When Should Parents Receive ARD/IEP Paperwork?

By Chuck Noe, PRN Education Specialist

I recently ran across a very interesting document on the Education Service Center (ESC) 13 website. It contains a Texas Education Agency (TEA) Q & A document on Prior Written Notice. There is no date on it, but a 2008 U.S. Department of Education letter is attached. What is interesting is a one page list of “Additional Information from TEA” –  it says:  “The bottom line on Prior Written Notice is that there are very rare instances when a change in a student’s IEP would not need to be documented by the LEA through Prior Written Notice provided five days in advance of the change unless the five‐day waiting period is waived in writing by the parent.”

Some additional questions in the document from ESCs and answers from TEA included:

1. Can the Prior Written Notice and waiver be documented through the ARD committee record?

TEA indicated that as long as all the requirements are documented, they may be found in any area of the ARD meeting record or as a stand‐alone document.

2. Can the Prior Written Notice be provided through email?

TEA indicated that this is an acceptable method of providing Prior Written Notice.

3. What about a parent who does not attend the meeting or who does not receive copies at the end of the ARD meeting?

TEA’s response was that parents should sign the ARD Committee record, indicate agreement or disagreement, and receive copies before leaving the meeting.   There should be no exceptions. If this is not happening, the LEA should review the policies and procedures to ensure all staff have the resources and  commitment to providing the parents a copy of the ARD committee record at the end of the meeting. When parents do not attend the meeting after the LEA has exhausted efforts to have an ARD meeting with the parent, the parent should receive copies asap. Otherwise, the LEA could cause a delay in the student’s receiving services.” (This is very interesting and something I had never seen or heard from TEA).

Prior Written Notice Q&A Document

The Prior Written Notice Q&A document is no longer on the TEA website, but it and the “additional” information is on the ESC 13 website at: http://www4.esc13.net/uploads/speech/docs/10_12/nov/PriorWrittenNotice.pdf