Special Education: Planning and Placement Team

What is my child’s Planning and Placement Team?

Under Connecticut law, the Planning and Placement Team (PPT) is a critical component in determining your child’s special education needs and the services to be provided. The IDEA refers to this resource as the Individualized Education Program Team (“IEP Team”).

The PPT will be involved in most every request or decision made pertaining to your child, including: determining whether your child should be evaluated, and deciding which evaluations will be given to your child and whether your child is eligible for special education and related services. As a parent, you will be asked to participate as a member of the PPT. Parents should participate, since you can provide unique and valuable insight into your child’s special education needs. The IDEA requires that the IEP team (PPT in Connecticut) be composed of the following:

  • the parents of a child with a disability;
  • not less than 1 regular education teacher of such child (if the child is, or may be, participating in the regular education environment);
  • not less than 1 special education teacher, or where appropriate, not less than 1 special education provider of such child;
  • a representative of the local educational agency who–
    •  is qualified to provide, or supervise the provision of, specially designed instruction to meet the unique needs of children with disabilities;
    •  is knowledgeable about the general education curriculum; and
    •  is knowledgeable about the availability of resources of the local educational agency;
    • an individual who can interpret the instructional implications of evaluation results, who may be a member of the team;
    • at the discretion of the parent or the agency, other individuals who have knowledge or special expertise regarding the child, including related services personnel as appropriate; and
    • whenever appropriate, the child with a disability.[1]

A member of the PPT shall not be required to attend an IEP meeting, however, if you and the local educational agency agree that the attendance of such member is not necessary because the member’s area of the curriculum or related services is not being modified or discussed in the meeting.[2] Further, a member of the PPT may be excused from attending a meeting when the meeting involves a modification to or discussion of the member’s area of the curriculum or related services, if you and the local educational agency consent to the excusal and the member provides input into the development of the individualized education program prior to the meeting. [3]

As a parent you have the right to understand the proceedings of the PPT meeting, and, if necessary, the school district may need to arrange for a language interpreter or a sign language interpreter. Additional parental rights at a PPT meeting include a conference telephone call if you are unable to attend the meeting in person, tape recording of meetings (all participants must be informed the meeting is being taped) and the right to invite any advisors of your choosing, including counsel, at your own expense.[4]

A PPT meeting may be conducted without a parent in attendance if the local educational agency is unable to convince you as a parent to attend. The school district must keep detailed records of its attempt to make an arrangement for a mutually agreed upon time and place to conduct the meeting. These records should include telephone calls made or attempted along with the results of those calls, copies of correspondence sent to you including any responses they received and detailed records of visits made to your home or place of employment and the results of those visits.[5]

When scheduling a PPT meeting, the school district must work with you as a parent in scheduling the meeting at a mutually agreeable time and place. Connecticut law requires the school district to notify a child’s parent at least five (5) school days prior to the meeting in order to allow for attendance.[6] Written notice of the PPT meeting must be provided to a child’s parent and include the purpose, time and location of the meeting along with who will be in attendance. The school district must also inform you of your right to bring other individuals who have knowledge of or expertise concerning your child. Further, the school district must give notice that if your child is sixteen years old or younger and it is found by the IEP team to be appropriate, he or she may attend the meeting, provided the purpose of the meeting pertains to your child’s post-secondary goals.[7]

How will I know when a PPT meeting will take place?

The school district must notify you in writing at least 5 school days before the meeting. The notice must tell you

  • the date, time, location, and purpose of the PPT;
  • who has been invited;
  • what your rights are, including your right to invite people with knowledge of your child or people who will give you support.

You may agree to ignore (waive) the 5-day requirement and hold the PPT at a time that is convenient for you and the school.

What if I cannot attend the PPT? 

You can request that the school district to reschedule the PPT for a time and place that would be better for you and the school.

What if I still cannot attend the meeting?

The school district must try to use other ways to have you take part, including individual or conference telephone calls.

What if I do not attend the PPT meeting?

After the school district has tried to schedule it at a convenient time for you, the PPT may be held without you. The school district must still send you a full copy of any written reports within five days after the PPT.

What will happen at the first PPT meeting?

At the first PPT meeting, the team will talk about the referral to special education. The team will look at information that is already available about how your child is doing in school and decide whether to evaluate your child more. If the school refuses to evaluate your child, it must let you know this decision in writing. You can challenge this decision by asking for “due process.”

The information the PPT looks at could come from:

  • The parents (your ideas and concerns about your child’s school experiences, abilities, needs, behavior, and more).
  • The teachers and other school staff (including classroom observations, scores on tests given in the classroom and on any state tests, such as the Connecticut Mastery Test).
  • Other professionals (such as a school psychologist, occupational therapist, speech therapist, and physical therapist.[8]

 

[1] 20 U.S.C. §1414(d)(B).
[2] 20 U.S.C. §1414(d)(C)(i).
[3] 20 U.S.C. §1414(d)(C)(ii).
[4] 34 C.F.R. §300.322(c) and (d).
[5] 34 C.F.R. §300.322(d).
[6] Conn. Gen. Stat. §10-76(d)(8).
[7] 34 C.F.R. §300.322.

[8] CT Dept. of Edu., A Parent’s Guide to Special Education in Connecticut (2007).

 

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