Any student between the ages of birth and 21 years, who has not graduated from high school and who resides within the school district, may be referred for a suspected disability. The referral process begins when a teacher, parent/guardian, and/or agency identifies a student in the general education program who is perceived as having a suspected disability. The teacher, parent, student, and/or agency making the referral shall have made every effort to assist the student and resolve the problem through extensive interventions over time.
Members of the evaluation team have 25 school days to substantiate a rationale for an evaluation. During this period of time,the following occur: file review, contact with referring source, and review of past and present interventions. If formal interventions have not been done over time, they should be instituted during this pre-referral time.
It is important to note that parent(s)/guardian(s) must be notified and offered an opportunity to participate in all meetings with respect to the identification, evaluation, educational placement, and provision of free and appropriate education for the student. Interpreters are available, if needed.
The evaluation team determines if the student is eligible and requires specially designed instruction. The evaluation report should be sufficient in scope to develop an Individualized Education Program (IEP).
A reevaluation occurs by law every three years or earlier if requested by the student's parent/guardian, teacher, or other authority. A reevaluation occurs to determine continuing need for special education services. Possible rationale for reevaluation:
- Three-year requirement
- Parent/guardian or school request
- Change of category
- Change in placement
- Change in services
- Termination of services
- If a student appears to no longer need special education services, a reevaluation must occur in order to exit the student from special education.