The federal regulations for Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) includes many provisions to protect the rights of parents and their child with a disability while also giving families and school systems means by which to resolve disputes. These rights are known as procedural safeguards. In order to best protect the parent, the child and the school district, informed written consent is necessary.
Parental informed consent is required for the following actions by the school district:
1. To permit an initial (first time) multi-factored evaluation (MFE) to consider if the child has a disability
2. Before providing initial services in special education or any related services
3. Before the three year annual review for the multi-factored evaluation
4. When the initial individualized education plan (IEP) is written and once a year upon the annual review of the IEP
5. Administration of an alternate assessment and/or provision of accessing state standards in instruction
6. Placement of your child in an alternative educational setting unless it is a special disciplinary situation such as possession or use of a weapons, possession, use or sale of illegal drugs or inflicting serious bodily injury on another person.
The school district is required to keep documentation of reasonable attempts to obtain parental consent. This documentation may include: detailed records of telephone calls made/attempted as well as the results of those calls; copies of correspondence sent to the parents and any responses received; and detailed records of visits made to the parent’s home or place of employment and the results of those visits.
Parental consent is not required before the school district may review any existing data as part of your child’s initial evaluation or three year re-evaluation. Consent is also not required if a test/evaluation is given to all students and is given to your child as well unless permission is
required of all parents for students taking these evaluations.
The intent of these procedural safeguards and informed parental consent is meant to create a means for the school district and the parents to work together as a team to provide the best possible education for children with disabilities.