Special Education Referral, Evaluation, Eligibility, and IEP Process
A student may be referred for an initial special education Evaluation in several ways:
A parent may request a special education Evaluation at any time. Providing a written request to the school principal is the best way to initiate an Evaluation.
The school Child Study team may contact you to ask permission to have your child evaluated following meetings during which strategies and interventions were planned and implemented.
An evaluation process is used to determine whether a student is eligible and in need of special education and, if so, the types of programs and services needed. Students may be evaluated by:
- A school psychologist
- A speech and language specialist
- A hearing specialist
- An occupational or a physical therapist
Before an Evaluation can begin, parents must give consent by signing a “Permission to Evaluate” form, provided by the school. This form will list the specific assessments/tests and procedures used during the Evaluation. In addition, you will receive a Procedural Safeguards Notice.
INFORMATION PROVIDED IN THE EVALUATION REPORT (ER)
The Evaluation team will gather information about the student’s strengths, skills, behaviors, learning difficulties, and instructional needs and summarize the information in a written report known as the Evaluation Report (ER).
The ER will summarize testing results, parent and teacher input, classroom observations, and information from related service personnel and will indicate whether or not the student is a child with a disability and in need special education. The Evaluation process must be completed within 60 calendar days from the date the school receives the “Permission to Evaluate” form. If it is determined that the student is eligible and in need of special education services, an Individualized Education Program (IEP) plan will be developed by the IEP team members including the parent/guardian.
A student may be eligible for Special Education if they:
Meet disability criteria as defined by Chapter 14 of the School Code
Need special education as determined by an evaluation team.