Radford City Schools

Pupil Services: Special Education, Home bound, Home Instruction, 504, Foster Care (Best Interest Determination) » Special Education: Evaluation

Special Education: Evaluation

Evaluation

"Evaluation" means procedures used in accordance with this chapter to determine whether a child has a disability and the nature and extent of the special education and related services that the child needs as described in 8 VA 20-80-54.

A. All children, aged two to 21, inclusive, whether enrolled in public school or not, who are suspected of having a disability, shall be referred to the special education administrator or designee, who shall initiate the process of determining eligibility for special education and related services.

1. Referrals may be made by any source, including a child study committee, school staff, a parent or parents, or other individuals.

2. If the referral is from a child study committee, it shall be made within five business days following the determination by the committee that the child should be referred for evaluation for special education and related services. In addition, the child study committee shall report, in writing, on strategies implemented to address the child's learning, behavior, communication, or development.

3. If the referral is from any other source, the referring party shall inform the special education administrator or designee of why an evaluation is requested and efforts that have been made to address the concerns. The referral may be made in oral or written form.

B. Procedures for referral for evaluation.

1. Upon receipt of the referral, the special education administrator, or designee, shall:

a. Record the date, reason for referral, and names of the person or agency making the referral;

b. Implement procedures for maintaining the confidentiality of all data; and

c. Provide procedural safeguards to inform the parent or parents in the parent's or parents' native language or primary mode of communication, unless it is clearly not feasible to do so, about:

(1) The referral for evaluation and its purpose; and

(2) Parental rights with respect to evaluation and other procedural safeguards.

2. The special education director or designee may request a review by a child study committee to determine whether an evaluation will be completed if the referral comes from a source other than the child study committee. This request for review shall occur within five business days of the receipt of the referral for evaluation. The decision about whether to evaluate shall be made within 10 business days of the request for review.

3. If the child study committee is meeting following the request for review to determine if an evaluation will be completed, the committee shall include all members of the team that meets to determine needed evaluation data, including the parent or parents (e.g., the IEP team and other qualified professionals as appropriate).

4. The meeting of the child study committee shall not:

a. Deny or delay the parent’s or parents’ right to a due process hearing to contest the decision not to evaluate;

b. Deny or delay the parent’s or parents’ right to make another referral in the future; or

c. Delay the evaluation of a child who is suspected of having a disability.

5. The child study committee may attempt classroom interventions during the evaluation process, but such interventions cannot delay the evaluation.

6. If the decision is to not evaluate, prior written notice, in accordance with 8 VAC 20-80-70 C, shall be given to the parent or parents, including their right to appeal the decision through due process hearing procedures.

7. If the decision is to conduct an evaluation, the special education administrator or designee shall:

a. Secure informed consent from the parent or parents for the evaluation.

(1) Parental consent is not required before reviewing existing data as part of an evaluation or administering a test or other evaluation that is administered to all children, unless parental consent is required before administration to all children.

(2) If the parent or parents refuse consent for an initial evaluation, Radford City Schools may continue to pursue the evaluations by using due process or mediation procedures.

b. Provide all notice and procedural safeguards required by 8 VAC 20-80-70.

c. Inform the parent or parents of the procedures for the determination of needed evaluation data and request any evaluation information the parent or parents may have.

d. Ensure that all evaluations are completed and that decisions about eligibility are made within 65 business days after the referral for evaluation is received by the special education administrator or designee.

8 VAC 20-80-54. Evaluation.

A. Radford City Schools shall ensure that all children, aged two to 21, inclusive, who reside within its jurisdiction, who may have disabilities, and who may need special education and related services, are evaluated, including children who:

1. Are highly mobile, such as migrant and homeless children;

2. Attend private schools, including children who are home instructed or home tutored;

3. Are suspected of being children with disabilities and are in need of special education, even though they are advancing from grade to grade; and

4. Are under age 18, suspected of having a disability and in need of special education, and who are incarcerated for 10 or more days in a regional or local jail in its jurisdiction.

B. Radford City Schools shall conduct a full, individual, and initial evaluation in accordance with subsections D and E of this section before the initial provision of special education and related services to a child with a disability.

C. Radford City Schools shall establish procedures for the initial evaluation and reevaluation of referred children which include the following:

1. Written prior notice (in the parent's or parents' native language or mode of communication unless it is clearly not feasible to do so);

2. Notice of procedural safeguards;

3. Opportunity for independent educational evaluation;

4. Informed parental consent;

5. Assignment of surrogate parent when necessary;

6. Opportunity for an impartial due process hearing;

7. Confidentiality;

8. Opportunity for examination of records; and

9. Nondiscriminatory testing.

D. Determination of needed evaluation data.

1. Review of existing evaluation data. As part of an initial evaluation, if appropriate, a group that is comprised of the same individuals as an IEP team, and other qualified professionals, as appropriate, shall:

a. Review existing evaluation data on the child, including:

(1) Evaluations and information provided by the parent or parents of the child;

(2) Current classroom-based assessments and observations;

(3) Observations by teachers and related services providers; and

b. On the basis of that review and input from the child's parent or parents, identify what additional data, if any, are needed to determine:

(1) Whether the child has a particular disability or disabilities;

(2) The present levels of performance and educational needs of the child;

(3) Whether the child needs special education and related services; and

(4) Whether any additions or modifications to the special education and related services are needed to enable the child to meet the measurable annual goals set out in the IEP of the child and to participate, as appropriate, in the general curriculum.

2. Conduct of review. The group completing the review may conduct its review without a meeting. Radford City Schools shall provide notice to ensure that the parent or parents have the opportunity to participate in the review. If there is a meeting, Radford City Schools shall provide notice of the meeting early enough to ensure that the parent or parents will have an opportunity to participate. The notice must indicate the purpose, date, time, and location of the meeting and who will be in attendance.

3. Need for additional data. Radford City Schools shall administer tests and other evaluation materials as may be needed to produce the data identified in this subsection.

4. This process shall be considered the evaluation if no additional data are needed.

E. Radford City Schools shall establish policies and procedures to ensure that the following requirements are met.

1. Tests and other evaluation materials used to assess a child under this chapter:

a. Are selected and administered so as not to be discriminatory on a racial or cultural basis; and

b. Are provided and administered in the child's native language or other mode of communication, unless it is clearly not feasible to do so.

2. Materials and procedures used to assess a child with limited English proficiency are selected and administered to ensure that they measure the extent to which the child has a disability and needs special education, rather than measuring the child's English language skills.

3. A variety of assessment tools and strategies are used to gather relevant functional and developmental information about the child, including information provided by the parent or parents, and information related to enabling the child to be involved in and progress in the general curriculum (or for a preschool child, to participate in appropriate activities), that may assist in determining whether the child is a child with a disability and the content of the child's IEP.

4. The assessment tools and strategies used provide relevant information that directly assists persons in determining the educational needs of the child.

5. Any standardized tests that are given to a child:

a. Have been validated for the specific purpose for which they are used; and

b. Are administered by trained personnel in accordance with the instructions provided by the producer of the tests.

6. If an assessment is not conducted under standard conditions, a description of the extent to which it varied from standard conditions (e.g., the qualifications of the person administering the test or the method of test administration) must be included in the evaluation report.

7. Any nonstandardized test, administered by qualified personnel, may be used to assist in determining whether the child is a child with a disability and the contents of the child's IEP.

8. Tests and other evaluation materials include those tailored to assess specific areas of educational need and not merely those that are designed to provide a single general intelligence quotient.

9. Tests are selected and administered so as to best ensure that if a test is administered to a child with impaired sensory, motor, or communication skills, the test results accurately reflect the child's aptitude or achievement level or whatever other factors the test purports to measure rather than reflecting the child's impaired sensory, motor, or communication skills (except where those skills are the factors that the test purports to measure).

10. The evaluation is sufficiently comprehensive to identify all of the child's special education and related services needs, whether or not commonly linked to the disability category in which the child has been classified.

11. Technically sound instruments are used that may assess the relative contribution of cognitive and behavioral factors, in addition to physical or developmental factors.

12. No single procedure is used as the sole criterion for determining whether a child is a child with a disability and for determining an appropriate educational program for a child.

13. If the evaluation requires assessments in more than one area relating to the suspected disability, a group of persons, including at least one teacher or other specialist with knowledge in the area of the suspected disability, shall complete the assessments.

14. For a child suspected of having a specific learning disability, the evaluation must include an observation of academic performance in the regular classroom by at least one team member other than the child's regular teacher. In the case of a child of less than school age or out of school, a team member shall observe the child in an environment appropriate for a child of that age.

15. Each child is assessed by a qualified professional in all areas relating to the suspected disability, including, if appropriate, health, vision, hearing, social and emotional status, general intelligence, academic performance, communicative status, motor abilities, and adaptive behavior. This may include educational, medical, sociocultural, psychological, or developmental assessments.

a. The hearing of each child suspected of having a disability shall be screened during the eligibility process prior to initial determination of eligibility for special education and related services.

b. A complete audiological assessment, including tests which will assess inner and middle ear functioning, shall be performed on each child who is hearing impaired or deaf or who fails two hearing screening tests.

16. A written copy of the evaluation report shall be provided to the parent or parents. The report shall be available to the parent or parents no later than two business days before the meeting to determine eligibility.

F. Reevaluation.

1. A reevaluation shall be conducted:

a. If conditions warrant a reevaluation;

b. If the child's parent, parents, or teacher requests a reevaluation; or

c. At least once every three years.

2. Review of existing evaluation data. As part of a reevaluation, Radford City Schools shall ensure that a group comprised of the same individuals as an IEP team, and other qualified professionals, as appropriate:

a. Reviews the reason for the reevaluation request, if applicable, and existing evaluation data on the child, including:

(1) Evaluations and information provided by the parent or parents of the child;

(2) Current classroom-based assessments and observations; and

(3) Observations by teachers and related services providers; and

b. Identifies, on the basis of the above review, and input from the child's parent or parents, what additional data, if any, are needed to determine:

(1) Whether the child continues to have a particular disability or has any additional disabilities;

(2) The present levels of performance and educational needs of the child;

(3) Whether the child continues to need special education and related services; and

(4) Whether any modifications to the special education and related services are needed to enable the child to meet the measurable annual goals set out in the IEP of the child and to participate, as appropriate, in the general curriculum.

3. Conduct of review. The group may conduct its review without a meeting.

4. Need for additional data. Radford City Schools shall administer tests and other evaluation materials, in accordance with subsection E of this section, as may be needed to produce the data identified in subdivision 2 b of this subsection.

5. Requirements if additional data are not needed.

a. If the determination identified in subdivision 2 of this subsection is that no additional data are needed to determine whether the child continues to be a child with a disability, Radford City Schools shall notify the child's parent or parents of (i) that determination and the reasons for it; and (ii) the right of the parent or parents to request an evaluation to determine whether, for purposes of services under this chapter, the child continues to be a child with a disability.

b. Radford City Schools is not required to conduct the evaluation to gather additional information to determine whether the child continues to have a particular disability, unless requested to do so by the child's parent or parents.

c. This process shall be considered the evaluation if no additional data are needed.

G. Notice and parental consent.

1. Radford City Schools shall provide notice in accordance with 8 VAC 20-80-70 C.

2. Parental consent is required before gathering new evaluation data.

a. If for a reevaluation Radford City Schools can demonstrate that it has taken reasonable measures to obtain that consent and the child's parent or parents have failed to respond, Radford City Schools shall proceed as if consent has been given by the parent or parents. The procedures in 8 VAC 20-80-62 D shall be used to meet the reasonable measures requirement. Reasonable measures include providing notice to the parent or parents in writing (or by telephone or in person with proper documentation).

b. If the parent or parents refuse consent for an evaluation or reevaluation, Radford City Schools may continue to pursue those evaluations by using due process or mediation procedures.

3. Parental consent is not required before:

a. Review of existing data as part of an evaluation or reevaluation; or

b. A teacher’s or related service provider’s observations or ongoing classroom evaluations.

H. Timelines.

1. Evaluations shall be completed within 65 business days of the receipt of the referral by the special education administrator or designee.

2. If the reevaluation is the evaluation required every three years, the evaluation shall be initiated no less than 65 business days prior to the third anniversary of the date eligibility was last determined. The evaluation shall be completed in 65 business days.