Special Education Timeline


INDIVIDUALIZED EDUCATION PROGRAMS

Special education is defined as specially designed instruction, at no cost to the parent, based on peerreviewed research to the extent practicable, to meet the unique needs of a student with a disability or giftedness including instruction in the classroom, the home, hospitals, institutions and other settings. The definition of special education also includes instruction in physical education, speech/language therapy, transition services, travel training, assistive technology services and vocational education. Specially designed instruction means adapting the content, methodology or delivery of instruction to:

  1. Address the unique needs of the student that result from his or her disability or giftedness; and
  2. Ensure access to the general education curriculum so that the student can meet  the education standards that apply to all students.

The IEP is a product of  collaboration between a parent or adult student and educators who, through full and equal participation, identify the unique needs of a student with a disability or giftedness and plan the special education and related services to meet those needs. It sets forth in writing a commitment of resources necessary to enable the student to receive needed special education and related services. In addition, the IEP is a management tool that is used to ensure that each eligible student is provided special education and related services appropriate to the student’s special learning needs. It serves as an evaluation device for use in determining  the extent of the student’s progress toward meeting the projected outcomes. The IEP is a compliance/monitoring document that may be used by authorized monitoring personnel from each governmental level to determine whether an eligible student is actually receiving the free appropriate public education agreed  to by the parents and the school.

Initial Evaluation

The principal, classroom teacher or other designated individual is responsible for documenting the date written parental consent for initial evaluation is received and immediately forwarding this request to the special education director or designee. Within eighty days of the documented date, the district must conduct a full, individual initial evaluation and convene an eligibility committee (EC) to determine the student’s eligibility for special education before the provision of special education and related services to a student with an exceptionality. The purpose of an initial evaluation is to gather information to determine:

  1. Whether the student has a disability or is gifted;
  2. The educational needs of the student, including present levels of academic achievement and related developmental needs of the student;
  3. The effects of the exceptionality on educational and functional performance;
  4. If the student needs specially designed instruction; and
  5. The nature and extent of the special education needed by the student

 

The eighty-day timeline will not apply to a district if:

  1. The parent repeatedly fails or refuses to produce the student for an evaluation after the district has made and documented reasonable efforts to schedule an evaluation (See Section 3, B., 2. Consent Requirements for what constitutes reasonable efforts.); or
  2. The student enrolls in another district prior to the eligibility determination and the receiving district is making sufficient progress to ensure a prompt completion of the evaluation and the parent/adult student and receiving district agree to a specific time when the evaluation will be completed.

 

As part of an initial evaluation, if appropriate, the evaluation team will review existing evaluation data on the student including:

  1. Evaluations and information provided by the parent/adult student; and
  2. Data regarding the student’s response to scientific research-based general education  interventions using:

a. Current classroom-based assessments and classroom-based  observations;
b. Observations by teachers and related service providers; and
c. Results from statewide and district-wide testing.

Based on that review, and input from the parent/adult student, the team will decide what additional data, if any, are needed to fulfill the purposes of an initial evaluation. If the team determines that no additional data are needed, the district must notify the parents/adult student of that determination and the reasons for the determination and the right of the parents to request an assessment.

 

EVALUATION/REEVALUATION

Several phases are involved in establishing student eligibility for special education.

Evaluation Team

The evaluation team is a group of people with the responsibility to make decisions regarding evaluation and assessments. This team includes the same membership as the individualized education program (IEP) team (although not necessarily the same individuals) and other qualified professionals as appropriate. The parent/adult student is a member of the evaluation team and must be provided an opportunity to provide input and participate in making team decisions including what additional data, if any, are needed to fulfill the purposes of an initial evaluation/reevaluation.

A. Initial Evaluation

The principal, classroom teacher or other designated individual is responsible for documenting the date written parental consent for initial evaluation is received and immediately forwarding this request to the special education director or designee. Within eighty days of the documented date, the district must conduct a full, individual initial evaluation and convene an eligibility committee (EC) to determine the

student’s eligibility for special education before the provision of special education and related services to a student with an exceptionality. The purpose of an initial evaluation is to gather information to determine:

1. Whether the student has a disability or is gifted;

2. The educational needs of the student, including present levels of academic  achievement and related  developmental needs of the student;

3. The effects of the exceptionality on educational and functional performance;

4. If the student needs specially designed instruction; and

5. The nature and extent of the special education needed by the student.

 

B. Reevaluation

Within three years of the date of the last Eligibility Committee Meeting, or more frequently if the parent or teacher requests or conditions warrant (e.g., if the district determines that the educational or related services needs, including

improved academic achievement and functional performance, warrant a reevaluation), the district shall conduct, as appropriate, an individual multidisciplinary reevaluation to determine a student’s educational needs and continued eligibility for special education and related services and whether any additions or modifications to the student’s special education and related services are needed to enable the student to meet their measurable annual IEP goals and to participate, to the extent appropriate, in the general education curriculum. As part of the reevaluation, the IEP Team and other qualified professionals, as appropriate, must review existing evaluation data on the student, including:

1. The current IEP and the student’s progress toward meeting the annual goals;

2. Evaluations and information provided by the parent of the student;

3. Current classroom-based, local or state assessments and classroom-based  observations; and

4. Observations by teachers and related service providers.

If the IEP Team decides that additional evaluations are needed, the team will obtain consent.