Guidance for Families about Special Education Services
Evaluations and reevaluations have two broad purposes:
- To determine eligibility for special education services and
- If the student is determined eligible, to inform the student’s IEP.
Key points to keep in mind:
- The terms evaluation and reevaluation are sometimes used interchangeably. There is only one difference between the two. An evaluation is conducted to determine whether or not to begin providing special education services. Evaluations following this one are called reevaluations.
- Districts must provide parents with prior written notice before conducting a reevaluation.
- Reevaluations must be conducted once every three years, but may be done prior to the three year mark if requested by the district or a parent.
- A reevaluation is required prior to any significant change to a student’s special education program.
- A reevaluation can simply be a review of existing information about the student. Therefore, if a parent believes new testing is needed as part of a reevaluation, they must actively request this of the district, ideally in writing.
- Districts must consider the results of outside evaluations, but are not required to implement recommendations included in an evaluation from outside the district.
- Parents may request an Independent Educational Evaluation (IEE) if they disagree with the results of a district’s reevaluation.