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Prior Written Notice

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Explanation of Prior Written Notice

Prior Written Notice is the notice to parents of the action proposed or refused as a part of the special education IEP process.

Parents have the right to receive written notice prior to when the district or area education agency (AEA) proposes or refuses to initiate or change the identification, evaluation, or placement of their child or the provision of a free appropriate public education.

This notice must be provided within a reasonable time of any proposed action.

The proposal or refusal must be an issue over which an IEP team has the authority to make a decision.

281--Iowa Administrative Code 41.503(1)(2)

Prior Written Notice Form

Free Appropriate Public Education (FAPE)

FAPE is the provision of special education and related services that

  • Are provided at public expense,
  • Are under public supervision and direction, and
  • Are provided without charge
  • meet the standards of the SEA, including
    • appropriate pre-school, elementary school, or secondary school education; and
  • are provided according to an individualized education program.
Reasonable Time

Prior Written Notice must be given to parents a reasonable time before the district or AEA implements the proposed or refused action, but after the district or AEA’s decision has been made.

Content of Prior Written Notice

Prior Written Notice must include the following:

  • A statement that the parents of a child with a disability have protection under procedural safeguards
  • A description of the action proposed or refused.
  • An explanation of why the district or AEA proposes or refuses to take the action.
  • A description of any other options the district or AEA considered and the reasons why those options were rejected.
  • A description of each evaluation procedure, test, record, or report the district or AEA used as a basis for the proposed or refused action.
  • A description of any other factors that are relevant to the district or AEA’s proposal or refusal.
  • Is the proposed action a change in identification, evaluation, or placement? If “yes,” when will this action be implemented?
  • A contact to address questions regarding the notice
Parent’s Rights

Before the action is implemented, the parent, district, or AEA has the right to request a preappeal conference, use of AEA resolution facilitator process, or an impartial due process hearing on any proposed or refused action.

IEP Team Responsibilities

The IEP team should work toward consensus, but the LEA or AEA has the ultimate responsibility to ensure that the IEP includes the services that the child needs in order to receive FAPE.

Examples of when to use PWN
  • Decision not to conduct initial evaluation
  • Change in model of service or placement
  • Addition or termination of service
  • Change in delivery of services
  • Addition, deletion or change of Extended School Year services
  • Addition or deletion of goal
  • Change in support or related service
  • Whenever discipline results in a change of placement
Examples of when PWN is not Required
  • Change in qualified service provider, for example;
    • Special Education teacher
    • Speech Language Pathologist
    • Physical Therapist
  • Change or update of goals that do not change services
  • Change in location of services not controlled by district, for example;
    • Foster care placement
    • Hospitalization
    • Family relocation
  • Change in location of services which does not change service, for example;
    • Different classroom
    • Movement from elementary to middle school, middle school to high school

Printed from the Iowa Department of Education website on April 17, 2014 at 11:49am.