School is back in Session: What Parents should know about their children's education!
Summer vacation is over and our children are back in school. Both students and parents may be apprehensive about the new school year. Parents may need to sign several consent forms, and review handbooks, correspondences, or other important school documents. There is a tremendous influx of information at the beginning of the new academic year and rules and regulations may seem complicated and overwhelming. Parents may need to ask administrators what services the schools are supposed to provide their child and what their children’s rights are under the law.
Discipline Parents may want to review student handbooks or Student Code of Conduct regarding discipline policies. Title 20, Chapter 2 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated (OCGA) outlines school discipline procedures. Schools must provide notice to the student of any wrong doing and give the student the opportunity to tell his/her side of the story.
Attendance School systems actively monitor a student’s attendance, and in the event of an attendance issue, may refer parents to their truancy programs or assign them to a social worker prior to getting the courts involved. Parents may be charged with educational neglect if their children have more than five unexcused absences.
Student Records Parents have the right to review their child’s school records and make sure they are accurate. If there are inaccuracies and discrepancies, they may be corrected at the request of a parent. Like medical records, school records are also confidential and require parental authorization for these records to be released.
Students With Disabilities or Special Needs Under state and federal laws, students with disabilities are entitled to receive free-public school education. Schools must interactively engage with parents to assess the child’s issues and inform them what resources are available. Parents may also disagree with the school’s assessment(s), in which case a parent can request a meeting, mediation, or hearing to appeal the school's determination.