75 Kids and the Law The parent or guardian may request mediation and/or a hearing with the BSEA. The parent or guardian may bring an advocate, hire an attorney, or represent him or herself at the mediation or hearing. The child may be present, and the parent or guardian may request others to be present. Hearings and mediation are closed to the public, unless the parent or guardian wants otherwise. The BSEA has the authority to resolve all disputes related to a child’s special educa- tion program and services. A parent or guardian who “prevails” (wins) may be entitled to have attorney’s fees and costs paid for by the school system. Is there a review process once the parent or guardian has signed the IEP? Yes, the IEP is reviewed every year. Every three years the school will request the consent of the parent or guardian to conduct a three-year reevaluation to complete a new IEP. The reevaluation will generally include the same types of assessments made in the initial evaluation. A reevaluation can be requested sooner than every three years if the parent or guardian or school feels it would be helpful. The parent or guardian’s consent is required. The parent or guard- ian can request updated assessments. Where can I find more information about the special education process? The Federation for Children with Special Needs and the Massachusetts De- partment of Education jointly publish A Parent’s Guide to Special Education which has been a resource for this chapter and can be obtained from the Fed- eration. Laws related to special education include the federal special educa- tion law (the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act – IDEA) and the state’s special education law (Massachusetts General Laws chapter 71B). When can students access their school records? Students are allowed complete access to their school records at age 14, or when they enter the ninth grade. (603 CMR 28.01(1)). Special Education Issues 7