Procedural Safeguards

Procedural safeguards are procedures in special education explained to a parent or guardian in order for them to be informed throughout the special education process. Typically they are presented at a team meeting, but can be provided sooner. They include:
        * Notice of procedural safeguards
        Required content
        * Parental participation in process
        Right to participate in all meetings, including identification, evaluation, placement, and all discussions regarding the educational plan.
        * Parent right to review all educational records
        * Parent right to an independent evaluation
        * Prior written notice
        Prior written notice when a school proposes to initiate a service, conduct an evaluation, change a placement, or modify an IEP; or when the school refuses to provide a parent-requested service, identification, evaluation or change of placement or IEP
        Content of prior written notice
        * Right to submit a complaint to SEA
        * Mediation
        Voluntary mediation to be provided by SEA at no cost to parents
        * Impartial due process hearing

Impartial hearing/mediation
Parents may disagree with the program recommendation of the school district. In that event, parents may reject the district's recommendations by notifying the school district in a clear and concise manner of the reasons for the rejection of the IEP recommendation. This notice must be given in writing within 30 days of receipt of the program recommendation.

The IDEA provides for two methods of resolving disputes between parents and school districts. These include:

1. Mediation that may be a viable means to review small disagreements with the IEP, such as the number of sessions for a related service or the size of a special education class.

2. Impartial Hearing which is a due process-based formal proceeding that allows the parents to challenge the district's individual education plan in whole or in part.