REEVALUATIONS FOR SPECIAL EDUCATION
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The Reevaluation Process
In order to ensure eligible individuals continue to be eligible to receive special education services and that their unique educational needs are being appropriately met, reevaluations are required at a minimum, every three years. The reevaluation process includes the review of existing information and if necessary, or requested, the collection of additional information.
A reevaluation may be required sooner than every three years if the:
- Learner's parent or teacher requests a reevaluation,
- IEP team determines that a reevaluation is warranted in order to address the educational or related services needs of the eligible individual,
- IEP team will be considering whether a learner is no longer an eligible individual, or
- The available data for a learner transferring from out-of-state is insufficient to establish eligibility for special education in Iowa and/or to develop an Iowa IEP.
The reevaluation process and the IEP meeting with the parents must be held on or before the three-year anniversary date of the last evaluation.
NOTE: If the reevaluation due date is close to the due date of the annual review, make every effort to consolidate these meetings for the child. Both due dates (annual and reevaluation) must be met, so the earlier of the two dates is the target for the meeting. For example, if the review is due April 15th and the reevaluation is due May 15th, you may combine them but the meeting must be held by April 15th or the annual review is late.
Initiating the Reevaluation Process
Once the public agency has determined the need for a reevaluation or the parent has requested one, the process is initiated. Members of the IEP team and other qualified professionals, as appropriate, review existing evaluation data on the student, including: evaluations and information provided by the parents of the child, current classroom-based, local, or state assessments, and classroom-based observations and observations by teachers and related services providers. On the basis of that review, the team identifies what additional data, if any, are needed to determine:
- Whether the learner continues to have a disability and continues to need special education and related services
- The learner’s present levels of performance and educational needs
- Whether any additions or modifications to the special education and related services are needed to enable the learner to meet the IEP goals and to participate and make progress in the general curriculum or, in the case of a preschool learner, whether any additions or modifications are needed to meet the IEP goals and participate in appropriate activities.
Additional information may include assessment and evaluation information related to the following domains: academic, adaptive behavior, social emotional behavior, communication, health, hearing, vision, physical. The RIOT (review, interview, observe, and test) process will be used to collect additional information, which will ensure the consideration of multiple sources of data.
When No Additional Information is Needed
If the IEP team determines that no additional information is needed, the Reevaluation Consent/Notice must be completed in order to inform parents of:
- The determination that no additional data are needed and the reasons for the determination.
- The LEA and AEA are not required to conduct additional assessments unless requested to do so by the parents.
- Parents are not required to sign the consent form when no additional assessment procedures are being requested.
- Parents must be notified of their rights as parents to request additional assessments to determine whether the child continues to be a child with a disability and has a need for special education and related services.
When Additional Information is Needed
If the IEP team determines that additional information is necessary, then the following must be done:
- Internal or External professionals are assigned to the reevaluation domains where additional information is needed. AEA staff most often fill evaluator needs, but on occasion an outside provider is utilized.
- The Reevaluation Consent/Notice must be completed and parental consent to evaluate must be obtained and documented by the signature on this form.
- A copy of the Procedural Safeguards Manual for Parents should be made available and reviewed with the parents either in person or via phone.
- Parents must be notified of their right to request assessments in addition to those proposed if they so desire.
When Additional Information is Needed and Parent Refuses
If the IEP team determines that additional assessment is necessary, and the parent refuses to provide the signed consent, the following steps should be followed:
- The LEA/AEA staff will contact the parent to discuss their concerns with the reevaluation process. This contact may be made by any appropriate member of the IEP team.
- If the parent refuses to consent to the reevaluation and the IEP team has decided that additional assessment information is essential, the following options are available but should only be pursued with the knowledge and support of the AEA Director of Special Education or designee.
- Pursue the reevaluation by utilizing the procedural safeguards including mediation. (This is not an option for children who are homeschooled or placed in private schools by their parents at their own expense.)
- Decline to pursue the reevaluation with the belief that it does not violate its obligations.
If reasonable efforts have been made and documented to obtain parental consent and the parent has failed to respond, a reevaluation may be conducted without parental consent.
Completing the Reevaluation Process
Prior to a Review of a Reevaluation
The LEA/ AEA staff will arrange the reevaluation review meeting at a time and location that is mutually agreed upon by all team members. A Meeting Notice is used to inform IEP team members of the meeting. The LEA/AEA team will ensure all additional assessment information is completed and existing data is gathered prior to the meeting.
During the Review of a Reevaluation
During a review of reevaluation information, the following will take place:
- Review and share the Procedural Safeguards Manual for Parents
- Review the evaluation information with the IEP team and address the reevaluation questions:
- What evidence is there that this child continues to be an eligible individual or does not continue to be an eligible individual? (Include data regarding performance over time, current performance levels, & current needs related to the standards applicable to all children.)
- What is the IEP team’s conclusion regarding this child’s eligibility for special education?
- If this child continues to be an eligible individual:
- What additions or modifications to the special education and related services are needed to enable this child to meet the IEP goals and to participate, as appropriate, in the general education curriculum, or for a preschool child, to participate in appropriate activities?
- Under what conditions will the IEP team consider exiting this child from special education services?
- Determine eligibility for special education
- If the student is determined to be not eligible, exit the student from special education.
- If the student is determined to continue to be eligible, services and support through an IEP will continue.
After the Review of a Reevaluation
Parents will receive a copy of the reevaluation, during the review, or a final copy within a reasonable time frame after the meeting (agreed upon at the time of the review). Following the review of a reevaluation, there may be a need to amend an IEP or write a new review IEP. If this is the case, an IEP team would follow procedures outlined in Types of IEPs
Occasionally, a difference of opinion arises regarding the process or interpretation of an educational evaluation (initial or reevaluation) or elements of that evaluation, and consensus cannot be reached. Under these circumstances, the team may wish to involve professionals who would not typically work with the child (i.e., an AEA or LEA professional not assigned to the child’s school or district, an outside provider). The professional(s) called in to assist will review existing information, conduct an additional assessment, if needed, and meet with the IEP team to report their results and facilitate coming to a consensus.
If a difference of opinion arises during an initial evaluation and the difference of opinion process can be completed within the 60-day timeline, no further procedural steps are required. The IEP team will make an eligibility determination and proceed accordingly.
If a difference of opinion arises during an initial evaluation and the difference of opinion process cannot be completed within the 60 school-day timeline, the IEP team will need to determine if there is sufficient information to make an eligibility determination. If the child is determined to be an eligible individual, the team will develop an IEP. At the same time, the team will seek parent consent for a reevaluation.
If a difference of opinion arises during a reevaluation and the difference of opinion process can be completed before the reevaluation is due, no further procedural steps are required. The IEP team will make a determination of whether there is continued eligibility and proceed accordingly.
If a difference of opinion arises during a reevaluation and the difference of opinion process cannot be completed before the reevaluation is due, the IEP team will need to determine if there is sufficient information to make a determination of continued eligibility. If the child is determined to continue to be an eligible individual, the team will develop an IEP. At the same time, the team will seek parent consent for another reevaluation.
Additional information evaluations.
Occasionally, additional information from a specialist or team of specialists (AEA staff or outside professionals) is necessary to support planning and decision-making. These types of specialized evaluations may be part of the initial evaluation process or a reevaluation. Follow the same procedures as for initial or reevaluations (60-day timeline for an initial, due date for a reevaluation).
When data collection is needed outside of the initial evaluation or reevaluation processes, parent consent is not needed.
If teams need to collect information to inform program planning consent is not needed, but teams should notify parents of these efforts. This communication could be via phone, email or other written notification (e.g., the Collection of Additional Information by Area Education Agency Staff communication tool).
Collection of additional information would become a reevaluation (and require consent or reevaluation notification to parents) if the issue of learner eligibility for special education comes into question.
In rare occasions, when evaluation needs are not able to be fulfilled by AEA staff, the AEA may contract with outside providers as appropriate, but will document the evaluation needs through the initial or reevaluation processes in Iowa’s IEP system.
Upon completion of additional information evaluations, the IEP team, including the parents, must take these evaluation results into consideration when eligibility, placement, or program decisions are made. If evaluation results indicate the need for programming changes, an amended or review IEP would be developed.
Iowa Administrative Rules for Special Education
- 281—41.111 (256B,34CFR300) Child find
- 281—41.300 (256B,34CFR300) Parental consent and participation
- 281—41.303 (256B,34CFR300) Reevaluations
- 281—41.304 (256B,34CFR300) Evaluation procedures
- 281—41.305 (256B,34CFR300) Additional requirements for evaluations and reevaluations
- 281—41.321 (256B,34CFR300) IEP team
- 281—41.322 (256B,34CFR300) Parent participation
- 281—41.323 (256B,34CFR300) When IEPs must be in effect
- 281—41.503 (256B,34CFR300) Prior notice by the public agency; content of notice
- 281—41.504(256B,34CFR300) Procedural safeguards notice