- Find out who in your school district the letter needs to go to. This is typically going to be the Director of Special Education or Program Specialist. Find out the physical address of their location, or alternately their correct email address. Ask them what you need to do to obtain a copy of your child’s records. School districts are required by IDEA law as well as a law under FERPA- Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act to fulfill such requests for records.
2. Write a letter asking for which documents you want, and send a physical letter to the correct address via certified mail with proof of delivery or hand delivered with proof of delivery. Keep a copy of your letter. Alternately email with cc to principal and others in the district so you’ll have a paper trail.
3. Many times a district will request that you sign out that you have received copies of the documents even if you request that they are mailed to your address. Be prepared to go into the district office or school to sign a form for receipt of the documents.
** If a district fails to respond, you have the opportunity to send a complaint to the state department of education. Your saved letter/email is proof of your request. Your suggested remedy from the state? That the school district provides your child’s records to you. Slam dunk.
Helen Painter MA, OTR/L is an Occupational Therapist, Consultant, and Advocate located in Riverside County California. Helen helps children with disabilities reach their highest potential in learning and life. She does this by assessing individual needs, developing a plan, and guiding parents to fully access available resources as an independent advocate. Helen has also performed IEEs.