Sample Letter to Request Evaluation

When a student is struggling in school and there is reason to suspect the challenges are disability related, anyone can refer the student for an educational evaluation. The final section of this article includes a sample letter for requesting a no-cost evaluation from the school district. PAVE provides an article with more detail: Evaluations Part Read More

IEP Tips: Evaluation, Present Levels, SMART goals

Getting services at school starts with evaluation. Eligible students get an individualized Education Program (IEP), which describes a student’s present levels of performance and how specially designed instruction supports progress toward annual goals. This article provides a quick overview of the basic IEP process and provides tips for family caregivers to get more involved. PAVE Read More

Evaluations Part 1: Where to Start When a Student Needs Special Help at School

A Brief Overview Special Education is provided through the Individualized Education Program (IEP) for a student with a qualifying disability. The first step is to determine eligibility through evaluation. This article describes that process. Specially Designed Instruction (SDI) is the “special” in special education. The evaluation determines whether SDI is needed to help a student Read More

Evaluations Part 2: Next Steps if the School Says ‘No’ to Your Request

A Variety of Choices: Parents have a variety of choices if the school denies an initial request to evaluate a student for special education. Here are some options: Consider whether disability is a factor. Your child’s struggles at school will not provide a qualifying basis for special education unless a disability is determined to have an impact. The general rule is that a school must evaluate your child if there is reason to suspect a disability. When Read More

Special Education is a Service, Not a Place

A Brief Overview A student with a disability has the right to a Free Appropriate Public Education (FAPE) in the Least Restrictive Environment (LRE). General education is the LRE. Services are generally portable, and special education is delivered to the student to enable access to FAPE within the LRE to the maximum extent appropriate. Federal Read More

Dyslexia Screening and Interventions: State Requirements and Resources

A Brief Overview Washington passed a law in 2018 that requires schools to screen children in kindergarten through second grade for signs of dyslexia and to provide reading support for those who need it. The law takes full effect in 2021-22. Schools already can evaluate students to identify learning disabilities and design interventions, regardless of Read More