Parents play an important role in the education of their children, especially parents of children who are identified as having disabilities. The law requires that parents and school personnel work together to provide children with appropriate educational services.
A Parent's Guide to Special Education
This publication was developed to help parents understand their rights and responsibilities, their child's rights and the school's responsibilities to meet the special needs of their child. The guide includes a description of the special education process and what is required of you and the school during each step of that process. Important timelines are highlighted in each section.
A Parent's Guide To Special Education is provided in these formats:
Virginia Family Special Education Connection is a new website dedicated to providing comprehensive information on special education issues, practices and services to Virginia families who have children with disabilities. This resource was developed by VDOE, in collaboration with the Helen A. Kellar Institute for Human disAbilities at George Mason University.
VDOE has an ombudsman who acts as a source of information and referral, aids in answering individuals' questions, and assists in the resolution of concerns and issues. The ombudsman serves as a resource to parents in non-legal special education matters.
Parent's are encouraged to resolve special education concerns at the local school division level. School divisions, parents, and children benefit and build relationships when school divisions and parents work together to resolve problems.
- Guidance Document on the Implementation of the Regulations Governing Special Education Programs for Children with Disabilities in Virginia, 2009 (PDF)
- Guidance Document for Implementing New Special Education Requirements for the Definition of Parent, May 2009 (PDF)
- Parents’ Guide to Special Education Dispute Resolution (PDF)
- Parent Resource Centers In Local School Divisions
- Virginia Special Education Regulations
- Your Family's Special Education Rights – Virginia Procedural Safeguards Notice (PDF)
- Frequently Asked Questions about the Ombudsman for Special Education
- Troubleshooting Parents' Special Education Concerns Within A Local School Division – (This document is under revision)
- Guidance Document on Manifestation Determination New Requirements (PDF)
- Extended School Year Services (PDF)
- Early Childhood Transition From Part C Early Intervention to Part B Special Education and Other Services for Young Children with Disabilities (PDF)
- Educational Interpreting Services (PDF)
- State Special Education Advisory Committee – The State Special Education Advisory Committee meetings are open to the public. Regular quarterly meetings include time for the committee to receive public comment.
- Guidance on Prior Written Notice in the Special Education Process (PDF)
- Licensed Private Schools for Students with Disabilities (PDF)
- Transfer of Children with Disabilities and Special Education Protections Briefing (PDF)
- Guidance for Military Families with Students in Special Education (PDF)
- Virginia School for the Deaf and the Blind
- The Parent Educational Advocacy Training Center – Building positive futures for Virginia's children by working collaboratively with families, schools and communities in order to improve opportunities for excellence in education and success in school and community life
You May Also Be Interested In:
- For Parents: Virginia's Tiered System of Supports (VTSS) – A video that explains the system used in Virginia that provides resources and support to help every student become successful in academics and behavior. Also see Virginia's Tiered Systems of Support.
- The document Procedures for Participation of Students with Disabilities in Virginia's Accountability System has been updated and reorganized into two documents as follows:
- Students with Disabilities: Guidelines for Assessment Participation (PDF) – Provides the state assessment options available to students with disabilities, the participation criteria, and information about the roles and responsibilities of Individualized Education Program (IEP) teams and 504 committees in making assessment determinations.
- Students with Disabilities: Guidelines for Special Test Accommodations (PDF) – Provides information on a four-step process for selecting and using test accommodations and a description of test accommodations currently permitted on state assessments.
- Educational Interpreting Services (PDF)
- Comprehensive Services Act for At Risk Youth and Families (CSA)
- Transition Services for Students with Disabilities