Reevaluations (34 CFR 300.303)
A public agency must ensure that a reevaluation of each child with a disability is conducted if the public agency determines that the educational or related services needs, including improved academic achievement and functional performance of the child warrant a reevaluation or if the child’s parent or teacher requests a reevaluation.
A reevaluation may occur not more than once a year, unless the parent and the public agency agree otherwise. A reevaluation must occur at least once every three years, unless the parent and the public agency agree that a reevaluation is unnecessary.
For parent or district requested reevaluations, evaluation timelines specified in this section must be followed.
Evaluation Procedures (34 CFR 300.304)
The public agency must provide notice to the parents of a child with a disability that describes any evaluation procedures the agency proposes to conduct. Each public agency shall ensure, at a minimum, that the following requirements are met:
A. A variety of assessment tools and strategies are used to gather relevant functional, developmental, and academic information about the child, including information provided by the parent, 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.
B. No single measure or assessment 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.
C. The public agency uses technically sound instruments that may assess the relative contribution of cognitive and behavioral factors, in addition to physical or developmental factors.
D. Assessments and other evaluation materials used to assess a child under Part B of the Act are selected and administered so as not to be discriminatory on a racial or cultural basis, are provided and administered in the child's native language or other mode of communication, and in the form most likely to yield accurate information on what the child knows and can do academically, developmentally, and functionally, unless it is clearly not feasible to provide or administer.
E. Assessments and other evaluation materials used to assess a child are used for the purposes for which the assessments or measures are valid and reliable and are administered by trained and knowledgeable personnel in accordance with any instructions provided by the producer of the tests. 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.
F. Assessments 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.
G. Assessments are selected and administered so as best to ensure that if a test is administered to a child with impaired sensory, manual, or speaking 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, manual, or speaking skills (unless those skills are the factors that the test purports to measure).
H. The child is assessed in all areas related to the suspected disability, including, if appropriate, health, vision, hearing, social and emotional status, general intelligence, academic performance, communicative status, and motor abilities.
I. Assessments of children with disabilities who transfer from one public agency to another public agency in the same school year are coordinated with those children’s prior and subsequent school as necessary and as expeditiously as possible to ensure prompt completion of full evaluations.
J. In evaluating each child with a disability, 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.
K. The public agency uses assessment tools and strategies that provide relevant information that directly assists persons in determining the educational needs of the child.
Additional Requirements for Evaluations and Reevaluations (34 CFR 300.305)
As part of an initial evaluation (if appropriate) and as part of any reevaluation under Part B of IDEA, the IEP Team and other qualified professionals, as appropriate, shall review existing evaluation data on the child, including evaluations and information provided by the parents of the child, current classroom-based, local or State assessments, classroom based observations, and observations by teachers and related services providers. On the basis of that review and input from the child's parents, the IEP Team and other qualified professionals, as appropriate, shall identify what additional data, if any, are needed to determine:
A. whether the child has a particular category of disability and the educational needs of the child, or in case of a reevaluation of a child, whether the child continues to have such a disability and the educational needs of the child;
B. the present levels of academic achievement and related developmental needs of the child;
C. whether the child needs special education and related services, or in the case of a reevaluation of a child, whether the child continues to need special education and related services; and,
D. 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.
The group making these decisions may conduct its review without a meeting. The public agency shall administer tests and other evaluation methods as may be needed to produce the data identified above.
If the determination of the group is that no additional data are needed to determine whether the child continues to be a child with a disability, the public agency shall notify the child's parents of that determination and the reasons for it, and of the right of the parents to request an assessment to determine whether, for purposes of services under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, the child continues to be a child with a disability, and to determine the child’s educational needs.
If the parent requests assessment, even though the determination has been made that no additional data are needed, the public agency must grant the request if the issue is continued eligibility under Part B of IDEA or to determine the child’s educational needs.
A public agency must evaluate a child with a disability before determining that the child is no longer a child with a disability. An evaluation is not required before the termination of a child’s eligibility due to graduation from secondary school with a regular diploma or due to reaching the age of twenty-one (21).
A public agency must provide a child whose eligibility terminates under the circumstances described in the preceding paragraph with a summary of the child’s academic achievement and functional performance, which shall include recommendations on how to assist the child in meeting the child’s post secondary goals.
Upon completing the administration of tests and other evaluation materials, a group of qualified professionals and the parent of the child must determine whether the child is a child with a disability and the educational needs of the child. The public agency must provide a copy of the evaluation report which documents the determination of eligibility at no cost to the parent.
Each public agency shall develop a written Evaluation Report for all initial evaluations and any reevaluations which required additional testing.
The evaluation report must include:
A. a statement of whether the child has a specific disability as defined in Regulation III.2. of this document;
B. a synthesis of information from the evaluation considering all areas of functioning;
C. the basis for making the determination of eligibility for a disability;
D. a statement that the disability is not a result of lack of appropriate instruction in reading, including the essential components of reading instruction (as defined by section 1208(3) of the ESEA or lack of appropriate instruction in math or Limited English proficiency; and,
E. a list of the individuals who were in attendance at the eligibility determination meeting and their role.
The Evaluation Report for students identified as Specific Learning Disabled must include items A through E above and the following:
F. relevant behavior, if any, noted during the observation of the child and the relationship of that behavior to academic functioning;
G. educationally relevant medical findings, if any;
H. whether the child does not:
1) achieve adequately for the child’s age or to meet State approved grade-level standards, and
2) the child does not make sufficient progress to meet age or State approved grade-level standards, or
3) the child exhibits a pattern of strengths and weaknesses in performance, achievement, or both, relative to age, State approved grade-level standards, or intellectual development;
I. the determination of the group concerning the effects of a visual, hearing, or motor disability; mental retardation; emotional disturbance; cultural factors; environmental or economic disadvantage; or Limited English proficiency on the child’s achievement level;
J. if the child has participated in a process that assesses the child’s response to scientific, research-based intervention:
1) the instructional strategies used,
2) the student-centered data collected,
3) documentation that the child’s parents were notified about:
• the State’s policies regarding the amount and nature of student performance data that would be collected,
• the general education services that would be provided,
• the strategies for increasing the child’s rate of learning, and
• the parents right to request an evaluation; and,
K. each team member shall certify in writing whether the report reflects his/her conclusion; if it does not reflect his/her conclusion, the team member must submit a separate statement presenting his/her conclusions.
Determination of Eligibility for Young Children Ages 3 through 5
A. School districts shall, through approved district policy, determine eligibility for children ages three (3) through five (5) (not kindergarten age eligible) using one of the following methods:
1) Identify all children using any of the disability categories except that of Young Child with a Developmental Delay (YCDD); or,
2) Identify all children as eligible using only the category of Young Child with a Developmental Delay (YCDD); or,
3) Identify all children as eligible using any of the disability categories including that of Young Child with a Developmental Delay (YCDD).
B. For a child with a disability who becomes Kindergarten age eligible (age five (5) by August 1), districts shall, through approved district policy, choose one of the following methods to determine continuing eligibility for special education:
1) If the district selected methods A. 2) or A. 3) above, they may either:
• continue a child as eligible under the Young Child with a Developmental Delay (YCDD) or apply any of the other disability categories, or
• apply any disability category other than Young Child with a Developmental Delay (YCDD).
2) If the district selected method A.1) above, all children will continue to be identified as eligible using any disability category other than Young Child with a Developmental Delay (YCDD).
C. Children who are kindergarten age eligible (age five (5) by August 1) and have not been identified as eligible for special education in prior years, must meet criteria of any disability category other than Young Child with a Developmental Delay (YCDD).
D. Children who are first grade age eligible (age six (6) by August 1) must meet criteria of any disability category other than Young Child with a Developmental Delay (YCDD).
Regulation III – Identification and Evaluation Page 37
4. ADDITIONAL PROCEDURES
Determination of Eligibility for Children with Specific Learning Disabilities (34 CFR 300.307)
The State has adopted criteria for determining whether a child has a specific learning disability. The criteria adopted by the State does not require the use of a severe discrepancy between intellectual ability and achievement for determining whether a child has a specific learning disability and permits the use of a process based on the child’s response to scientific, research based intervention.
Public agencies in the state must use the State criteria in determining whether a child has a specific learning disability.
Additional Group Members 34 CFR 300.308
The determination of whether a child suspected of having a specific learning disability is a child with a disability must be made by the child’s parents and a team of qualified professionals that must include:
A. the child’s regular teacher or, if the child does not have a regular teacher, a regular classroom teacher qualified to teach a child of his or her age; for a child of less than school age, an individual qualified by the DESE to teach a child of his or her age, and
B. at least one person qualified to conduct individual diagnostic examinations of children, such as a school psychologist, speech-language pathologist, or remedial reading teacher.
Extension of Evaluation Timelines When Determining Eligibility for Specific Learning Disabilities
The public agency must promptly request parental consent to evaluate the child to determine if the child needs special education and related services and must adhere to the evaluation timelines, unless extended by mutual written agreement of the child’s parents and the evaluation professionals, if prior to a referral, a child has not made adequate progress after an appropriate period of time when provided instruction and whenever a child is referred for an evaluation.
Observation (34 CFR 300.310)
The public agency must ensure that the child is observed in the child’s learning environment (including the regular classroom setting) to document the child’s academic performance and behavior in the areas of difficulty.
The group determining whether a child has a specific learning disability must decide to:
A. use information from an observation in routine classroom instruction and monitoring of the child’s performance that was done before the child was referred for an evaluation, or
B. have at least one member of the group conduct an observation of the child’s academic performance in the regular classroom after the child has been referred for an evaluation and parental consent is obtained.
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.