What Happens After a Referral Has Been Made?

In New Hampshire, within 15 business days (Mon.-Fri. with the exception of Federal and State holidays) from the date a school receives a referral for special education, they must pull together the Individualized Education Program (IEP) Team and conduct a meeting. This first meeting is called the Disposition of Referral meeting.

The IEP team includes you, the parent, the Local Education Agency (LEA) Representative, (the person who can commit the resources of the school district to your child’s IEP should your child be found eligible) at least one special education teacher or related service provider, at least one of your child’s regular education teachers, an individual who can interpret the educational implications of your child’s evaluation results, and others invited by you or the school as appropriate.  Team members may represent more than one role on the IEP team.

At the Disposition of Referral meeting, the team will review all available data and information about your child. This includes report cards, any standardized tests that your child may have taken and any testing you may have had done outside of the school that you want to share with the school, as well as parent and teacher input. Then, the IEP team will decide what the next steps are.  The IEP team will determine whether:

For every major decision, including the Disposition of Referral, the IEP team must give you Written Prior Notice (WPN) of that decision. WPN ensures that you as the parent are able to make an informed decision about your child’s education. WPN is given after the decision is made but before it is put into effect.  WPN is required to have 7 pieces:

  1. The decision – What was proposed or refused
  2. Reasons why
  3. Description of each evaluation, procedure, test, record or report used to make the decision
  4. Other options considered and why these options were rejected
  5. Other factors relevant to the IEP team’s decision
  6. Statement that parents were given a copy of Parental Rights (Procedural Safeguards)
  7. Resources parents may contact to help them understand their rights

Frequently Asked Questions

When parents have a disagreement with the IEP team or a proposal by the IEP team, they can always request another IEP meeting to discuss their concerns with the team. Parents may also provide the team with additional information or one or more specific recommendations to solve the disagreement. If the disagreement is about the proposed IEP, you may wish to give the team your input as to what should be added, removed or changed in writing. It is helpful to explain why your recommendations are necessary to provide your child with a free appropriate public education and how they support their educational needs. You may also wish to consider having your child’s private therapists or doctors write a letter providing their input to the IEP team. Parents always have the right to request a facilitated IEP meeting, or 3rd party discussion led by a moderator, request mediation, request a neutral conference, or file for due process if they cannot come to agreement with the IEP team. Parents can also file a complaint if they believe that one of their or their child’s legal rights have been violated.

For more information on these options, please contact The Parent Information Center on Special Education.