Policy 7660


The Board recognizes the rights of the parent or guardian to be fully informed of all information relevant to the identification, or change in identification, evaluation, and educational placement of a child with a disability. The District will observe all due process procedures for parents or guardians and children set forth in the Commissioner's regulations.

Definition of Parent

Parent means a birth or adoptive parent, a legally appointed guardian generally authorized to act as the child's parent or authorized to make educational decisions for the child, a person in parental relation to the child as defined in Education Law Section 3212, an individual designated as a person in parental relation by General Obligations Law Title 15-A including a designated individual who is acting in the place of a birth or adoptive parent, or a surrogate parent who has been appointed in accordance with Section 200.5(n) of Commissioner's regulations. 

A foster parent may act as a parent unless state law, regulations, or contractual obligations with a state or local entity prohibit the foster parent from acting as a parent.

Unless a judicial decree identifies a specific person(s) to act as the parent or make educational decisions for the student, if one or more parties is qualified to act as a parent, the birth or adoptive parent is presumed to be the parent unless they do not have the legal authority to do so.

Surrogate Parents

In the event that no parent or guardian for a child with a disability can be identified, or after reasonable efforts the whereabouts of the parent or guardian cannot be determined, or the student is an unaccompanied homeless youth, or the child with a disability is a ward of the State and does not have a "parent" as defined above, or the rights of the parent to make educational decisions have been subrogated in accordance with state law, the Board will assign an individual from a list of willing and eligible persons to act as a surrogate for the parents or guardians. Alternatively, the surrogate parent may be appointed by a judge overseeing the child's case.

The person selected as a surrogate will have no interest that conflicts with the interest of the child he or she represents, and will have knowledge and skills that ensure adequate representation of the child.

Prior Written Notice (Notice of Recommendation)

Prior written notice must be given to parents of a student with a disability a reasonable time before the District proposes to, or refuses to, initiate or change the identification, evaluation, educational placement of the student or the provision of a free appropriate public education (FAPE) to the student and in certain other circumstances as set forth in relevant law and Commissioner's regulations.

If the prior written notice relates to a proposed action that also requires parental consent, the District must give notice at the same time it requests parental consent. The prior written notice will contain all elements required by Commissioner's regulations.

A parent may elect to receive prior written notice and other required notifications by email if the District makes this option available.

Parent Participation in Meetings

The District must take steps to ensure that one or both of the parents of a child with a disability are present at each Committee on Special Education (CSE) or Committee on Preschool Special Education (CPSE) meeting or are afforded the opportunity to participate in a mutually agreed upon time and place. The CSE or CPSE must also document its attempts to involve parents in the child's meeting and recommended educational program. A meeting may be conducted without a parent in attendance if the parents are unwilling to attend.

Additionally, the District will ensure the parent understands the proceedings of any meeting for their child including arranging for an interpreter as appropriate.

Parental Consent

A parent of a special education student or a student suspected of having a disability must provide informed consent before the District can take certain actions, including, but not limited to, evaluations, initial provision of services, and to access public benefits or insurance. The District will make reasonable efforts to obtain written informed consent and will maintain a detailed record of its attempts and the results of those attempts.

Parents with custodial rights—whether sole or joint—may exercise decision-making authority with respect to the student's education. Absent a court order or custody agreement to the contrary, a non-custodial parent may not control educational decisions for the student, though he or she may participate in the child's education.

Consent for an Unaccompanied Homeless Youth

Consent may be provided by a surrogate parent. However, until a surrogate parent is appointed, consent may be provided on a temporary basis by an employee of a temporary housing facility operated or approved by a local social services district or a residential facility for runaway and homeless youth. 

Consent for a Ward of the State

A ward of the state means a child or youth under the age of 21 who:

a) Has been placed or remanded in accordance with Social Services Law or the Family Court Act or freed for adoption in accordance with Social Services Law; or
b) Is in the custody of the Commissioner of Social Services or the Office of Children and Family Services; or
c) Is a destitute child under Social Services Law.

In the event that a child is a ward of the state, the District will make reasonable efforts to obtain the informed consent from the parent for an initial evaluation to determine whether the child has a disability. 

The District is not required to obtain informed consent if:

a) Despite reasonable efforts to do so, the District cannot discover the whereabouts of the parent of the student, including consulting with the agency responsible for the care of the student; or 
b) The rights of the parents have been terminated in accordance with state law; or
c) The rights of the parent to make educational decisions have been subrogated by a judge.

Consent for a Student Who is Home Instructed or Parentally Placed in a Private School at the Parent's Expense

If a parent of a student who is home instructed or placed in a private school by their parents at their own expense does not provide consent for an initial evaluation or reevaluation, or the parent fails to respond to a request to provide consent, the District will not continue to pursue those evaluations by using due process procedures and it is not required to consider the student as eligible for special education services.

Parental Revocation of Consent

Parental revocation of consent for continued provision of special education and related services must be in writing. When the parent revokes his or her consent, the District still must provide the parent with the usual written notice of its intentions with respect to the child.

If the parent of a student with a disability revokes his or her consent in writing for the continued provision of special education and related services to the student at any time subsequent to the initial provision of special education and related services, the District:

a) Will not continue to provide special education and related services to the student, but must provide prior written notice to the parent before ceasing the provisions of special education and related services;
b) Will not use due process procedures (i.e., mediation, resolution meeting, and/or impartial due process hearing) in order to obtain agreement or a ruling that the services may be provided to the student without parental consent;
c) Will not be considered to be in violation of the requirement to make a FAPE available to the student because of the failure to provide the student with further special education and related services following revocation of consent; 
d) Is not required to convene a meeting of the CSE or develop an IEP for the student for further provision of special education programs and related services upon receipt of written revocation of consent; and
e) Is not required to amend the student's education records to remove any references to the student's receipt of special education programs and services because of the revocation of consent.

Procedural Safeguards Notice

The District will provide the procedural safeguards notice prescribed by the Commissioner of Education to the parents of a student with a disability at least one time per year and also upon:

a) Initial referral or parental request for evaluation;
b) The first filing of a due process complaint notice to request mediation or an impartial due process hearing;
c) Request by a parent;
d) A decision to impose a suspension or removal that constitutes a disciplinary change in placement; and
e) First receipt of a state complaint.

Policy References:
Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), 20 USC § 1400 et seq.
34 CFR Part 300
Education Law §§ 207, 3212, 4005, 4202, 4401 and 4402
8 NYCRR §§ 200.1, 200.4(b)(6), and 200.5

NOTE:  Refer also to 
Policy 7260 - Designation of Person in Parental Relation
Policy 7270 - Rights of Non-Custodial Parents
Policy 7630 - Committee on Special Education (CSE)/Committee on Preschool Special Education (CPSE)
Policy 7640 - Student Individualized Education Program (IEP): Development and Provision

Adopted: 6/22/99
Revised: 9/6/22

Policy 7660