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

Section 504: A Plan for Equity, Access and Accommodations

A Brief Overview Section 504 is part of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, which is upheld by the United States Office of Civil Rights. This law protects access rights to public places and programs for individuals with disabilities. Accommodations that support access are guaranteed, and not providing access is a form of discrimination. All students Read More

Sample Letter to Request an IEP Meeting

When a student has an Individualized Education Program (IEP), the school is required to review the program every year. The annual review date is listed on the cover page of the IEP document. Family members/caregivers can request additional meetings, and this article includes a sample letter that families can use to formally request an IEP Read More