If the school doe not agree to an assessment request by a parent or if the parent disagrees with the IEP, the parent can take the following actions:
Ask for an informal meeting with school personnel to solve the problem. The parent can bring an advocate to the meeting. Either party can waive this step.
and / or
Ask in writing for a Pre Due Process Mediation Conference. A mediator will meet with the parent and the school within 15 days of receiving the request. The mediation must be completed within 30 days. “Stay Put” does not apply during this time which means changes in the child’s IEP can take as this process takes place. A parent can not bring an advocate or others to the conference.
and / or
Ask in writing for a Due Process Hearing. The request is made to the Special Education Hearing Office.
A Mediation Conference will be held with the school and the parent before the Due Process Hearing to try and resolve the problem. Again at this conference, no advocate or other person can come to the conference with the parent. Either party can waive mediation. Either party can request an extension of time for the conference.
The Due Process Hearing takes place after the Mediation Conference. The hearing and a written decision must happen within 45 days of the time the request if received. Evidence can be presented at the hearing. Witnesses can be called to the hearing. The parent can have an advocate or attorney at the hearing. A request for an extension of time can come from either party for good cause.
Parents are highly advised to consult an experienced Special Education attorney prior to filing for due process.
All references to “days” mean calendar days.
Days between school terms (summer vacation), school years, and days of vacation, which are longer than 5 days are not included in the time limits.