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Brief descriptions of procedural clarifications, additions, and changes are described below, along with links to related pages within the i3 system.  Revised text sections  are reflected within the respective i3 sections, linked below.


Part B: Special Education Updates


Competent Private Instruction (Home Schooling)

  • Senate File 496 removed the prior approval by a Director of Special Education requirement for students with disabilities who will be home schooled.  Guidance regarding this approval process is removed from state procedures.
  • Families of learners with disabilities who choose Competent Private Instruction (CPI) continue to have the ability to revoke consent for special education or to request special education through dual enrollment to the district.  Families will follow the same process of notifying their district of homeschooling, using “Form A” when appropriate.  The Home Schooling for Students in Special Education Parent Notification and Acknowledgement form will continue to be used by families to indicate their choice (revocation or dual enrollment) – the form has been modified, removing the Director approval requirement. In the future this form should be available through ACHIEVE, but currently is posted in the special education resources page of i3.
  • The revised guidance  is reflected in the Competent Private Instruction Page

Contingency Learning Plans (CLP)

  • The format for developing the CLP in the ACHIEVE system was modified in June, 2023.  IEP teams no longer articulate both short term and long term disruptions separately.  The general plan is to be developed, and components of the IEP (see below) will be addressed in the event of any disruption – short or long term. 
  • Revised definition of the CLP in procedures: A required component of Iowa IEPs is a plan for immediate actions regarding the delivery of IEP services and supports, should there be a disruption in educational services.  Disruptions may be due to a district’s choice to implement a virtual snow day, a natural disaster event or large-scale health event, that cause schools to close for all students, or for face-to-face instruction to be significantly altered.  Note: A virtual snow day is introduced as a rationale for implementing a CLP.
  • A guidance document, Developing the Contingency Learning Plan (CLP): Guidance for IEP Teams, was developed to provide considerations and talking points for IEP teams that are completing the CLP.
  • The revised guidance  is reflected in the Components of IEPs Page, under the Contingency Learning Plan section.


    • “Initiating the Reevaluation Process” was revised to more clearly explain the process.  Members of the IEP team and other qualified professionals, as appropriate, review existing evaluation data on the student, and identify what additional data, if any, are needed.  However, a formal meeting of the IEP team is not required to plan or initiate a reevaluation.  A summary of the process for initiating a reevaluation is:  Once the public agency has determined the need for a reevaluation or the parent has requested one, the process is initiated.  Members of the IEP team and other qualified professionals, as appropriate, review existing evaluation data on the student, including: evaluations and information provided by the parents of the child, current classroom-based, local, or state assessments, and classroom-based observations and observations by teachers and related services providers.  On the basis of that review, the team identifies what additional data, if any, are needed to determine:
      • Whether the learner continues to have a disability and continues to need special education and related services
      • The learner’s present levels of performance and educational needs
      • Whether any additions or modifications to the special education and related services are needed to enable the learner to meet the IEP goals and to participate and make progress in the general curriculum or, in the case of a preschool learner, whether any additions or modifications are needed to meet the IEP goals and participate in appropriate activities.
    • Portions of the page were revised to clarify that a reevaluation is not a type of IEP, but a process that may lead a team to develop an amended or review IEP.
    • The section on specialized evaluations and the process of conducting additional information evaluations was revised and clarified.  Occasionally, additional information from a specialist or team of specialists (e.g. AEA specialized teams or occasionally outside providers) may be needed.  However, these additional information evaluations will be framed within the context of Iowa’s initial or reevaluations.   If the issue of eligibility is not in question, and done only for program planning, such evaluations can be conducted without written parent consent, but teams should notify parents of these efforts. This communication could be via phone, email or other written notification (e.g., the Collection of Additional Information by Area Education Agency Staff communication tool).  In rare instances, AEAs may still contract with outside providers if evaluation needs cannot be fulfilled by AEA staff, but these evaluations would be documented through the initial or reevaluation processes in Iowa’s IEP system.  The concept of “second opinion evaluations” and the associated form is removed from procedures.
    • The revised guidance  is reflected in the Reevalutions for Special Education Page

Special Education Records 

  • General Edits and Access – Page had some reorganization, general edits and points of clarification.  References to secure electronic methods of sharing records are made.
  • Records of Parties Obtaining Access to Educational Records: Since required by code and outlined in the Procedural Safeguards Manual, this was added back into procedures: With the exception of access by parents, and authorized employees, the agency maintaining the records (AEA or district), must keep a record of parties obtaining access to education records including: Name of the party; Date access was given; and Purpose for which the party is authorized to use the records. In  most cases, parent consent is given through an Authorization to Release and Exchange Information form, and this document is maintained in the IEP system, serving as the required documentation noted above. In unusual cases of another party accessing records, where written consent is not in place (e.g. child abuse investigation, medical emergency) the agency maintaining the records (AEA or district) will alternatively document instances of access.
  • Iowa Vocational Rehabilitation Services (IVRS) & Access to Records: Under a state government reorganization plan, Iowa Vocational Rehabilitation (IVRS) became a division within Iowa Workforce Development effective July 1 2023.   IVRS counselors commonly work with teachers and learners with disabilities for transition planning and need access to IEP records to establish eligibility for services and program planning.  IVRS counselors previously served as part of the Iowa Department of Education, and with this change, IVRS will need parent consent to access records.   In the state IEP system, a form, Consent to Release Information to and from IVRS, is available for this purpose.
  • The revised guidance  is integrated  into the Special Education Records and Procedures for Special Education Records Pages


Resources (Part B)


Procedural Safeguards Manual: Rights of Parents of Students with Disabilities Ages 3-21

  • The Procedural Safeguards Manual was revised in August, 2023.  The most current manual is posted on the Iowa DE page and linked to the relevant page(s) of the i3 site, and into ACHIEVE.
  • There are minimal changes to the manual, but edits were made to improve clarity in several areas.  The dispute resolution and behavior/discipline portions of the manual were rewritten to improve flow of information and to provide clearer understanding of these processes to parents.  
  • AEAs and Districts are encouraged to use the most current manual with families, but since no parental rights have changed, printed supplies of the previous edition may be used and distributed until gone.

Summary of Procedural Safeguards for Parents: Talking Points for IEP Teams

  • Previously titled, Parental Rights Summary, the Summary of Procedural Safeguards for Parents: Talking Points for IEP Teams has been reformatted and made available on the i3 resources page.
  • The content is unchanged, but the new title encourages IEP teams to use the summary to develop talking points, or as a tool to communicate parental rights to families.  The document continues to have strong reminders that the summary document may not be used as a replacement for the Procedural Safeguards Manual – annually sharing the full procedural safeguards manual is a requirement.

Home Schooling for Students in Special Education Parent Notification and Acknowledgement Form

  • The form will continue to be used by IEP teams and acknowledged/signed by parents planning home schooling for their child.  After working with school/IEP team, parents sign the form, indicating if their choice is to revoke consent for special education services or to request dual enrollment for special education.  The form is revised to remove language regarding approval from the AEA Director of Special Education – this requirement was removed by Senate File 496.  In the future this form should be available through ACHIEVE, but currently is posted in the special education resources page of i3.
  • The form is linked in the i3 special education page, and embedded in the narrative of the Competent Private Instruction page.

Surrogate Parent Recommendation Form

  • The Surrogate Parent Recommendation Form was slightly modified and reposted as a link in procedures and on the Early resource pages.  The form is used for both learners receiving Early Intervention Services and students receiving Special Education Services.
  • A field was added to indicate that “date surrogate parent was determined needed,” which is information needed for those entering surrogate parent information into ACHIEVE.
  • Directions for submitting the form to the AEA Director of Special Education for approval are described at the bottom of the form.  This form is no longer submitted to the Iowa Department of Special Education.  Once a surrogate parent is approved by an AEA Director of Special Education, the respective AEA will work with the district to update the Family Information page of the student’s IEP or IFSP in ACHIEVE to reflect the approved individual.