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Download: Sample letters for dispute resolution

By Andrew M.I. Lee, JD

Letter: Ask to Discuss a Problem With the School

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Letter: Request an Independent Evaluation at Public Expense

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Letter: Request an IEP Review Meeting

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Letter: Request a Change in Placement

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Letter: Tell the School You’re Enrolling Your Child in Private School at Public Expense

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Letter: Request an Explanation of Denial of Services

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Letter: Request Mediation

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Letter: Request a Due Process Hearing/File a Due Process Complaint

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Letter: State Complaint

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Letter: Follow Up on a Request

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Letter: Create a Record of Successful Services

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You can often address concerns about your child’s education by talking with the teacher or by sending a short email to school staff . But sometimes, things get more serious. When you have a bigger disagreement or dispute with the school, it may be time to write a formal letter.

Writing letters to the school is an important part of advocating for your child. When you write a letter, you create a record of your requests and concerns. You document what the school has or hasn’t done for your child. And you show that you know your rights and are willing to exercise them.

It’s especially important to put requests for dispute resolution into writing, so there’s no confusion.

You can use these sample letters for communicating with your school and other state education officials. Because each child and situation is different, make sure to customize the letters for your family’s needs.

Keep in mind that states and local school districts may have unique rules for dispute resolution. They’re required to notify you of those rules in what’s called a procedural safeguards notice. It describes your and your child’s rights and the process, including to whom letters should be addressed and when. Many state departments of education websites also have their own sample forms and letters that you can use.

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