Parent & Student Rights

  • Parents' Rights: Understanding the Procedural Safeguards Notice

    This brochure provides a summary of the rights of parents whose children receive or may be eligible to receive special education services.


    Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)

    What is FERPA? A Federal law that protects the privacy of student education records.

    Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)

    Rights and Protections

    Prior Written Notice.   The responsible Bucks County School entity must notify you in writing whenever it proposes to initiate or to change the identification, evaluation, educational program or placement of a child or whenever it refuses to initiate or make a change in the identification, evaluation, educational program or placement requested by a parent.  Such notice must be accompanied by a written description of the action proposed or rejected, the reasons for the proposal or refusal, a description of the evaluation information and other relevant factors used as a basis for the decision, the other options considered, if any, the reasons why such options were rejected and a statement that the parent has the right to procedural safeguards. 

    Consent.  Bucks County School entities cannot proceed with an evaluation or reevaluation, or with the initial provision of special education and related services, without the written consent of the parents. However, a Bucks County School entity may attempt to override the lack of consent for an initial evaluation or reevaluation by requesting the approval of an impartial hearing officer by filing a due process request.  Additionally, in the case of a parent’s failure to respond to a request to conduct a reevaluation, a Bucks County School entity may proceed with the proposed reevaluation without parental consent if it can show that it made a reasonable effort to obtain parental consent and that the parent failed to respond.  A public school may not seek a hearing to override the refusal of a parent to consent to an initial placement in special education.  Parents have the right to withdraw their consent to special education services at any time.  In doing so, they are agreeing to the discontinuation of all special education instruction, supplementary aides, program modifications, adaptations, and services.  By withdrawing consent, they are also agreeing to forgo the special rights and protections that apply to children with disabilities and their parents.

    Protection in Evaluation Procedures. Evaluations to determine eligibility and the current need for special education and related services must be administered in a manner that is free of racial, cultural, or linguistic bias and in the native language of the child.  The evaluation must assess the child in all areas related to the suspected disability and include a variety of technically sound instruments, assessment tools and strategies.  The assessments and evaluation materials must be used for the purposes for which the assessments or measures are valid and reliable, must be administered by trained and knowledgeable personnel in accordance with any instructions provided by the producer of the assessment and must be talked to assess special areas of need.  Moreover, evaluation determinations cannot be based upon any single measure or assessment.