Conducting the Evaluation
Either a parent of a child, or a State Education Agency (SEA), other state agency, or Local Education Agency (LEA) may initiate a request for an initial evaluation to determine if the child is a child with a disability 34 CFR 300.301(b).
What We Do
Federal law requires that any standardized tests given to the student must be validated for the specific purpose for which they are used and must be administered by trained personnel in conformance with the instructions supplied by their producer. The evaluator determines the degree of evaluation needed in each area depending on the eligibility criteria for the suspected disability. The area of language proficiency is evaluated first to determine the language that will be used in further evaluation.
Evaluation instruments must not be culturally or racially discriminatory and must be administered in accordance with standardized procedures in order to prevent inappropriate evaluations of specific cultural groups. A variety of evaluation instruments and strategies are used to gather relevant functional and developmental information about the student, including information provided by the parents. All data is reviewed, interpreted, and compiled into a Full and Individual Initial Evaluation (FIE) report. All evaluation personnel are responsible for adhering to all auditable dates for initial evaluations, re-evaluations, and transfers where the student has been in Special Education in another district.
Tests and other evaluation materials include those tailored to evaluate specific areas of educational need and not merely those designed to provide a single general intelligence quotient. Tests are to be selected and administered so as to ensure that the test results of a student who has impaired sensory, manual, or speaking skills, will accurately reflect his or her aptitude or achievement level or whatever other factors the test purports to measure. Only tests approved by the Special Education Department will be used for evaluations.
Evaluation of the student covers all areas related to the suspected disability, including (where appropriate):
- social and emotional status
- general intelligence
- academic performance
- communicative status
- motor abilities
The evaluation must be sufficiently comprehensive to identify all of the student's special education and related service needs. The instruments used and strategies must provide relevant information that directly assists people in determining the educational needs of the student.