Do I have to sign the NOREP?
Author’s note: A reminder that NOREP is a term we use here in PA. Other states refer to it as PWN (Prior Written Notice) or may have their own state specific term. It is the document that you get that seals the deal, when you agree or disagree to the IEP, placement and all the services.
Excuse me for a minute.
Don’t make me get out my soapbox picture too! Parents, you have got to read, at least flip through…….your procedural safeguards. You also need to read the entire NOREP, not just the placement portion. I know they are boring. I know they are written in legalese and government speak that is difficult at times to get through. I too would rather read People or Redbook or be watching Modern Family. But you owe it to your child, to yourself, to try to read and understand what is in the Procedural Safeguards. Many parents before you fought very long and very hard for you and for your kids to have certain rights, certain protections…….you should know what they are. See, I can rant without a soapbox!
Ok, to answer your question. No, you don’t have to sign the NOREP. But I am assuming that since you don’t want to sign it, you don’t agree with it. And guess what happens if you don’t sign the NOREP? It automatically goes into effect in 10 days!
That’s right, it does. Silence is agreement. If you don’t sign a NOREP and return it to the school within 10 days, whatever is on it goes into effect. Any changes to the IEP, placement changes……..whatever it says, goes.
So what are your choices? Sign it. And you can see, you can approve or disapprove, as well as indicate you are filing for Due Process or you wish to meet again. If you don’t agree with something that is in the IEP or with the placement listed, disapprove and list your reasons why. Even if you do agree with everything in the IEP, you sign it and send it back and add your parent letter of attachment. In your parent letter of attachment, you can state (or be re-stating) any concerns you have. Even if you don’t wish to meet again, even if you’re not going to push for anything more…..sign the NOREP with your parent letter of attachment as sort of your “Yes, but……” and list your concerns. “I am approving this NOREP and IEP as it is written now. However, if Susie does not show progress or begins to regress, I will be asking for an IEE in areas A, B and C as well as asking for another IEP meeting to discuss different placement options.”
That way, if you do need to push back on something in the future, it is documented that these were concerns for you X number of months ago.
Signing the NOREP is especially important when it comes to pendency and determining pendent placement. If you and your school are in disagreement over where your child should be placed, his/her current placement is their pendent placement. What that means is, while you are meeting and discussing and working it out, your child is able to stay put in their current placement. So let’s say your school is recommending a placement that you don’t think is appropriate, and you’re mad, and so you’re going to ignore that NOREP. That NOREP will go into effect in 10 days, they can then place him there, and that placement will become his pendent placement. Pendency can be a tricky tool–it’s one of the reasons I never like when a district and parents are disagreeing over placement and the district suggests to “just try it out for ESY, see how it goes.” Hmph, yeah right! Then that becomes the pendent placement for the child and harder to get them out of it.
So now I’ve spent 600 words telling you………..YES! YOU MUST SIGN THE NOREP!
If you really don’t want to read Procedural Safeguards, the PEAL Center has a series of videos explaining them in plain language.