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Posts Tagged ‘Initial evaluation’

Federal regulations include school breaks in evaluation timelines.

Thursday, September 13th, 2012

Letter to Reyes, 59 IDELR 49 (OSEP 2012):  The federal Department of Education’s Office of Special Education Programs informed a special education director that the timelines to complete evaluations under the IDEA typically include school breaks.  The federal regulations define a day as a calendar day, unless a timeline specifically identifies “business” days or “school” days.  Accordingly, under federal regulations, evaluation timelines run during school breaks, such as summer vacation.

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School district may not refuse to act on a referral for evaluation from an early childhood education program on the ground that such program has not first implemented RTI.

Friday, July 1st, 2011

Letter to Brekken, 56 IDELR 80 (OSEP 2010):  The federal Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP), in a letter to a head start program director, stated that a school district cannot delay responding to a referral for initial evaluation by the IEP team on the ground the an early childhood program did not first implement a response to intervention (RTI) program.

OSEP said the IDEA “does not encourage” or require a school district to use an RTI approach to determine if a 3-5 year-old is eligible for special education and related services.  If a referral is made for an initial evaluation of such a child, the school district must conduct the evaluation irrespective of any RTI model.  If the school district does not suspect that the child has a disability, and denies the request for an initial evaluation on those grounds, then it must notify the parent in writing of that determination, as well as the information used to make that decision.

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School districts not required to utilize RTI for parentally placed private school students

Monday, June 20th, 2011

Letter to Zirkel, 56 IDELR 140 (OSEP 2011): The federal regulations implementing the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) require states to permit school districts to use a process based on a student’s response to scientific research-based interventions — otherwise known as “response to intervention” (or RTI) — as part of an evaluation for students suspected of having a specific learning disability (SLD).  However, the United States Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) stated that, even if a school district utilizes RTI for students within its district, it is not required to use RTI for parentally-placed private school students.  OSEP also stated that it would also be inconsistent with the IDEA and its implementing regulations for a school district to delay or deny the provision of an evaluation of a student referred for an initial evaluation on the basis that a private school has not implemented an RTI process or has failed to provide the school district with data from its RTI process.

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RTI does not justify delay or denial of an evaluation of a student suspected of being disabled

Monday, May 9th, 2011

Memorandum to State Directors of Special Education, 56 IDELR 50 (OSEP 2011): The United States Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) ruled that it is not proper for a school district to rely on its use of Response to Intervention (RTI) strategies as an excuse to deny or delay an evaluation of a student suspected of being disabled under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).

After a parent requests an initial evaluation, and the school district agrees that the student might have a disability, it must evaluate the student within 60 days of obtaining parental consent (or within the timeframe established by the state).  However, if the school district does not agree that the student might be disabled and refuses to evaluate the student, the school district must provide written notice to the parent of the reason it is refusing to conduct an initial evaluation, and its reason cannot be that it is waiting for the student’s response to RTI strategies.

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