The Importance of a DEC5

The DEC5 is a form that accompanies all other forms.  You will receive a DEC5 with any type of meeting you have regarding your child’s unique needs in school.  The DEC5 is important in several ways and it should be reviewed before your meeting comes to a close. It provides a summary of the meeting, stating what was discussed, what decisions were made and how/why those decisions were made.   Every meeting also documents what proposals were discussed for your child and which ones were refused and why. If you disagree with a decision, you can ask for a statement to be documented on the DEC5 as to why you disagree.   This form also documents how your child is receiving FAPE (Free Appropriate Public Education).

This form can be filled out during the meeting so nothing is forgotten. Everything will be documented from the meeting.  For example, if service time was changed from a previous IEP, it will be documented and why. If a service was added or taken away, it will be documented here. This form can be critical if there is ever a dispute about what is on other special education forms.  Do not be afraid to ask for something to be written on this form.

Your child’s school should also offer you a copy of The Handbook on Parent’s Rights.  In that handbook, it will give you information of your rights as well as your child’s rights.   It is always a good idea to have a recent copy of that handbook and if your school hasn’t yet offered you one, you can request one or find it here: http://ec.ncpublicschools.gov/parent-resources/ecparenthandbook.pdf

If you would like to see a blank DEC5, please check out this link from DPI’s website.  Scroll down to the DEC5/Prior (Written) Notice:  http://ec.ncpublicschools.gov/policies/forms/statewide-forms

With Appreciation,

Christina and Wendy

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