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Know Your Educational Rights


Securing district placement (district funding) for your child at a non-public school can be very challenging and is often hard won. Please call us to discuss questions or challenges you're facing, 585-210-4721.


We're pleased to provide this list of steps to follow when you have concerns about your child's educational progress or school placement.



Have an honest conversation with your child and your child’s teacher(s) – be certain everyone understands your child’s strengths, needs, and recognizes his/her learning challenges, and potential as a learner. Work together on strategies that are effective at home and school.




If your child is not making progress on their educational program, or if special education services are not producing results, request a meeting with school administrators or the Committee on Special Education (CSE).




Get ready for successful communication with your child’s team! Know your child’s IEP and their rights related to it. Write down data and points to share with the school team, and create a timeline of everything that’s been tried so far. Communication reminders:

  • Maintain a positive relationship with school staff as you work together to help your child find academic success

  • Start the meeting with what’s going well instead of what’s not working.

  • Listen to the teacher’s input and take notes about what is discussed

  • If you don’t understand something, ask for clarification!

  • Follow up is important.  Monitor your child’s progress and schedule a follow-up meeting or phone conference.


Preparation resources:



IDEA vs. Sec. 504 -




Keep thorough documentation of conversations and meetings you have with your child’s school including: what was discussed, changes to be implemented, follow up items, and who is responsible, emails, and phone conversation notes.  Keep this information organized and easy to locate in a logbook or binder. Here is a link on creating a binder from Understood:




Progress doesn’t always happen quickly. Carefully evaluate the changes in your child’s academic performance– stick with interventions long enough to see if they work.


If Your Child Is Still Struggling To Progress It May Be Time To…



Research school and community-based support options, tutoring, and alternative schools. Begin to visit and apply to programs.




The support of an advocate or attorney may be necessary – many in our community are free. If you find an alternative setting and choose to pursue district placement, please understand it is often hard-won and a long process.


Here is a list of Rochester-area advocacy resources we recommend.

You have legal due process rights under Federal and State laws to make sure that your child receives an appropriate education.  A Parent’s Guide to Special Education is a great resource



We have compiled a resources list of useful websites that may aid your understanding of learning challenges, advocacy, support services, post high school transition, careers, college, and more. 

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