Referral Process

A referral for special education is most commonly at the request of the either the child’s school team or parent(s)/guardian(s). A request from the school typically means there is an barrier in the school day that is keeping the child from making effective progress. By the time the referral is made the school team should have already tried interventions with the child with no substantial progress in the area of need. The Team Chair is notified of the school's referral request. The Team Chair will then write a notification that is sent home explaining the actions the school would like to take in order to evaluate the child for special needs.

A parent request is typically made after a parent/guardian has observed concerns  with an area of their child’s development  over a long period of time. In this case the parent/guardian will notify the school via written document requesting testing in the area of concern. The special education Team Chair will complete the evaluation notification form to send back to the parents for signature.

Of note, for a child who currently has an IEP, a referral for evaluation is requested every 3-years in accordance with special education law. The Team uses the evaluations to redetermine special education eligibility. 

Within the evaluation notification form there are several key features. The first page indicates who is sending the form and their contact information. The second page provides statements to questions explaining the purpose of the form and the actions to be taken. The third page details all the proposed tests to be completed as part of the evaluation and the last page asks for the parent/guardian signature and language preference. There is also a space to write in any additional requests for the evaluation.

 When signing the page you have 3 options:

1)   Sign consent for all evaluations to be completed.

2)   Sign consent for some not all or additional tests to be administered.

3)   Refuse consent.

Return the consent with appropriate signature to the special education office in the addressed and stamped envelope provided. Once the paperwork is received and processed the school evaluators are given notification and the Team is required to test and meet within 45-school days of the date consent is received. Evaluators cannot begin testing until the parent/guardian has signed/granted consent. Informal screening that is available to all students may be completed without formal permission; however, informal screening is only used to identify concerns and provide recommendations, it is not used to make eligibility decisions for special education. 


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