LEA Reevaluation Requirements - 20 U.S.C. § 1414
October 7, 2016
BEFORE THE OFFICE OF ADMINISTRATIVE HEARINGS
One of the most critical steps to understanding your child's specific educational needs is obtaining appropriate assessments. Once your child has been appropriately assessed within all areas of need, both yourself and the IEP team will have a much better understanding of how to best maximize your child's learning potential. Therefore, it is important that all parents understand the legal requirement for school districts to comprehensively assess students in all suspected areas of need.
Outlined below is a brief summary of school district requirements regarding assessment plans, parental consent, and the subsequent legal timeline regarding those assessments.
An inadequate assessment may result in an IDEA violation if the procedural inadequacy impedes the student's right to a FAPE. Capistrano USD, 64 IDELR 55 (SEA CA 2013).
A child's unique needs can manifest themselves in multiple different varieties. One specific child may have difficulty maintaining attention while in class, which can subsequently affect his/her academic progress, and create a need for special education services. Another child may have difficulty with auditory processing, which may be affecting his/her ability to understand teacher instruction or directives, and subsequently create a need for special education support. Another child may have difficulty interacting with peers, or be exhibiting signs of depression in school, which can subsequently affect his/her ability to progress with regard to their social emotional present level of performance, and also create a need for special education services.
Special educational evaluations are crucial in determining and understanding what an individual student's unique needs are. Examples of educational evaluations include: Psychoeducational Assessments, Language and Speech Assessments, Occupational Therapy Assessments, and Functional Behavior Assessments, among many others.
You have received a 'no' from the school after making a written request for an assessment or change to your child's IEP. Unless the 'no' is in a writing that looks like this, as provided by the U.S. Department of Education, keep reading.
"All schools have an affirmative duty to locate, identify and provide services to children who may have disabilities."