Page Links:

Overview

The Multi-disciplinary team must use a variety of eligibility and assessment tools and strategies to gather relevant functional, developmental, and academic information about the student, including information provided by the parent, to assist the case conference committee in determining the content of the student’s IEP, including information related to enabling the student to be involved in and progress in the general education curriculum (or for an early childhood student, to participate in appropriate activities).

The following procedures are NOT considered a part of an educational evaluation (and, therefore, do not require informed parental consent):

  • A test or other evaluation that is administered to all students, unless, before administration, consent is required from parents of all students;
  • A screening of students by a teacher or a specialist to determine appropriate instructional strategies for curriculum implementation;
  • A review of existing data regarding a student;
  • The collection of progress monitoring data when a student participates in a process that assesses the student’s response to scientific, research-based interventions.

Tests and evaluation materials are:

  • administered in the student’s native language or other mode of communication and in the form most likely to yield accurate information on what the student knows and can do academically, developmentally, and functionally, unless it is clearly not feasible to do so;
  • selected and administered so as not to be discriminatory on a racial or cultural basis;
  • used for the purposes for which the assessments or measures are valid and reliable;
  • administered by trained and knowledgeable personnel in accordance with any instructions provided by the producer of the assessments;
  • technically sound instruments that may assess the relative contributions of cognitive and behavioral factors, in addition to physical or developmental factors.

When administered to a student with impaired sensory, manual, or speaking skills, the assessment results accurately reflect the student’s aptitude or achievement level (or other factors the test purports to measure), rather than reflecting the student’s impaired sensory, manual, or speaking skills. 

  • Assessments and other evaluation tools include those tailored to assess specific areas of educational need, and not merely those designed to provide a single general intelligence quotient.
  • Assessment tools and strategies provide relevant information that directly assists the case conference committee in determining the special education and related service needs of the student and are sufficiently comprehensive to identify all of the student’s special education and related service needs whether or not commonly linked to the disability category in which the student has been classified.

The student is assessed, or information is collected in all areas related to the suspected disability, including, if appropriate: 

  • development
  •  cognition
  •  academic achievement
  •  functional performance or adaptive behavior
  •  communication skills
  •  motor and sensory abilities, including vision or hearing
  •  available educationally relevant medical or mental health information
  •  social and developmental history

As part of the educational evaluation, the multidisciplinary team must, with or without a meeting, do the following:

  •  Review existing evaluation data on the student, including the following:
    • Evaluations and information provided by the parents of the student
    • Current classroom, local, and state assessments
    • Classroom based observations and observations by teachers and related services providers
  • On the basis of that review, and input from the student's parents, identify the following:
    • The suspected disability or disabilities
    • Any additional data that is required for the student's CCC to determine eligibility for special education; and the special education and related service needs of the student.

School psychologists, speech and language pathologists (SLPs), diagnosticians, occupational and physical therapists (OT/PTs) who administer standardized tests are trained and knowledgeable in accordance with any instructions provided by the producer of the tests.

If the assessment is not conducted under standard conditions, the school psychologist, SLP, diagnostician or OT/PT must describe in the evaluation report the extent to which the assessment varied from standard conditions.

After an educational evaluation has been completed, the multidisciplinary team must compile the
findings of the multidisciplinary team into an educational evaluation report.

Request/Referral For Evaluation

Parental Request for an Educational Evaluation

When a parent is concerned about his/her child’s educational performance and is considering requesting an evaluation, it is recommended that the parent contact the school psychologist or SLP to discuss his/her concerns. 

A parent’s request for an initial or re-evaluation must be made to licensed personnel (e.g. teachers, school counselors, school psychologists, school social workers, building principals, and other administrators), either verbally or in writing.  After such a request, the school has ten (10) instructional days to provide the parent with a Written Notice (see below)

If a parent requests an evaluation, the date that this request is made must be documented on the Referral Parent form. If the request for the evaluation is made by anyone other than the parent, this form does NOT need to be completed.

At least yearly, all certified staff will be informed of the procedures to follow when a parent requests an evaluation.

School Request for an Educational Evaluation

The school may recommend a student for an initial educational evaluation, following monitoring by the school’s building based team (e.g. GEI, TILT, SAT). 

If school staff is considering requesting a re-evaluation due to a suspected change or addition of eligibility, a staffing should be held, with the school psychologist in attendance.  For students with an eligibility of speech and/or language impairment only, those requests for a re-evaluation should go through the building based team, including consultation with the school psychologist.

Once it has been determined that a student is in need of an evaluation, a referral must be completed.  If the parent/guardian has not been a part of the building based team process, it will be necessary to meet with the parent to inform him/her of the team’s recommendation for an evaluation. The school psychologist will complete the Written Notice (as described above) and obtain parental consent for the evaluation.

Using Referral Forms

Following a request for an evaluation, referral forms are used to collect information regarding the student’s current functioning level, developmental and medical history, and school history.  Both parents and school staff are required to complete their respective sections of the referral. 

This information is reviewed by the school psychologist, SLP, OT/PT, or CAT team member (depending on reason for referral) in order to determine if, and what type of evaluation will be completed. 

Once a request for a re-evaluation is made, the TOR must complete the school/teacher section of the Referral for Re-evaluation form (there are two versions—one for grades K-6; the other for grades 7-12) and give it to the school psychologist within 3 school days. The TOR must ask the parent to complete the parent section of the referral from and return it to the psychologist within 3 school days. It is imperative that this timeline be followed, as the psychologist has 10 days from the date of the request to review the information and determine if we will proceed with the re-evaluation.

The following is a listing of the Referral Forms available and when to use which form:

  • Preschool aged student, referred for M-team evaluation, including those already LI/SI

 

 

Initial Referral Teacher
Referral Parent

  • Student referred for M-team evaluation, including those already LI/SI (this form provides needed additional background information)
  • Student who is newly enrolled in SBCSC and referred for a re-evaluation (this form provides needed additional background information)

 

 

Re-evaluation Referral Form-Teacher (preschool)
Re-evaluation Referral Form-Parent (preschool)

  • Preschool aged student referred for a M-team re-evaluation (not LI/SI)

 

 

Re-evaluation Referral Form-Teacher (K-6)
Re-evaluation Referral Form-Parent (K-6)

  • K-6 grade students referred for a re-evaluation (not speech, OT/PT or CAT)

 

 

Re-evaluation Referral Form-Teacher (7-12)
Re-evaluation Referral Form-Parent (7-12)

  • 7-12 grade students referred for a re-evaluation (not speech, OT/PT or CAT)

 

 

Referral for M-Team-Language Impairment

  • Student referred for language impairment

 

 

Referral for M-Team-Speech Impairment

  • Student referred for speech impairment

 

 

Social/Developmental History-LI/SI

  • Parent of student referred for language and/or speech impairment should complete this form

All forms can be completed on your computer and attached to an e-mail for the appropriate psychologist, SLP, OT/PT, or CAT team member.

Initial Educational Evaluation

A comprehensive initial educational evaluation conducted by a team of qualified professionals shall include a variety of assessments and information gathering procedures designed to provide relevant functional, developmental and academic information about the student. 

This information will be used to assist the case conference committee in determining whether the student is eligible for special education and related services.  It will also be used in the development of the student’s IEP,  including the extent to which the student will be involved in and progress in the general education curriculum (or for an early childhood student, to participate in appropriate activities).

A student must be evaluated prior to determining eligibility for special education services. A student must also be evaluated before determining that he/she no longer qualifies for special education services, except when the termination of services is due to graduation with a regular high school diploma or upon exit at twenty-two (22) years of age. 

Either a parent of a student or school staff may initiate a request for an initial educational evaluation for the purpose of determining if the student is eligible for special education and related services. 

Situations which may require an Initial Evaluation:

  • A student is first suspected of having a disability, including speech/language impairment.
  • A student has been previously evaluated but found not eligible, and is referred for another evaluation.

Initial Evaluation Procedures

The following is an overview of the chronological steps taken when a student is referred for an initial evaluation.   

    1. If parent makes request in person, parent should sign the Referral Parent form.  If the parental request is made in writing or per phone, the staff member who received the request must immediately document name/date on Referral Parent.  The parent is not required to sign this form.

    2. Referral Parent is given to Designee (e.g. Administrative Assistant, Special Ed. Dept. Head).  The Designee distributes copy to those CC’d at the bottom of page.  The classroom teacher’s copy has attached pages from Referral form (M-team or LI/SI).

    (The following steps also apply for a referral by school personnel):

    1. Classroom teacher completes and returns the appropriate referral form pages to the psychologist, SLP, OT/PT, or CAT team member within 3 school days.

    2. The parent should complete and return developmental history section of the referral and return to the psychologist, SLP, OT/PT, or CAT team member within 3 school days.

    3. Psychologist, SLP, OT/PT, or CAT team member reviews data, and if needed, will gather additional information from the parent or teacher. and complete the Notice of Initial Evaluation or Refusal to Conduct Evaluation, using the IIEP. This Written Notice, along with Notice of Procedural Safeguards (and any other information needed) will be sent to the parent within 10 school days.

      • In the event that the parent and/or teacher does not return the referral paperwork, the Psychologist, SLP, OT/PT, or CAT team member must still send either a Notice of Initial Evaluation or Notice of Evaluation Refusal (generated from within IIEP) within 10 school days of the parental request for evaluation.

      • If upon consultation with the psychologist, SLP, OT/PT, or CAT team member the parent wishes to withdraw the request for an evaluation, the parent must sign the Withdrawal of Request within 10 school days.

    4. When the signed parental consent is received by certified school personnel, this date must be documented on the form, as this is the official start of the timeline.  At this time, the case conference date and time should be established, and this information is placed on the first page of the referral form.  This conference date should be scheduled, using the provided calendar, to occur no later than 40 school days from the date of received consent.

    5. The building designee assembles the completed referral, including parental consent, and obtains the principal’s signature.  A photocopy of the referral packet is given to the school psychologist, who will share this with the diagnostician.

    6. The building designee sends the original Referral form to the Special Education Department ASAP.

    7. Referral information is logged into the CODA system, scanned into DocView, and file is sent to the psychologist.

    8. Psychologist determines the multi-disciplinary team members and requests the needed information, using the M-team Status Report.

      • The M-team Status Report is to be completed within a week after the referral is received, to allow the other M-Team members enough time to gather and provide this information to the psychologist well in advance of the required due date. 

    9. The M-team completes the evaluation.

    10. Psychologist writes the report and gives a copy to the Designee.

    11. Building designee distributes report to appropriate personnel (principal, potential TOR, general education teacher, etc.)

    12. Psychologist adds appropriate information into IIEP

      • Upload M-team report

      • Cut/paste scores in Reason for Eligibility section

      • Complete Initial Findings and information for Notice of Case Conference

      • Complete Existing Data

    13. Psychologist arranges to meet with parent within five (5) days of the case conference to review the results of the evaluation, if the parent made this request at the time the consent was signed.

    14. Building designee verifies the case conference date, which should have already tentatively been determined at the initial meeting with parent. 

    15. Psychologist completes the Notice of Case Conference

    16. Notice of Case Conference is sent to the parent.  There is no need to include a copy of Procedural Safeguards, unless the parent has made this request.

      • If the parent does not attend the conference, one more attempt must be made.

      • If the parent does not attend on the second date, the case conference should be held.  All documentation of attempts must be documented in IIEP.

      • In no case may the deadline for evaluation be exceeded.

    17. The case conference must be led by the Principal or Designee (who is an administrator or who is licensed in special education).  The potential TOR is responsible for bringing the paperwork to the conference.

    18. IEP is developed, and parent signatures are secured (even if the student is found ineligible for special education services). 

      • Parent must leave the conference with a Draft copy of the IEP.

      • Psychologist must leave the conference with a Draft copy of the complete IEP.

    19. TOR completes revisions on IIEP and finalizes the IEP.  Finalized copy must be completed and sent to the parent and special education Department within 10 school days.        

    20. Psychologist sends the original file to the Special Education Department.

Re-Evaluation

Once a student is eligible for special education and related services, any subsequent evaluation of the student is considered a re-evaluation.  

The SBCSC must consider re-evaluation for each student :

  • At least once every three (3) years; however it is addressed yearly through the Indiana IEP system (IIEP)
  • If the public agency determines at any time that additional information is needed to address the special education or related services needs of the student; and
  • If the student’s parents or teacher requests the re-evaluation.

Parents or staff may request a re-evaluation for the purposes of: (a) reestablishing eligibility for special education and related services; (b) determining that the student is eligible for special education and related services under a different or additional eligibility category; or (c) informing the case conference committee of the student’s needs.  Re-evaluation to re-establish eligibility may not occur more than once a year, unless the parent and the school agree otherwise.

Situations which may require a Re-evaluation:

  • A suspected change in eligibility area (e.g. from SLD to Mild Cognitive Disability).
  • An addition of eligibility area (e.g. already SLD and adding ED; OR already LI/SI and suspecting SLD).
  • The student is suspected of no longer demonstrating one or more of his/her current eligibility (ies) for special education services.
  • Additional information is needed/required to make appropriate educational plans for the student, including occupational or physical therapy evaluation, or CAT evaluation.
  • A student with a disability moves into the SBCSC AND requires an evaluation.

Reevaluation Procedures

The following is an overview of the chronological steps taken when a student is referred for a Re-evaluation (except for an LI/SI student referred for another suspected disability).

    1.  If parent makes request in person, parent should sign Parental Request for Re-Evaluation.  If the parental request is made in writing or per phone, the staff member who received the request must immediately document name/date on Parental Request for Re-Evaluation.  The parent is not required to sign this form.

    2. Parental Request for Re-Evaluation is given to the TOR, who distributes copy to those CC’d at the bottom of page.  The classroom teacher’s copy has attached pages from Referral form (M-team or LI/SI).

    (The following steps also apply for a referral by school personnel):

    1. Classroom teacher and TOR complete and return the appropriate referral form pages to the psychologist, SLP, OT/PT, or CAT team member within 3 school days.

    2. The parent should complete and return developmental history section of the referral and return to the psychologist, SLP, OT/PT, or CAT team member within 3 school days.

    3. Psychologist, SLP, OT/PT, or CAT team member reviews data, and if needed, will gather additional information from the parent or teacher. and complete the Notice of Initial Evaluation or Refusal to Conduct Evaluation, using the IIEP. This Written Notice, along with Notice of Procedural Safeguards (and any other information needed) will be sent to the parent within 10 school days.

      • In the event that the parent and/or teacher does not return the referral paperwork, the Psychologist, SLP, OT/PT, or CAT team member must still send either a Notice of Re-evaluation or Notice of Re-evaluation Refusal (generated from within IIEP) within 10 school days of the parental request for re-evaluation.

      • If upon consultation with the psychologist, SLP, OT/PT, or CAT team member the parent wishes to withdraw the request for a re-evaluation, the parent must sign the Withdrawal of Request within 10 school days.

    4. When the signed parental consent is received by certified school personnel, this date must be documented on the form, as this is the official start of the timeline (if the re-evaluation requires a 50 day timeline).  At this time, the case conference date and time should be established, and this information is placed on the first page of the referral form.  This conference date should be scheduled, using the provided calendar, to occur no later than 40 school days from the date of received consent.

      • A case conference need only be convened within fifty (50) school days when the purpose of the re-evaluation is to determine if there is a change in or addition of eligibility OR if information was needed to inform the case conference committee of the student’s needs.

    5. The TOR assembles the completed referral, including parental consent, and obtains the principal’s signature.  A photocopy of the referral packet is given to the school psychologist (if appropriate), who will share this with the diagnostician.

    6. The TOR sends the original Referral form to the Special Education Department ASAP.

    7. Referral information is logged into the CODA system, scanned, and file is sent to the psychologist (if appropriate).

    8. Psychologist (if appropriate) determines the multi-disciplinary team members and requests the needed information.

    9. The M-team completes the evaluation.

    10. The evaluator writes the report and gives a copy to the TOR.

    11. TOR distributes report to appropriate personnel (principal, general education teacher, etc.)

    12. Psychologist, SLP, OT/PT or CAT team member adds appropriate information into IIEP

      • Upload report

      • Cut/paste scores in Reason for Eligibility section

    13. TOR verifies the case conference date, which should have already tentatively been determined at the initial meeting with parent (if a 50 day timeline is required)

      • If the purpose of the re-evaluation is to re-establish eligibility, the evaluation results should be reviewed at the student’s Annual Case Conference

    14. TOR completes the Notice of Case Conference

    15. Notice of Case Conference is sent to the parent.  There is no need to include a copy of Procedural Safeguards, unless the parent has made this request.

      • If the parent does not attend the conference, one more attempt must be made.

      • If the parent does not attend on the second date, the case conference should be held.  All documentation of attempts must be documented in IIEP.

        In no case may the deadline for evaluation be exceeded.

    16. The case conference must be led by the Principal or Designee (who is an administrator or who is licensed in special education).  The potential TOR is responsible for bringing the paperwork to the conference.

    17. IEP is developed, and parent signatures are secured (even if the student is not found eligible for special education services). 

      • Parent must leave the conference with a Draft copy of the IEP.

      • Psychologist must leave the conference with a Draft copy of the complete IEP.

    18. TOR completes revisions on IIEP and finalizes the IEP.  Finalized copy must be completed and sent to the parent and special education Department within 10 school days.        

    19. Psychologist sends the original file, including referral and evaluation report to the Special Education Department.

Evaluation of Non-public and Homeschooled students

The SBCSC is responsible for evaluating students who reside within the boundaries of the SBCSC, including those who are home-schooled.  For students who attend non-public schools within the boundaries of SBCSC (regardless of whether or not the student resides within South Bend), the Corporation is responsible for conducting educational evaluations.  For students who reside in South Bend, but attend a school which is located in another school district, the district in which the school is located is responsible for conducting the evaluation.  However, if the parent so chooses, the student’s home school district can complete the evaluation.

When the SBCSC conducts an evaluation on students residing in South Bend, but attending an out of district school, the SBCSC must obtain written parental consent prior to sharing any information with the out-of district school.

Typically, psychologists, diagnosticians, SLPs, OT/PT, or CAT team members assess the student at the student’s school.  However, in certain circumstances, the evaluator may request that the student be brought to a SBCSC location in order to complete the evaluation.

Evaluation of Newly Enrolled Students

Assessments of students with disabilities who transfer from one school district to another during the evaluation process are coordinated with those students’ previous and current schools, as necessary and expeditiously as possible to ensure prompt completion of evaluations.  

A student who moves into the corporation from another Indiana school corporation or from out of state may require an evaluation because:

  • A previous evaluation is not available or is out of date (over one and a half years old).
  • The student is from out of state and has a disability not recognized in Indiana (e.g. Developmentally Delayed for a student aged six (6) or above).
  • The eligibility stated on records is questioned by the school and/or parent.
  • The student’s IEP from the previous district states that an evaluation is recommended.

If an evaluation is requested, follow the procedures for an Re-evaluation request (but using Initial Referral paperwork—to provide adequate background information). 

Independent Educational Evaluations

An Independent educational evaluation means an evaluation conducted by a qualified evaluator who is not employed by the school corporation responsible for the student in question.

If a parent requests an independent educational evaluation, the parent should be asked to put the request in writing and send it to the Director of Special Education.  Upon a parental request for an independent evaluation, the Special Education Department will provide the parent with information about where an independent educational evaluation may be obtained, and the Corporation’s criteria applicable to independent evaluations.

A parent has the right to request an independent educational evaluation at public expense (i.e. no cost to the parent) if the parent disagrees with an evaluation conducted by the Corporation.  Within ten (10) business days of the Director’s receipt of the parent’s request, the corporation must either:

  • Initiate a due process hearing to show its educational evaluation is appropriate; OR
  • Notify the parent in writing that the independent educational evaluation will be at public expense

A student’s parents are entitled to only one (1) independent educational evaluation at public expense each time the Corporation conducts an educational evaluation with which the parent disagrees.

If the SBCSC agrees to provide an independent educational evaluation at public expense, the criteria under which the evaluation is obtained, including the assessment components, location of the evaluation and qualifications of the evaluator must be the same as the SBCSC uses when conducting an evaluation.

If the Corporation initiates a hearing to determine the appropriateness of its educational evaluation and the hearing officer determines that the evaluation conducted by the Corporation is appropriate, the parent may still seek an independent evaluation, but at the parent’s expense.

When the parents present a report from an independent evaluator, at the parent’s expense, the evaluation results must be considered by the Case Conference Committee only if the evaluation components are the same as required by the SBCSC.  Upon receipt of this report, the school should complete a Request for a Multidisciplinary Evaluation, provide Notice of Evaluation, obtain parent consent and provide the parents with the Notice of Procedural Safeguards.  This should be done so that the school psychologist and other staff, as indicated, can review the independent evaluation report and conduct any additional testing that may be needed to meet federal and state criteria for eligibility determination.  Typically, if the test results are older than one and a half years, new testing must be completed.

Occupational and Physical Therapy Evaluations

Unlike Speech/Language Therapy, Occupational and Physical Therapy services are delivered as “Related Services” of Special Education in the public school setting.  By definition in state law “Related Services” means those services which are supplementary and complimentary to the instructional program and are required for a student to benefit from special education.  Such services may be developmental, corrective, or supportive in nature.  The public agency shall provide related services to a student if the case conference committee determines the student requires the related services in order to benefit from special education.

On occasion, parents, physicians, or clinical therapists will request (or prescribe) therapy from school therapists without a clear idea of the function of public school-based therapy.  If a request or prescription of this nature occurs, it is best to refer the individual to the therapist assigned to your school.

Consult with your school’s physical therapist for gross motor concerns, or occupational therapist for fine motor, self-help, or sensory concerns. 

To initiate the request for a school-based OT or PT eval, fill out the OT/PT TEACHER CHECKLIST

Subsequent to the initial question about a need for the OT and/or PT, the therapist will:

  • screen the student, may speak with the parents for additional information, and, if indicated, will use the IIEP system start the Pre-Conference Planning process which will generate a “Notice of Reevaluation” form that requests parent consent to be sent home with the Physicians Referral Form also for the parent's signature on the HIPAA Release;
  • conduct the evaluation upon receipt of written parent consent;
  • send the Physician's Referral form to the doctor;
  • complete the IIEP evaluation process;
  • consult with the TOR to arrange a case conference within 50 instructional days from when written parent consent was received;
  • present results of evaluation and recommendation regarding OT and/or PT in the case conference for determination whether the therapy is needed for the student to benefit from his/her special education program.

It is essential for the TOR or any other school personnel to whom a question about an OT and/or PT is directed to contact the therapist(s) as soon as possible.

Audiological Evaluations

The SBCSC employs an educational audiologist who is located in the Hearing Resource Center at Monroe Primary Center (574-231-5831).

The Hearing Resource Center houses a sound proofed audiological testing suite which allows the school corporation to conduct audiological evaluations.  Formerly, these had to be done outside the school system.
The educational audiologist provides the following services:

  • Oversees mandatory hearing screening (grades 1, 4, 7 and 10) in conjunction with speech-language pathologists (SLPs);
  • Follows up on students referred by SLPs who do not pass hearing screenings and/or evaluations;
  • Conducts extensive audiological assessments on hearing impaired students;
  • Works with students, staff, and parents to ensure optimal performance of hearing aids and other amplification equipment to the schools;
  • Maintains and distributes amplification equipment to the schools;
  • Provides information to students, parents, and staff on practices that allow for optimum learning conditions for students with hearing impairments;
  • Works with outside agencies to ensure hearing aids and cochlear implants are functioning properly.

Questions regarding referrals for hearing testing should first be addressed to the school’s speech-language pathologist.  As with any evaluations done in the schools, parent consent is required.  The speech-language pathologists and the educational audiologist oversee the use of consent forms.

Communication and Assistive Technology (CAT) Evaluation

You must contact a CAT team member before making a referral to discuss the student’s needs.  Often an evaluation is not necessary to obtain suggestions or equipment. The CAT team office is located at Edison Intermediate Center. Contact a member of the CAT team by calling 383-4408.

If a CAT referral is deemed appropriate, a recommendation for a CAT Evaluation must be written into an IEP.

  • Under Existing Data, select the THIRD option: Inform the case conference committee of the student's Special Education or Related Service needs, AFTER receiving the CAT recommendation to conduct the evaluation.
  • In the Provisions section, select Add Service, and add CAT evaluation as a related service. You may enter the same Initiation and Duration dates as the other services in the IEP.
  • Document discussion of the reasons for a CAT evaluation in the Case Conference notes
  • CAT evaluations are under the same 50 day guidelines as other evaluations. Referrals must be submitted as soon as the IEP is finalized.

The TOR is responsible for completing the CAT Referral Form and sending the form to the CAT office, along with the IEP and a copy of the most recent M-Team evaluation.

Upon receipt of the referral, parents will be sent a permission form and survey to complete and return to the CAT office in a postage paid return envelope within 10 days.

  • Upon receipt of signed parental permission, the fifty (50) school day timeline begins. A case conference must be convened to discuss the results of the CAT evaluation within this time frame.
  • During the fifty (50) day period the following will occur:
    • Information will be collected from all individuals who work with the student.
    • If you receive a form to be completed, please return it to the CAT team ASAP.
    • Observations of the student will be conducted.
    • Technology trials may be held, depending on the needs of the student.
    • A report with recommendations is prepared.
    • When the report is completed, the teacher will be contacted to schedule the case conference.
    • The results of the evaluation will be presented at the case conference.

Depending on the results of the evaluation, objectives may be written into the IEP and a plan for implementation will be discussed.

If follow-up or training is needed, it will be written into the IEP under Provisions Tab, Assistive Technology subtab.

Written Notice & Parental Consent for an Educational Evaluation

The determination of eligibility for special education and related services must be preceded by an educational evaluation. 

Eligibility Criteria

Parental consent is not required for the following:

  • To review existing data as part of an educational evaluation
  • To administer a test or other evaluation that is administered to all students unless, before administration of the test or evaluation, consent is required from parents of all students.
  • To screen students if a teacher or a specialist is using the information to determine appropriate instructional strategies for curriculum implementation
  • To collect progress monitoring data when a student participates in a process that assesses the student’s response to scientific, research based interventions

Upon request for an educational evaluation, the school psychologist, SLP, OT, P or CAT team member reviews all information and completes a Written Notice either agreeing to complete or refusing to conduct an Evaluation.  This Notice is sent so that the parent receives this within 10 school days of the parental request, or the school’s decision to evaluate. 

This Written Notice includes:

  • A statement that the school is either (a) proposing or (b) refusing to conduct the educational evaluation.  This statement must include a description of each evaluation procedure, assessment, record, or report the school used as a basis for proposing or refusing to conduct the educational evaluation.
  • A description of any other relevant factors
  • If the school is proposing to conduct the evaluation, the Written Notice provides:
    • a description of any evaluation procedures the school proposes to conduct
    • the time line for conducting the evaluation and convening the case conference
    • an explanation of how to request a copy of the evaluation report (at no cost to the parent) prior to the case conference
    • an explanation of how to request a meeting with the school psychologist prior to the case conference
  • If the school is refusing to conduct the evaluation, the Written Notice provides an explanation of the parent’s right to contest the decision by requesting mediation or a due process hearing.
  • A statement that a parent of a student with a disability has protection under the procedural safeguards.  A copy of the Procedural Safeguards must be provided to the parent with the copy of the Written Notice.
  • A list of sources for parents to contact to obtain assistance with understanding special education rules and procedures.

This Written Notice also serves as the parental consent for evaluation.  Parental consent for an initial evaluation is never construed as consent for initial provision of special education and related services.

It is the responsibility of the school psychologist, SLP, OT/PT, or CAT team member (depending on the reason for referral) to provide this Written Notice to the parent.

The psychologist, SLP, OT/PT, or CAT team member will complete the Written Notice in IIEP.  Special Education teachers are NOT to complete the Written Notice section in the Pre-Conference Planning section of the IIEP.

For a re-evaluation request made during a case conference, special education teachers are NOT to finalize the IEP before the psychologist, SLP, OT/PT, or CAT team member goes into IIEP to complete the Written Notice. This must be within 10 school days of the case conference. If the request for re-evaluation is made outside of a case conference, the psychologist, SLP, OT/PT, or CAT team member will go in and complete the Written Notice.

Denial/Absence of Parental Consent for an Initial Educational Evaluation

In cases in which the school determines an educational evaluation should be conducted and the parent/guardian does not respond to requests for consent, school personnel may utilize home visits, counseling with parents, phone calls and further conferences to obtain consent.   All attempts to obtain consent for the initial evaluation must be documented within the IIEP system.  At least three attempts must be made to secure this consent, including sending a certified letter on the third attempt. 

Using the Communication section of IIEP, staff must keep a record of attempts to obtain parental consent, including detailed records of telephone calls, copies of correspondence sent to the parent, and detailed records of visits made to the parent's home or place of employment. 

A parent’s refusal to agree to an evaluation must be documented in writing. Best practice is to have the parent(s) make note of their refusal on the Written Notice/Consent form by writing in “I do not give my permission for this evaluation” and signing/dating the form.  It is imperative that the school send this to the Special Education Department immediately.

  • If the parent does not respond to attempts to secure permission for an initial evaluation, or if the parent refuses to grant permission, the evaluation can not proceed.

The SBCSC does not violate its obligation under state law if it declines to pursue the educational evaluation in cases in which the parent refuses to give consent for the evaluation.

Denial/Absence of Parental Consent for a Re-evaluation

If the parent refuses to grant permission, the re-evaluation can not be conducted.  However, if the parent does not respond to reasonable efforts to obtain consent, the SBCSC may proceed with the re-evaluation.  The SBCSC considers reasonable efforts as three attempts to secure permission, the last of which includes sending the parent a certified letter. 

Using the Communication section of IIEP, staff must keep a record of attempts to obtain parental consent, including detailed records of telephone calls, copies of correspondence sent to the parent, and detailed records of visits made to the parent's home or place of employment. 

Timelines for Completing Evaluations

All educational evaluations are to be completed within the mandated timelines.  To assist in assuring that the case conference is completed within the mandated timelines, the date and time of the case conference is determined at the time the parental consent for the evaluation is received.  It is recommended that this conference be scheduled to occur within at least 40 school days from the initiation of the timeline.

Initial Evaluation Timelines

When a student is transitioning from early intervention to early childhood special education, the initial educational evaluation must be completed and the case conference committee convened to ensure that the student receives special education services by his/her third birthday.

For all other students referred for an initial evaluation, the evaluation must be completed and the case conference committee convened within fifty (50) school days of the date the written parental consent is received by licensed personnel. 

This time frame does not apply in the following situations:

  • When the student has participated in a process that assesses the student’s response to scientific, research based interventions (including a detailed, written notification to the parent when the student requires an intervention that isn't provided to all students in the general education classroom).  In such a case, the time frame to complete an evaluation is twenty (20) school days.

  • When the parent of a student repeatedly fails or refuses to produce the student for the evaluation.

  • When a student transfers into SBCSC with a pending evaluation, if parent and school agree to a specific time when the evaluation will be completed.

  • When the student requires a Manifestation Determination Conference, a 20 day timeline applies to the evaluation process.

Re-evaluation Timelines

The re-evaluation timeline depends on the purpose of the re-evaluation:

  1. If the re-evaluation is being requested to determine the student's continued eligibility for special education services, the re-evaluation is due by the student's next annual case conference.
  • When the student requires a Manifestation Determination Conference, a 20 day timeline applies to the evaluation process.
  1. If the committee suspects an additional or change in eligibility; or requires additional information to make decisions regarding special education and related services, testing must be completed and the case conference held within fifty (50) school days of the receipt of written parental consent.
  • When the student requires a Manifestation Determination Conference, a 20 day timeline applies to the evaluation process.

Multi-Disciplinary Teams

All initial evaluations must be completed by a Multi-disciplinary team (M-Team) following the receipt of informed parental consent.  Students are typically evaluated in order by their due dates except in cases of extreme urgency (e.g. expedited evaluation recommendation at a Manifestation Determination Conference). 

The M-Team of qualified professionals must consist of:

  • At least one teacher licensed in, or other specialist with knowledge in, the suspected disability (including teachers with Emergency Permits)
    • A building-level special education teacher is involved by completing a classroom observation.  See Classroom Observation Components.  The teacher must be licensed in or have knowledge of the suspected disability.  Ideally, this is the person who will be the Teacher of Record (TOR) if the student becomes eligible for special education services.
    • When there is no special education teacher available, the diagnostician may serve as the special education teacher on the M-Team. 
  • School psychologist, except when the student is referred for a suspected:
    • Developmental Delay
    • Language Impairment or Speech Impairment
  • Classroom teacher
    • It is strongly recommended that the general education teacher be a part of the team for any student; however, a general education teacher must be part of the Multi-disciplinary team for a suspected Specific Learning Disability.         
  • SLP
    • If the suspected disability is Speech Impairment only, the speech language pathologist may serve as the sole evaluator on the M-Team.
    • If the suspected disability is Language Impairment only, the speech language pathologist is the individual who coordinates the M-Team.  The M-Team for a suspected Language Impairment will most likely consist of: SLP, general education teacher, diagnostician, and any other person(s) having knowledge of the student.

Other members of the M-Team might include, but are not limited to: principal, speech/language pathologist, social worker, counselor, school nurse, etc.  These members should be added to the team, especially if they have knowledge of the student.