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Sample Letters

Why would you want to write a letter to your child's school or to the director of special education? Writing a formal letter can help clear up misunderstandings, and express the seriousness of your concern. By writing a letter, the school will learn that you consider the issue at hand to be a very important matter that needs to be addressed.

Letters can be written for a variety of reasons - IEP issues, general education issues, specific requests, bullying and/or harassment, or the need to help your child with social skills or behavioral issues. Any school problem can be addressed in a letter and it is worth it if it goes towards helping your child succeed in school.

When writing letters to school personnel, you want your letter to be professional, but still have a personal nature. Refer to your child by name and state the facts of the current situation clearly. Address the letter appropriately and use a "pc;" at the letter for other individuals who will receive a copy of the letter. For example, if you are writing to the Director of Special Education, you will want to send a copy of the letter to the school principal and also to the special education teacher at your child's school.

It is important that you keep a copy of every letter you send to school personnel (as well as letters you receive from school personnel). Sign your original letter in blue ink, so the individual receiving it knows that they have the original letter. Keep a binder or folder for all of your letters. If at all possible, hand-deliver your letters.

Occasionally, some parents have run into issues regarding when a letter was sent and received, or if the letter was sent at all. In these cases, you can send your letter by registered or certified mail with a delivery confirmation and signature required.

We have provided some sample template letters to help you approach the task of letter writing. These letters address some of the many reasons parents may have for writing letters.

  • Letter One: Request an Initial Special Education Evaluation
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    • If your child has been consistently struggling in school, there is a possibilty his/her problems may be related to a disability. In some cases the school may request your permission to evaluate your child. Your child may have been identified as having a disability by a medical professional, and you are considering special education services for your child. Under IDEA, parents have the right to request that the school evaluate their child. The purpose of the evaluation is to determine if he/she has a disability and needs special education services. This evaluation is provided at no cost to the parents.
  • Letter Two:Request an FBA (Functional Behavior Assessment)
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    • A Functional Behavior Assessment (FBA) is used to take the observation of inappropriate, challenging, or ineffective behaviors a step further. It begins to assess the function that the behavior serves for the child. After the assessment, an IEP meeting should be held (including the parents) to discuss the results. The IEP team will work together to develop a positive behavior intervention plan for the child.
  • Letter Three: Request an IEP Meeting to Review/Revise IEP
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    • If your child is receiving special education services, then he/she will have a written plan known as an Individualized Education Plan (IEP). The IEP contains the special education and related services your child receives; any acommodations, modifications, and/or supports; and annual goals and objectives for your child. Parents are members of the IEP team that creates the child's IEP. As a member of the IEP team, you may request a meeting to review, and, if necessary, revise your child's IEP. Some reasons for requesting an IEP review include:
      • Your child does not seem to be making adequate progress towards one or more of the goals in his/her IEP.
      • You feel that your child needs more services, or other services, in order to make progress.
      • You feel that the supports and services written into the IEP aren't being provided to your child.
      • Your child has experienced a major change, such as an illness, injury, or surgery.
      • Your child has met one or more of the goals written in his/her IEP.
  • Letter Four: Request an IEP Meeting to Modify Placement
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    • Placement is where your child's IEP is carried out. This could be the general education classroom, special education classroom, special school, hospital, home, or other setting. Placement is based upon the IEP, and when you request a change or modification in placement, you are actually requesting a review of your child's IEP to discuss his/her needs and where those needs are met. You might request a change in your child's placement if you feel his/her needs are not being met; after having reviewed progress reports or the results of assesments; or after talking with your child's teachers. Other placement concerns might include:
      • The current placement does not meet your child's social and/or emotional needs.
      • The current class size is too large or too small.
      • The building is too difficult for your child to get around in.
      • Changes in your child's needs.
      • You feel that the current placement is not the "Least Restrictive Environment" (LRE).
      • Any other reason that is interfering with your child's success and adequate progress.
  • Letter Five: FERPA Request for Educational Records
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    • Having a copy of your child's eductional records is very important. You can request these under the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA).
    • This letter should be sent to your school district's FERPA Compliance Officer. If you are unable to determine who this person is, you can address the letter to the Superintendent of Schools and include a sentence at the beginning of the letter that you were unable to determine who the FERPA Compliance Officer for the school district is, so you are sending this letter to him/her instead.













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