Special Education Basics Toolkit
Special Education Basics Toolkit
Disclaimer: These materials are based on the law at the time we write them. We try to update our materials; however, laws are regularly changing. If you want to make sure the law has not changed, contact us or another legal source.
Common District Statements to Parents/Guardians and Possible Parent/Guardian Responses to Common District Statements
School districts make common statements that may deny or delay your child’s right to special education and related services. This resource has common statements that school districts make to parents/guardians. If your child’s school district says one of these common statements to you, we have provided a brief summary of the law and a possible response that you can say to the school district.
17 Special Education Advocacy Tips
This document will provide you with tips before, during, and after an IEP meeting to help you advocate for your child.
Know Your Rights Wallet Card
You have the right to access services you need with reasonable accommodations during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), the Unruh Civil Rights Act and the Disabled Persons Act prohibit disability discrimination by California businesses and government agencies. Present this wallet card to help you explain your rights and request the accommodations you need in places like the grocery store, agency offices and other businesses.
Special Education Timelines
Special Education has a lot of timelines and it can be hard to keep track! Use this document to look up when you can expect meetings, responses, assessments, and more!
Special Education Terms to Know
Reading Special Education-related records or documents can be hard! Sometimes it can feel like trying to understand a new language. Below is a list of some of the acronyms and terms. We hope it will help you better understand your child’s records.
Understanding Psycho-Educational Evaluations
Psycho-educational evaluations are an important type of special education assessment. Sometimes, these evaluations can be hard to understand. Below is information to help you read these assessments, including: (1) Components of a Psycho-Educational Evaluation, (2) Types of Tests Commonly Used, and (3) Common Terms Defined.
How To Obtain An Independent Educational Evaluation At Public Expense
This publication provides information on how to obtain an independent educational evaluation at public expense from a school district. Another way that you can obtain an independent educational evaluation is to pay for the evaluation on your own.
Educationally Related Mental Health Services (ERMHS)
Educationally Related Mental Health Services (ERMHS) are mental health services for students who qualify for special education. ERMHS support student’s social-emotional needs. They can also help to improve the student’s academics, behavior, and overall well-being. ERMHS are individually tailored to the student’s needs and to their Individual Education Program (“IEP”) goals. ERMHS may include counseling (individual, group) and/or social work services (collaboration and case management).
What Is Individualized Education Program (IEP) Progress?
This publication provides necessary information to educate yourself on IEP progress and all of its inner workings.
Template Letter for a Request for Assessment
Update this template to ask your school district to assess your student for special education. This template is written for initial requests for special education assessments. But, you can edit the form as-needed.
Template Letter for Requesting Educational Records
Update this template to ask your school district to send you copies of your student’s educational records.
Template Letter for Revising an Existing IEP plus Recording an IEP
Update this template letter to ask your school district to hold an IEP meeting for your student. If you would like to audio record the meeting, be sure to use the optional language.
Worksheet to Prepare for an Upcoming IEP Meeting
It can be overwhelming to prepare for an IEP meeting. Use this worksheet prepare for an upcoming IEP meeting.
Worksheet Tracking Log for IEP/504 Plan Services
Your child has a right to receive the services outlined in their IEP. Use this tracking log to keep track of the services that your child receives. You can use this as evidence should you need to ask your school district to make up for services they did not provide your student. (This is especially important as school districts offer students learning loss recovery services and compensatory education for services not provided during distance learning!)