Parent Information

With the reauthorization of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act of 1997 (IDEA 97), the parent's role in their child's educational process has been enhanced. Parents now have the opportunity to participate in meetings for identification, evaluation, placement and FAPE (free appropriate public education). Parents are included in eligibility and placement decisions. Schools are required to report to parents at least as often as they do to parents of non-disabled students. IDEA 97 recognizes the importance of parent/school partnerships and non-adversarial dispute resolution. Parents must be offered mediation as a voluntary option for dispute resolution.

For further information regarding Special Education programs and related services, please contact your neighborhood school or the Mendocino County SELPA at: 707.467.5166 (Ukiah), 707.964.9000 (Ft Bragg) & 800.675.7710

Community Advisory Committee for Special Education (CAC)

The Community Advisory Committee is composed of parents of students within the county, special education teachers, general education teachers, other school district personnel, representatives of other public and/or private agencies, and persons concerned with services for individuals with exceptional needs. A majority of the parents on the CAC must have children in special education.

The CAC provides school districts and the SELPA with community input regarding the development and implementation of the Local Plan for Special Education. It also serves as a forum for addressing the needs of ALL students with disabilities. The CAC encourages meaningful communication among school administrators, the Board of Education, parents, and communities.

Interested in becoming a CAC Member?

Please use our forms below to join the CAC or to find our more about the CAC.

file_grid error: path '/web/mcoe.us/files/selpa/CAC/Information' cannot be found.
CAC Information
No Files

You may also contact:

  • Mitzi Wagner, (707) 895-2953 or avas@mcn.org,
  • Karen Jason,  (707) 621-0200

Community Advisory Committee Meetings
Regular CAC meetings are held throughout Mendocino County. Please check the calendar for the location of each meeting.
The Rowell Family Empowerment Conference is coming up! Click on the links below for information and registration forms.

file_grid error: path '/web/mcoe.us/files/selpa/CAC/Rowell' cannot be found.
Rowell Conference
No Files

No Events Scheduled.

file_grid error: path '/web/mcoe.us/files/selpa/CAC/Agendas' cannot be found.
CAC Meeting Agendas
No Files


Community Advisory Committee Meeting Minutes
All Meetings are open to the public. Persons with disabilities requiring special accommodations for attendance at the meeting should contact the SELPA office at least one business day prior to the meeting.


file_grid error: path '/web/mcoe.us/files/selpa/CAC/Minutes' cannot be found.
CAC Meeting Minutes
No Files

Community Advisory Committee Newsletters
The CAC produces quarterly newsletters. If you would like to receive upcoming newsletters via email or snail mail, please contact Nichole Haydon at 707-467-5166 or nhaydon@mcoe.us.


file_grid error: path '/web/mcoe.us/files/selpa/CAC/Newsletters' cannot be found.
CAC Newsletters
No Files

A Parent's Part in the Individualized Education Program

With the reauthorization of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act of 1997 (IDEA 97), the parent's role in their child's educational process has been enhanced. Parents now have the opportunity to participate in meetings for identification, evaluation, placement and FAPE (free appropriate public education). Parents are included in eligibility and placement decisions. Schools are required to report to parents at least as often as they do to parents of non-disabled students. IDEA 97 recognizes the importance of parent/school partnerships and non-adversarial dispute resolution. Parents must be offered mediation as a voluntary option for dispute resolution.

Record Keeping
Keep a notebook with up-to-date health records, Teacher/district staff communications, and a copy of the IEP

IEP Meetings
Come prepared. Write down any questions you want answered and any suggestions you have regarding educational objectives, health issues, transportation, and schedules. Be ready to make your own observations about your student's needs and strengths. Bring all the relevant information/records you have. Don't be reluctant to ask questions. Sharing information about your student is the basis for mutual understanding.

Writing down answers to the following statements can be very helpful for the IEP meeting:

  1. Things I think my child does well (strengths) are:
  2. My concerns about how my child is doing in school are:
  3. The two or three most important things that I would like to see happen for my child in school are:
  4. The best way to help my child learn is:

Helpful Hints
Parents/guardians/conservators should attend all IEP meetings. If you have questions, request definitions and clarifications. Check to see if an interpreter has been scheduled when necessary. Contact teachers in order to monitor your student's progress. Remember, everyone is working together in your student's best interest.

If you need further help, contact the CAC through the SELPA Office.

The Student Study Team (SST) Process

The Education Code requires that a pupil shall be referred for special education instruction and services only after the resources of the regular program have been considered and, where appropriate, utilized. Further, pupils are to be provided with special education instruction and services only when "their impairment ? requires instruction, services, or both which cannot be provided with modification of the regular school program."

The Student Study team is a function of regular education, in which a team composed of a multitude of disciplines (regular teachers, parents, and support staff - such as counselors, nurses, speech therapists and psychologists, as necessary) meet to discuss a student's background, strengths and specific academic or behavior challenges. Strategies are discussed and implemented with the goal of student success in the regular classroom.

The Student Study team is not a special education function and convenes to assist teachers and families prior to the consideration of special education services. Students who can be educated in the regular classroom are, by definition, served in the Least Restrictive Environment (LRE). Evidence must be presented indicating why the student cannot function in the regular classroom with modification of the program. It is the responsibility of the SST to assist teachers to implement and monitor such modifications and to consider and utilize the resources of the regular program, where appropriate.

Procedural Safeguards

Parents of children with disabilities from three years of age through age twenty-one have specific educational rights under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. These rights are sometimes called procedural safeguards. Individuals serving as surrogate parents and students aged eighteen receiving special education services also are entitled to these procedural safeguards, known as the "Notice of Procedural Safeguards."

Teacher or Administrator Involvement is Important
A number of people in your child's district and special education local plan area (SELPA) can answer questions about your child's education and your rights as a parent. When you have a concern, it is important that you contact your child's teachers or administrators to talk about your child and any problems you see. This informal conversation often solves the problem and helps maintain open communication.

Parent Participation is Important
You must be given opportunities to participate in any meeting during which decisions will be made about your child's special education program. You have the right to participate in meetings about the identification, assessment, educational placement, and other matters related to your child's education. Under certain conditions, a surrogate parent may be assigned to represent a child with a disability when a parent cannot be identified or located.

What are Parent's Rights in California Special Education?

The following is an abbreviated summary of procedural safeguards under federal and state laws. "Special Education Rights of Parents and Children", a more extensive description of these rights, is available from the California Department of Education, Special Education Division.

Additionally, the state-wide SELPA Administrators group has committed to use of the following updated Parents' Rights/Procedural Safeguards Notice

file_grid error: path '/web/mcoe.us/files/selpa/Parent_Information' cannot be found.
Parent Information
No Files

To obtain more information about parental rights or dispute resolution, including how to file a complaint, contact: California Department of Education, Special Education Division, Procedural Safeguards Referral Service, by telephoning (800) 926-0648 or writing to: 515 L Street, Suite 270, Sacramento, CA 95814. FAX (916) 327-3704 or web site: http://www.cde.ca.gov/ or contact your local school district or the Mendocino County SELPA Office at (707) 467-5166 or (707) 964-9000

Parents and students over age eighteen have the right...

To Participate
You have the right to refer your child for special education services, to participate in the development of the individualized education program (IEP), and to be informed of all program options and alternatives, both public and nonpublic.

To Receive Prior Written Notice
You have a right to receive prior written notice in your native language when the school district initiates a change in the identification, assessment, or educational placement in special education

To Consent
You must provide informed, written consent before a child is assessed or provided with any special education services. Parental consent must also be provided before any change in special education services can occur.

To Refuse to Consent
You can refuse to consent to an assessment or the placement of your child in special education.

To Be Given a Nondiscriminatory Assessment
You child must be assessed for special education through the use of methods that are not culturally biased or discriminatory.

To Receive Independent Educational Assessments
You may obtain an independent educational assessment for your child at public expense if you disagree with the assessment conducted by the school district. The school district must help you obtain a second opinion if it is asked to do so. If the district believes that an independent assessment is unnecessary, it may request a hearing to prove that the district's assessment is appropriate.

To Access Your Educational Records
You have a right to inspect, review, and obtain copies of your child's educational records.

To Stay in the Current Program If There Is a Disagreement About Placement
If you disagree with the district regarding your child's special education placement or a proposed change in placement, the law requires the student to "stay put" in the current program until the dispute is resolved.

To Be Given a Hearing Regarding Disagreements About an IEP
You have the right to present a complaint relating to the provision of a free appropriate public education for your child; to have an attorney, an advocate, and the student, if appropriate, present at the due process hearing; and to make the hearing public. Under certain conditions, the hearing officer may award, reduce, or deny the reimbursement of attorneys' fees and fees paid to nonpublic institutions by parents in the settlement of a case. To request a due process hearing or to receive a complete notice of procedural safeguards related to a fair hearing, contact the Special Education Hearing Office (McGeorge School of Law - Special Education Hearing Office, 3200 Fifth Avenue, Sacramento, CA 95817, Telephone: (916) 739-7053 or FAX: (916) 739-7066.

To Receive Mediation
You are also encouraged to consider settling disagreements regarding your child's special education program through voluntary mediation, a process through which parties seek mutually agreeable solutions to disputes with the help of an impartial mediator. You can seek mediation alone or separate from due process, or you can participate in mediation pending a due process hearing. Mediation cannot be used to delay your right to a due process hearing.

To File a Complaint Against Your School District
If you believe your child's school district has violated the law, you may file a complaint with the California Department of Education. The Department must investigate the complaint and issue a written report of findings within 60 days of receiving the complaint.

To Be Informed of School Discipline and Alternative Placement
There are specific rules regarding the suspension and expulsion of students with IEPs. Generally, a student with a disability may be suspended or placed in an alternative educational setting to the same extent that these options apply to students without disabilities. If your child is in such a placement for more than ten days, an IEP meeting must be held to consider the appropriateness of your child's current placement and the extent to which the disability is the cause of the misconduct. Regardless of your child's placement, the district must provide a free appropriate educational program for your child.

To Be Informed of Policies Regarding Children Who Attend Private Schools
Children who are enrolled by their parents in private schools may participate in publicly funded special education programs. Although school districts have the clear responsibility to offer a free appropriate public education to students with disabilities, recent changes in federal law have significantly limited the school district's responsibility to provide services to students who have been enrolled in private schools.

       
      Back to the top
      2240 Old River Road Ukiah, CA 95482 • Phone: 707-467-5000 • Fax: 707-462-0379

      Legal Information | Privacy Policy | Site Map

      IES-WEB4 Copyright © 2001-2015. All Rights Reserved.
      Web Development by Cyberschool & IES, Inc.
      }