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 Parent Guide - Educational Rights and Responsibilities: Understanding Special Education in Illinois

Educational Rights and Responsibilities: Understanding Special Education in Illinois is a document, developed by the Illinois State Board of Education for parents and others to learn about the educational rights of children who have disabilities and receive special education services.

Paper copies of Educational Rights and Responsibilities are not available at this time. For questions regarding Educational Rights and Responsibilities call (217) 782-5589.

Complete Report

Key Topics (Download by chapt​er)

  • Chapter 6: Individualized Education Programs (IEPs)PDF Document
    • What is an IEP?
    • Who is on the IEP team?
    • IEP Timelines to Remember​​​​​
    • What an IEP Includes
    • Specifics about IEP Components
    • Other IEP Considerations​​​​​
    • Additional Requirements for Students Who Have a Disability on the Autism Spectrum
    • Parent Tips
    • What You Need to Know About Excusal from IEP Attendance​​​​​
    • Changes to the IEP Without a Meeting​

  • Chapter 7: Least Restrictive Environment (LRE)PDF Document
    • Where should students be educated?
    • What do some placement options look like?
    • What does the research say about inclusive education?​​​​​
    • What is the General Education Environment?
    • Specifics about IEP Components

  • Chapter 8: Secondary TransitionPDF Document
    • What is Transition and what does it do for students with disabilities?
    • What are transition services?
    • What are the basic components of the transition plan?
    • What is the transfer of parental rights all about?
    • Resources

  • Chapter 10: Student DisciplinePDF Document
    • School Safety
    • Manifestation Determination Review (MDR)
    • Removal from the Current Placement for Certain Conduct
    • Protections for Certain Students Who Are Not Special Education Eligible
    • Expedited Due Process Hearings

  • Chapter 11: Conflict ResolutionPDF Document
    • Introduction to Conflict Resolution
    • Key Terms
    • When a Disagreement Occurs: First Steps
    • All About Mediation
    • Formal Dispute Resolution
    • All About State Complaints
    • Formal Disputes: Due Process Hearings
    • Why Should I File for Due Process?
    • Can a District File for Due Process Too?
    • Do I Need to Hire a Lawyer or Advocate?
    • How Do Parents Request a Due Process Hearing?
    • Stay-Put: How a Hearing Request Affects the Child’s Placement
    • A Note about Hearing Officers and Substitutions
    • Next Steps: Responses and Insufficiency
    • The Resolution Process
    • Resolution Agreements
    • Setting the Stage: The Pre-Hearing Conference
    • Setting the Stage: The Pre-Hearing Conference
    • The Decision & Clarification: The Final Step? Maybe
    • Court Review of the Decision
    • Conclusion: Conflict Resolution in a Nutshell​

  • Chapter 12: Private SchoolsPDF Document
    • Overview of Private School Placement
    • Placement by a Parent on a Voluntary Basis
    • Placement by a Public School District

  • Chapter 13: School RecordsPDF Document
    • Reviewing and Copying Records
    • Challenging Your Child’s Records
    • Age of Majority
    • Medicaid and Insurance: Parent Consent/Student Records

  • Appendix A: Sample Letters for ParentsPDF Document
    1. Writing to Discuss a Problem
    2. Requesting an Initial Evaluation for Special Education Services
    3. Requesting an Independent Educational Evaluation (IEE) at Public Expense
    4. Requesting Your Child’s Records
    5. Requesting a Meeting to Review the Individualized Education Program (IEP)
    6. Requesting a Change of Placement
    7. Requesting Prior Written Notice
    8. Requesting Mediation
    9. Informing the School that You Intend to Enroll Your Child in a Private School at Public Expense
    10. Requesting a Due Process Hearing
    11. Filing a Complaint with the Illinois State Board of Education
    12. Writing a Follow-up Letter
    13. Writing a Positive Feedback Letter
    14. Revocation of Consent for Special Education​

  • Appendix B: Quick Reference ChartsPDF Document
    • Referral & Evaluation
    • Eligibility Categories
    • Additional Procedures for Specific Learning Disabilities
    • Individualized Education Programs (IEPs)
    • Least Restrictive Environment (LRE)
    • Secondary Transition
    • Behavior
    • Discipline
    • School Records
    • Early Childhood Services

  • Appendix C: Glossary of Key TermsPDF Document

    Contains a list of key terms used throughout this book. If a common acronym is associated with the term (for example, “IEP” for Individualized Education Program), you will find that acronym, too.

 Illinois Student Records Keeper for Parents of Students Who Receive Special Education Services

This booklet is for parents to use to keep important information about their child and his/her special education and related services. It is a companion to Educational Rights and Responsibilities: Understanding Special Education in Illinois.

Records play an important role as you plan your child’s education. Dates, people, meetings and reports are important throughout your child’s educational career. The records keeper was developed to assist parents in preparing for Individualized Education Program (IEP) and transition meetings; getting ready for evaluations and reevaluations; and keeping track of paperwork and other materials.

This booklet cross-references the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) publication, Educational Rights and Responsibilities: Understanding Special Education in Illinois. At the bottom of each page, locate the page number(s) that references a section or pages in the guide. The guide offers information to increase your knowledge and understanding about the topic or issue.

Illinois Student Records KeeperPDF Document (1.37MB)​​

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