If your child is in need of extra support in the classroom to ensure success they may qualify for Special Education Services (Sp Ed). In order to evaluate for services, a student needs to be evaluated by the school to determine if they have a need for more intensive services. This evaluation will identify if the student is a student with a disability that affects their ability to learn and function in the general education environment and allow for an Individualized Educational Program (IEP) to be written to help meet those needs.
A student may be eligible for Special Education and related services with any of these conditions:
- Developmental delay
- Emotionally/Behaviorally disabled
- Hearing impairment
- Intellectual disability
- Multiple disabilities
- Orthopedic impairment
- Other health impairment
- Specific learning disability
- Speech or language impairment
- Traumatic brain injury
- Visual impairment, including blindness
However, if a child has a noted disability and it does not impact how they learn or function in the classroom, then they may not qualify for service.
To request an evaluation for your student, send a written letter to the school principal and district special education administrator with the request to evaluate. Be sure the letter is dated, keep a copy for your home files and, if possible, request a received signature from the school office or through your post office. The evaluation letter should include an assessment in “any and all areas” because you want to find out what is going on and how to respond to the needs. Be specific when writing the letter and include examples and details showing how the student is struggling. You will have to sign a district form stating that you give consent and agree to the special education testing. If your child has a diagnosed disability, it is important to share the official diagnosis with the school. Anyone, including parents, teachers or others can refer a child for an evaluation. Once this referral is received the district has 25 school days to decide, using existing school records.
Parents should receive a written response from the school agreeing to evaluate your student with a plan for evaluation or deny the evaluation request with the stated reason for denial. You will be provided with a copy of your rights and responsibilities that include ways to appeal the schools decision should they deny an evaluation. When you receive any notice, letters or information from the school related to Special Education, it should be written in a way that the general public can understand. If a parent is blind, hard of hearing, not able to understand English or unable to read and understand the information; the information must be provided in a way that is easily understood.