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Special Education and the NOREP

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Updated August 25, 2008

Question: Special Education and the NOREP
In the world of special education, the letters NOREP stand for Notice of Recommended Educational Placement. What is a NOREP? When is it produced? Who produces it? Must parents agree?
Answer: The NOREP, or Notice of Recommended Educational Placement, is a form filled out by the school district or other educational entity which describes a child recommended placement. In theory, it reviews the learner's needs and strengths, describes other settings that were considered, and explains why other options were rejected.<p> It's important to note that the NOREP should be developed in cooperation with other members of the IEP (Individualized Educational Program) team -- including parents, teachers, administrators, and if possible, students. It should not come as a surprise to parents.<p> It is sometimes the case that schools will reject parents' requests for private or specialized settings. This may be in part because schools are legally bound to place students in the "least restrictive environment" -- or it may be more a matter of cost. If parents disagree with the NOREP, they do have legal recourse in the form of mediation, due process, and even, if necessary, legal action.<p> This annotated NOREP includes specific information about what should be included on the form and how it should be presented. If your child's NOREP differs significantly from this version, and/or you are unhappy with its contents, you are within your rights to take action.

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