When your child is struggling at school, you need to move quickly. Troubles with reading or math can easily cause your child to miss key concepts that build on each other. Not sitting still or paying attention frustrates teachers and often leads to removal from classrooms.
Whether you or the school identified that your child’s mind works a little differently, you need to know the timelines associated with the assessment process. In this post, we will discuss three of them.
Initial request – 15 days
Usually it is a parent or teacher who requests an assessment by sending a letter detailing problems to the local educational agency (usually the school district). The letter also needs to include how special services could mitigate the problems.
If you are the one requesting the assessment, keep a copy of the letter for your records. Also, send the letter with delivery confirmation, so you have proof the school receives it.
The school has 15 days to give you an assessment plan. It needs to explain what testing will be completed. You have a similar amount of time to consider and agree to the plan to keep the process moving.
60 days/60 days
After the assessment is complete, the school will meet with you within 60 days to discuss eligibility for special education and related services. This is an initial individualized education program meeting.
When an assessment says your child needs special education, you still need to give the school permission to make an IEP. The school has another 60 days to write and implement the IEP.
If you do not agree with a decision that your child is ineligible special services, you have the right to seek an “Independent Educational Evaluation.” At this point, you may want to speak with an attorney to learn more about challenging the decision.
As children grow, their needs change too. Taking this into account, the law builds in a triennial review. This is the base requirement, however does not mean you cannot request one sooner if warranted.
Keeping a close eye that these timelines are followed is one way to ensure your child receives timely special education services.