Giving Parents Options: Strategies for Informing Parents and Implementing Public School Choice And Supplemental Educational Services Under No Child Left Behind
September 2007
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Ensuring informative content

In addition to the elements required by the statute to appear in notices about public school choice and SES, districts should consider whether there is other information that parents need to know up front in order to be fully informed about their options. In particular, a district should consider whether there are unique aspects of its implementation of public school choice or SES that parents need to know about, and should be sure to discuss these, as appropriate.

For instance, in a notice about public school choice options, a district might address such issues as the district's particular timelines for receiving, processing, and implementing transfer requests, including the date by which parents can expect to receive a response to their request from the district. If possible, a district might also discuss how transportation will be provided.

In a notice about SES, a district might similarly consider including its procedures and timelines for receiving and processing SES enrollment forms, including the date by which parents can expect services to begin. Districts might also consider including provider-specific information in addition to what is required by the law, such as: tutor-student ratio; grades served; location of services, especially whether services are provided on school sites; total hours or sessions of services offered; and whether transportation is provided (by the district or by the provider).

For parents whose child is eligible for both options, a district should refer to the availability of public school choice in an SES notice, and vice versa. A district might also consider combining public school choice and SES notices into one notification letter for those parents whose child is eligible for both options. Doing so can help parents make fully informed choices.

In general, a district should be sure to let parents know whom in their district or school they may contact if they have questions about their options.

Using a checklist. Once a district has determined the information to include in parent notices, it should consider employing a checklist to make sure all of that information makes its way into the letter.

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Last Modified: 08/18/2008