Chapter 6.3: Evaluation Team

    State Performance Plan (SPP):

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

    Intent:

    To identify who is required to participate in the planning, conducting and reviewing of the information collected during the evaluation procedure in order to make an informed determination regarding (1) whether the child is eligible for special education services; and (2) the extent of the child's educational needs.

    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). (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 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 total days since an IEP must be implemented by the child's third birthday.

    REQUIREMENT

    3301-51-01
    (B) Definitions
    (21) "Evaluation team" means the IEP team and other qualified professionals.

    3301-51-07
    (I) IEP team
    (1) General
    The school district must ensure that the IEP team for each child with a disability includes:

    (a) The parents of the child;
    (b) Not less than one regular education teacher of the child (if the child is, or may be, participating in the regular education environment);
    (c) Not less than one special education teacher of the child or, where appropriate, not less then one special education provider of the child;
    (d) A representative of the school district who:
    (i) Is qualified to provide, or supervise the provision of, specially designed instruction to meet the unique needs of children with disabilities;
    (ii) Is knowledgeable about the general education curriculum; and
    (iii) Is knowledgeable about the availability of resources of the school district;
    (e) An individual who can interpret the instructional implications of evaluation results,who may be a member of the team describe in paragraphs (I)(1)(b) to (I)(1)(f) of this rule;
    (f) At the discretion of the parent or the school district, other individuals who have knowledge or special expertise regarding the child, including related services personnel as appropriate; and
    (g) Whenever appropriate, the child with a disability.

    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

    When a school district suspects that a child may be a child with a disability, the district should designate members of the evaluation team which should include, at a minimum, the required members listed in the preceding Requirements section 3301-51-07.

    • The evaluation team means the IEP team and other qualified professionals.
    • Since there is no IEP team in place for an initial evaluation, all the required members for an IEP team may not be involved in planning the evaluation and reviewing existing information. However, in most instances many of the evaluation team members will also be the same members required for an IEP team.
    • In the case of a reevaluation, all required members of the IEP team and other qualified professionals who have been invited to be part of the evaluation team must be involved in the evaluation planning process and reviewing the existing information. (See Evaluation - 6.5 Reevaluation)

    Additional evaluation team members

    The membership of the evaluation team will vary based on the characteristics and needs of the child. At the discretion of the district and the parents, additional members could be invited to participate if they have knowledge or specialized expertise regarding the child. These individuals could include representatives from other agencies that are assisting the family and additional family members, friends or caregivers. If a child is suspected of having a learning disability, the team must include appropriate team members needed to make this determination.

    In the case of children and families from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds or for those families with disabilities, it is especially important for the district to convey the message that the parents are a valuable resource and that their culture, background and needs are respected. Consideration should be given to including additional members requested by the family and to the provision of any needed accommodations. In some cases, it may be important to have an individual present who is familiar with the family’s culture, such as another family member or a representative from the community. It is essential that district personnel avoid drawing conclusions or making assumptions about parental behaviors and attitudes that may differ from those held within the dominant culture and could lead to negative expectations for the child. When seeking consent for any activity, the district must fully inform the parents of all information relevant to that activity in the parents' native language or other mode of communication. As a result, the district must provide a translator when meeting with parents who speak a language other than English, provide information in Braille when needed and provide an interpreter for parents who are deaf to ensure full participation in the process. Resources that may be useful include community churches and ODE's Lau Resource Center.

    Engaging parents in the process

    The input provided by parents is crucial to understanding the child and his or her current performance. Since most parents feel some level of intimidation when meeting with a group of education professionals concerning their child’s performance, it is important for school personnel to make every effort to ensure that parents are active participants in the process by:

    • Involving parents in the intervention process prior to a referral for evaluation;
    • Meeting with parents to explain the evaluation process;
    • Providing for parents' input through a variety of methods such as individual phone calls, conference calls, video conferencing or home visits;
    • Making a conscious effort to minimize the use of educational jargon and acronyms when communicating with parents;
    • Providing a translator when meeting with parents who speak a language other than English; and
    • Providing an interpreter when meeting with parents who are deaf or hard of hearing.

     

Last Modified: 7/11/2013 4:13:47 PM