Chapter 5.7: Opportunity to Review Records and Participate in Meetings

    State Performance Plan (SPP):

    (See Overview in the Introduction for more information on the SPP.)

    SPP 8:
    Percent of parents with a child receiving special education services report that schools facilitated parent involvement as a means of improving services and results for children with disabilities. 20.U.S.C. 1416 (a)(3)(A))

    Intent:

    To ensure that information regarding a child with a disability is available to the child's parents and that the parents are involved in the educational decision-making process for their child.

    Timelines:

    Opportunity to examine records

    No more than 45 calendar days after a request

    The school district must comply with a request to review records without unnecessary delay, and in no case more than 45 calendar days after the request has been made.

    If requested, before meetings

    If requested, education records must be provided before any meeting regarding an IEP, a hearing or a resolution session.

    Opportunity to participate in meetings

    Early enough

    Notify parents early enough to ensure they have an opportunity to participate in meetings with respect to the identification, evaluation, and educational placement of the child and the provision of a free appropriate public education (FAPE) to the child.

    REQUIREMENT

    3301-51-05
    (F) Opportunity to examine records; parent participation in meetings
    (1) Opportunity to examine records
    The parents of a child with a disability must be afforded, in accordance with the procedures of rule 3301-51-04 of the Administrative Code, an opportunity to inspect and review all education records with respect to:

    (a) The identification, evaluation, and educational placement of the child; and
    (b) The provision of FAPE to the child.

    GUIDANCE

    Opportunity to examine records

    When the school district receives a request from parents to review their child's educational records, district personnel give the parents an opportunity to meet and review the records, following the guidance included in Confidentiality - 4.3 Access Rights.

    Requests for evaluation team reports

    If parents make a records request for the most current evaluation team report (ETR) before an IEP meeting, the district must provide access to the ETR before the IEP meeting. If the ETR has not been developed, the school district must provide the parents access to any test answer sheets, evaluations and other materials that identify the child by name or by any other personal identifier that will be used to determine whether a child qualifies for special education services or continues to be eligible for services.

    When the district provides access to the parents, a person knowledgeable about the information being reviewed must be available to respond to parents' request for an explanation and interpretation of the records.

    Test protocols or question booklets that are separate from the sheet on which a child records answers and that are not personally identifiable to the child are not considered "education records" (Letter to Mathews, September 13, 2005. U.S. Department of Education, Family Policy Compliance Office). However, test protocols that are personally identifiable are considered "education records," and school districts are required to provide parents access to these records. School districts are not required to provide copies of these test protocols to parents.

    If the parents request a copy of the ETR, the district may respond that there is no ETR, if the report is not created before the meeting. In many instances, the ETR is created at the ETR meeting, with each person who has been involved in the evaluation presenting his or her information to be included in the ETR.

    If the parents want time to consider the results of the evaluation before agreeing to proposals made by the school district, they can state that they do not want the IEP meeting to be held at the same time as the ETR meeting. The scheduling of the IEP meeting after the ETR meeting gives the parents the opportunity to attend the ETR meeting, receive copies of the information presented by school personnel, and have time to review that information before the IEP meeting.

    NOTE: This information does not, and is not intended to, provide legal advice or legal interpretations or instructions on how to handle a specific situation. School districts should consult with their attorneys regarding appropriate action in a particular situation, or to obtain legal advice or legal interpretations.

    REQUIREMENT

    3301-51-05
    (F) Opportunity to examine records; parent participation in meetings
    (2) Parent participation in meetings

    (a) The parents of a child with a disability must be afforded an opportunity to participate in meetings with respect to:
    (i) The identification, evaluation, and educational placement of the child; and
    (ii) The provision of FAPE to the child.
    (b) Each school district must provide notice consistent with the parent participation requirements of rule 3301-51-07 of the Administrative Code to ensure that parents of children with disabilities have the opportunity to participate in meetings described in paragraph (F)(2)(a) of this rule.
    (c) A meeting does not include informal or unscheduled conversations involving school district personnel and conversations on issues such as teaching methodology, lesson plans, or coordination of service provision. A meeting also does not include preparatory activities that school personnel engage in to develop a proposal or response to a parent proposal that will be discussed at a later meeting.

    GUIDANCE

    Parental participation in meetings

    The school district provides parents with a Parent Invitation to Meeting PR-02 form before any meeting where the district will be discussing the child's identification, evaluation, educational placement and provision of special education and related services.

    The Operating Standards require a school district to notify parents of actions it is taking. These notifications must contain certain statements and must be provided to the parents before the district takes any action. Not all these notifications must be in writing.
    Refer to Prior Written Notice, Informed Consent and Procedural Safeguards Notice for a list of specific actions and the types of notice(s) required.

    The district notifies parents early enough to ensure they have an opportunity to participate in meetings regarding their child.

    Parents are required to be members of:

    • The group that determines whether their child has a disability;
    • The IEP team for their child; and
    • Any group that makes educational placement decisions for the child.

    The above requirements clarify what is "not a meeting":

    • Informal or unscheduled conversations involving school district personnel;
    • Conversations on issues such as teaching methodology, lesson plans or coordination of service provision; and
    • Preparatory activities that school personnel engage in to develop a proposal or response to proposal made by the parents that will be discussed at a later meeting.

    The requirements for notice and the opportunity for parent participation do not apply in these situations.

    REQUIREMENT

    3301-51-05
    (F) Opportunity to examine records; parent participation in meetings
    (3) Parent involvement in placement decisions

    (a) Each school district must ensure that a parent of a child with a disability is a member of any group that makes decisions on the educational placement of the parent’s child.
    (b) In implementing the requirements of paragraph (F)(3)(a) of this rule, the school district must use procedures consistent with the procedures described in the parent participation requirements of rule 3301-51-07 of the Administrative Code.
    (c) If neither parent can participate in a meeting in which a decision is to be made relating to the educational placement of their child, the school district must use other methods to ensure their participation, including individual or conference telephone calls, or video conferencing.
    (d) A placement decision may be made by a group without the involvement of a parent, if the school district is unable to obtain the parent’s participation in the decision. In this case, the school district must have a record of its attempt to ensure their involvement.

    GUIDANCE

    Parental involvement in placement decisions

    Before an IEP meeting regarding the educational placement of a child with a disability, the school district provides parents with A Parent Invitation PR-02 form.

    The school district makes every effort to convince parents to attend an IEP meeting and attempts to schedule a mutually-agreed-upon time and place for a meeting with the parents, through various means such as:

    • Phone calls;
    • Electronic communications including, but not limited to, e-mail or password protected parent pages;
    • Written correspondence;
    • Personal contacts; for example, parent-teacher conferences; and
    • Visits to parents' homes or places of employment.

    The school district employs a variety of methods to ensure parental participation, such as:

    • Individual phone calls;
    • Conference calls;
    • Video conferencing; or
    • Home visits.

    The school district documents attempts to obtain the parents' participation by maintaining detailed records that include dates, times and results of their efforts. The documentation is filed in the child’s education record. Documentation may include:

    • Phone logs;
    • Copies of written correspondence, including electronic communications; and
    • Dates of visits to parents' homes or places of employment or other personal contacts.

    School district personnel conduct the IEP meeting, if they are unable to obtain the parents' participation and provide the parents with information regarding decisions made about the educational placement of the child. If a decision is made to change the child's educational placement, the school district provides the parents with a Prior Written Notice to Parents PR-02 form and/or a copy of the child's amended IEP.

    The school district obtains parental consent:

    • Before the initial provision of special education and related services; and
    • Before making a change in a child's placement.

     

Last Modified: 1/22/2014 11:57:11 AM