Evaluation Team Process
If your child is referred to our Special Education Team here are the meetings you can expect:
Early Intervention Transition Meeting (Only if your child is receiving Early Intervention Services)
If your child is receiving Early Intervention services, this will be the first meeting you have with a staff member from the Early Childhood Center. Along with your service coordinator, you will review any evaluations, services and needs your child has. This meeting takes place about 6 months before your child turns three.
At this meeting, you will meet with a team of professionals, which typically includes an administrator, preschool special educator, social worker, psychologist, speech/language therapist, and occupational therapist. Other professionals, such as a physical therapist, may be present based on your child’s needs. Referrals can come from a variety of places, not just Early Intervention. Parents, pediatricians, hospitals, and Child Outreach are other sources of referrals to the evaluation team. During the referral meeting, the team will review all information available to determine if evaluations are necessary, because there is suspicion of a disability that impacts their learning in an educational environment. You can bring any relevant information that will inform this decision, such as reports and evaluations from other schools, settings, or providers. The focus of the referral meeting is to obtain the most complete picture of your child’s functioning as possible. This meeting typically occurs three months before your child turns three if you are transitioning from Early Intervention. Referrals from other sources, for children older than three, are reviewed within 10 school days of receipt.
If warranted, recommended evaluations will be scheduled and you will be assigned a case manager. With your permission, evaluations will be scheduled and begin after the referral meeting. Possible evaluations include: psychological, educational, social history, speech and/or language, and occupational therapy.
If evaluations are not warranted, and there is no suspicion of a disability, you and your child will most likely be asked to return for Child Outreach screening in 6-12 months.
When all evaluations are completed (within 60 calendar days of permission to evaluate), you will be invited to a team meeting to review the results. A determination will be made if your child meets the criteria for special education services. Depending on your child’s level of need, primary services range from: appointment based speech and/or language therapy, academic support in a community preschool, integrated preschool, and preschool special education classroom. Services such as occupational therapy and physical therapy are not primary services and your child may only be eligible for these if it impacts their functioning in a school setting.
If your child is not eligible for special education service, the team will offer suggestions and recommendations to help you support your child’s development.
If it is determined your child is eligible for special education services, a meeting will be scheduled within 15 school days of eligibility to develop an Individual Education Plan. A draft IEP will be presented and you will be asked to bring a list of your input. This plan is designed to target your child’s needs; it specifies learning goals and how they will be carried out. After goals are reviewed, the team will also propose placement options that will best meet your child’s needs.