The 3 Year IEP Re-Evaluation

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    • #76754

      My son’s 3 Year Re-Evaluation is coming up for his IEP. He goes to a small Charter school, and while it has several things going for it, following IEP procedures is not one of its strong points. I’ve navigated these waters though fairly easily, since the teaching staff is accommodating and the academics are unmatched. I’ve been okay with them not following EVERY single, minor step so long as the major steps are followed and my son is receiving the services he needs in the classroom.

      I’ve ran into a speed bump though. It’s the 3 year IEP Re-Evaluation time. My son comes home and he tells me he’s been pulled out of class to start taking special tests with a new teacher he’s never met that doesn’t work at the school. The tests take multiple days and several hours each day. Due to the time of the year and his description, I assume it’s in connection with the IEP re-evaluation. The school had sent home no paperwork, special ed teacher hadn’t informed me, nor solicited my input about what evaluations should be completed.

      I contact the school, takes a week for me to hear back, but then the evaluations are completed. They say they sent home paperwork with my son and they’ll send it home again. My son denies this. I’m on the fence whether they did or not. I wait another week, no paperwork. I email, this time the teacher says he’s been sick so he’ll start WORKING on the paperwork and send it home today. That makes me think the paperwork was never started nor sent home with my son. He lets me know the meeting is scheduled in two weeks. I ask for a copy of all evaluation reports. I am still waiting to hear back on that.

      Since I was left out of the loop at the first half of this process is there anyway for me to go back and start this process over? Or should I just proceed forward?

    • #76760

      And to update: The special ed teacher is going to send me the evaluations. Teacher said “[Your Son] was reevaluated to see if he still qualified for Special Education services. He was given the WISC-V and WAIT-III. While we will go over the results together, I can send you a copy of the results today and you can read them ahead of time.”

      To see if he STILL qualified? And one of those tests is largely academic, and you gave it to him first thing in the morning when his Concerta is in full effect. His accommodations are all related to his emotional regulation and ADHD. This makes zero sense. Right now he qualifies for his IEP under Multiple Disabilities; LD, Other Health Impairment (ADHD), and Emotional Disturbance (anxiety disorder). So how does the results of those evaluations going to show us if my son still qualifies for the IEP? We all know he’s academically gifted.

      I’m not understanding what the school is trying to accomplish here. I’m at a lose at how to prepare for the meeting. I could see potentially dropping LD from his IEP but he’d still qualify for services under the other two categories.

    • #76816
      Penny Williams

      It’s the law that they have to do a re-evaluation to see if they still qualify for special education services and an IEP. It sucks, but it’s part of IDEA. At my son’s 5th grade re-evaluation, they told me he tested very well and his grades were good so I should drop special ed. I refused and was told that was my one and only refusal. I refused because he was doing well because of the IEP and also clicking well with teachers that year. It was an anomaly and I knew it.

      Fast forward to 8th grade, and the same specialist that had told me we should drop SPED in 5th, was fighting for extra services and assistive tech she clearly saw the need for. 8th grade was worse than ever (although this year, 9th, has topped them all just about).

      Now, it’s also the law that you sign off on a particular form to approve testing before they do it (don’t remember what it’s called, permission to evaluate or test or something like that). They definitely dropped the ball there.

      You were right to ask for the reports before your meeting. I would prepare Parent Concerns and Present Levels of Performance letters from the parent perspective, and submit them to the school a couple days before the meeting. That way you have documented needs and concerns noted outside what the testing shows, in case he tested well.

      How to Advocate Forcefully for Your Child

      You can request additional testing at any time. So, if there’s something you think should be evaluated that wasn’t, make the request (in writing). I know with an initial evaluation you can request an IEE at the school’s expense if you disagree — I think you can do that anytime. IEE is defined here:

      “What Does That Mean?” Glossary of Special Education Terms and Acronyms

      While they are held to these laws, I have found that Charter schools don’t have the knowledge of the SPED laws as they should, and often don’t follow the processes in IDEA.

      Let us know the outcome of your meeting.

      ADDitude Community Moderator, Author & Mentor on Parenting ADHD, Mom to teen w/ ADHD, LDs, and autism

    • #76829

      Thanks Penny! My son was sent home with the Evaluation Report yesterday (very proud of himself that he did not open the sealed envelope…LOL). He scored exceptionally well on every academic portion of the evaluation, and exceptionally poor on every portion that required him to use or manipulate his working or short term memory. Several aspects bothered me, the administrator gave him extra time for his responses during timed subtests, noted his distractability and his inability to remain focused but due to his academic ability concluded that he should be able to “self-correct” his inability to remain focused. And the tests were done over several days, broken up into several sessions.

      Nowhere in the report did it mention his ADHD or anxiety diagnoses or that he was on Concerta while the test was administered. I guess I’m just in shock. At last year’s meeting my son was doing just as well academically and the Dean was talking about how my son needed to be evaluated for ASD. It’s like the school has done a complete 180.

      I’m going to get started on that letter, I’m sure it will take me a few drafts. LOL.

    • #77088
      Dog with a Bone

      Whether or not the school is a public one or a charter, they must follow procedure for everything concerning IEP implementation. The school may not administer tests without your permission.

    • #77163

      If you have concerns that the school didn’t follow procedural safeguards, you can ask for an advocate. In my state, we have special education resource centers. They are located regionally throughout the state. They will provide a parent advocate to attend IEP meetings with you. Sometimes schools are more attentive if they know someone else is there to assist the parent through the special education maze. Good luck!

    • #85814
      Dr. Eric

      They almost always need your written permission with a Tri.

      The one rare exception is if a parent is non-responsive after several documented attempts to get a response.

    • #108144
      Dr. Eric

      Missed a few things that I caught on the re-reading.

      Don’t be offended by the “to see if he still qualifies” language.

      That is a paraphrase of the law requiring re-evaluations. In fact, my disclosures on the permission to re-evaluate forms are about a page and a half. I check about 5 boxes and write about 6 sentences myself. The rest is all prewritten legal crap required by the law.

      Also, the way the tests are given in predetermined by the publisher. Diagnostic tests are not the same as a classroom or state tests. By design, valid scores can only be created by following the directions exactly the manual says.

      We can deviate and call it “testing the limits”, but we cannot present the resulting scores as valid. We will often do this when the scores are making it tough to get a confidant conclusion. If we are thinking, “Is this an issue with A or B?” we can pay around with the two issues and see how performance is affected. Completely acceptable, but we have to either not report the score or give it an asterisk with explanation.

      Also, a WISC and WIAT alone are inadequate for addressing ADHD.

      And… whether they follow procedure properly or not, does not necessarily mean they did a good job.
      I have seen State compliance bureaucrats ding a psychologist for forgetting the “valid and reliable for the purposes used” statement in a report where the psychologist did everything in a valid and reliable way when a psychologist who made numerous mistakes got a perfect compliance score because they checked all the correct boxes.

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