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

Sample Letter to Request Evaluation

Your Name Street Address City, State, Zip Date Name (if known, otherwise use title) Title/Director of Special Education/Special Services Program Coordinator School District Street Address City, State, Zip Dear Name (if known, otherwise use title): I am requesting a full and individual evaluation for my (son/daughter), NAME, (BD: 00-00-0000), for assessment as a special education 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

High School Halt: Ways to Support Youth Working on Adult Life Plans During the School Shutdown

School closures related to the COVID-19 pandemic have been a shock to families everywhere but may feel especially confusing for those who are working toward graduation and life-after-high-school plans. Parents and students may be wondering what will enable students to complete work toward their diplomas, to meet college admission requirements or to continue work toward Read More

School Shutdown: Pandemic Guidance for Families also Impacted by Disability

A Brief Overview During school building closures because of the COVID-19 pandemic, schools grapple with how to provide basic education that is equitable for students with disabilities. Washington’s Superintendent of Public Instruction, Chris Reykdal, provided information March 19, 2020, in a webinar, shortly before issuing guidance that all schools provide some form of distance learning by Read More