All Children’s Guild program participants and/or their parents/guardians have the right personally, or in combination with other persons, to present grievances and to recommend changes to policies and services without fear of reprisal, restraint, interference, coercion, or discrimination from The Children’s Guild.
Program participants and/or their parents/guardians residing in the District of Columbia also have the right to present a grievance to the Office of the State Superintendent of Education (OSSE)
Every student/client, parent and/or guardian has the right to receive a formal and unbiased hearing at which his or her complaints can be addressed.
A program (charter school, special education school, group home, foster care, or outpatient mental health) shall provide every parent, and student when applicable, with complete and up to date information about its program, including at minimum its academic policies, IEP process, policies on behavior management, student rights and privileges and the process for a parent to make a complaint about the services or treatment a student is receiving at the school or program.
Filing a Grievance with the Children’s Guild
- The student/client, parent and/or guardian, personally or in concert with others, or through a proponent of his or her choosing, may present grievances to the appropriate Program Manager. Program managers include the following:
Charter Schools, Special Education and Non-public Schools: Principal
Group home, foster care, or outpatient mental health: Program Managers.
- A written complaint shall be submitted to the appropriate Principal/Program Manager.
- The Principal/Program Managers shall maintain a permanent record of all submitted complaints. These records shall be kept confidential and stored separate from the student/client records.
- The written grievance shall be handled in the following manner:
- The Principal/Program Manager will schedule a grievance conference with the program participant and relevant staff within three (3) working days after receipt the grievance.
- The Principal/Program Manager will discuss his/her response verbally with the complainant and provide the program participant with a written response within three (3) working days after this conference.
- The Principal/Program Manager will submit the grievance and the response to the Chief Academic Officer within three (3) working days after the conference.
- If the program participant is dissatisfied with the decision made by the Principal/Program Manager, the program participant will be advised that (s)he has the right to have the decision reviewed by the Chief Academic Officer.
- If necessary, the Chief Academic Officer will review the decision and shall respond, in writing, to the program participants’ grievance within three (3) working days after the review.
- If the Chief Academic Officer decides in favor of the program participant’s grievance, prompt steps will be taken to rectify the situation, as it may be appropriate
- If the Chief Academic Officer decides against the program participant’s grievance, the complainant shall be notified within three (3) business days. The program participant has the option to present the grievance to the Executive Management Team for consideration.
- If the program participant is dissatisfied with the decision of the Executive Management Team, the complainant shall notify the President of the organization within three (3) business days. To file the grievance with the President of the Organization, the grievance can be stated via phone at 410-444-3800 directed to the President. In writing, the grievance can be mailed to:
The Children’s Guild
6802 McClean Blvd
Baltimore, MD 21234
- If the decision of the President is not acceptable to the program participant, the grievance may be presented within three (3) business days to the Board of Trustees for review. To file the grievance with the Board, the grievance can be stated via phone at 202-269-4304, directed to the Board Chair. In writing, the grievance can be mailed to:
The Children’s Guild DC Public Charter
2146 24th Place
Washington DC 20018
- The program participant will not be subject to any form of discipline solely because (s)he sought a remedy through, or participated in, the grievance procedures established by this policy.
- Obstruction by any employee or volunteer of The Guild of any investigation or disposition of a complaint shall be reported to the President, who shall decide upon the necessary appropriate action.
Filing a Grievance with OSSE
- The student/client, parent and/or guardian, personally or in concert with others, or through a proponent of his or her choosing, may present grievances to the OSSE State Compliant Office (SCO) using the complaint form or other written format.
- Complaints may be faxed to the SCO or emailed if the complaint is signed, scanned, and attached to an email to enable receipt. (An individual who is unable to fax or email the complaint should contact the SCO for assistance)
- A copy of the complaint must be submitted to The Children’s Guild.
- The SCO has a maximum of 60 days after the complaint is filed to investigate the allegation(s) and issue a final written decision.
- Upon receipt of the complaint, the SCO will assign an investigator to take responsibility of the complaint.
- The SCO will determine if the complaint meets the requirements for filing and will 1) notify the complainant to re-file or 2) investigate the issue (for due process involvement or no further investigation warranted.
- Once the outcome is determined, the SCO will notify the complainant and The Children’s Guild if the action.
- If an investigation is warranted the SCO will send written notification of receipt of the complaint to the complainant with copies of the Procedural Safeguards Notices for Part B and/or Part C and will include the date the complaint I was file with the SCO, the individual filing the complaint, and the issue raised.
- The SCO will request a written response and supporting documentation within 10 days business days upon receipt of the complaint from the SCO. Failure to respond may result in noncompliance sanctions but an extension of 10 business days may be granted if necessary for the complainant and The Children’s Guild to resolve the issue themselves.
- If needed, mediation services are available through OSSE.
- If the complainant and The Children’s Guild are able to resolve the issue with 60 days after the complaint is filed and so inform the SCO, the SCO will close the case without issuing a decision.
- Within 60 days following the receipt of the complaint the SCO will conduct an investigation which may include an on-site visit.
- All relevant information will be reviewed and the SCO will provide a written decision.
- If the SCO find The Children’s Guild has failed to provide adequate service to address the needs of a child with a disability, the SCO may require a corrective action plan (CAP) which must be submitted to SCO for approval.
- Upon completion of the CAP the SCO will notify The Children’s Guild of its final decision. Additional monitoring or corrective action may be required.
Further details of this process can be found in the publication “District of Columbia Formal State Complaint Policy & Procedures” available on the OSSE website.
Comprehensive Child Find at The Children’s Guild DC Public Charter
Under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), Child Find is a process of continuous public awareness activities designed to locate, identify, and evaluate children who may require early intervention or special education services. This brochure is designed to answer frequently asked questions regarding the Child Find process.
CHILD FIND PROCESS: IDEA
Part C (Birth through Age 2)
What is Part C?
Part C is a part of the federal law under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) that funds the District of Columbia’s efforts to provide early intervention services to eligible children age birth through two years old.
What are early intervention services?
These are services such as occupational, physical and speech/language therapy, as well as special instruction, vision, and audiology (hearing) services designed to meet the specific needs of a child from
birth through age 2 and the needs of the family related to enhancing the child’s development.
Who provides early intervention services?
The District of Columbia’s Early Intervention Program (DC EIP), located within the Office of the State Superintendent of Education (OSSE), is the single point of entry for infants and toddlers whose families or others have concerns about their development. DC EIP provides services through program staff and approved contractors.
How does a parent/guardian know if an infant or toddler has early intervention needs?
Children with developmental delays or who meet other criteria may need early intervention. Anyone, including parents, guardians, family members, friends, physicians, and child care staff can call the DC EIP
Child Find Hotline at (202) 727-3665 for information about eligibility and how to make a referral.
What happens after a referral is made to DC EIP?
DC EIP will work with the family to determine if an evaluation of the child’s developmental levels is needed. As part of this process, a screening may be completed with the parent’s permission. If the evaluation indicates that a child is eligible for services, an Individualized Family Services Plan (IFSP) will be developed with input from the family. This plan will describe the services needed by the child and family and how they will be provided.
Do parents/guardians need to pay for early intervention services?
Federal law requires that certain services, including the following, be provided at no cost to families: developmental evaluations and assessments, IFSP development, and service coordination. Families may have to assume some or all of the costs for direct therapeutic services, depending on the family’s ability to pay. Medicaid or private insurance may also be used to cover the costs.
Where are early intervention services provided?
Early intervention services are provided in the child’s natural environment or primary day setting, including the family home and community child care centers.
Do early intervention services stop when a child turns 3 years old?
Yes. However, children can continue to have their needs met by Part B services, if found eligible. Children receiving Part C services begin transitioning to Part B after turning two years old. Those children referred to Part C between the ages of two (2) and three (3) years old, but who are found ineligible for Part C may still access the Part B Early Stages Child Find Process at age 2 years and 8 months.
What is Part B?
Part B is a part of the federal law under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) that requires states to provide special education services to eligible school-aged children ages three (3)
through 21 years old.
What are special education services?
Special education services are specialized instruction and related services designed to assist eligible school-aged children with accessing curriculum. If eligible, students may receive related services such as: speech-language therapy, audiology services, interpreting services, psychological and counseling services, physical and occupational therapy, orientation and mobility services, and transportation services.
How does a parent/guardian know if a child needs special education services?
Parents/guardians may not know for sure if an infant or toddler needs special education services. A child should be referred for an evaluation as soon as a parent or other adult, such as a teacher or counselor, notices a delay or decrease in development or school performance.
Who is responsible for providing evaluations under Part B?
Upon referral, the local education agency (District of Columbia Public Schools (DCPS) or independent charter schools) in which the child is enrolled must evaluate the child. Children not yet enrolled in school can be referred to Early Stages, a DCPS program that provides evaluations for children between the ages of 2 years 8 months through 5 years 10 months. DCPS is the only geographical local education agency, and therefore is responsible for all Child Find activities provided to students who are not enrolled in independent charter schools.
Please visit www.earlystagesdc.org for more information.
What happens after a request for an evaluation is made?
Early Stages or the school district will seek the parent’s permission to complete an initial evaluation, and schedule a subsequent meeting to determine eligibility for special education services. Students who
are found eligible for Part B services will have a service plan known as an Individualized Education Program (IEP) that describes the amount and nature of the services.
Do parents need to pay for evaluations or special education services?
No. Federal law requires that special education services be provided at public expense to students who are eligible. The school district will pay for evaluations, special education and related services, and supports that are appropriate under the student’s IEP. With some limitations, Medicaid or private insurance may be billed for the costs of services.
Where are special education services provided?
Special education services are typically provided at a student’s school, but may also be provided in other least restrictive environments (LRE) in accordance with the student’s IEP.
Do special education services stop when a student turns 21 years old?
Yes. Students may receive services through the end of the semester that they turn 22 years old. Services may stop sooner for students who formally exit special education or graduate with a regular high
school diploma prior to their 21st birthday. Students exiting Part B may continue to receive supports and services from the Rehabilitation Services Administration (RSA) at the District of Columbia’s Department on Disability Services. For more information please call:
Where can parents learn more information about Part C and/or Part B services or express a concern?
Parents can learn more about Part C early intervention services and/or Part B special education services from the Procedural Safeguards Notices (PSN) that are available online at: www.osse.dc.gov.
The PSN for Part C (known as “Families Have Rights”) and Part B (known as “Rights of Parents of Students with Disabilities”) includes information about families’ rights and the different options available for addressing concerns.
For more information or for answers to general questions, please call: (202) 741-0271 at the OSSE office or The Children’s Guild DC Public Charter at 202-774-5442.
Contact Information Part C Birth to Age 2
Phone: (202) 727-3665
Fax: (202) 724-7230
Part B Child Find (DC Early Stages) Ages 3-5
The Children’s Guild DC Public Charter