Parent Resources

FAQ:

Confidentiality:

1. What must the CCSD do to provide parents reasonable access to their child's records?

Records should be in a location that parents can find, maintained during normal business hours, and not in a physically inaccessible area (downstairs or upstairs, with no elevator available). Upon request, someone who can interpret the records should be available to the parents. Parents may also request that copies of their child's education records be made for them. However, the CCSD is required to provide copies of educational records only if failure to provide those copies would effectively prevent the parent from exercising the right to review and inspect the records. If copies are provided CCSD may charge a reasonable fee and may take a reasonable time to provide the copies to the parents. In cases where failure to provide copies of records would effectively prevent a parent from exercising the right to inspect and review education records, and the parents are unable to pay the fee, the CCSD must provide the records without charge.

2. Are CCSD personnel required to provide parents access to their working files and anecdotal records?

The FERPA and the IDEA include definitions of "education records." These definitions, while expansive, do not include the staff's working files and anecdotal records. FERPA regulation 34 CFR § 99.3 states that the term "education records" does not include "records that are kept in the sole possession of the maker of the record, are used only as a personal memory aid, and are not accessible or revealed to any other person except a temporary substitute for the maker of the record."

3. Only a limited amount of information is needed to bill Medicaid (not the entire education record). May this limited information be released without parent consent to the Medicaid billing agency in order to access reimbursement for special education services?

No. Parent consent is required by FERPA, because the information being released is personally identifiable (student's name, social security or other student number, category of disability, etc.). In addition, CCSD must obtain parental consent to access public insurance such as Medicaid, at least annually for the specific services, and duration of those services identified in the child’s IEP. The CCSD must obtain parental consent to access Medicaid for any change in a service or amount of a service.

4. When a student is in a private school and receives special education services from the CCSD, who keeps the student's educational record?

If the student receives special education services through the CCSD, the CCSD is responsible for maintaining the student's educational record. The private school may also have records, or copies of the CCSD records, including the student's IEP, if appropriate.

5. What should the CCSD do if during a due process hearing, the parents request a copy of their child's test protocol?

According to the U.S. Department of Education, under FERPA, if the protocol contains personally identifiable information, parents have the right to inspect test protocols, which may include a right to copy them if ordered by a special education due process hearing officer or a judge in a hearing. Due to concerns about violating the test publisher's copyright rules, the CCSD may want to consult with their attorney. However, CCSD are required to provide copies of the records if failure to provide those copies would effectively prevent the parent from exercising the right to inspect and review the records (34 CFR §300.613(b)(2)).

6. How long must the CCSD retain special education records for children with disabilities?

Federal auditing requirements mandate the availability of education records for identified students for 5 years after they exit from special education services. After that period of time, CCSD may destroy records. However, before destroying special education records, the CCSD must notify the parent (or the adult student) that the information is no longer needed to provide services to the student and that the school is proposing to destroy them.

Statutory authority

On 24 June 1994, the General Assembly approved the school district general schedules as Regulation 12-901 through 12-906.6. Additions/revisions to the school district general schedules were approved by the General Assembly as Regulation 12-901 through 12-906.16 and became effective on May 23, 2003.

12-906.2. Special Education Records (Local School District Program Scholastic Records For Handicapped Students)

A. Description: Documents a handicapped student’s participation and progress in a special education program. Information includes handicapped/psychological needs, placement forms, record of staffing, individual educational programs, confidential education reports, and least restrictive environment verification papers.

 B. Retention: Until no longer needed to provide educational services to the student or for the necessary school district purposes such as auditing or monitoring, then notify the parents that they have a right to have these records destroyed. If the parents so request, the records must be destroyed. If the parents do not request destruction, the school district may retain these records permanently or destroy them at their discretion. In all instances of destruction, the parents of the student must be notified 45 calendar days prior to destruction that they have a right to request and be provided a copy of any personally identifiable data which has been obtained or used while providing educational services for their children. Documentation of the notification of parents must be retained permanently. (Note: This retention does not apply to the permanent record of a student’s name, address, telephone number, grades, attendance record, classes attended, grade level completed, and year of completion.)

 

Special Education and Related Services:

1. Depending on the individual situation, could a LEA be required to provide a computer or other assistive technology for a child with a disability in order to allow that child to remain in the LRE?

Yes. Children with disabilities are entitled to special education and related services, as well as supplementary aids and services. As such, if an assistive technology evaluation demonstrated that the child needs an assistive technology device (e.g., software, computer, writing aids, prone stander, etc.) to remain in the LRE, the IEP team would list that service on the IEP, and the LEA must provide it or ensure that it is provided.

2. May an IEP include only related services?

No. To receive related services, the child must be in need of specially-designed instruction (special education) since the definition of a related service is that of a service that is required to assist a child with a disability to benefit from special education. 

3. May special education paraeducators provide services to children outside of the classroom?

For example, may they assist during recess, lunch, and other LEA activities?Yes. The IEP team is to determine and address needs of the child during nonacademic and extracurricular activities, as appropriate. If paraeducator services are needed at recess, lunch, club activities, and other times identified by the IEP team, they must be included on the child's IEP. 

4. Federal and state law says that each child with a disability must have an IEP in effect at the beginning of each school year. Does that mean that the child must begin to receive the special education and related services specified in the IEP on the very first day of school?

It depends on the frequency, location, and duration of services documented in the child’s IEP. The IEP team must make an individual determination regarding when special education and related services will begin and end for each child. Some services may not be provided to the child until the second quarter or second semester of the school year. Some children with disabilities may benefit from having the first week of school in general education in order to acclimate to new general education teachers, classrooms, expectations, and routines.Other children, such as children with autism, may need services beginning the very first day of school. Decisions regarding when special education and related services will begin for a new school year are not to be based on convenience of school staff, but the individual needs of each child. If the IEP is silent regarding provision of services during the first and last weeks of a school year, it is reasonable to expect that services will be provided during that time. The IEP is to indicate when services begin and the frequency, location and duration of the services. This must be clear to the parents and the providers. 

5. Do special education and related services missed due to events beyond the control of the LEA (e.g., school closure due to weather, mandatory emergency drills, or absence of the child) have to be made up at a later date?

As discussed within this chapter, the IEP team must consider the services needed for the child to address IEP goals, access the general curriculum, and participate in extracurricular and nonacademic activities with children without disabilities. In this context, the team should also discuss what is to be done when services are missed. For example, if a child with learning disabilities needs help taking tests, that Revised September 2012 90 service isn't needed if the school is closed. However, if regular, ongoing physical therapy is needed to maintain mobility, the team must find a way for the service to be provided if school is closed.  Another consideration for the IEP team is whether a number of missed services would constitute a denial of a FAPE. Again, the team would create a plan for those circumstances. 

6. What if the IEP team determines that a student is eligible for ESY services and the parent indicates the student will not be participating due to other summer commitments?

When a child with a disability is enrolled in the LEA during the regular school year and the parent provided consent for the child to receive special education services, the LEA is responsible for ensuring the provision of any services necessary for the child to receive a FAPE, including ESY services if these are determined necessary. If the child’s IEP team determines ESY services are needed, the parent cannot waive these services. It is important that the LEA explain the need for these services to the parent. The LEA should anticipate far enough in advance so that parents can be informed and plan activities around these service times. The IEP team may also need to be creative in ways to deliver the services. If the parent refuses to produce the child for the services, the LEA can decide whether a truancy report is in order.