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  • Writer's pictureAimee

Celebrating the Importance of Parent Participation in Education

Today is National Parent Involvement Day! Side note – doesn’t it seem like every time we turn around a new “national fill in the blank day” is here? Well, this national day is extra special because it celebrates the critical role parents play in their child’s education.

Federal and state education laws clearly outline procedures schools must follow to ensure parents know about and have a chance to weigh in on educational decisions. Common procedural rights include:

· The right to be notified of any disciplinary suspension in writing

· The right to attend and give input during the annual IEP meeting

· The right to access school records

· The right to request an evaluation/reevaluation

· The right to provide feedback and information during any evaluation/reevaluation

· The right to consent to or decline special education services

Parental participation is a core principle of special education law. IEP development is a team effort featuring the participation of parents. Consent is required before a school can place a student in a different learning environment or provide special education services for the first time. Parents have to receive timely notices before meetings and before certain actions are taken with regard to their child’s education. Additionally, dispute resolution processes are available to protect the role of parents in the special education process.

Certain services – such as parent training, disability accommodations, and translation/interpretation – are essential to meet the law’s parent participation requirements. Parents who need training in order to fully understand their child’s needs and participate in special education decision making can access parent training as a part of their child’s IEP. Disability accommodations are available for parents who have their own documented physical or mental health conditions. Furthermore, parents whose native language is not English have a right to access all school information in a language they understand through competent interpretation and translation services.

If you’re interested in learning more about parental rights, the U.S. Department of Education is holding a live webinar this evening at 7PM. Registration link:

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