Policies and Procedures Handbook

Last Updated: 4/7/2005
Garrett County Public Schools
40 South Second Street
Oakland, MD 21550

Garrett County Board of Education Parent Surrogate Guidelines

Administrative Procedure

  1. Qualifications of a Parent Surrogate:

    The person qualified as a parent surrogate will:

    1. Be a citizen of the United States above the age of 21.
    2. Have knowledge, skills, experience, and/or training that ensures adequate representation of the child.
    3. Not be an employee of a public agency involved in the education or care of the student entrusted to that parent surrogate.  A foster parent is not considered an employee of a public agency solely because the foster parent receives public funds for the care of the student.
    4. Be able to understand and speak the language of the child.
    5. Have no interest that conflicts with the interest of the child he or she represents.

  2. Roles and Responsibility of a Parent Surrogate

    The parent surrogate acts as an advocate on behalf of the student to assure that the student receives a free, appropriate public education (FAPE) within the least restrictive environment.

    This includes:

  3. A.  Becoming thoroughly acquainted with the student, the student's educational history, and any other information contained in the student's record relating to that
           student's educational needs.
    B.  Becoming familiar with state and federal regulations concerning the education of students with disabilities, including the contents of the procedural safeguards
    C.  Becoming familiar with the student's current education program and with appropriate alternatives.
    D.  Participating in the planning, development, and approval or disapproval of the student's individualized education program (IEP).
    E.  Monitoring the student's educational development by attending in person or in limited circumstances via communication systems, parent-school planning and
           evaluation meetings.
    F.  Acting as the student's parent/advocate by requesting educational services or making complaints about services or the lack of services, if necessary.
    G.  Representing the student in any due process proceeding, including the initiation of a complaint and/or an appeal, and seeking qualified legal assistance when
           such assistance is in the best interest of the student.


  4. Length of Appointment

    Parent Surrogate shall be appointed to serve until one or more of the following occurs:


    1. The child's natural parents are available.
    2. The child's natural parents are known.
    3. The child completes the public school.
    4. The child reaches the age of 21, or
    5. The child is no longer eligible for special education.

IV.  Implementation of Parent Surrogate Guidelines

A.    Awareness and Recruitment

  1. Through a public awareness program of the needs of individuals with disabilities, organizations, volunteer groups and other public agencies will become aware of the disabled, available special education programs and role of parent surrogates.      

  2. Recruitment of parent surrogates will be scheduled on an as needed basis.

    a.  Letters of need and description of parent surrogates will be disseminated to:

        1)  organizations involved in providing services to children
           2)  organizations involved with the disabled
           3)  service organizations
           4) and others, who may wish to provide this services through their membership.

    3.  Parent surrogate applications will be disseminated to interested volunteers.

    4.  These applications will be maintained in the parent surrogate file and serve as the continuation of a current list within Garrett County.

B.  Selection, Training and Appointment of Parent Surrogates:

    1.  Parent Surrogate applications will be reviewed to determine need of training and to schedule inservice.
     2.  A meeting will be scheduled with applicants to review the parent surrogate handbook (Garrett County and Maryland State Department of Education Handbook).
     3.  The Candidate will complete the application process.
     4.  Once the local superintendent approves this application, the parent surrogate will be notified of the approval and an initial meeting between the parent surrogate and
            the student with a disability will be arranged by the ARD Chairperson as appropriate.
     5.  A list of approved parent surrogates will be maintained in the office of the Director of Pupil Services for the local school superintendent.

V.    Admission, Review and Dismissal/Individual Education Plan (ARD/IEP) Procedures:

    Statement:  Any child suspected of needing or already known to need a surrogate parent, should have a parent surrogate appointed prior to any action by an ARD 
     committee.  The parent surrogate is to be considered the parent.

  1. Once the need for a parent surrogate has been identified by the ARD committee, the PPW will be responsible for gathering, completing and maintaining all necessary documentation.

  2. The PPW will submit a request to the local school superintendent for the appointment of a parent surrogate which shall include the following:

        1.  The name, date of birth, sex, legal domicile, and present residence of the student.
         2.  A statement that the student is eligible for the appointment of a parent surrogate.
         3.  Documentation, as applicable, of the efforts made to identify the parent, if unknown, or to locate the parent, if unavailable, or guardianship or custody decree.             Adequate documentation will include: 1) date(s) of contact to verify whereabouts and/or availability, 2) by whom it was initiated, 3)type of effort made, and 4)
               result of effort.
        4.  The name and qualifications of the proposed parent surrogate whom the public agency considers to be qualified to represent the student in the educational
                decision making process.

    C.  When a request for the appointment of a parent surrogate is filed, the local school superintendent shall appoint a parent surrogate within 10 days of receiving the
         request, including appropriate eligibility documentation, if the superintendent finds:

        1.  The student is eligible for the appointment of a parent surrogate; and
        2.  The proposed parent surrogate is qualified to represent the student in the educational decision making process.

    D.  The local school superintendent is to notify the Maryland State Department of Education within 30 days of the appointment of a parent surrogate.

    E.  The parent surrogate and the child with a disability will be matched based on one or more of the following:  geographical location, cultural background, primary
          language, and personal/emotional needs.

Back Button [
Previous | Next
Section 300
Table of Contents 
Instruction 345.441 WWM
Adopted 7/18/84 Revised 2/9/99