, or students may make a request for an evaluation.Before a referral can be accepted, the following must be completed:1. Documentation that the child was provided appropriate instruction in the general education setting 2. Documentation that the instruction was delivered by qualified personnel. 3. Data-based documentation of repeated assessments of achievement at reasonable intervals reflecting formal assessment of student progress during instruction. (progress monitoring) 4. Documentation that student progress was provided to the parent.If these steps have not been completed, the special education team can not accept the referral.
Special Education Referral Process *PST is our SST
IEP Team Composition at the Elementary School Level Parents of the student with a disability At least one general education teacher of the student At least one special education teacher A LEA representative qualified to provided or supervise specially designed instruction, knowledgeable about the curriculum and availability of resources, and has the authority to commit resources An individual who can interpret the instructional implications of evaluations Others at the discretion of the parent of LEA The student with the disability beginning at age 14 or younger, if appropriate
Functions of the IEP Team Referral Evaluations Eligibility Determination IEP Development Extended School Year Service Determination Manifestation Determinations for Disciplinary Purposes Suspension/Expulsions
Shortened School Day for Students with Disabilities Federal laws require that students with disabilities have school days of the same length as other students unless a shorter day is educationally justified to meet a particular student’s special needs as determined by the IEP team. Their day must not be shortened as a matter of convenience or for transportation issues.
In Summary Parents have the right to see or request copies of all records pertaining to their child except sole possession records. Parents may request that records be amended. IEPs must be in locked cabinets and returned to the case manager at the end of the year for shredding. Confidentiality is critical. All documentation must be completed before a referral can be accepted. All decisions regarding a student with disabilities must be may by the IEP team. Students with disabilities must have school days of the same length as those of their non-disabled peers.