Chapter 6.6: Eligibility Determination and Evaluation Report

    State Performance Plan (SPP):

    (See Overview in the Introduction for more information on the SPP.)

    Intent:

    To provide guidance on the written requirements of the evaluation report as well as the timeline in which the parents are provided both a copy of the evaluation report and documentation of the determination of either eligibility or continued eligibility for special education services.

    Note

    The ETR PR-06 form is available by clicking this link: ETR PR-06 form

    Timelines:

    Consent for evaluation

    Within 30 days of receiving a request for an initial evaluation of a child from either the child’s parents or a public agency, the school district of residence will either obtain parents' consent for an initial evaluation or provide the parents prior written notice stating that the school district does not suspect a disability and will not be conducting an evaluation. The child’s parents should document the request for an evaluation in writing.

    Conducting the evaluation

    Within 60 days from receipt of parental consent to evaluate a child, the school district will conduct a comprehensive initial evaluation of the child to identify the child’s educational needs and to determine if the child is a child with a disability.

    If the school district is using a response to intervention (RtI) process, the district cannot use this process to reject a referral or delay the provision of a timely initial evaluation because a child has not participated in the RtI process (OSEP letter to State Directors of Special Education, January 21, 2011).
    If the school district has not implemented an RtI process and it receives a request for an evaluation from parents, the school district cannot begin the RtI process apart from the evaluation timeline. The district must complete the RtI process and the evaluation within the 90 day timeline from the date of the referral (30 days from date of referral and 60 days from parental consent) unless the district does not suspect a disability. If the district does not suspect a disability, it provides the parents with a prior written notice within 30 days of the request.
    Preschool Note
    School districts cannot require other agencies to use an RtI process when identifying preschoolers with disabilities.

    Exceptions to 60-day timeline: The 60-day timeline for conducting the evaluation does not apply to a school district if:

    • The parents of the child repeatedly fail or refuse to produce the child for the evaluation; or
    • The child enrolls in a new school district of residence after the 60-day period has begun and prior to a determination by the child’s previous school district of residence regarding whether the child is a child with a disability. This exception applies only if the current school district of residence is making sufficient progress to ensure a prompt completion of the evaluation and the parents and the current school district agree to a specific time when the evaluation will be completed.

    When the existence of a specific learning disability is being determined, the 60-day timeline also can be extended with mutual written agreement between the parents and eligibility team if additional data are needed that cannot be obtained within the 60-day timeline.

    Evaluation team report (ETR) and documentation of eligibility status

    Within 14 days from the date of eligibility determination or the determination of continued eligibility and prior to the next IEP meeting, the school district of residence must provide the parents a copy of the evaluation team report that should include findings from the sufficiently comprehensive evaluation and the documentation of determination of eligibility or continued eligibility.

    Preschool Note
    Timelines reflect the maximum number of days. For children transitioning from Help Me Grow, timelines may be less than 120 days since an IEP must be implemented by the child's third birthday.

    REQUIREMENT

    3301-51-06
    (G) Determination of eligibility
    (1) General
    Upon completion of the administration of assessments and other evaluation measures:

    (a) A group of qualified professionals and the parent of the child determines whether the child is a child with a disability, as defined in rule 3301-51-01 of the Administrative Code, in accordance with paragraph (G)(2) of this rule and the educational needs of the child.
    (b) The school district provides a copy of the evaluation report and the documentation of determination of eligibility at no cost to the parent.
    (i) The written evaluation team report shall include:
    (a) A summary of the information obtained during the evaluation process; and
    (b) The names, titles and signatures of each team member, including the parent, and an indication of whether or not they are in agreement with the eligibility determination. Any team member who is not in agreement with the team’s determination of disability shall submit a statement of disagreement.
    (ii) The school district must provide a copy of the evaluation team report and the documentation of determination of eligibility or continued eligibility to the parents prior to the next IEP meeting and in no case later than fourteen days from the date of eligibility determination.

    3301-51-06
    (G) Determination of eligibility
    (2) special rule for eligibility determination
    A child must not be determined to be a child with a disability under this rule:

    (a) If the determinant factor for that determination is:
    (i) Lack of appropriate instruction in reading, including the essential components of reading instruction as defined in Section 1208(3) of the Elementary and Secondary Act of 1965, as amended and specified in the No Child Left Behind Act of 2002, January 2002, 20 U.S.C. 6301 (ESEA);
    (ii) Lack of appropriate instruction in math; or
    (iii) Limited English proficiency; and
    (b) If the child does not otherwise meet the eligibility criteria under paragraph (B)(10) of the Administrative Code.

    (3) Procedures for determining eligibility and education need

    (a) In interpreting evaluation data for the purpose of determining if a child is a child with a disability as defined in paragraph (B)(10) of rule 3301-51-01 of the Administrative code, and the education needs of the child, each school district must:
    (i) Draw upon information from a variety of sources, including aptitude and achievement tests, state and districtwide assessments, parent input, and teacher recommendations, as well as information about the child’s physical condition, social or cultural background, and adaptive behavior; And
    (ii) Ensure that information obtained from all of these sources is documented and carefully considered.
    (b) If a determination is made that a child has a disability and needs special education and related services, an IEP must be developed for the child in accordance with rule 3301-51-07 of the Administrative Code.

    3301-51-06
    (H) Additional procedures for identifying children with specific learning disabilities
    (3) Determining the existence of a specific learning disability

    (a) The group described in paragraph (G) of this rule may determine that a child has a specific learning disability, as defined in paragraph (B)10)(d)(x) of rule 3301-51-01 of the Administrative Code, if:
    (i) The child does not achieve adequately for the child’s age or to meet state-approved grade-level standards in one or more of the following areas, when provided with learning experiences and instruction appropriate for the child’s age or state-approved grade-level standards:
    (a) Oral expression;
    (b) Listening comprehension;
    (c) Written expression;
    (d) Basic reading skill;
    (e) Reading fluency skills;
    (f) Reading comprehension;
    (g) Mathematics calculation; or
    (h) Mathematics problem-solving.
    (ii) The child does not make sufficient progress to meet age or state-approved grade-level standards in one or more of the areas identified in paragraph (H)(3)(i) of this rule when using a process based on the child’s response to scientific, research-based intervention; or
    (iii) The child exhibits a pattern of strengths and weaknesses in performance, achievement, or both, relative to age, state-approved grade-level standards, or intellectual development, that is determined by the group to be relevant to the identification of a specific learning disability, using appropriate assessments, consistent with paragraphs (E) and (F) of this rule.

    (H) Additional documentation required for SLD eligibility determination
    (3) Determining the existence of a specific learning disability

    (d) An evaluation may utilize a process based on the child’s response to scientific, research-based intervention to determine whether a child has a specific learning disability. This process:
    (i) Begins when sufficient data have been gathered and analyzed under conditions of targeted and intensive individualized intervention conditions, when there is evidence of an inadequate response to intervention on the part of the child, and the group determines that the child’s needs are unlikely to be met without certain specialized instruction in addition to the regular classroom instruction;
    (ii) Employs interventions that are scientifically-based and provided at appropriate levels of intensity, frequency, duration, and integrity, relative to the child’s identified needs;
    (iii) Is based on results of scientifically-based, technically adequate assessment procedures that assess ongoing progress while the child is receiving scientifically-based instruction, and that have been reported to the child’s parents;
    (iv) Includes the analysis of data described in paragraphs (H)(3)(b)(i) and (H)(3)(b)(ii) of this rule to determine whether a discrepancy is present between actual and expected performance, in both the child’s rate of progress in developing skills, and in the child’s level of performance on measures assessing one or more of the academic areas listed in paragraph (H)(3)(a)(i) of this rule;
    (v) May not be used to delay unnecessarily a child’s being evaluated to determine eligibility for special education services.

    3301-51-06
    (H) Additional procedures for identifying children with specific learning disabilities
    (3) Determining the existence of a specific learning disability

    (e) A school district may use alternative, research-based procedures for determining whether a child exhibits a pattern of strengths and weaknesses in performance, achievement, or both, relative to age, state-approved grade-level standards, or intellectual development, that is determined by the group to be relevant to the identification of a specific learning disability, if prior approval of the procedures has been granted by the Ohio Department of Education.
    (f) The school district must develop written procedures for the implementation of any method used to determine the existence of a specific learning disability that, at a minimum, incorporate guidelines developed by the Ohio Department of Education as specified in this rule.

    GUIDANCE

    Evaluation team report

    General evaluation report requirements

    The district is required to develop a written evaluation team report (ETR) for all evaluations, including those conducted with the use of existing assessment data. The report should include findings from the sufficiently comprehensive evaluation. The report should summarize the information collected as part of the assessment process to address the specific questions and areas of concern that resulted in the referral and to determine whether the child is a child with a disability. The information should allow the team to identify specially designed instruction and related services as well as concrete and understandable strategies and interventions to support the educational needs of the child.

    In the case of reevaluation, the ETR provides information to determine whether the child continues to need special education and related services and, if so, whether any additions or modifications to the special education and related services are needed to enable the child to meet measurable annual goals set out in the child's IEP and for the child to participate, as appropriate, in the general education curriculum.

    The Operating Standards do not require a separate meeting to be convened to develop and review the evaluation team report. The ETR can be reviewed with the parents at the IEP meeting. However, the parents do have the right to request that two meetings be scheduled - one to review the ETR and one to develop or review the IEP. Holding a separate meeting to review the ETR provides the parents with an opportunity to consider the information in the ETR prior to the development of the IEP. Additional information is available in Procedural Safeguards - 5.7 Opportunity to Review Records

    Contents of the evaluation team report (ETR)

    In order to be useful to both parents and school personnel, the report should be clear, concise and reader-friendly. Some guidelines follow:

    • Referral question and linking evaluation procedures should be clearly identified;
    • Results of previous interventions, observations and referral question background information should provide a logical and understandable connection to the recommendations;
    • Strategies and needed supports should be identified that will allow the child to benefit from instruction within regular education classes to the greatest extent possible;
    • Any conditions or limitations that may have influenced the validity of assessment results, including observations of the child during the assessment, should be identified;
    • Limitations of assessments for those children who are culturally and linguistically diverse should be addressed; and
    • For preschool, the report should address the child's ability to participate in developmentally appropriate activities.

    If the team (which contains additional members required for determining if the child is a child with a specific learning disability) determines that the child has a specific learning disability, the additional required documentation for this disability must also be included in the evaluation report. See Evaluation - 6.7 Specific Learning Disabilities for additional documentation requirements. The ETR report and the documentation of eligibility can be considered a prior written notice if all elements required in a prior written notice are present in the ETR and documentation of eligibility.

    REQUIREMENT

    3301-51-06
    (G) Determination of eligibility
    (1) General
    Upon completion of the administration of assessments and other evaluation measures:

    (a) A group of qualified professionals and the parent of the child determines whether the child is a child with a disability, as defined in rule 3301-51-01 of the Administrative Code, in accordance with paragraph (G)(2) of this rule and the educational needs of the child; and
    (b)The school district provides a copy of the evaluation report and the documentation of determination of eligibility at no cost to the parent.

    (3) Procedures for determining eligibility and educational need

    (a) In interpreting evaluation data for the purpose of determining if a child is a child with a disability as defined in paragraph (B)(10) of rule 3301-51-01 of the Administrative Code, and the educational needs of the child, the school district must:
    (i) Draw upon information from a variety of sources, including aptitude and achievement tests, state and districtwide assessments, parent input, and teacher recommendations, as well as information about the child’s physical condition, social or cultural background, and adaptive behavior and
    (ii) Ensure that information obtained from all of these sources is documented and carefully considered.

    3301-51-06
    (G) Determination of eligibility
    (2) Special rule for eligibility determination
    A child must not be determined to be a child with a disability under this rule:

    (a) If the determinant factor for that determination is:
    (i) Lack of appropriate instruction in reading, including the essential components of reading instruction as defined in Section 1208(3) of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965, as amended and specified in the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001, January 2002, 20 U.S.C. 6301 (ESEA) (Phonemic awareness, Phonics, Vocabulary development, Reading fluency including oral reading skills and strategies, Reading comprehension);
    (ii) Lack of appropriate instruction in math; or
    (iii) Limited English proficiency; and
    (b) If the child does not otherwise meet the eligibility criteria under paragraph (B)(10) of rule 3301-51-01 of the Administrative Code.

    3301-51-06
    (H) Additional procedures for identifying children with specific learning disabilities
    (2) Additional group members
    The determination of whether a child suspected of having a specific learning disability is a child with a disability, as defined in rule 3301-51-01 of the Administrative Code, must be made by the child’s parents and a team of qualified professionals which must include:

    (a) The child’s regular teacher; or
    (b) If the child does not have a regular teacher, a regular classroom teacher qualified to teach a child of the child’s age; or
    (c) For a child of less than school-age, an individual qualified by the Ohio Department of Education to teach a child of the child’s age; and
    (d) At least one person qualified to conduct individual diagnostic examinations of children, such as a school psychologist, speech-language pathologist, or remedial reading teacher.

     

    GUIDANCE

    Eligibility determination

    At the evaluation meeting, a group of qualified professionals, including the parents, reviews the information included in the evaluation report to determine if the child is eligible for special education and related services. Districts should ensure that parents have been provided with sufficient information before the evaluation meeting to allow them to participate as full partners in the discussion. Before the meeting, parents may request additional information related to their child to assist in the eligibility determination process.

    This group of qualified professionals may or may not be the same individuals who were involved in the review of existing evaluation data. That group was comprised of the IEP Team and other qualified professionals, as appropriate so there may be overlap in the membership of these two groups. The parents are entitled to be involved in both groups and in the decisions each group makes.

    Additional team members required for determining if the child is child with a specific learning disability (as indicated previously in 3301-51-06(H)) should be included in this group if the child is suspected of having a learning disability. The same considerations outlined in Evaluation - 6.2 Evaluation Team should be followed in this situation. These considerations include the inclusion of additional members requested by the family and the provision of any needed accommodations for parents from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds or for parents with disability conditions.

    (See Preschool - 10.1 Eligibility and 10.4 Transition from Part C Early Intervention)

    Disability must have adverse impact on the child’s educational performance and/or, for preschool, the ability to participate in developmentally appropriate activities

    Based on the review of the findings included in the evaluation report, the team may determine that the needs of the child will require individualized, intensive interventions that can be provided with special education services. To receive services, the child must meet the eligibility criteria for the particular disability under consideration. It is important to note that though a child may meet the criteria for a particular disability, the team must also determine that the presence of the disability adversely affects the child’s educational performance before the child can be found eligible for special education services.

    Child must meet eligibility criteria in the standards

    Notably, practitioners outside of the school district may diagnose a child with a particular disability based on other criteria that do not align with the eligibility criteria in the standards. To receive special education services, the child must meet the eligibility criteria for each disability as defined in the Operating Standards, and the team must determine that the presence of this disability adversely affects the child's educational performance. The eligibility criteria for each disability can be found in 3301-51-01 (B)(10)- definition of "child with a disability" and in Evaluation - 6.8 Definitions of "a child with a disability." For Preschool, see Preschool - 10.1 Eligibility.

    A school district cannot identify any child as eligible for special education services if the determining factor for the child's poor performance is due to:

    • A lack of appropriate instruction in reading;
    • A lack of appropriate instruction in math; or
    • Limited English proficiency.

    If the child is found eligible for special education services, the information included in the evaluation report, including the data gathered during previous interventions, can then be incorporated into the individualized education program to set specific, measurable goals for the child.

    The eligibility criteria for each disability condition can be found in Evaluation - 6.7 Specific Learning Disabilities and Evaluation and 6.8 Definitions of "A Child with A Disability"

     

Last Modified: 9/4/2013 9:30:10 AM