Chapter 6.2: Request and Referral for Initial Evaluation

    State Performance Plan (SPP):

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

    Intent:

    To ensure that when an initial evaluation has been requested either by the parents or a public agency to determine whether a child is a child with a disability, the school district (LEA) obtains the parents' informed written consent for the evaluation; the evaluation is conducted within the timeline stated in the requirements under IDEA; and state rule; and the parents are provided with a written, understandable explanation of their educational rights and the responsibilities of the school district (LEA).

    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 can also 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 days since an IEP must be implemented by the child's third birthday.

    REQUIREMENT

    3301-51-01
    (B) Definitions
    The following terms are defined as they are used in rules 3301-51-01 to 3301-51-09 and 3301-51-11 of the Administrative Code:
    (51) "Referral" means the date the public school district or community school receives a parent's, school district’s, or other educational agency's request for an initial evaluation or reevaluation.

    3301-51-06
    (B) Initial evaluations
    (1) General
    Each school district of residence must conduct a full and individual initial evaluation before the initial provision of special education and related services under Part B of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, as amended by the Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act of 2004, December 2004 (IDEA), to a child with a disability residing in the school district.

    (2) Request for initial evaluation
    Consistent with the consent requirements in rule 3301-51-05 of the Administrative Code, either a parent of a child or a public agency may initiate a request for an initial evaluation to determine if the child is a child with a disability.

    (3) A school district of residence will, within thirty days of receipt of a request for an evaluation from either a parent of a child or a public agency, either obtain parental consent for an initial evaluation or provide to the parents prior written notice stating that the school district does not suspect a disability and will not be conducting an evaluation.

    (4) Procedures for initial evaluation
    The initial evaluation:

    (a) Must be conducted within sixty days of receiving parental consent for the evaluation; and
    (b) Must consist of procedures:
    (i) To determine if the child is a child with a disability as defined in paragraph(B)(10) of rule 3301-51-01 of the Administrative Code; and
    (ii) To determine the educational needs of the child.

    (5) Exception
    The time frame described in paragraph (B)(4)(a) of this rule does not apply to a school district if:

    (a) The parent of a child repeatedly fails or refuses to produce the child for the evaluation; or
    (b) A child enrolls in a new school district of residence after the relevant time frame in paragraph (B)(4)(a) of this rule has begun, and prior to a determination by the child’s previous school district of residence as to whether the child is a child with a disability as defined in paragraph (B)(10) of rule 3301-51-01 of the Administrative Code.

    (6) This exception in paragraph (B)(5)(b) of this rule applies only if the subsequent school district of residence is making sufficient progress to ensure a prompt completion of the evaluation, and the parent and subsequent school district agree to a specific time when the evaluation will be completed.

    3301-51-05
    (C) Parental consent
    (1) Parental consent for initial evaluation

    (a) The school district proposing to conduct an initial evaluation to determine if a child qualifies as a child with a disability under the definition of "child with a disability" in rule 3301-51-01 of the Administrative Code must, after providing notice consistent with the requirements of this rule, obtain informed consent, consistent with the definition of "consent" in rule 3301-51-01 of the Administrative code, from the parent of the child before conducting the evaluation.

    3301-51-01
    (B) Definitions
    The following terms are defined as they are used in rules 3301-51-01 to 3301-51-09 and 3301-51-11 of the Administrative Code:
    (12) "Consent" means that:

    (a) The parent has been fully informed of all information relevant to the activity for which consent is sought, in the parent’s native language, or other mode of communication;
    (b) The parent understands and agrees in writing to the carrying out of the activity for which the parent consent is sought, and the consent describes that activity and lists the records (if any) that will be released and to whom; and
    (i) The parent understands that the granting of consent is voluntary on the part of the parent and may be revoked at anytime.
    (ii) If a parent revokes consent, that revocation is not retroactive (i.e., it does not negate an action that has occurred after the consent was given and before the consent was revoked).

    GUIDANCE

    Request and referral for initial evaluation

    Either parents of a child or a public agency may initiate a request for an initial evaluation. If the school district, after reviewing all relevant information about the child, agrees that an evaluation is necessary to determine if the child is a child with a disability, the district should obtain parents' consent. The school district should promptly request parental consent to evaluate a child if the child has not made adequate progress when provided with high quality interventions or when these interventions require a level of intensity that can be provided only with special education and related services.

    All parental requests for evaluation for a suspected disability should be considered very seriously, and as a first step, it is typically helpful for district personnel to meet with the parents to gain a better understanding of their concerns for their child. In most cases, an explanation of the sequence of intervention activities (i.e., targeted interventions and individualized intensive interventions, coupled with progress monitoring) will reassure the parents that the child’s needs are recognized and are being addressed by the school. As explained in Evaluation - 6.1 Instruction and Intervention Supported by Scientifically-Based Research, - in some cases the district may agree to an evaluation prior to any interventions taking place. In that instance, the district should obtain the parents' consent OR parent consent and implement an intervention during the 60-day timeline. However, if a preponderance of data from multiple sources indicates that the child would not be eligible for special education, the district should send prior written notice to the parents indicating that the district will not be conducting an evaluation. Regardless of the decision by the district, every attempt should be made to assist the parents and address the needs of the child, even if these needs do not require special education services.

    For children transitioning from Help Me Grow, discussion should occur at the Preschool Transition Conference (PSTC) and there should be a review of information available to determine if the child is suspected of having a disability. If not, a Prior Written Notice to Parents PR-01 form should be provided and referral processes should be addressed.

    The ETR process chart identifies the steps that must be taken when the school district receives a request to evaluate a child for a suspected disability or when the school district suspects a disability and refers the child for an evaluation

    Definition of initial evaluation

    An initial evaluation is conducted when:

    • The district or parents first suspect a disability;
    • A child has been evaluated previously and found not eligible for special education services and is evaluated again at a later date;
    • A child transitions from Help Me Grow (HMG) to preschool special education;
    • A child moves into the district from out of state;
    • The parents have revoked consent and want the child once again to receive special education and related services; and
    • A child has exited special education and is evaluated again at a later date.
       

    An evaluation would be considered a reevaluation and should be completed as soon as possible, when a child's ETR or IEP have expired because the child has:

    • Moved frequently;
    • Been incarcerated;
    • Been truant;or
    • Been placed in a residential facility;

    The primary purpose of a reevaluation is to confirm that the child continues to be a child with a disability.

    Referral process

    Parents' request for evaluation
    As soon as possible and no later than 30 days from receiving a parental request for an initial evaluation of a child, the school district of residence must:

    • Explain the referral process to the parents;
    • Provide the parents with a copy of procedural safeguards, Whose IDEA Is This?;
    • Provide the parent Prior Written Notice to Parents PR-01 form indicating the district's intent to conduct an evaluation and obtain parents' consent for the evaluation on the Parent Consent for Evaluation PR-05 form; or
    • Provide the parents the Prior Written Notice to Parents PR-01 form stating that the school district does not suspect a disability and will not be conducting an evaluation.

    See Child Find - 3.2 Responsibilities in Locating Children with Disabilities for clarification on date of referral.

    School district referral for evaluation
    If the school district suspects that the child has a disability and proposes to conduct an initial evaluation, the district must:

    • Contact the parents and explain the referral process;
    • Provide the parents a copy of procedural safeguards, Whose IDEA Is This?;
    • Provide the parents the Prior Written Notice to Parents PR-01 form indicating the district's intent to conduct an evaluation and describing each evaluation procedure, assessment, record or report that the district used as a basis for initiating the evaluation;
    • Request permission to evaluate the child and provide the parents with the Parent Consent for Evaluation PR-05 form.

    When a school district and parents agree to evaluate a child, the district should provide the parents with the name, school address, phone number and e-mail address of a district contact person who is available to respond to any questions the parents may have about the proposed evaluation.

    Preschool Note: This may occur during the Preschool Transition Conference (PSTC) or at a later date agreed to by all parties.

    Parents' consent for initial evaluation
    The district must obtain informed consent from the parents for the initial evaluation on the Parent Consent for Evaluation PR-05 form before conducting the evaluation. The district should document attempts to obtain the parents' consent by maintaining detailed records that include the dates, times and results of their efforts. The documentation, which may include phone logs and copies of written correspondence including electronic communications, should be filed in the child's education record.

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

    The school district of residence must conduct a full and individual initial evaluation before starting the initial provision of special education and related services to a child with a disability residing in the school district.

    Parental consent for initial evaluation

    The school district must obtain informed consent for the initial evaluation and should document attempts to obtain the parents’ consent by maintaining detailed records that include dates, times and results of their efforts. The documentation is filed in the child’s education record. Documentation may include telephone logs, copies of written correspondence including electronic communications, and/or completion of Documentation of Attempts to Obtain Parent Participation (optional form).

     

Last Modified: 11/25/2013 1:35:54 PM