Parent Involvement in Placement Decisions

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

My child attends school ‘out of district’ because our district had no program for a multiple needs-high needs student. He has one year left of school (age 20).

Now the home school district wants to save money by making a new classroom for this program. My son will need to move and adjust to another change. No one feels it is in his best interests to be moved.

Decisions about placement are to be made after the child’s IEP is developed. Parents are members of any team that develops the IEP and decides on placement.

IDEA Section 1414(e) requires that the school “…ensure that the parents of each child with a disability are members of any group that makes decision on the educational placement of their child.”

If the school places a child in a private placement because they could not meet his/her unique and complex needs…

And then the school decides to return the child to the public school without holding an IEP meeting where this decision is made…

The school has predetermined the child’s placement.

Courts have held that schools may not predetermine placement. The placement decision must be made by the team.

If the parents, staff at the private placement, etc. disagree with a proposed placement, the school is required to provide them with written notice. Written notice (PWN) includes several requirements. See IDEA Section 1415(b)(3).

If a parent decides to fight this, and because the law is interpreted differently around the country, I would advise the parent to consult with an attorney who has expertise in special education law and litigation.

I doubt you actually need to retain an attorney. In this case, a parent does need advice about how to proceed so their child can remain in the current educational placement.

If there is litigation, the current placement becomes the “stay put” placement – the child must remain in that placement until litigation ends.

Leave a Reply

126 Comments on "Parent Involvement in Placement Decisions"

Notify of

This scenario just happened to us. Our twin sons were placed in a non public school three years ago by the K-8 school administration when they were in 7th grade. We are thrilled with the school and the boys love it there. Now that they have achieved some success, our LEA wants us to agree to move them back to public school! This is not in the boys’ interests.

Now they are attempting to hold an IEP without any teaching staff from the boys’ school. They claim the school staff is unavailable because of summer break. Can they hold an IEP without the teacher or anyone who worked with our son?

I am a special educator currently in a graduate program for special education. I am taking a special education law class this semester, and from what I have read so far parental consent must be obtained for IEP revisions and any changes in placement. Also, parents must be provided with prior written notice of any proposed change to the child’s services and or placement.
Several areas have family advocacy groups that will provide assistance to families of children with special needs. The family advocacy group in my area offers parent and child rights advocates to go to IEP meetings with families. Talk to other parents in your area or special education personel to find out your local family advocay groups.

My grandson is a 7 years old, High Functioning PDD-NOS. We refused to sign his IEP, because the goals were not measureable and they were recommending an extended school year for reading, speech, and OT. However, the extended school year would be in their summer fun program and it’s for only 5 weeks. When we ask for it to be extended for the whole summer the special ed director said that their staff needs vacation too. We did not ask for the extended school year, they recommended it, never asking for our input. We were given a draft IEP at the meeting to review. We also asked if the parents would be able to observe a couple of times during the year and the director said NO we have a school policy that prohibits observations by parents. He is placed in the regular ed class, with a para all day, resource room for language Arts,Speech

I am a special education teacher at an elementary school. I feel that parents are important members of the IEP team. Decisions should not be made without their input and/or approval. There are instances where decisions are made without parents, however this is rare. It should all be about what is in the best interest of the child.
I agree that moving this child is not in his best interest. He has developed relationships over the years and it is important that he finish school where he and the family are comfortable.

We paid $10,000 to an Attorney who I now know should have advised us to seek representation after placing my 3-yo son in public school. We filed Due Process and after $10,000, let our Atty go. The school has 20 so-called witness’s to call.

Should I file a grievance with the State Bar Assoc?

No Attorney will take our case Pro Bono, because we make too much money, ha ha. We are struggling just to keep our heads above water.

Is there any type of pamphlet advising parents of the mistakes I made filing due process without placing my son in district? We didn’t want to place our son in the district program for fear of regression.

My son was diagnosed with PDD and he was placed out of district because the school said that they did not have the proper tools to help him excel. Now he has been in the school for thirty days and they are requesting a 1:1 to help in minimizing his agressive behavior. Now the district is refusing and wants to bring him back to the school who said they didnt have the tools to deal with him. What can I do?

I would like to know just what exactly our rights as a parent are. What can we do, what can we not do, who has say in what, and what happens if we disagree with the district.

What is the parents role in placement. My daughters school is doing somthing similar. I medical documintaion from 3 professinals stating that she should attend a certin school and they have not considered the documintaion. I was told in my tri annual that we could not discuss placement for my child and she graduates in 2 weeks and we are not sure where she will be and what to do. I was also told that the represenative from the disctict did not have to attend the tri because we were not going to dicsuss placement. What would be the next step?

My son has PDD-NOS. He has always been in a VE setting in a LRE. This past year after the IEP in May 2008 I adamantly told the team that he would attend his zone school in those settings. They decided to place him in a new pilot program which is a self contained ASD classroom. He has suffered this year with no progress whatsoever. Adapting and copying inappropriate aggressive behaviors from other ASD peers. On top of that, his time to be spent with non-ese peers was reduced to 0%. That has never ever been so. I have a revision in just a few days and I was clear about stating that his current placement is not in any way conducive to his progress and/or needs. I fear they might once again go over my head even if I am part of the team and have to agree on his placement. They will decide without me. Help!!!!!

The U46 school districts Superintendent called our home last night and told my daughter that due to budget cuts in 7 different
special education classes (he has Autism) they have cut his class completely in the fall. But THEY told her he would be bussed to another town almost 1 hour away. My daughter told them that was NOT acceptable. He doesn’t ride the bus due to paranoia. The Superintendent made it sound like she had NO choice. School is almost over in 20 days. Now we don’t have time for an IEP meeting. He’s not ready to be mainstreamed yet, he’s 10 with level of 4-5 year old. I think we need an Advocate but where do we find one?

To follow up, if a school denies stay put for mediation, I have seen parents ask for an impartial hearing. They let the hearing officer know they want to go to mediation, but the school would not allow stay put so it left them no choice.

Generally, hearing officers will order stay put and STRONGLY encourage mediation. Almost without fail, I have seen mediation produce an agreement.

Our district invited two attorneys to our last meeting even though only one was on the invitation. (They have been cited for this very thing before. ) Our son is in a private placement at the district’s expense following a period of 5 years where they denied him services, he was assaulted, and multiple citations were issued. In years past he has either never taken an End of Course test or the district stated that the final exam of the course would be sufficient. Our current IEP, that was signed off on by the entire team, including the 2 attorneys for the district, states that he will not participate in EOC testing. Our State Department has said that we did not have to sign a new IEP once put in place in the past. Can they withhold a state issued high school diploma (he has straight A’s) because we followed the IEP that was put in place?

My eleven year old grandson has multiple issues, gifted,bi- polar,ADHD. He has an IEP. We asked for three options for him for school next year, the District is refusing to offer any options but the junior high school near us.
Last year the team wanted him to skip from fifth to sixth grade mid year. This was his home school’s idea not ours. I took him to visit the junior high. When we met as a IEP team the next week, the junior high school said it wasn’t a good idea to place him in that school.
Now, one year later, the rest of the IEP team thinks he should attend that junior high next year.
Reasons opposing this placement:
1) the Special Education team leader at the junior high stated they have never provided help for children in the advanced level classes and she isn’t sure how to do that.