White Hall School District Special Education Due Process
Due process is the procedure outlined in IDEA- Amendments of 1997 (Individuals with Disabilities Education Act) to protect the rights of students, and parents. Due Process begins with the referral of a student. Referral is the first step in determining student eligibility for special education services. Referrals may be made any time to the LEA (the School District) by the child's teacher, other educational personnel, parents, the child or other individuals with relevant know ledge of the child.
A written referral is made to the principal and or his designee of the school in which the child is enrolled. The required referral form is used to document the referral and adherence to due process. A teacher or other school personnel will complete the referral if the student is referred by individuals other than the school. Informal data gathering must be complete before a referral conference can be held. Data includes: results of vision and hearing, any screening inventories, social history, Behavior Rating Scale, existing medical, social, educational information and samples of school work.
Within seven (7) calendar days of the date on the written referral, the principal/designee schedules a Referral Conference and must provide the parent with written notification of the referral, the referral conference and a copy of Your Rights Booklet. Options for written notice: registered, certified, or a first class mail. If the parent fails to respond within seven days, a second written notice, telephone call, or in-person contact must be made. This second notice must indicate that the conference will be held seven (7) calendar days from the date of the notice. Documentation of all oral and written contact must be kept in the student's file.
The purpose of the Referral Conference is to review all existing information related to the student and to determine what action(s) to be taken. The Referral Conference must be attended by a minimum of three persons and listed on the referral form. Two of the three in attendance must be the principal/designee and the teacher directly involved with the education of the student. The Your Rights Booklet must be given again and explained to the parent. A written copy of the Referral Conference Decision Form containing the decision and signed by the principal/designee must be sent by registered, certified, or first class mail within seven (7) calendar days if the parent was not in attendance.
Evaluation must be completed within sixty (60) calendar days of the Referral conference Decision Notification to parents. The purpose of evaluation is to provide data for the Evaluation/Programming Conference Committee to determine if a child has a disability and if the disability has an adverse affect on educational performance resulting in the need for specially designed instruction. The Data provides information for program development, including provision of related services, if needed. There are two types of testing: (1) Comprehensive Evaluation must include all measures necessary for determining the presence of a disability and if the disability has an adverse affect on educational performance. Components of a comprehensive evaluation are: Social History, Individualized Intelligence, Individual Achievement, Adaptive Behavior, and Communicative Abilities. (2) Specialized Evaluation is used to confirm a specific learning disability or when Speech impairment only, not language, is suspected such as articulation, voice and or fluency. Paper work begins with Referral, Referral Conference, Specialized Testing to include RTI, Programming Conference, Notification of Evaluation and or Programming Conference Decision, Placement IEP's and Annual Review. All time lines apply. If language is suspected, the Comprehensive Evaluation will be used to establish a deficit. Paperwork and time lines parallel that of a student to be tested.
The Evaluation and or Programming Conference must be held within thirty (30) calendar days after completion of the evaluation. The parents must receive written notification a minimum of fourteen (14) calendar days prior to the conference date. Options for parent notification are registered, certified, and first class mail. If the parent does not respond to the first notice within seven (7) calendar days, a second notice must be sent. If the parent fails to respond to the second notice, the conference must be held within the thirty (30) calendar day time frame. A minimum of three persons must be present; one representative should be the principal and or designee, LEA representative to interpret the test results, and a special education teacher. Additional members should be classroom teachers, parent, the child when appropriate, and other, Parents must receive written notification at the Evaluation/programming Conference. If the parent fails to attend the conference a written notice must be sent within seven (7) calendar days of the date of the conference date.
A Programming and Placement Conference is held to obtain written consent before initial placement of a student with a disability in a program providing special education and related services. The parent's signature on the IEP satisfies consent concerning placement. The IEP must be completed prior to placement into the special education program. The IEP cannot be changed without Due Process.
Annual Review must be conducted annually. The purpose is to determine the appropriateness of service delivery for children with disabilities. Parents must be given written prior notice of the annual review and receive written notice of the decisions made at the Annual Review Conference.
Secretary to Special Education Supervisor
Assistant Superintendent Curriculum & Instruction, Federal Programs
Section 504 Coordinator