What do you mean by evaluations?

“Teachers support evaluations based on multiple measures: student growth, classroom observation and feedback from peers and parents.” Arne Duncan – US Secretary of Education

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When you suspect or have been told that your child has a disability the professionals will refer your child for evaluations. You may also notice that your child is having trouble keeping up with her classes, homework and assignments. They might have trouble completing or even understanding what they have to do. Their grades may suffer and so might their self esteem. You want to get a professional opinion before things get worse.

 

  1. What do I do first

You need to make a request to the school and you should do it in writing. You want to make the letter look something like this: Sample Evaluation Request Letter. Informed parent consent must be obtained before this evaluation may be conducted.

  1. Why does my child have to be evaluated

The evaluation is the first step in the Special Education Process. The evaluation will answer several questions.

  • Does the student have a disability that requires the provision of special education services and related services?
  • What are the student’s specific educational needs?
  • What are the services the student will need in order to address those specific educational needs?
  1. Who does the evaluations

The evaluations are conducted by trained and knowledgeable professionals that need to follow the written instructions in the test manuals. The test and procedures used must:

  • Not discriminatory on a racial or cultural basis
  • Be given in the child’s native language or mode of communication they use unless it is not feasible to do so
  • Measure a disability, not limited proficiency in English language skills

There may also be a member of the evaluation team other than your child’s teacher that may observe you child in different environments throughout the school. The standardized tests that will be used must be proven to measure the skills they claim to be testing

  1. How do I know the results

Once all the evaluations have been conducted, you will be invited to a meeting where the results and findings will be shared with you. At this time the team will share with you if a determination has been made to whether or not your child meets the criteria from the IDEA to be considered being a child with a disability and eligible to receive services under the IDEA.

  1. What if I don’t agree

The results of the evaluation should present the child that you have a home, with the strengths and weaknesses that you have observed. If you do not agree with the results of the evaluation, you have the right to take the student for an Independent Educational Evaluation (IEE). You can ask the school system to pay for this IEE.

  1. How often will my child be evaluated

The student should be evaluated at least every three years, you may also hear the term “triennial”. The purpose is to decide if the student is still a student with a disability and is still in need of special education services.

However, it is recommended that a student be evaluated more often if there is a new diagnosis, the teacher or parent requests a new evaluation or there is a condition that warrants it.


Resources:

Sample Request for Evaluation Letter – http://www.adventuresinadvocacy.com/sample-request-for-evaluation-letter/

Luz Adriana

My name is Luz Adriana Martinez and for the past 27 years I have been working in the field of advocacy for children with disabilities. I hold an MBA from the University of Phoenix and a BA from the Inter-American University of Puerto Rico.

I’m married to a great guy, Tito, an Army Veteran of 22 years, who supports all the crazy things I do. Being an Army wife also prepared us to be always on the move and without daddy for long periods of time. This also gave me the opportunity work and volunteer with organizations whose mission was to assist other military families. This blog results from my desire to give back to the many families that have given me and mine so much. I have had the fortune to be able to travel the world assisting military families and now that that stage of my life is over, I want to continue to share what I have learned in the hopes that I can still provide some information and resources to families who need it.

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