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Placement means where your child’s IEP is carried out. Depending on your child’s needs, his or her placement may be in the general education classroom, in a special education classroom, in a special school, in your home, in a hospital or institution, or in another setting. Placement is based on the IEP. Therefore, when you request a change in placement, you are actually requesting an IEP review to discuss your child’s needs and where those needs are met.

Why might I ask for a change in my child’s placement?

You might want to request a change in your child’s placement if you feel that your child’s needs are not being met appropriately. For example, you may become concerned about your child’s placement after reviewing your child’s progress reports; reviewing the results of any state, district-wide, or alternate assessments your child has been given; talking with your child’s teacher or other service providers; or talking with your child.

Placement concerns might also include:

  • changes in your child’s needs;
  • current class size is too large or too small;
  • current class is too academic or not academic enough;
  • the placement does not meet your child’s social or emotional needs;
  • the building is too difficult for your child to get around; or
  • any other reason that this class placement is not working out successfully.

(For more information about placement, please see Question #19 in NICHCY’s publication called Questions and Answers about IDEA .)

Sample Letter 6: Requesting a change of placement

Today’s Date (include month, day, and year)

Your Name
Street Address
City, State, Zip Code
Daytime telephone number

Name of Principal or Special Education Administrator
Name of School
Street Address
City, State, Zip Code

Dear (Principal’s or Administrator’s name),

I am writing to request a meeting to discuss a change in placement for my son/daughter, (child’s name). He/she is currently in the (___) grade in (teacher’s name) class. I feel he/she needs to be in (name of alternative, if you know; otherwise describe the type of placement you feel is more appropriate for your child, such as your neighborhood school, a center-based program, general education class, or special class).

I am most concerned about (keep this paragraph brief and mention your child’s unmet needs, not problems with individual people).

I would also like to have (name of teacher(s) and/or any specialists you would like from the current and/or requested placement) attend this meeting.

I can arrange to meet with the rest of the IEP team on (days) between (give a range of time, such as between 8:00 a.m. and 10:00 a.m.). Please let me know what time would be best.

I look forward to hearing from you soon. My daytime telephone number is (give your phone number). Thank you for your time.


Your name

cc: your child’s principal (if letter is addressed to an administrator)
your child’s teacher(s)
specialists or other staff

This information is copyright free.

Readers are encouraged to copy and share it, but please credit the National Dissemination Center for Children with Disabilities (NICHCY). NICHCY Parent Guides are published in response to questions from individuals and organizations that contact us. We encourage you to share your ideas and feedback with us!

Publication of this document is made possible through a Cooperative Agreement between the Academy for Educational Development and the Office of Special Education Programs of the U.S. Department of Education. The contents of this document do not necessarily reflect the views or policies of the Department of Education, nor does mention of trade names, commercial products, or organizations imply endorsement by the U.S. Government.

P.O. Box 1492
Washington, DC 20013
v/tty: (800) 695-0285
Fax: (202) 884-8441
e-mail: [email protected]

Excerpted from Communication with Your Child’s School Through Letters. National Dissemination Center for Children with Disabilities. (2002). Washington, D.C.: Academy for Educational Development.
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