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2B - Prior Written Notice - April 2011 Revision

Note: This procedural directive was reviewed and revised in October 2012. We provide this revision for historic purposes only. Please refer to the current procedural Directive.

Explanation of Prior Written Notice by Albuquerque Public Schools

Federal and state statutes and regulations require Albuquerque Public Schools to provide prior written notice to parents of students receiving special education and related services.  This procedural directive outlines the requirements for prior written notice.

The Prior Written Notice of Proposed Actions section of the IEP provides the parent with prior written notice of the decisions the IEP Team has made before Albuquerque Public Schools acts to implement those decisions.

The Prior Written Notice of Proposal to Conduct an Individualized Multidisciplinary Evaluation and Prior Written Notice of Reevaluation forms provide the parent with prior written notice of Albuquerque Public Schools’ proposal to evaluate the child.  In addition, the parent is provided with the Consent for Multidisciplinary Special Education Evaluation form with the prior written notice.

The Notice to Parents Proposal for Revocation of Special Education Services form provides the parent with prior written notice before ceasing special education and related services based on the parent’s signed Revocation of Consent for Special Education and Related Services form.

Requirements to Provide Notice

According to federal and state statute and regulation, every child shall receive FAPE.  Special education and related services are included in a child’s FAPE; and therefore, a proposal to revise a child's IEP, which typically involves a change to the type, amount, or location of the special education and related services being provided to a child, would trigger requirements to provide prior written notice.  ( 34 CFR § 300.503)

A parent shall be given written notice, within a reasonable amount of time before Albuquerque Public Schools:

  • Proposes to initiate or change the identification, evaluation or educational placement of the student or the provision of a free appropriate public education for the child; or
  • Refuses to initiate or change the identification, evaluation or educational placement of the child or the provision of a free appropriate public education for the child

(34 C.F.R. §300.503(a))

If, during an IEP Team meeting, the IEP Team, including the parent, agrees to a change in the child's placement, Albuquerque Public Schools still shall provide written notice, since providing such notice following an IEP Team meeting allows the parent time to fully consider the change and determine if he/she has additional suggestions, concerns, or questions.

In the circumstance that Albuquerque Public Schools is not proposing a change, but rather agreeing to a change that has been proposed by a parent, Albuquerque Public Schools still shall be required to provide prior written notice to the parent.

“Nothing in the statute or regulations indicates that the notice is related to a parent's attitude toward any changes proposed or refused by the public agency.”  OSEP Letter to Lieberman (August 15, 2008).

Timeline for Prior Written Notice

Albuquerque Public Schools shall adequately meet the requirements of prior written notice as long as the prior written notice is provided in a reasonable time before Albuquerque Public Schools implements the proposal (or refusal) described in the notice.  (71 Fed. Reg. 46691 (August 14, 2006) and § 300.503)

Albuquerque Public Schools declines to substitute a specific timeline to clarify what is meant by the requirement that the notice be provided within a reasonable period of time, since prior written notice is provided in a wide variety of circumstances for which any one timeline would be too rigid and, in many cases, might prove unworkable.  (71 Fed. Reg. 46691)

However, with respect to IEP Team decisions, the prior written notice shall be provided at the close of the IEP Team meeting or as soon as practicable.  (6.31.2.11 NMAC)

In the context of an IEP Team meeting, the prior written notice shall not be given to the parent until after the IEP Team has made its final decisions.  Providing prior written notice in advance of meetings could suggest, in some circumstances, that the public agency’s proposal was improperly arrived at before the meeting and without parent input.  (71 Fed. Reg. 46691)

Content of Prior Written Notice

The prior written notice shall include:

  • A description of the action that Albuquerque Public Schools proposes or refuses to take;
  • An explanation of why Albuquerque Public Schools is proposing or refusing to take the action;
  • A description of each evaluation procedure, assessment, record, or report Albuquerque Public Schools used in deciding to propose or refuse the action;
  • A statement that the parent has protections under the procedural safeguards provisions in Part B of IDEA;
  • An explanation of how the parent can obtain a description of the procedural safeguards if the action that Albuquerque Public Schools is proposing or refusing is not an initial referral for evaluation;
  • Resources for the parent to contact for help in understanding Part B of IDEA;
  • A description any other options that the IEP Team considered and the reasons why those options were rejected; and
  • A description of other reasons why Albuquerque Public Schools proposed or refused the action.

(34 C.F.R. §300.503(b))

There is nothing in IDEA which prohibits Albuquerque Public Schools from using the IEP as part of the prior written notice as long as the document(s) the parent receives meet all the requirements in § 300.503.  Therefore, Albuquerque Public Schools shall provide the parent with the IEP and prior written notice to satisfy the requirements of prior written notice.  (71 Fed. Reg. 466691)

Notice in Understandable Language

The notice shall be:

  • Written in language understandable to the general public; and
  • Provided in the parent’s native language or other mode of communication the parent uses, unless it is clearly not feasible to do so.

(34 C.F.R. §300.503(c))

If the parent’s native language or other mode of communication is not a written language, Albuquerque Public Schools shall ensure that:

  • The notice is translated for the parent orally or by other means in the parent’s native language or other mode of communication;
  • The parent understands the content of the notice; and
  • There is written evidence that these requirements have been met.

(34 C.F.R. §300.503(c))

Prior Written Notice Following Revocation of Consent

Once Albuquerque Public Schools receives a parent’s written revocation of consent for a child’s receipt of special education and related services, Albuquerque Public Schools shall provide prior written notice to the parent regarding the change in educational placement and services that will result from the revocation of consent.  (73 Fed. 73008 (December 1, 2008))

Albuquerque Public Schools shall not discontinue services following revocation of consent until prior written notice has been provided to the parents.  Therefore, Albuquerque Public Schools shall promptly respond to receipt of written revocation of consent by providing prior written notice to the parents as per federal regulation.  (73 Fed. 73008 (December 1, 2008) and § 300.503)

When a parent revokes consent for the provision of special education and related services, Albuquerque Public Schools may inquire as to why a parent is revoking consent for special education and related services.  Albuquerque Public Schools shall not, however, require a parent to provide an explanation, either orally or in writing, prior to ceasing the provision of special education and related services.  (73 Fed. 73008 (December 1, 2008))

Administrative Position: Chief Academic Officer

Department Director: Executive Director of Special Education

References

Legal Cross Ref.:

For more information about the legal references below, refer to the following sites:
  • 34 C.F.R. §300.503
  • 71 Fed. Reg. 46691 (August 14, 2006)
  • 73 Fed. 73008 (December 1, 2008)

Board Policy Cross Ref.:

Procedural Directive Cross Ref.:

Forms:

  • IEP – Prior Written Notice of Proposed Actions (contact Special Education)
  • Prior Written Notice of Proposal to Conduct an Individualized Multidisciplinary Evaluation (contact Special Education)
  • Prior Written Notice of Reevaluation (contact Special Education)
  • Notice to Parents Proposal for Revocation of Special Education Services (contact Special Education)

NSBA/NEPN Classification: IHBA

Introduced: April 1, 2011
Reviewed: April 12, 2011
Adopted: April 22, 2011

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