Resources » Parent Handbook for Special Education

Parent Handbook for Special Education

Presented by the Community Advisory Committee (CAC)
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Dear Parent/Guardian:

You are a vital member of the individualized education program (IEP) team.   Your intimate knowledge of your student's strengths and needs provides valuable information that aids the development and design of appropriate programs and supports for your child. As an active team participant, you give a fuller image of your student’s abilities, areas of growth, and future aspirations.

This handbook was written by special education administrators and parents/guardians as a resource to aid you in navigating the IEP process and as a reference to information that may be accessed throughout the school year.  It includes an overview of our SELPA, the special education eligibility and assessment process, the Individual Education Plan (IEP) meeting, matriculation of students from Early Start through high school to adult, alternate dispute resolution (ADR) options, and frequently requested parent/guardian resources. Use the links in the Table of Contents below to access the information you are seeking.

We hope this information helps guide you through the special education process. We are here to assist you if you have any additional questions or concerns.


Your CAC Members and SELPA Staff

Table of Contents

  1. Welcome to the Santa Clarita Valley SELPA
    1. What is a SELPA?
    2. School Districts in the Santa Clarita Valley SELPA and Contacts
    3. Seven Steps to School Success (The IEP Process)
    4. Steps for Parent Request for Special Education
  2. Special Education Acronyms
  3. Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA)
    1. Special Education Timelines in California
    2. What is a 504 Plan?
  4. The Individualized Education Plan (IEP)
    1. Parent/Guardian Role in the IEP
    2. Before the IEP Meeting Checklist
    3. During the IEP Meeting
    4. After the IEP Meeting
    5. Consideration for Transitions from High School to Adult Life
  5. Early Start Information for Infants and Toddlers
  6. Matriculation
    1. Early Start (Infant/Toddler) to Pre-School Transition Information Video
      1. Transcripción de video de infante a preescolar en español
    2. Preschool to Kindergarten Transition Information Video
      1. transcripción de video de preescolar a kindergarten en español
    3. Elementary to Junior High School Transition Information Video
      1. transcripción de video de escuela primaria a secundaria en español
    4. Junior High to High School Transition Information Video
    5. High School to Adult Transition Infographic
  7. Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) or What To Do When the IEP Team Disagrees?
    1. The Facilitated IEP Process
  8. Parents' Record Keeping
  9. Additional Resources for Parents and Guardians
    1. What is the Role of the CAC?
    2. Inclusive Education Infographic
    3. A New Pathway to a High School Diploma Infographic
    4. California Dashboard Parent Communication Toolkit Links
    5. Commonly Asked Questions
    6. Special Education Definitions



Thank you to Antelope Valley SELPA for permission to use their handbook as a template for the Santa Clarita Valley SELPA Community Advisory Committee Parent Handbook. 

In addition, thank you to the CAC members on our parent handbook committee who provided their time and feedback on developing this resource: Jessica Alleman, Naomi Alcock, Jennifer Corugedo, Melissa Mejia and Normita Meza.  

This handbook was created by the  Santa Clarita Valley SELPA Community Advisory Committee (CAC) as a helpful resource for parents and guardians.