The special education director will be responsible for overseeing the surrogate parent program in the
district or will notify the Division of Special Education of the Department of Elementary and
Secondary Education (DESE) in writing of the responsible designee.
Surrogate Parent (Educational Surrogate) – Fills the role of a parent for a student with a disability
whenever decisions are made about the student's educational placement and program.
Appointment of Surrogate Parents
District staff members will immediately notify the special education director when they suspect or
are advised that a student with a disability who may be eligible for or receiving services from the
district pursuant to Part B of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) may be in need
of a surrogate parent to assist in the placement and educational program of the student.
A surrogate parent is required when the student:
► Has no identified parent, guardian or person acting as a parent.
► Has parents who, after reasonable efforts, cannot be located by the district.
► Is a ward of the state and is living in a facility or group home and not with a person acting
as a parent.
► Is an unaccompanied homeless youth as defined in federal law.
Within 30 days after the enrollment of a student with a disability or a student who is suspected of
having a disability or of a district receiving notice that a student with a disability within its
jurisdiction may be in need of a person to act as a surrogate parent, the special education director will
determine whether a surrogate parent should be appointed.
If it is determined that the student needs a surrogate parent, the special education director will
document the date of the determination by the district. A request for the appointment of a surrogate
parent shall be made on the appropriate DESE form and sent to the Division of Special Education
within ten (10) days of the director's determination of need.
Evaluation of Surrogate Parents
DESE will notify the special education director when an evaluation of each surrogate parent serving
in the district is required and provide the special education director with the necessary form. The
special education director will complete the evaluation and return it to DESE.
Termination of Surrogate Parents
A surrogate parent appointment may be terminated by DESE's Division of Special Education at the
request of the surrogate or when:
► The conclusion of the initial educational evaluation indicates that the student does not qualify
for special educational services pursuant to IDEA.
► The student’s parent or guardian reappears to represent the student, or the wardship is
► The student is assigned a foster parent.
► The student is no longer in need of special education services.
► The student reaches the age of majority.
► The surrogate parent fails to fulfill his or her obligations as defined by state and federal law.
► The student graduates or reaches the age of 21, whichever comes first.
The special education director will assist DESE in recruiting surrogate parent volunteers; submit
names and addresses of potential volunteers to DESE; and be available to assist DESE with local
surrogate parent training.
The special education director will annually provide information on the surrogate parent program
to building administrators, special education case managers and other persons deemed appropriate.
At a minimum, the information presented will include:
1. An explanation of the process for identifying the need for appointment of a surrogate parent,
including the specific responsibilities of district personnel.
2. Eligibility criteria for a child in need of a surrogate parent.
3. An explanation of the process of appointment of a surrogate parent, including forms and
4. The qualifications and duties of a surrogate parent.
5. The district's responsibilities with regard to surrogate parents, including completion of a
6. An explanation of the process of terminating a surrogate parent appointment.
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Note: The reader is encouraged to review policies and/or forms for related information in this
North Kansas City School District, Kansas City, Missouri
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