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Confidentiality and Access to Student Records

IDEA and other federal laws protect the confidentiality of your child’s education records. These safeguards address the following three aspects:

the use of personally identifiable information;
who may have access to your child’s records; and
the rights of parents to inspect their child’s education records and request that these be amended to correct information that is misleading or inaccurate, or that violates the child’s privacy or other rights.

Parental Rights under IDEA

Accurate and updated information as of October 2021 En español | In Spanish _____________ The federal regulations for IDEA 2004 include a section (Subpart E) called Procedural Safeguards. These safeguards are designed to protect the rights of parents and their child with a disability and, at the same time, give families and school systems several […]

Return to School Roadmap: Development and Implementation of IEPs in the Least Restrictive Environment

Adding to its Return to School Roadmap series, the Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services (OSERS) at the U.S. Department of Education issues this Q&A document, which highlights certain IDEA requirements related to the development and implementation of IEPs and other information that states, school systems, regular and special education teachers, related services providers, and parents should consider as students with disabilities return to school in Fall 2021.

The 41-page document is the Department’s response to the requests it received from a diverse group of stakeholders, asking that the Department issue new guidance interpreting requirements of the IDEA in light of the many challenges of the COVID‑19 pandemic and as more schools and programs are returning to in-person services. Read more about the Q&A, see its Table of Contents, and access it (and other documents in the Roadmap series) in our abstract of this Featured Resource.

10 Simple Socially Distanced Seating Arrangements for Classrooms

(2021, August 26) | Useful to educators and to advocates and parents. It’s hard to believe that we’re entering the third year of pandemic teaching, but here we are! Some districts have no mandates, while others are encouraging preventive measures. During times like these, it’s a good idea to have a backup plan (and a […]

Evaluating School-Aged Children for Disability

Accurate and updated information as of October 2021 In Spanish | en español Evaluation is an essential beginning step in the special education process for a child with a disability. Before a child can receive special education and related services for the first time, a full and individual initial evaluation of the child must be […]

Getting Ready for the 2021-22 School Year: FAQs about Testing Children with Disabilities

The 2020-21 school year was an unprecedented year with many districts implementing virtual learning, and with some districts moving back and forth between in-person and distance learning. Now, as children return to school in Fall 2021, it is critical that states and districts gather information on what children with disabilities have learned and where they need more support to meet standards-based learning goals. With this information, educators can make changes to current programs and to instruction to address children’s needs. Both formal and informal tests are important tools for gathering information.

This brief from NCEO answers frequently asked questions about whether (and how!) to test children with disabilities. The FAQ notes in particular that individualized education program (IEP) teams may need to revisit a child’s IEP before making test participation decisions. IEPs written before the COVID-19 pandemic may no longer address an individual child’s needs after the pandemic. For a list of the FAQs posed and to connect with the brief, read more here.

Paraprofessionals (Updated!)

After spending 10 years in a middle school special education classroom, it’s easy to say that paras are the foundation to our entire education system. Without them, kids in classrooms would struggle to understand key content, groups in the special education setting would be too large and unmanageable, teachers would have even bigger difficulties with […]

Putting the DEC-Recommended Practices to Work in Parent Centers: Part Two

In May of 2021, Part 1 of this webinar series introduced attendees to the Division for Early Childhood’s (DEC) Recommended Practices (RPs), which offer guidance to parents and professionals who work with young children who have or are at risk for developmental delays or disabilities. Part 2 of the series built upon the information shared in the first webinar. In Part 2, presenters discussed a variety of practice ways to SHARE the RPs as part of the ongoing work of a Parent Center. Presenters then identified ways in which Parent Centers can use the RPs in their daily work with families.

Parent and Caregiver Guide to Special Education Evaluations

(2021, July) | Useful to Parent Centers, schools, and families of children who have or are suspected of having a specific learning disability This guide (available in English and Spanish) comes from the National Center for Learning Disabilities (NCLD) and offers guidance to schools and families as to evaluating children for disability and especially for […]

How to Prioritize the Health and Safety of Students, School Personnel, and Families

How to Prioritize the Health and Safety of Students, School Personnel, and Families is one of the first pages to be launched in the “Return to School Roadmap” series being produced by the U.S. Department of Education. The series itself is a work in progress, beginning with three landmark principles focused on tools and strategies that schools, districts, and communities can use to ensure that all students are set up for success in the 2021-2022 school year. The Department anticipates steadily releasing additional resources as part of the series in the coming weeks and months.

Immediately available are: (1) a fact sheet that lays out the three principles and provides examples of schools and communities that are addressing each in effective ways; (2) a guide for schools and districts outlining what schools can do to protect the health and safety of students; (3) a checklist that parents can use to prepare themselves and their children for a safe return to in-person learning this fall. Learn more about the Return to School Roadmap and connect with all currently available resources right here.

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