Prior Written Notice (Detailed)

Parents have legal rights called procedural safeguards under the law. One of those procedural safeguards is the right to receive Prior Written Notice (PWN). PWN is a separate form from the Individualized Education Program (IEP) that is given to the family regarding decisions that were made at a Planning and Placement Team (PPT) meeting. It is required when the team proposes or refuses a request to initiate or change the student’s:

PWN must include a comprehensive description of the action proposed or refused by the school system. According to the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), the notice must include:

  • a description of the action proposed or refused by the school
  • an explanation of why the school proposes or refuses to take the described action
  • a description of each evaluation procedure, assessment, record, or report the school used as a basis for their decision
  • a statement that the parents of a child with a disability have protection under the procedural safeguards and, how the parents can obtain a copy of them
  • resources for parents to get assistance in understanding these provisions
  • a description of other options that the IEP Team considered and the reasons why those options were rejected; and
  • a description of other factors relevant to the school’s proposal or refusal. [§300.503(b)]

PWN must be written in language understandable to the public. For example, if the parent does not read English, it must be written in the native language of the parent, or in the mode of communication that the parent normally uses, such as Braille or large print, unless it is clearly not feasible to do so.

If the parents’ native language or other mode of communication is not a written language, the school must take steps to ensure:

  • that the prior written notice is translated orally (or by other means) to the parent in his or her native language or other mode of communication; and
  • that the parent understands the content of the notice. [§300.503(c)(2)]

On the Connecticut IEP form, Prior Written Notice is a separate form from the IEP. The format of PWN will look different but will include all the content required by the regulations. This format is designed to create clear and easy to understand Prior Written Notices, that are compliant with regulatory requirements. It will include:

  • a purpose statement
  • checkboxes for actions proposed or refused that align with the regulations
  • textboxes to explain supporting information rather than checkboxes

Some other things to know about PWN:

  • More than one PWN may be required if the district proposes or refuses multiple actions
  • Must be provided to parent at least 10 days before action is taken
  • The 10-day notice may be waived by the parent if they sign a waiver

» View an example of what the Prior Written Notice Form contains
» Prior Written Notice Detailed PDF
» La versión completa after escrito