In its edits of a Letter of Findings (LOF), the Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) called a Prior Written Notice (PWN) both “skimpy” and “compliant”. The full sentence:
The PWN could have been more specificâDo you have language cautioning LEA for a compliant, yet skimpy PWN?
One of the problems with this is that, per Sec. 300.503 of IDEA 2004, “skimpy” is not the definition of Prior Written Notice.
However, what you will find in the regulation is a long list of requirementsânone of which would be described as skimpy, but which certainly could be considered “specific”.
So, I find myself wondering how “skimpy” and “compliant” exist in the same Prior Written Notice.
Check the regulation for yourself:
(a) Notice. Written notice that meets the requirements of paragraph (b) of this section must be given to the parents of a child with a disability a reasonable time before the public agencyâ
(1) Proposes to initiate or change the identification, evaluation, or educational placement of the child or the provision of FAPE to the child; or
(2) Refuses to initiate or change the identification, evaluation, or educational placement of the child or the provision of FAPE to the child
(b) Content of notice. The notice required under paragraph (a) of this section must includeâ
(1) A description of the action proposed or refused by the agency;
(2) An explanation of why the agency proposes or refuses to take the action;
(3) A description of each evaluation procedure, assessment, record, or report the agency used as a basis for the proposed or refused action;
(4) A statement that the parents of a child with a disability have protection under the procedural safeguards of this part and, if this notice is not an initial referral for evaluation, the means by which a copy of a description of the procedural safeguards can be obtained;
(5) Sources for parents to contact to obtain assistance in understanding the provisions of this part;
(6) A description of other options that the IEP Team considered and the reasons why those options were rejected; and
(7) A description of other factors that are relevant to the agencyâs proposal or refusal.
(c) Notice in understandable language.
(1) The notice required under paragraph (a) of this section must beâ
(i) Written in language understandable to the general public; and
(ii) Provided in the native language of the parent or other mode of communication used by the parent, unless it is clearly not feasible to do so.
(2) If the native language or other mode of communication of the parent is not a written language, the public agency must take steps to ensureâ
(i) That the notice is translated orally or by other means to the parent in his or her native language or other mode of communication;
(ii) That the parent understands the content of the notice; and
(iii) That there is written evidence that the requirements in paragraphs (c)(2)(i) and (ii) of this section have been met.
Perhaps VDOE will provide us an answer.