Our conference Q&A session was a big hit, but not all of the questions could be answered. Let’s take a look at a few. . .
Q: How do you draft an effective prior written notice?
A: Prior Written Notice is required when the District proposes or refuses to initiate or change (1) the identification of a child, (2) the evaluation of a child, (3) the educational placement of a child, or (4) the provision of a free appropriate public education of a child. Prior Written Notice is also required when the District ceases the provision of special education and related services due to the parent’s revocation of consent for services. The District must provide Prior Written Notice regardless of whether the parent agreed to the change or requested the change. The Department of Education offers a model form for Prior Written Notice. This form encompasses the legal requirements contemplated by IDEA regulations found at 34 CFR § 300.503. More information concerning the requirements for Prior Written Notice can be found here at the Region 18 website.
Q: What are the new rules related to translation for parents who do not speak English?
A: Effective January 1, 2015, Chapter 19 of the Texas Administrative Code § 89.1050(h) states: “If the student’s parent is unable to speak English and the parent’s native language is Spanish, the school district must provide a written copy or audio recording of the student IEP translated into Spanish. If the student’s parent is unable to speak English and the parent’s native language is a language other than Spanish, the school district must make a good faith effort to provide a written copy or audio recording of the student’s IEP translated into the parent’s native language.” Significant here is the provision that the IEP is translated, rather than requiring the entire ARD meeting to be translated. Further, in the case of those who speak another language other than English or Spanish, the district is required to make a “good faith effort” at translation of the IEP.