Connecticut Special Education & Prior Written Notice: Special Education Attorney Review of CSDE New PWN

As of July 1, 2022, Connecticut’s new individualized education plan (IEP) will no longer contain a prior written notice (PWN) page within the IEP. Rather, the new PWN document will now be a separate from the IEP itself. Although this “appears” to just be intended as a formatting change, it is critical that prior written notice remains part of the discussion during a planning and placement team meeting (PPT) anytime there is a district refusal of a parent request.

What is Prior Written Notice (PWN)

Prior written notice (PWN) is a written notification from the school district planning and placement team telling the parents that the school team is considering making certain decisions, changes, or actions regarding the child’s IEP. The purpose of PWN is to inform the parents of the change.

What Must PWN Provide

Prior written notice must provide the following to the parent:

  • A description of what the school district proposes to do or refuses to do;
  • An explanation why the school district is proposing or refusing to take the requested action;
  • A description of how the school team decided to propose or refuse to the action, including an explanation to the parent about each evaluation procedure, assessment, record, or report that the school district used to make its decision; and
  • Describe any other options that the student’s planning and placement team considered and the reason why those options were denied or rejected.

Simply put, PWN is an official means to notify parents of what the school team is proposing to do or refusing to do and must explain what an action or request is being offered or rejected.

Connecticut PWN Defined

In Connecticut, pursuant to R.C.S.A. § 10-76d-8(a)(5), a school district is required to provide parents with prior written notice whenever a school district proposes to, or refuses to, initiate or change the child’s identification, evaluation or educational placement of a child with a disability of the provision of a free appropriate public education of the child with a disability.

CSDE’s Old vs New PWN Documentation