When is a school required to provide parents with prior written notice (PWN)?

Published: June 24th, 2016

The regulations that implement the IDEA require a school to provide parents with written notice a reasonable time before the public agency proposes or refuses to initiate or change the identification, evaluation, educational placement of the child, or the provision of a FAPE to the child. [34 C.F.R. § 300.503(a)(1)-(2)] The U.S. Department of Education has stated, “We do not believe that it is necessary to substitute a specific timeline to clarify what is meant by the requirement that the notice be provided within a reasonable period of time. [34 C.F.R. Part 300, Analysis of Comments and Changes, Subpart D–Evaluations, Eligibility Determinations, IEPs, and Educational Placements, Federal Register, Vol. 71, No. 156, p. 46657 and 46658 (August 2006)] Arizona State Board of Education rules state that “prior written notice shall be provided to the parents of a child within a reasonable time after the PEA proposes to initiate or change, or refuses to initiate or change, the identification, evaluation, educational placement or the provision of FAPE to the child, but before the decision is implemented.” [A.A.C. R7-2-401(I)(2)]