The Division of Special Education has various resources available for parents and we invite you to take advantage of every opportunity offered in helping you become an active partner in your child’s education. Training is offered monthly covering several different topics that are related to the needs and services of students with special needs and the many ways parents can support their child both in and out of the classroom. In addition to our monthly training sessions, District and community-sponsored events supportive of the students and parents we serve are also some of the valuable resources that parents are encouraged to get involved in. You are an important partner in your child’s education and together we can make success happen.
- School and Family Support Services
The Division of Special Education’s School and Family Support Services (SFSS) unit is committed to working collaboratively with our LAUSD families, students, colleagues and other partners in education to promote each student’s success and well-being as he/she prepares for future endeavors by providing all partners with the ongoing delivery of the most accurate information, resources, assistance, and guidance regarding special education.
What We Do
If you have questions, concerns, and/or complaints related to special education or specifically about a child’s IEP, we can assist. The Division of Special Education is committed to:
- Providing information to increase understanding and awareness about special education, so parents can better participate in the educational decision-making process for their child
- Promptly responding to inquiries, resolving concerns, and/or helping to mediate and resolve complaints related to the Individualized Education Program (IEP)
- Listening to parent concerns and assisting them with a timely resolution
- Offering information about parent engagement opportunities
- Facilitating collaboration between District staff and parents
- Providing answers to IEP related questions
- Assisting with transportation needs as stated on the IEP
- Providing the most current information related to special education
School and Family Support Services
Telephone: (213) 241-6701
FAX: (213) 241-5168
TTY: (213) 241-2511
Email: email@example.com Website: https://achieve.lausd.net/sped
Monday—Friday 7:00 AM—5:00 PM
Interpreter Services Available
- Parent Training Presentations and Training Videos/Modules
- Answers to Frequently Asked Questions About Special Education in LAUSD
This information has been compiled to answer frequently asked questions about special education and the Individualized Education Program (IEP) process.
If you have any questions about your child’s IEP, special education, or any other information on these pages, please contact your child’s school. You may also contact the Division of Special Education at (213) 241-6701.
A Parent's Guide to Special Education Services
(Including Procedural Rights and Safeguards) - September 2018
- Dispute Resolution Options
The LAUSD Division of Special Education strives to meet the unique educational needs of all exceptional children with each Individualized Education Program (IEP) written; however, disagreements arise occasionally. When disagreements occur, parents have three options to pursue a resolution to the disagreement:
1) Informal Dispute Resolution
Informal Dispute Resolution or “IDR” is an optional dispute resolution process available to parents. IDR is a District process that is designed to be faster, less formal and less adversarial than mediation and due process proceedings. In the IDR process, parents identify their issues and concerns and the District attempts to work with the parent to quickly resolve the issues identified.
2) Mediation Only
“Mediation Only” is a state-level, voluntary dispute resolution process under the Office of Administrative Hearings (OAH). In Mediation Only, a neutral mediator assists you and the District in discussing and attempting to resolve your disagreement. The mediators are not employees of the District and do not have any personal interest in the disagreement. The mediators are selected on an impartial basis by the State and know the laws and regulations relating to the provision of special education and related services. The Mediation Only process includes a mediation conference attended by you, the assigned mediator, and a District representative who has decision-making authority. Lawyers or advocates, for the student/ parent or for the District, are not permitted to participate in Mediation Only.
3) Formal Due Process Hearing
Due process hearing requests are dispute resolution proceedings required to be available to parents and school districts under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). You or the District may file a due process complaint on any matter relating to a proposal or refusal to initiate or change the identification, evaluation or educational placement of your child or the provision of a free appropriate public education (FAPE) to your child. The proceedings begin with the submission of a complaint notice and include a resolution period with a mandatory resolution session meeting, optional mediation, and a due process hearing before an impartial hearing officer. The District convenes the resolution session meeting. The Office of Administrative Hearings (OAH) conducts the optional mediation and the due process hearing. It may not be necessary to go through all of the due process proceedings to reach resolution. A due process complaint may be resolved by mutual agreement of the parties at any stage of the proceedings.
District Reference Guide 1410.9: "Special Education Dispute Resolution - The Three Options For Parents Wishing to Initiate a form of Dispute Resolution Regarding the Proposed Components of an IEP: (1) Informal Dispute Resolution, (2) State Mediation Only, and (3) Formal Due Process Hearing” .
- Parent Resources for Engagement and Student Success (PRESS)
Classes are offered on a first come first served basis.
Pre-registration is not required.
Parent Workshops (Click Link to Local District for Detailed Information)
- Parents - Access Your Child's Current IEP through Parent Portal
- Participation of Students with Disabilities in Graduation Activities
California Education Code (EC) sections 56390–56392 allows students with disabilities to participate in graduation ceremonies and activities. They may participate whether or not they have completed all state and local graduation requirements for a diploma or certificate or document of educational achievement.
The California Department of Education (CDE) is committed to ensuring that all students with disabilities achieve to their maximum potential. It is also important to recognize each individual student’s efforts in this regard. California law provides a way to recognize students with disabilities who are unable to earn a high school diploma or who have not completed all graduation requirements by the end of grade twelve.
A student with disabilities who does not meet all state and local requirements for earning a high school diploma, may be awarded a certificate or document of educational achievement or completion if any one of the three criteria outlined in EC Section 56390 are met. Awarding a student with an actual certificate is a local decision.
However, any student who meets any one of the three criteria, whether or not they are receiving a document such as a certificate or a diploma, shall be permitted to “participate in any graduation ceremony and any school activity related to graduation in which a pupil of similar age without disabilities would be eligible to participate,” such as walking in graduation ceremonies with their class. (EC Section 56391)
Following are the three criteria outlined in EC Section 56391:
(a) The individual has satisfactorily completed a prescribed alternative course of study approved by the governing board of the school district in which the individual attended school or the school district with jurisdiction over the individual and identified in his or her individualized education program, or
(b) The individual has satisfactorily met his or her individualized education program goals and objectives during high school as determined by the individualized education program team, or
(c) The individual has satisfactorily attended high school, participated in the instruction as prescribed in his or her individualized education program, and has met the objectives of the statement of transition services.
If a student with disabilities, who is scheduled to earn a high school diploma by the end of their senior year, has not met all graduation requirements, the district is still responsible to provide free appropriate public education (FAPE) to the student until they complete their graduation requirements or turn age twenty two, whichever comes first, even if the student has participated in a graduation ceremony (EC Section 56026). The individualized education program team will determine appropriate annual goals and special education supports and related services, and also will determine the appropriate educational setting that will
(a) prepare the student to meet all graduation requirements by age twenty two or;
(b) provide the student with functional life skills and vocational preparation until age twenty two.
Should the student and/or parent refuse the offer of FAPE, the student may exit special education and the district may award the student with a certificate of completion.
For more District specific information, please refer to the most current revision of REF 6056: Issuance of Diplomas or Certificates of Completion for All Eligible Grade 12 Students with Disabilities.
Welcome to the Families section of our website! Families are important partners in educating and preparing our students for a successful future. We look forward to our continued partnership as we strive to ensure that all students are life-ready, college-prepared, and/or career-ready for the 21st century.
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