Sample Letter to Request Evaluation

A Brief Overview Washington State requires special education referrals to be in writing (WAC 392-172A-03005). Anyone with knowledge of a student can write a referral. The state provides a form for making a special education referral, downloadable from a website page titled, Making a Referral for Special Education. The form is not required—any written request 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’

A Brief Overview If the school denies a request for a special education evaluation or does an evaluation and determines a student is ineligible for services, families have options. Read on for information about some possible next steps. When there is a dispute about a district’s evaluation, one option is to request an Independent Educational 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

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 U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights. Section 504 prohibits discrimination based on disability in any program or activity that receives federal funding. All Washington state public schools must comply with this federal law. Every student Read More

Disability History Month Provides Opportunities for Reflection

A Brief Overview Full Article Disability History and Awareness Month in October provides an opportunity for policy makers, teachers, families and people throughout communities to reflect on the disability rights movement. Equity and access are protected by law, yet there is still work to be done to ensure that laws are upheld and that everyone Read More

Toolkit Basics: Where to Begin When a Student Needs More Help

When a student has unmet needs and may need new or different school-based services, what to do next can feel confusing or overwhelming. PAVE provides this toolkit to support families in taking initial, critical steps. These guidelines apply regardless of where school happens. If your family is new to Washington State, military connected, or you Read More

Sample Letter to Request an IEP Meeting

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

PAVE Provides Sample Letters to Support Families in their Advocacy

You can print this page as an accessible PDF! Download here An advocate is someone who works toward a cause or goal. Sometimes the hardest part of advocacy is figuring out what to do next. When a child has unmet needs at school, family advocates can seek changes to a student’s services by asking for Read More