The Referral is the first step to all evaluations.
If a school team or parent has suspicion that a student has a disability, either may initiate a referral by working through the school, and discussing needs for special education. Upon a referral being started, the parent will receive a Notice of Referral which states that an Individual Education Plan (IEP) team will be developed to conduct the evaluation and informs parents of the steps in the process. At this time, the parents are give the Parent Rights Brochure Spanish Hmong.
Special Education Referral
This process begins with a referral stating that it is believed the student has a disability and the reasons this assumption is being made. Referrals can be made to determine eligibility for either Special Education or Section 504. (If the student has a disability requiring accommodations that can be met in the general education setting, typically a Section 504 referral is made).
Students who are suspected to have a disability requiring special education must be evaluated by an IEP Team to determine if they have a disability and if they are eligible to receive special education services. Students are eligible to receive services starting from age 3 through the end of the school year that they turn 21 (See the DPI Guide to Special Education Forms - Notice of Ending of Services Due to Age).
MMSD ensures that students who have a disability and move into MMSD or between schools in MMSD have no interruption in special education services. Parents/guardians moving into MMSD may inform the principal, psych or the student's teacher in their school building about their child's special education needs. A team will be assembled and services will be approximated as closely as possible to the current IEP while it is being reviewed for adoption, or a new one is being developed. If the Evaluation meets WI criteria and the IEP can be carried out as written in our schools, MMSD can adopt the previous district's Evaluation and IEP. If the evaluation does not meet WI criteria, a new evaluation will be conducted, followed by a new IEP.
An LEA can offer parents a new notice of placement without a meeting if the students new school building is the building s/he would otherwise attend if not disabled AND the student's IEP can be implemented as written in the new school building. MMSD must notify the parents of its decision to implement the current IEP in the new school building by providing the parent a copy of the IEP along with the new notice of placement.
Evaluation and Eligibility Criteria
Evaluation is an essential beginning step in the special education process for a child with a disability. Before a child can receive special education and related services for the first time, a full and individual initial evaluation of the child must be conducted to see if the child has a disability and is eligible for special education. Parents must be informed through the Notice of Referral before this evaluation may be conducted. The evaluation process is guided by requirements in our nation’s special education law, the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), and state eligibility criteria. The Center for Parent Information and Resources is a useful site to help guide parents through the process. The Special Education Rights for Parents and Children - Procedural Safeguards Notice also provides more information on parent's rights throughout the process.
Reevaluations occur no less than every three years. One intention is to reexamine the student's disability areas to ensure we are identifying disabilities accurately and providing services accordingly. Every evaluation is a comprehensive evaluation, so if a new disability area is being considered, the existing disability areas must also be addressed.
- Notify the parent of the intention to evaluate. IE-1 or RE-1 Notice of .... Initial Evaluation or Reevaluation
The Individual Education Plan (IEP) documents how the student will be served in special education. The IEP is designed annually by an IEP team, yet can be adjusted at any point during the school year via the review/revise process. An IEP is designed to explain how the student's disability affects his or her learning, state the student's present level of academic and functional performance, identify annual goals for improving the present level of performance, and describe the services that the student needs in order to achieve the stated goals. Language support and interpretation is available for families whose native language is other than English. See a guide to the contents of an IEP from the Center for Parent Information and Resources.