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  Samples Letters The following sample letters and chart were written by attorney and AHA advisory board member Susan Deedy, Esq. as suggestions and guides for you to use.  After receiving her law degree from CUNY Law School at Queens College Ms. Deedy was at the General Counsel’s Office of the City University of New York and later worked for the New York City Board of Education in the Office of Legal Services handling special education and employment discrimination. She has worked in the private sector for many years representing parents of students with disabilities. 
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1. Request for Referral to Special Education: In order for a student to receive special education services pursuant to the IDEA, a parent must make an initial referral to their school district.  Attached is a sample letter from a parent to the Committee on Special Education to begin the evaluation process.

Sample letter #1 in Word
Sample letter #1 in PDF

2. Request for Evaluation: If the evaluations conducted by the CSE have not been forwarded to the parent in advance of the meeting as requested in the initial referral, the parent may send a letter to the CSE chairperson requesting the evaluations upon which the IEP team will be relying at the upcoming CSE meeting.

Sample letter #2in Word
Sample letter #2 in PDF

3. Requests for Participants: A “notice letter” scheduling the CSE meeting will be sent to the parent indicating who will be present at the CSE meeting.  However, sometimes the actual participants may change after the “notice letter” is forwarded to the parent and before the actual meeting.  Therefore, the parent may choose to send a letter: 1) asking who specifically will be in attendance on behalf of the district and 2) notifying the CSE chairperson of any individuals that will accompany the parent at the upcoming CSE meeting.

Sample letter #3 in Word
Sample letter #3 in PDF

4. Requesting a Copy of Student’s Education File: A parent may at any time request a copy of the student’s educational file pursuant to the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA).

Sample letter #4 in Word
Sample letter #4 in PDF

5. Memorializing a Discussion or Meeting: Subsequent to a CSE meeting or any important discussion between the parent and school staff, a parent may choose to memorialize the discussion in the form of a letter to the district.

Sample letter #5 in Word
Sample letter #5 in PDF

6. Checklist: A checklist of questions to ask and items to observe can be a helpful tool when a parent is viewing a proposed program.  

Class Visitation Checklist in Word
Class Visitation Checklist in PDF




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