Providing Parent’s Notice & Obtaining Consent

The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) mandates public agencies provide prior written notice to parents and request parental consent to ensure they are fully informed of all actions or activities related to all special education processes.


Notice is written information given to the parent by a district to explain an action the district wants to take, or is refusing to take, with a student who has a disability or is suspected of having a disability. Notice provides the reason(s) that the district is proposing or refusing an activity. Notice must always be given before consent is requested.

The parent needs the information in the notice to make an informed decision about providing consent. Reasonable attempts to gain consent must be made. Reasonable attempts, as defined by Ingham ISD, are at least 2 attempts on 2 different dates using 2 different modes of communication.   

What to Include in Notice

  1. A description of the action proposed or refused by the district.  
  2. An explanation of why the district proposes or refuses to take an action.  
  3. A description of each evaluation procedure, assessment, record, or report the district used as a basis for the proposed or refused action.  
  4. A statement that the parent has protection under the procedural safeguards and how a copy of the procedural safeguards can be obtained.  
  5. Sources for the parents to contact to obtain assistance in understanding the law.  
  6. A description of other options that the individualized education program (IEP) team considered and the reasons why those options were rejected.  
  7. A description of other factors relevant to the district’s proposal or refusal. 

When Notice is Required


  • Following any request for an evaluation. 
  • Prior to a district requesting consent to evaluate. 
  • When a district determines no evaluation is needed. 
  • When no further information is necessary to continue eligibility. 

Identification of Eligibility 

  • Prior to identification of eligibility. 
  • Following a parent’s refusal to give consent. 
  • Following reasonable attempts to contact parents to obtain consent. 
  • Following a request for change in eligibility. 

Educational Placement 

  • Any change of placement due to graduation, transition, or discipline. 
  • Any change in the continuum of placements. 
    • The continuum of placements is outlined in the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) and includes instruction in general education classes, special classes, special schools, home instruction, and instruction in hospitals and institutions, as well as resource and itinerant instruction in conjunction with general education class placement. 
  • Proposal or refusal to provide a specific educational setting, special education program, modification, accommodation, or service. 

The Provision of a FAPE 

  • Any time the content of an IEP is changed. 
  • Following revocation of consent. 
  • Following enrollment of a student who was receiving a special education program or services in a previous district. 

Consent means: 

  1. The parent has been fully informed of all information relevant to the activity for which consent is sought, in his or her native language, or through another mode of communication. 
  2. The parent understands and agrees in writing to the carrying out of the activity for which his or her consent is sought, and the consent describes that activity and lists the records (if any) that will be released and to whom. 
  3. Reasonable attempts must be made to obtain consent.  
  4. The parent understands that the granting of consent is voluntary on the part of the parent and may be revoked at any time. 
    • If a parent revokes consent, that revocation is not retroactive (i.e., it does not negate an action that has occurred after the consent was given and before the consent was revoked). 
    • If the parent revokes consent in writing for their child’s receipt of special education services after the child is initially provided special education and related services, the public agency is not required to amend the child’s education records to remove any references to the child’s receipt of special education and related services because of the revocation of consent. 

IDEA requires parental consent before taking the following actions: 

  • Initial evaluation. 
  • Re-evaluation. 
    • The evaluation team may proceed with re-evaluation if reasonable efforts to obtain parental consent have been made and the attempts are documented. 
  • Initial provision of special education services. 
  • Secondary transition IEPs when inviting outside agencies to attend the meeting. 
  • Parental revocation of special education services.