School Age Special Education Identification Process
A school staff member, parent or student may refer a student (ages 5-21) for special education identification. Usually the student’s regular education teacher has conducted a variety of interventions with the student prior to the referral.
A meeting is scheduled which the parent is invited to attend, to determine if an evaluation for special education should be considered. If it is determined that an evaluation needs to be conducted, the parent must provide written permission for the evaluation and is a participant in determining the types of evaluations needed. The timeframe for an evaluation is 60 school days or less after parental consent is received.
An evaluation may consist of some of the following measures:
- File review of the student’s academic grades, state assessment scores, behavior, academic assessments, observations of the student in the school setting, assessments of the student’s receptive and expressive language ability, assessments of functional living skills, developmental history, fine and gross motor abilities.
This is not an exhaustive list; these are just some examples of assessments that the special education team (of which the parent is a part) may determine are appropriate to evaluate a student for special education services. The evaluation team may also request or need information from the student’s physician as well.
Individuals who conduct the needed evaluations are specifically trained in their areas of expertise and hold all the necessary licensure to provide the services. Evaluation staff may consist of the following professionals:
- Special Education Teacher, Speech and Language Pathologist, School Psychologist, Autism Consultant, Occupational Therapist and/or Physical Therapist
A meeting is scheduled with the parent to review the evaluation results. The Special Education Team (parent is a member) may determine that the student meets eligibility requirements for special education, and that the student requires specially designed instruction. If the child is found eligible an Individual Education Plan (IEP) is written by the team to specify services to the child. Once the IEP has been developed, then placement is determined.