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Special Education Tip # 9: Share the Results of Outside Evaluations with Your Child’s School

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Special Education Tip # 9: Share the Results of Outside Evaluations with Your Child’s School

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Share the Results of Outside Evaluations with Your Child’s School

Many parents struggle with the decision to disclose information about their child’s disability to their child’s school. While independent evaluations and doctors reports often contain detailed narratives and recommendations that are useful in developing IEPs, they also tend to contain sensitive and confidential information that the family may not necessarily want to disclose to their child’s school.

While it can be natural to feel the need to keep sensitive information private, it is important to remember that a District can only provide a Free Appropriate Public Education (FAPE) when they are armed with all up-to-date information about your child. Evaluations and reports must be disclosed if parents expect the District to provide services in accordance with expert opinions.

In addition, if a parent intends to use any portion of these independent evaluations or doctors reports as evidence in a due process hearing, those documents should be disclosed to the District ahead of time. Once a hearing request has been filed, the District has the right to ask for any documents that will be used by the parents and their attorney during the hearing in a process called Discovery. If a parent waits for the independent reports to be subpoenaed during Discovery, the District will likely request that he hearing process be halted until the team can consider the expert recommendations.

Generally, it is best to disclose all information to your child’s school. Providing the team with independent evaluations and doctors reports not only creates goodwill and a sense of open communication between the parents and school district, but it can also help keep up the pace for a pending due process hearing.

If you have questions about sharing information about your child and his or her special education needs with your school district, please contact an experienced special education attorney at Sankey Law Offices.

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