Guidance for Inviting Agency Representatives to Admission, Review, and Dismissal Committee Meeting
Current federal regulations govern the provision of services for sixteen-year-old students with disabilities or for younger students if determined appropriate by the admission, review and dismissal (ARD) committee. These provisions require that a student’s individualized education program (IEP) include measurable postsecondary goals as well as the transition services needed to assist the student in reaching those goals (34 CFR §300.320(b)). Further, provisions at 34 CFR §300.321(b)(3) require a local educational agency (LEA) to invite a representative of any agency that is likely to be responsible for providing or paying for transition services to the transition meeting.
LEAs must also comply with 34 CFR §300.622(b)(2), which protects a student’s confidential information from unauthorized disclosure to agencies that participate in the ARD committee meeting. Specifically, this section requires the LEA to obtain parental consent, or the consent of an eligible student who has reached the age of majority (adult student), for the release of personally identifiable information to officials of participating agencies that will provide or pay for transition services. The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) further specifies the requirements for the protection of privacy of parents and students under Section 444 of the General Education Provisions Act as amended.
In Letter to Gray, 50 IDLER (OSEP2008), the Office of Special Education Programs states that the consent requirement in 34 CFR §300.622(b)(2) protects the confidentiality of discussions that occur at ARD committee meetings. Conversations relating to a student’s confidential information always occur during ARD committee meetings. As such, before the LEA may invite representatives of participating agencies to attend any ARD committee meeting at which confidential and personally identifying information will be discussed, the LEA must obtain the consent of the parent or adult student. Therefore, an ongoing consent to invite an agency representative to all ARD committee meetings for a particular student will not satisfy an LEA's obligation to seek consent. An LEA must obtain consent each time the LEA wishes to invite an outside agency representative to a meeting that will address postsecondary transition services.
The consent must comply with 34 CFR §300.9, which requires the following:
- the parent or adult student must be fully informed of all information relevant to the activity for which consent is sought, in his or her native language, or other mode of communication;
- the parent or adult student must understand and agree in writing to the carrying out of the activity for which his or her consent is sought, and the consent must describe that activity and list the records (if any) that will be released and to whom; and
- the parent or adult student must understand that the granting of consent is voluntary and maybe be revoked at any time.
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