Evaluation and IEP Timelines

FIRST STEP: When a request for an initial evaluation for special education services (full, individual & initial evaluation (FIE)) is made, the district must give parents a Prior Written Notice of their decision of whether to do an evaluation within 15 school days.

Parents must be given this notice at least 5 school days in advance of the action that the school proposes or refuses to take.

If the district does not believe there is a reason to conduct the evaluation they must provide the parent with a Notice of Action Refused or Prior Written Notice of refusal.

If the district agrees to do an FIIE, the parents must sign the district’s consent form in order for the evaluation process to proceed.

SECOND STEP: The evaluation report must be completed no later than 45 school days from the day the school receives the parent’s written consent for the initial evaluation.

If the student is absent for 3 or more school days during this period, the timeline is extended by that number of days. The extension for absences does not apply for: children under 5, not enrolled in school, or any student enrolled in a private or home school setting.

If the written consent is received at least 35, but less than 45 school days before the last instructional day of the school year, the evaluation must be completed and the written report provided to the parent by June 30. The ARD/IEP meeting must be held by the 15th school day of the following year to consider the evaluation.

If the consent is received less than 35 school days before the last instructional day, the timeline would end during the first part of the following school year.

If the consent is received between the 35th and the 45th school day before the last instructional day, the timeline could end during the first part of the following school year if the student is absent too many days.

THIRD STEP: An ARD/IEP meeting must be held within 30 calendar days after the FIE report is completed (except for when the 15 school day rule applies) to determine if the child qualifies for special education and related services. If the team determines that the child does qualify, it must develop an Individualized Education Plan (IEP).

An IEP must be developed before the initiation of services. The IEP is implemented 5 school days after the ARD/IEP meeting, unless the parent consents to implementing it sooner.

ONCE EVERY YEAR: the ARD/IEP team must meet to review the child’s IEP to determine whether the annual goals are being met and to revise the IEP as appropriate.

Meetings can be held more often at the request of a parent or the school to discuss issues or concerns.

ONCE EVERY 3 YEARS: the ARD/IEP team must review existing evaluation data and parent input to determine if a reevaluation should be conducted.

The review and any reevaluation must be completed within 3 years of the previous evaluation. If the district believes that a reevaluation is not needed, but the parent requests the testing, the district must comply.

If additional testing or a reevaluation is to be done sooner than 3 years, the ARD/IEP team determines the timeline for this testing.

The school must take steps to ensure that parents are present at each ARD/IEP meeting or are afforded the opportunity to participate, including notifying them of the meeting early enough to ensure that they will have an opportunity to attend and scheduling the meeting at a mutually agreed upon time and place. The school must allow parents who cannot attend to participate in the meeting through other methods such as telephone calls, or video conferencing. Written notice of the meeting must be provided at least five school days before the meeting, unless the parents agree to a shorter timeframe.

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