Special Education: What you need to know as a parent — by Jill Pitts

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Special Education: What you need to know as a parent — by Jill Pitts

Does your son or daughter receive services through the special education department? If so, did you know that you, as the parent, have many rights that have been set in place to best meet the needs of your child?

For example, as parents/guardians you may invite any individual or specialist you wish, to attend the IEP meetings with you. This is to ensure that you understand the IEP process and that the rights of your child are protected. Also, please be aware that parents/guardians do have the right to refuse special education services.

Here atOracleCharterSchoolwe have a special education department that uses the guidelines established byNew YorkStateto best address and meet the individual needs of your child.

To begin, all students who have been identified as benefiting from special education services will have an IEP written on their behalf. You may be wondering what is an IEP? An IEP is a written document. It is an “individualized education plan” that is created in order to help the student meet their goals while receiving accommodations/modifications in the classroom. This is just the beginning step to get your child on the path to academic success.

The IEP development process must consider:

  • your child’s strengths
  • your concerns for your child’s education
  • the results of your child’s individual evaluation
  • the results of any State or district wide tests or assessments
  • and, any unique needs related to your child’s disability (such as communication needs, behavior, etc.).

Remember… the school must receive written consent from parents/guardians before proceeding with any evaluation, special education services, or before conducting a test or evaluation.

We encourage you to be an active member of your child’s educational planning and learning process.  No one knows your child better than you!  You can take the opportunity to tell us your child’s strengths as well as areas needing improvement.

We know that children benefit even more from their education if their parents/guardians are both involved and well informed. As a parent/guardian, you need to understand the special education process, your rights, and how to become more involved in your child’s program.

Please contact the special education department if you have any concerns.  Your child has a caseworker who will be happy to assist you.