946crayons(2)Special Education Referral, Evaluation, Eligibility Determination and Reevaluation Process (adapted from CSI Comprehensive Plan for the Provision of Special Education)
July, 2013

Special Education Initial Referral

A student is referred for special education evaluation through the JICA “KID Talk” team once all other supports have been exhausted and proven unsuccessful, or upon the request of a parent. JICA assures that upon the request of a special education referral that the processes laid out in ECEA 1 CCR 301-8 section 4.02 (3) and IDEA 34 CFR Part 300 are followed. Once the student is referred for an evaluation, the child will still receive supports through the RTI tiered model and will be further evaluated, upon the consent of the parent, to determine areas impacting academic success.

Parent Request for Evaluation

Parents can request an initial evaluation and JICA assures that we will take immediate action on special education referrals that are initiated by the parents or any persons that are regarded as parent(s)

A parent is defined as:

  • They are the biological or adoptive parents of a child
  • They are a foster parent, unless State law, regulations or contractual obligations with a State or local entity prohibits a foster parent from acting as a parent
  • They are a guardian generally authorized to act as the child’s parent, or authorized to make educational decisions for the child, but not the State if the child is a ward of the State
  • They are an individual acting in the place of a biological or adoptive parent with whom the child lives, or an individual who is legally responsible for the child’s welfare
  • They are an educational surrogate parent (ESP)
  • There is a judicial decree or order that identifies a specific person or persons to act as the “parent” of a child or to make educational decisions on behalf of the child, then such person shall be determined to be the “parent”
  • The biological or adoptive parents when attempting to act as the parents are presumed to be the parents unless the parents do not have legal authority to make educational decisions for the child

If the parent request a special education referral and JICA does not agree, JICA will:

  • Provide the parents with prior written notice that includes JICA’s rationale for not conducting the evaluation
  • Provide the parents with a copy of the Procedural Safeguards

Referral

If a child is believed to need an initial evaluation from other interested persons, JICA assures that we will act on referrals that are initiated as a result of our building level screening process, “KID Talk/RTI” procedures. A special education referral process is initiated when one of the following occurs:

  • The parent is informed of the special education referral as a result of the building RTI “KID Talk” procedures and the parents provide written consent to conduct an initial evaluation.
  • The request for an initial evaluation is received from the parent and the parent provides written consent to conduct the initial evaluation.

When a special education referral is made either by the parent or JICA the following actions will occur:

  • JICA will provide prior written notice to the parents that describes any evaluation procedure JICA proposes to conduct within a reasonable amount of time
  • inform parents of their protection under the procedural safeguards and provide the means by which a copy of a description of the procedural safeguards can be obtained
  • JICA will withhold from initiating evaluations until parent consent is provided in writing that implies the following:
  • The parent has been fully informed of all information relevant in his or her native language, or through another mode of communication
  • The parent understands and agrees in writing to the carrying out of the activity for which his or her consent is sought, and the consent describes that activity and lists the records (if any) that will be released and to whom
  • The parent understands that the granting of consent is voluntary on the part of the parent and may be revoked at any time.
  • If a parent revokes consent, that revocation is not retroactive (i.e., it does not negate an action that has occurred after the consent was given and before the consent was revoked).

Citations

IDEA § 300.9; IDEA § 300.30; IDEA § 300.300; IDEA § 300.503; ECEA Rule 4.01; ECEA Rule 4.02 (4)

Multidisciplinary Team

JICA utilizes a highly qualified multidisciplinary team that includes CDE licensed professionals who are qualified in the areas to be evaluated and are able to interpret those assessment results. The team consists of the following individuals:

  • One teacher or specialist with knowledge in the area of the child’s suspected disability (Special Education Teacher)
  • Other qualified professionals, as appropriate (OT, PT, SLP, PSYCH, etc.)
  • The parent(s) of the child
  • The child’s general education teacher. If the child does not currently have a general education teacher, a general education teacher qualified to teach the child at his/her grade level.

The team reviews sources of existing evaluation data and, with input from the parent(s), determines if any additional data are necessary to make an eligibility determination. Data sources may include:

  • Observations by teachers and related service providers
  • Access skills
  • Behaviors
  • Evaluations and information provided by the parent(s)
  • Current classroom-based, local, or State assessments, and classroom based observations
  • MAPs
  • TCAP
  • DIBELs
  • AIMSWEB
  • Interviews with parents and additional school staff, including the general education teacher(s)
  • Analysis of district and state assessments results
  • TCAP
  • MAP
  • Review of vision and hearing screenings results
  • Reports or evaluations that have been provided by outside agencies

Citations
IDEA § 300.18; IDEA § 300.305; IDEA § 300.321; ECEA Rule 4.02 (4)

Evaluation Procedures
Upon receiving written consent, JICA multidisciplinary team will utilize a variety of assessment tools and strategies to include existing evaluation data collected through the JICA RTI “KID Talk” procedures to gather relevant functional, developmental, and academic information about the child, including information provided by the parents that may assist in determining:

  • Whether the child is a child with a disability under IDEA § 300.8
  • The content of the child’s IEP, including information related to enabling the child to be involved in and progress in the general education curriculum

Timeframe:
JICA assures the completion of the initial evaluation process within 60 calendar days, unless:

  • Parents of the child fails or refuses to produce the child for evaluation
  • The child enrolls in another school after the relevant timeframe prior to the completion of the evaluation process and making the eligibility determination
  • If the child enrolls in another school during the evaluation process the 60 day timeline may be extended for the completion of the evaluation by the new school
  • The parents and the new school must agree to a specific time when the evaluation must be completed
  • If a specific learning disability is suspected, the multidisciplinary team and the parent(s) may determine that more time is needed to assess the student
  • There is written agreement between JICA and the parent to extend the 60 day timeline

Evaluation:
JICA in accordance with IDEA section § 300.304 follows the evaluation procedures set forth:

  • JICA assures we will not use a single measurement but rather a variety of assessment tools and strategies to determine whether a child is a child with a disability and for determining an appropriate educational program for the child
  • Documentation of all signed written parental consent and related forms are maintained in Alpine
  • Assessment tools are used that will acquire valid and reliable findings relative to specific areas of academic needs, cognitive and behavioral factors, in addition to physical or developmental factors.
  • Assessments are not discriminatory on a racial or cultural basis
  • Are provided and administered in the child’s native language or mode of communication 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
  • Measures are valid and reliable
  • Are administered by trained and knowledgeable personnel
  • Are administered in accordance with any instructions provided by the producer of the assessments
  • Assessments will measure specific areas of educational need not merely those that are designed to provide a single general intelligence quotient.
  • Assessments are selected and administered to ensure a child with impaired sensory, manual, or speaking skills will accurately reflect the child’s aptitude or achievement level
  • 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
  • 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 schools, to ensure prompt completion of full evaluations
  • The evaluation is sufficiently comprehensive to identify all of the child’s special education and related service’s needs
  • Assessment tools and strategies that provide relevant information that directly assists persons in determining the educational needs of the child are provided

Citations
IDEA § 300.304; IDEA § 300.8; IDEA § 300.29; IDEA § 300.301(d) (2) and (e); IDEA §§; 00.304 through 300.306; ECEA Rule 4.02 (3); ECEA Rule 4.02 (4)

Additional Evaluation Procedures and Documentation Requirements for Consideration of Specific Learning Disability
If a learning disability is suspected, JICA will utilize additional evaluation procedures to include in the evaluation report. A learning disability is described in IDEA § 300.309 as a child who is not performing adequately for the child’s age or to meet State-approved grade-level standards in one or more of the following areas when provided with learning experiences and instruction appropriate for the child’s age or State-approved grade-level standards:

  • Oral expression,
  • Listening comprehension
  • Written expression
  • Basic reading skill
  • Reading fluency skills
  • Reading comprehension
  • Mathematics calculation
  • Mathematics problem solving

In order to determine if the child is not making sufficient progress to meet age or State-approved grade-level standards, the multidisciplinary team will perform additional evaluation procedures and documentations to include:

  • Observational information, collected prior to or following the referral for evaluation that documents the child’s academic performance in the area(s) of difficulty. The information will include a description of the child’s relevant behavior and is conducted in the child’s learning environment.
  • JICA will observe routine classroom instruction and monitoring of the child’s performance prior to being referred for evaluation
  • JICA will have one member of the multidisciplinary team observe academic performance in the regular classroom after the child has been referred for an evaluation and parental consent is obtained.
  • A body of evidence that demonstrates both academic skill deficits(s) and insufficient progress in response to scientific, research-based interventions(s). To include:
  • Response-to-Intervention intervention data (TIER I, TIER II, TIER III intervention strategies) on the formal RTI Plan located in Alpine
  • Results of diagnostic/prescriptive assessments (DIBELs, AIMSWEB)
  • Descriptive analysis of the child’s classroom work provided by data collected in the RTI-Lite form and Student At-a-Glance Sheet
  • Reading Mastery Data Sheets
  • Reading Mastery Comprehensive Sheet Grades
  • Novel Studies Student Performance Documentation Forms
  • Saxon Math Program Tests, Weekly Math Fact Grades and Connecting Math Program Tests
  • This data can be coupled with Behavioral Observations using Functional Behavior Assessments and the Behavior Observation Form
  • Results of classroom/district/state assessments (MAPs, TCAP)
  • Child’s participation in a process that assesses the child’s response to scientific research-based intervention. The documents may be from interventions that occurred prior to the referral process. The documents will include:
  • Instructional strategies used
  • Student-centered data collected on the Student at a Glance Sheet including repeated assessments of achievement at reasonable intervals
  • Data that demonstrate that prior to, or as a part of, the referral process, the child was provided appropriate instruction in regular education settings, delivered by qualified personnel
  • Medically relevant findings were considered
  • Parents(s) were notified of:
  • State policies regarding the amount and nature of student performance data that would be collected and the general educational services provided
  • JICA strategies for increasing the child(s) rate of learning as noted in the Student At-a-Glance and RTI-LITE forms
  • Results of repeated assessment of the child’s progress

Citations
IDEA § 300.307; IDEA § 300.309; IDEA § 300.310; IDEA § 300.311; ECEA Rule 4.02 (7)

Determination of Disability and Eligibility
JICA assures that upon the completion of the initial evaluation that the IEP meeting will be held. Meeting Participants must include:

  • One teacher or specialist with knowledge in the area of the child’s suspected disability (Special Education Teacher)
  • Other qualified professionals, as appropriate (OT, PT, SLP, PSYCH, etc.)
  • The parent(s) of the child
  • The child’s general education teacher. If the child does not currently have a general education teacher, a general education teacher qualified to teach the child at his/her grade level.
  • The special education director or designee

Determination of Disability
The JICA multidisciplinary team will interpret the evaluation data to determine if the child is a child with a disability and to determine the educational needs of the child. The team utilizes a variety of assessment tools and strategies to make an informed decision, to include:

  • Aptitude and achievement tests
  • Parent input
  • Teacher recommendations
  • Health/ physical information and social or cultural background
  • Adaptive Behaviors
  • JICA assures that all information obtained from these sources is documented in Alpine and carefully considered.
  • If the JICA multidisciplinary team including the parent(s) does not identify the child as a child with a disability if the following is a primary determining factor in the decision:
  • Lack of appropriate instruction in reading, including the essential components of reading instruction
  • Lack of appropriate instruction in math
  • Limited English proficiency
  • If the child doesn’t not otherwise meet eligibility criteria.
  • If a specific learning disability is determined, JICA’s multidisciplinary team certifies in writing that this is the conclusion of the team. If a member of the team doesn’t agree with this determination, a separate statement presenting the member’s conclusion is submitted in Alpine, provided to the parents’, and maintained in the child’s records.
  • Upon determination of eligibility, JICA will obtain written parental consent for the initial provision of special education and related services
  • JICA will then develop an Individual Education Plan (IEP) for the child, if the child is determined to have a disability as indicated in IDEA § 300.8, is eligible for special education and written parental consent has been obtained for the initial provision of services.
  • ECEA criteria for a child with disability , also indicated in IDEA§ 300.8,
  • Autism
  • Emotional disturbance
  • Hearing Impairment
  • Significant limited Intellectual Capacity
  • Multiple Disabilities
  • Specific Learning Disabilities
  • Vision Disability
  • Hearing Disability
  • Speech or Language Impairment
  • The IEP is developed either:
  • At the same meeting as eligibility
  • Within 30 calendar days of determining eligibility, but no more than 90 calendar days for the date parental consent for initial evaluation is received by JICA.
  • If the determination of eligibility and disability occur at a meeting separate from the IEP meeting, JICA will maintain a record of the meeting in ALPINE which includes a statement of the child’s disability and the criteria used to determine eligibility
  • JICA will provide a copy of the evaluation report to the parents at no cost
  • Prior Written Notice is provided to the parents indicating the team’s determination of disability and eligibility or if the determination was that the child is not a child with a disability and is not eligible for special education and related services.

Citations
IDEA § 300.300; IDEA § 300.306; IDEA § 300.307; IDEA § 300.308; IDEA § 300.311; IDEA § 300.322; IDEA § 300.323 (c) (1) and (2); IDEA § 300.503; ECEA Rule 4.01; ECEA Rule 4.02 (6) – (8); ECEA Rule 4.03 (1) (d) (i); ECEA Rule 6.02 (3)

Reevaluation Process
JICA assures that a re-evaluation of each child ages 3 – 21 with a disability occurs when the following conditions are present:

  • If JICA determines that the educational or related service’s needs, including improved academic achievement and functional performance, of the child warrant a reevaluation
  • At least every three years to determine the child’s continued eligibility for special education and to determine the nature and extent of the special education and related services that the child needs, unless the parents and JICA agree that a reevaluation is unnecessary
  • A reevaluation does not occur more than once a year, unless the parent and JICA determine otherwise
  • If JICA does not agree with the parent’s request for a reevaluation, JICA will provide Prior Written Notice to the parent to inform him/her that JICA refuses to reevaluation the child, and provides the rationale for the decision
  • When there is consideration of changing the disability category
  • When JICA suspects that a child is no longer eligible for special education and related services
  • When JICA considers making a significant change in placement

JICA assure that prior to a reevaluation:

  • Prior written notice is provided to the parent(s)
  • Written consent to conduct the evaluation is obtained from the parent(s)

If parent(s) deny consent for a reevaluation, JICA with support from Charter School Institute (CSI) may decide to:

  • Use consent override procedures including mediation and due process
  • Not pursue the reevaluation
  • Use existing data sources for the reevaluation

If the parent(s) does not respond to the request for consent for reevaluation, JICA will maintain evidence within Alpine that it has made reasonable efforts to obtain the consent and the parent did not respond.

  • JICA will seek counsel from CSI to determine whether to proceed with the reevaluation

JICA assure that, when the IEP team conducts the reevaluation, the team will:

  • Review existing evaluation data to include
  • Evaluations and information provided by the parents
  • Current classroom-based, local, or State assessment, and classroom based observations
  • Observations by teachers and related services providers
  • Based on existing data, the team and the parent(s), will identify what additional data, if any, are needed to determine
  • Whether the child continues to have a disability
  • Whether the child continues to need special education and related services
  • The educational needs of the child
  • In addition, the team will review:
  • The child’s present levels of academic performance/achievement
  • Related developmental needs of the child
  • Whether additions or modifications to the special education and related services are needed to enable the child to meet the measurable annual goals and to participate, as appropriate, in the general education curriculum.
  • The JICA team administers any additional evaluations or conducts new evaluations as necessary, with parental consent

Requirements when no additional data are needed
The IEP team and other qualified professionals, as appropriate, may determine that no additional data are needed to determine the child’s continuing eligibility for special education and related services. In such a situation, the IEP team:

  • Provides Prior Written Notice to the child’s parents of that determination and reason for the determination
  • Informs the parents that they have the right to request an evaluation for their child in order to determine if their child continues to be a child with a disability and to determine the child’s educational needs.

Citations
IDEA § 300.300; IDEA § 300.303; IDEA § 300.304; IDEA § 300.305; IDEA § 300.306; ECEA Rule 4.02 (5); (6)