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5 Back To School Tips – Parents of Students with Disabilities

1)   If you have a child with a disability in K-12 public school, your child may be eligible for special education services.  Make a request in writing to the school for these services.  Special education can provide individualized help your child needs to succeed in school.  Keep in mind that the school has 60 schools days to complete the evaluation from the date you sign the consent for evaluation.

2)   After the assessment, there is an IEP (Individual Education Plan) Team meeting to discuss the results of the evaluation.  By law, the parent must be a part of the IEP Team.  At the IEP Team meeting, the Team makes determination of eligibility of special education services.

3)   If a student is found to be eligible for services, then the Team writes an IEP for that student.

4)   If your child is found not eligible for an IEP, you can ask for a “504 Plan".  You can review the Parent’s Guide to Special Education published by the Kansas State Dept. of Education.  You can also attend a parent special education training by Families Together.  You can also contact Families Together or DRC Kansas for basic information.  Please understand that there are nearly 70,000 students with IEPs in Kansas.  Therefore, these two agencies may be limited to providing basic information about special education.

5)   If your child already has an IEP, be persistent and schedule that first IEP meeting of the school year.  Propose a date and time and request the meeting in writing.  This is especially important for those students that do not have an IEP that is active.