Guidance for Families about Special Education Services
IDEA 2004 (the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act), the federal law that governs special education, emphasizes the importance of parent participation. Model forms are developed by OSPI to assist districts in meeting their regulatory obligations related to special education.
Parents can review these forms to become more informed about a district's requirements and processes. Please note that school districts are NOT required to use these forms.
Individualized Education Program (IEP) (Word)
The IEP is designed to clearly communicate to the parents, the student, and providers the type and amount of special education and any necessary related services or supports that will be made available to the student. The most recent evaluation report is used to develop the IEP. The IEP is individualized to reflect the unique needs of the student and how these needs will be addressed to permit the student to be included and progress in the general education curriculum.
Individualized Education Program (IEP)—with Secondary Transition Services (Word)
Services to prepare a student for life after graduation are added to the
Individualized Educational Program (IEP), described above.
Parent Input Form (Word)
Questions for parents to answer about their child in preparation for IEP development.
IEP Review Form (Word)
Developed by OSPI, "model" forms assist districts in meeting their regulatory obligations. Parents can review these forms to become more informed about special education requirements and processes.
Request to Excuse an IEP Team Member (Word)
A school district member of the IEP team may be excused from attending the IEP meeting if the parent(s) and the district agree in writing that the member’s attendance is not necessary because his/her area of curriculum/services is not being modified or discussed in the meeting. A member whose area of the curriculum/services will be modified or discussed may be excused from the IEP meeting if the district and parent(s) consent, and the member provides written input into the development of the IEP prior to the meeting.
Review of Referral for Special Education Evaluation (Word)
The purpose of this form is to review information regarding a student who has already been referred and to make a decision whether to evaluate the student for special education services.
Prior Written Notice (Word)
As a parent/guardian of a special education child or child suspected of needing special education services, the school district is required to provide you with prior written notice whenever it proposes or refuses to initiate or change the identification, evaluation, educational placement, or provision of a free appropriate public education to your child. This notice should be given to you after a district makes a decision and before action is taken on the decision. The notice should be given to you in a reasonable amount of time before the district takes action.
Parent Consent (Word)
A school district must inform parents/guardians of all information relevant to the district making a decision regarding the initial evaluation, initial placement, or reevaluation of a student. This form asks for your consent to the action indicated. It would be helpful to school personnel if you would share your reason(s) for not giving your consent for the proposed action. If you have questions regarding this request, you may call the school district director of special education for an explanation as to why the request is being made.
Evaluation Report (Word)
The evaluation report documents whether the student is eligible or continues to be eligible for special education and provides information to the IEP team to assist them in the development of the IEP. The evaluation process should be sufficient in scope to determine: (1) whether a student has a disability, (2) whether the disability adversely affects his/her performance in the general education curriculum, and (3) the nature and extent of the student’s need for specially designed instruction and any necessary related services. If the evaluation group believes the student may have a specific learning disability, the Supplementary Report for SLD should be completed and attached.
Supplementary Report for Specific Learning Disabilities Using Severe Discrepancy (Word)
The evaluation report documents whether the student is eligible or continues to be eligible for special education and provides information to the IEP team to assist them in the development of the IEP. Additional evaluation procedures are required for identifying whether a student has a specific learning disability. If the evaluation group believes the student may have a specific learning disability using the severe discrepancy methodology, this supplementary report should be completed and attached to the evaluation report.
Supplementary Report for Specific Learning Disabilities Using Response to Intervention (Word)
The evaluation report documents whether the student is eligible or continues to be eligible for special education and provides information to the IEP team to assist them in the development of the IEP. Additional evaluation procedures are required for identifying whether a student has a specific learning disability. If the evaluation group believes the student may have a specific learning disability using the response to intervention methodology, this supplementary report should be completed and attached to the evaluation report.
Agreement to Waive a Reevaluation (Word)
A school district must ensure that a reevaluation of each student eligible for special education is conducted at least once every three years or when the school district determines that the educational or related services needs of the student warrant a reevaluation, unless the parent and the school district agree that a reevaluation is unnecessary. Parents have the right to request that a reevaluation is conducted. This sample form documents the decision made by the parent and district that a triennial reevaluation is not necessary.
Functional Behavioral Assessment (FBA) (Word)
A Functional Behavioral Assessment (FBA) is used to gather information about a student’s behavior to determine the need for, and provide the foundation for, a Behavioral Intervention Plan (BIP). An FBA is required to be conducted if the student’s violation of a code of conduct (resulting in a change of placement) is determined to be a manifestation of the student’s disability.
Behavioral Intervention Plan (BIP) (Word)
The purpose of a Behavioral Intervention Plan (BIP) is to address behaviors that are interfering with the student’s education. The goal of a BIP is to teach the student positive behavioral strategies to replace the problem behavior(s). A BIP is required to be developed and implemented if the student’s violation of a code of conduct (resulting in a change of placement) is determined to be a manifestation of the student’s disability, or if the IEP team determines it is appropriate.
Manifestation Determination (Word)
Within 10 school days of any decision to change the placement of a student eligible for special education because of a violation of a code of student conduct, the school district, the parent, and relevant members of the student’s IEP team (as determined by the parent and the school district) must review all relevant information to determine if the conduct in question was caused by, or had a direct, substantial relationship to, the student’s disability; or if the conduct in question was the direct result of the district’s failure to implement the IEP.
Several details to note about the “model” forms:
- Information contained in the forms does not substitute for reading the regulations.
- Each form begins with a purpose statement. This statement provides the user of the form with a short description of how the form is to be used and for what purpose(s).
- Points to consider are included on each form as cues to provide instructional personnel, parents, and students (if appropriate), information to directly assist them in developing an appropriate Individualized Education Program (IEP) to meet each student’s unique needs.
- All forms were developed with the understanding that state regulations are clear regarding the important role of the parent in all procedures that affect educational decisions regarding their child. These forms reflect this increased emphasis on parental involvement and associated parental responsibilities.
- All forms were developed to help ensure that parents are fully informed about how information requested (or notification provided to them) regarding their child would be used in to support the district in providing their child with an appropriate education.
- The evaluation report and IEP forms reflect the importance of special education students’ participation in the general education curriculum (or, for preschool children, participation in appropriate activities). School districts should address a student’s educational needs consistent with education reform initiatives in Washington State. The evaluation report forms are designed so that evaluation data documented by the evaluation group will lead directly and logically to the development of the IEP.
- The development of statewide forms is seen as an ongoing process. These forms will be subject to review in the future and will be revised, as necessary, to comply with federal and state statutes and regulations.