Back to Main Page

ASEC

3.0 Evaluation and  Reevaluation Standards

Quick Links:
Prior Written NoticeParental ConsentWard of StateEvaluation Timelines
Reevaluation ProcedureIndependent Evaluation
Evaluation ProcedureInitial Transition Evaluation
Evaluation Team
Secondary Transition EvaluationMulti-Disability Team ModelFBA EvaluationOther EvaluationsEnglish Language Learners
Infant Toddler PW NoticeInfant Toddler EvaluationInfant Toddler ReportInfant Toddler DisabilityInterim IFSP
C to B TransitionTeam OverrideExit ProceduresGraduation ProcedureReinstatement of SpEd
Review of Test Protocols    

Evaluation or reevaluation is the process of utilizing formal and informal procedures to determine specific areas of a person’s strengths, needs, and eligibility for special education services. Each district must conduct a full and individual evaluation of a child or student, for the purposes of special education, that meets all state and federal requirements. Such an evaluation includes, but is not limited to: providing the parent(s) with prior written notice of each proposed evaluation; ensuring tests or evaluation tools are administered by trained and knowledgeable personnel; assessing the child or student in all areas related to the suspected disability; presenting all evaluation results to the parent(s) in writing within state and federal timelines; determining whether the child or student meets state eligibility criteria; and, in evaluating each child with a disability, ensuring the evaluation is sufficiently comprehensive to identify all of the child's or student's special education and related services needs, whether or not commonly linked to the disability category in which the child has been classified.

Required Policies

Specific policies, procedures and other documentation to demonstrate compliance will be found on each of the fourteen district's policy web page.

3.01 Evaluation Notice, Consent, and Timelines

3.01.01 Notice Before Evaluation or Reevaluation

The public agency must provide notice to the parents of a child with a disability, in accordance with 300.503, that describes any evaluation procedures the agency proposes to conduct.

34 C.F.R. 300.304(a)

  1. Written Notice Requirement

A copy of the procedural safeguards available to the parent of a child with a disability must be given to the parents only one time a school year, except that a copy also must be given to the parents:

  1. Upon initial referral or parent request for evaluation;

  2. Upon receipt of the first State complaint under 300.151 through 300.153 and upon receipt of the first due process complaint under 300.507 in a school year.

  3. In accordance with the discipline procedures in 300.530(h); and

  4. Upon request by a parent.

34 C.F.R 300.540(a)

A parent must receive prior written notice a reasonable time before the district proposes or refuses to initiate or change the identification, evaluation, educational placement, or the provision of a free appropriate public education to a child with a disability.

MN Statue 125A.91, subd. 2

 

In order to document that the procedural safeguards have been given to parents, it is recommended that the date given is noted somewhere in the students Learner File. This documentation could be noted on the copy of the Prior Written Notice or IEP,  or contact log for that year.

  1. Contents of Prior Written Notice

The notice required under paragraph (a) of this section must include:

  1. A description of the action proposed or refused by the agency;

  2. An explanation of why the agency proposes or refuses to take the action

  3. A description of each evaluation procedure, assessment, record, or report the agency used as a basis for the proposed or refused action;

  4. A statement that the parents of a child with a disability have protection under the procedural safeguards of this part and, if this notice is not an initial referral for evaluation, the means by which a copy of a description of the procedural safeguards can be obtained;

  5. Sources for parents to contact to obtain assistance in understanding the provisions of this part;

  6. A description of other options that the IEP team considered and the reasons why those options were rejected; and

  7. A description of other factors that are relevant to the agency's proposal or refusal.

34 C.F.R. 300.503(b)


The district must obtain informed consent from the parent of a child before conducting an evaluation or reevaluation for special education. The purpose of this notice is to inform parents that their written consent must be obtained before the district proceeds with the initial assessment.  For a reevaluation, the district may proceed if it can demonstrate and document that it has taken reasonable measures to obtain parent consent and the parent has failed to respond within 14 calendar days of receiving the notice.  Reasonable measures means more than one attempt. This documentation can be provided by sending another copy of the Parental Consent/Objection form. Change the date to the current date at the top of the form and check the box by the "Prior Written Notice dated" indicating the date of the previous notice.

 

The Notice of Educational Evaluation/Reevaluation Plan is to be used  when seeking permission for evaluation and requires the following questions to be answered for any proposed action or a denial of parental request:

The date the Parental Consent/Objection Form was given or mailed to the parent  must be indicated on the form in SpEd Web. When the parent returns the signed Parental Consent/Objection Form  note the date received and the date the evaluation within the 30 school days. Always finalize the Notice of Educational Evaluation/Reevaluation Plan prior to printing and giving to the parent. A copy of the Notice of Education Evaluation/Reevaluation Plan and the Parental Consent/Objection Form (signed copy or blank form if revaluation and past 14 days) must be placed in the Learner File for the student.

  1. Contents of Procedural Safeguards Notice

The procedural safeguards notice must include a full explanation of all the procedural safeguards available relating to:

  1. Independent educational evaluations;

  2. Prior written notice;

  3. Parental consent;

  4. Access to education records

  5. Opportunity to present and resolve complaints through the due process complaint and State complaint procedures, including:

    1. the time period in which to file a complaint;

    2. The opportunity for the agency to resolve the complaint; and

    3. the difference between the due process complaint and the State complaint procedures, including the jurisdiction of each procedure, what issues may be raised, filing and decisional timelines, and relevant procedures;

  6. The availability of mediation;

  7. The child's placement during pendency of any due process complaint;

  8. Procedures for students who are subject to placement in an interim alternative educational setting;

  9. Requirements for unilateral placement by parents of children in private schools at public expense;

  10. Hearings or due process complaints, including requirements for disclosure of evaluation results and recommendations;

  11. State-level appeals (if applicable in that State);

  12. Civil actions, including the time period in which to file those actions; and

  13. Attorneys' fees.

34 C.F.R. 300.504(c)

The current Parent Rights/Procedural Safeguards brochure can be obtain through SpEd Forms.

3.01.02 Notice of Refusal to Evaluate or Reevaluate

  1.  A parent must receive prior written notice a reasonable time before the district proposes or refuses to initiate or change the identification, evaluation, educational placement, or the provision of a free appropriate public education to a child with a disability.

MN Statue 125A.91, subd. 2

  1. Contents of Prior Written Notice

The notice required under paragraph (a) of this section must include:

  1. A description of the action proposed or refused by the agency;

  2. An explanation of why the agency proposes or refuses to take the action

  3. A description of each evaluation procedure, assessment, record, or report the agency used as a basis for the proposed or refused action;

  4. A statement that the parents of a child with a disability have protection under the procedural safeguards of this part and, if this notice is not an initial referral for evaluation, the means by which a copy of a description of the procedural safeguards can be obtained;

  5. Sources for parents to contact to obtain assistance in understanding the provisions of this part;

  6. A description of other options that the IEP team considered and the reasons why those options were rejected; and

  7. A description of other factors that are relevant to the agency's proposal or refusal.

34 C.F.R. 300.503(b)

The district must also inform the parent through the Prior Written Notice form when the district is intending to deny a request by the parent to initiate or change the identification, evaluation or educational placement of a student or other request made by the parent that would impact the provision of FAPE. If the notice only includes a refusal of a request, it must be served on the parent within 14 calendars days of the date the request was made. It is important to document the date that the notice was given to the parent.

The parent has the opportunity to agree or disagree with the denial of the district's proposal through the Parental Consent/Objection form. This form also provides the parent with the option to agree or disagree with all or some of the district's proposal. The notice also informs parents of their right to request a conciliation conference about disagreements over the proposal or refusal.

3.01.03 Parental Consent for Evaluation or Reevaluation

  1. When Required

The public agency proposing to conduct an initial evaluation to determine if a child qualifies as a child with a disability, after providing notice consistent with 300.503 through 300.504, obtain informed consent, consistent with 300.9, from the parent of the child before conducting the evaluation.
34 C.F.R. 300.300(a)(1)(i)

An initial evaluation cannot proceed without prior written consent of the parent. If the evaluation is a 3- year reassessment, the team can proceed with the evaluation after the expiration of the 14 calendar day parental response time. By law, you may proceed with the evaluation after 14 days if the parents don’t respond in writing, but it is preferred that you try to get their permission if at all possible.  More than one attempt should be documented to obtain written parental consent on a re-evaluation. This documentation can be provided by sending another copy of the Parental Consent/Objection form. Change the date to the current date at the top of the form and note the original date the "Notice of an Educational Evaluation/Re-evaluation Plan" was sent.

The parental responses to the Prior Written Notice for evaluation are:

  1. "I agree with the proposal and I give permission to the school to proceed." In this instance, the case manager will inform the evaluation team to begin the evaluation.
  2. "I do not agree with the entire proposal, and I do not give permission for the school to proceed." OR
  3. If the parent indicates an objection, the case manager will immediately inform the building principal  the director or assistant director of special education.  The district must offer a conciliation conference, mediation or facilitated IEP team meeting or other alternative to a due process hearing."
Parent notice is not required for such activities as reviewing existing data as part of an evaluation or reevaluation, large group screening data, individual student observation within the regular classroom, informal inventories and consultation between regular and special education personnel.
  1. Consent Overrides if Child is Ward of State

If the child is a ward of the state and certain requirements are met, there is an exception to the consent requirement for an initial evaluation. The purpose of the exception is to ensure initial evaluations are not delayed while a surrogate parent is being appointed. For the exception to exist, the district must be able to document that the child is a ward of the state and is not residing with the child's parent (as defined in 34 C.F.R. 300.30 and one of the following conditions exist:

  1. The local education agency has made reasonable efforts to locate the parent but is unable to locate the parent;

  2. Parental rights have been terminated under state law; or

  3. Parental rights to make educational decisions have been subrogated by a judge pursuant to state law and consent for evaluation has been given by an individual appointed by the judge to represent the child.

Consent to Evaluate for Specific Learning Disability

The public agency must promptly request parental consent to evaluate the child to determine if the child needs special education and related services, and must adhere to the timeframes described in 300.301 and 300.303, unless extended by mutual written agreement of the child's parents and a group of qualified professionals, as described in 300.306(a)(1)

  1. If, prior to a referral, a child has not made adequate progress after an appropriate period of time when provided instruction, as described in paragraphs (b)(1) and (b)(2) of this section; and

  2. Whenever a child is referred for an evaluation

34 C.F.R.300.309(c)

  1. Ward of the State

For initial evaluations only, if the child is a ward of the State and is not residing with the child's parent, the public agency is not required to obtain informed consent from the parent for an initial evaluation to determine whether the child is a child with a disability if:

  1. Despite reasonable efforts to do so, the public agency cannot discover the whereabouts of the parent of the child;

  2. The rights of the parents of the child have been terminated in accordance with State law; or

  3. The rights of the parent to make educational decisions have been subrogated by a judge in accordance with State law and consent for an initial evaluation has been give by an individual appointed by the judge to represent the child.

34 C.F.R. 300.300(a)(2)

Generally, students are considered residents of the district where they reside with the parent or legal guardian. Students with a disability who have a legal guardian are still considered residents of the district in which the parent lives unless parental rights have been terminated. Students who meet any of the following criteria are considered wards of the state and are a resident of the district in which the student lives:

  1. Parental rights have been terminated, this also includes parental rights terminated through the Tribal courts; or
  2. Parent or Guardian isn't living in Minnesota (parents moved out of Minnesota after the student placement); or
  3. No other district of residency can be established; or
  4. Parent or guardian is an inmate of a Minnesota correctional facility or a halfway house.

3.01.04 Infant and Toddler Prior Written Notice

  1. Written parental consent must be obtained before:

    1. Conducting the initial evaluation and assessment of a child; and

    2. Initiating the provision of early intervention services

  2. If consent is not given, the public agency shall make reasonable efforts to ensure that the parent:

    1. Is fully aware of the nature of the evaluation and assessment or the services that would be available and

    2. Understands that the child will not be able to receive the evaluation and assessment or services unless consent is given.

34 C.F.R. 303.404

The Infant and Toddler Prior Written Notice for Part C & B is a different from the K-12 Prior Written Notice  form. The five questions on the Prior Written Notice are the same as for K-12 and should be responded to in a similar manner keeping in mind that the notice is being sent to parents of preschoolers. Please note that while there is only one Parental Consent & Objection Form, the box at the top of the form must be check to indicate ECSE Part B or ECSE Part C.

The Prior Written Notice for C & B is to be used in conjunction with the Parental Consent/Objection form when seeking permission for evaluation and requires the following five questions to be answered for any proposed action or a denial of parental request:

  1. Description of the actions proposed by the district: This question is answered by checking one or more of the boxes indicating the evaluation is for either Part C and/or Part B.

  2. Explanation of why the district proposes to take the action: Provide a brief description of the proposal or refusals. There will often be multiple descriptions of proposals and refusals in a single notice. These descriptions should be clear and succinct. SpEd Forms contains a drop down menu with current suggested statements. Some possible examples include:

  3. Description of each evaluation procedure, test, record, or report the district used as a basis for the proposed action: The district must describe each evaluation procedure, test, record, or report it used as a basis for its proposed actions and refusals. SpEd Forms contains a drop down menu with current suggested statements. Some possible examples include:

  4. Description of other options that the team considered and the reasons why those options were proposed or rejected: The district must document other options the team considered in its deliberation over ideas about evaluation. The teams are expected to discuss various options. Given the number of different people required to participate in team meetings, and the different roles they play, there should be not shortage of options considered. SpEd Forms contains a drop down menu with current suggested statements. Some possible examples include:

  5. Description of other factors affecting the proposal or refusal: The district must document other factors affecting proposals and refusals. These are items that may not have been covered under the description of other options. If there were no other factors, the district may simply say so. SpEd Forms contains a drop down menu with current suggested statements. Some possible examples include:

 

Minnesota Department of Education

April 2009

Q & A: Part C Prior Written Notice Requirements

The Minnesota Department of Education (MDE) Division of Compliance and Assistance has

developed this document to address questions raised by parents and school districts regarding

Written Prior Notice requirements that apply to Part C.

 

 

3.01.05 Evaluation Timelines

Part B Evaluation

The team shall conduct an evaluation for special education purposes within a reasonable time not to exceed 30 school days from the date the district receives parental permission to conduct the evaluation or the expiration of the 14 calendar day parental response time in cases other than initial evaluation, unless a conciliation conference or hearing is requested.

MN R. 3525.2550, subp. 2

It is important for the case manager to note the date the district received the Parental Consent/Objection Form on the bottom of the form as well as the date by which the evaluation is to be completed. The dates should also be entered on SpEd Web for tracking and timeline functions.

Part C Infant and Toddler Evaluation

Once the public agency receives a referral, it shall appoint a service coordinator as soon as possible. Within 45 days after it receives a referral, the public agency shall:

  1. Complete the evaluation and assessment activities; and

  2. Hold an IFSP meeting, in accordance with 303.342.

34 C.F.R. 303.321(e)

The lead agency shall develop procedures to ensure that in the event of exceptional circumstances that make it impossible to complete the evaluation and assessment within 45 days (e.g., if a child is ill) public agencies will document those circumstances and develop and implement an interim IFSP, to the extent appropriate and consistent with 303.345(b)(1) and (b)(2).

34 C.F.R. 303.322(e)(2)

Marshall, Norman, Polk and Red Lake County IEIC's have developed procedures to assure that an interim IFSP is developed if the ASEC Birth to 3 Assessment team is unable to complete the assessment within 45 days of the referral. Each situation is different however the following procedures will be followed, as appropriate, when it would appear the 45 calendar days will be exceeded before the evaluation and assessment is completed:

  1. A service coordinator will be immediately appointed and the reason for delay documented and the Assistant Director responsible for coordinating preschool services will be notified;

  2. Contact will be made with the family and the first three pages of the IFSP will be completed;

  3. Based on family needs or concerns, other agencies will be identified that may be able to assist with those needs. A referral to those agencies will be made in a timely manner in order for the process for potential services from those agencies to start;

  4. The IFSP team members will be identified;

  5. The Action Plan page of the IFSP will document the initial steps that will occur within the 45 calendar days (i.e. referral to other agencies, evaluation started etc.);

  6. Page 8- Settings of the IFSP document will be signed by the parent to indicate they are in agreement with the plan as stated;

  7. Evaluation will be completed as soon as possible.

 

 

Minnesota Department of Education

May 2009

Q & A: Part C Evaluations

The Minnesota Department of Education (MDE) Division of Compliance and Assistance has

developed this document to address questions raised by parents and school districts regarding

evaluations in Part C.

 

 

 

3.01.06 Independent Educational Evaluation

An independent educational education means an evaluation conducted by a qualified examiner who is not employed by the public agency responsible for the education of the child in question.

34 C.F.R. 300 502(a)(3)(i)

  1. Right to an Independent Educational Evaluation

    1. The parents of a child with a disability have the right under this part to obtain an independent education evaluation of the child, subject to paragraphs (b) through (e) of this section.

    2. Each public agency must provide to parents, upon request for an independent education evaluation, information about where an independent education evaluation may be obtained, and the agency criteria applicable for independent education evaluations as set forth in paragraph (e) of this section.

34 C.F.R. 300.502(a)(1)-(2)

  1. Independent Education Evaluation at Private Expense

If the parent obtains an independent educational evaluation at private expense or shares with the public agency an evaluation obtained at private expense, the results of the evaluation:

  1. must be considered by the public agency, if it meets agency criteria, in any decision made with respect to the provision of FAPE to the child; and

  2. may be presented by any party as evidence at a hearing or a due process complaint under subpart E of this part regarding that child.

34 C.F.R. 300.502(c)

3.02 Evaluation and Reassessment Procedures

Evaluation is the process of utilizing formal and informal procedures to determine specific areas of learner strengths, needs, and eligibility for special education services. The evaluation should reflect the person’s present level of performance and serve as a basis for educational planning. An evaluation must be conducted when a person’s academic, behavioral, emotional, social, physical, communication, or functional skill acquisition in the present educational setting indicates a disability and need for special education services. The purpose of evaluation to:

 

Minnesota Department of Education

February 2012

Q & A: Clarification of Educational Record Definitions & Procedures as it Relates to Review of Test Protocols Used in the Evaluation of a Student with a Disability

The Minnesota Department of Education (MDE) Division of Compliance and Assistance has developed

this document to address questions raised by parents and school districts regarding review of test protocols.

 

 

3.2.1 Initial Evaluation Procedures

A school district shall conduct a full and individual initial evaluation, according to this part before the initial provision of special education and related services to a pupil under this chapter. The initial evaluation shall consist of procedures to determine whether a child is a pupil with a disability that adversely affects the child's educational performance as defined in Minnesota Statues, section 125A.02, who by reason thereof needs special education and related services, and to determine the educational needs of the pupil. The district proposing to conduct an initial evaluation to determine if the child qualifies as a pupil with a disability shall obtain an informed consent from the parent of the child before the evaluation is conducted. Parental consent for evaluation shall not be construed as consent for placement for receipt of special education and related services. If the parents of the child refuse consent for evaluation, the district may continue to pursue an evaluation by utilizing mediation and due process procedures.

MN R. 3525.2710, subp.1

Students Previously Not Eligible or Moving Into the District

For a child who was previously assessed and determined not eligible, an evaluation at a later date is considered an initial evaluation. For a child who has entered the district already identified as eligible for special education services in another Minnesota district, the first evaluation for this child in your district is a reevaluation, not an initial evaluation. For a child who has an IEP from another state, Minnesota eligibility for special education services must be established. For eligibility purposes the evaluation is considered an initial evaluation.

Initial Transition Planning Evaluation

During grade nine, the IEP plan shall address the pupil's needs for transition from secondary services to post secondary education and training, employment, and community living.

  1. For each pupil, the district shall conduct an evaluation of secondary transition needs and plan appropriate services to meet the pupil's transition needs, The areas of evaluation and planning must be relevant to the pupil's needs and may include work, recreation and leisure, home living, community participation, and post secondary training and learning opportunities. To appropriately evaluate and plan for a pupil's secondary transition, additional IEP team members may be necessary and may include vocational education staff members and other community agency representatives as appropriate.

  2. Secondary transition evaluation results must be documented as part of an evaluation report. Current and secondary transition needs, goals, and instructional and related services to meet the pupil's secondary transition needs must be considered by the team with annual needs, goals, objectives, and services documented on the pupil's IEP.

MN R. 3525.2900, subp 4

3.02.02 Reevaluation Procedures

  1. Results of the Reevaluation

A public agency must ensure that a reevaluation of each child with a disability is conducted in accordance with 300.304 through 300.311:

  1. If the public agency determines that the educational or related services needs, including improved academic achievement and functional performance, of the child warrant a reevaluation; or

  2. If the child's parent or teacher requests a reevaluation.

34 C.F.R. 300.303(a)

The district shall administer such tests and other evaluation materials as may be needed to produce the data identified by the IEP team under item A, subitem (2)

MN R 3525.2710, subp 4(4)

  1. Parental Consent

Each district shall obtain informed parental consent, in accordance with subpart 1, prior to conducting any reevaluation of a pupil, except that such informed parental consent need not be obtained if the district can demonstrate that it had taken reasonable measures to obtain such consent and the pupil's parent failed to respond.

MN R. 3525.2710, subp 2

An evaluation must be conducted at least every three years. The Prior Written Notice and Parental Consent/Objection Form provide an opportunity for parents to give informed consent (i.e. signature) for any reevaluation plan developed by the IEP team.  The district may proceed with a reevaluation after 14 calendar days if it has documented more than one attempt to get a signature and the parents have not responded.  The minimum requirements for two attempts include re-sending the Parental Consent/Objection Form or phone contact.

 

 

Minnesota Department of Education

January 13, 2009

Q & A: Parental Rights Retained by Non-Custodial Parent

The Minnesota Department of Education (MDE) Division of Compliance and Assistance has developed

this document to address questions raised by parents and school districts regarding the rights of a noncustodial

parent to participate in the Individual Education Plan (IEP) team process.

 

 

 

  1. Frequency of Reevaluation

A reevaluation conducted under paragraph (a) of this section:

  1. May occur not more than once a year, unless the parents and the public agency agree otherwise; and

  2. Must occur at least once every 3 years, unless the parent and the public agency agree that a reevaluation is unnecessary.

34 C.F.R. 300.303(b)

A district shall ensure that a reevaluation of each pupil is conducted if conditions warrant a reevaluation or if the pupil's parent or teacher requests a reevaluation, but at least once every three years and in accordance with subparts 3 and 4.

MN R. 3525.2710, subp.2

Each  fall the IEP manager should review the eligibility date on all their students to determine which ones are due for re-evaluation that year. The IEP manager should also run a "Combined Report" from SpEd Web each spring to identify those evaluations that will be coming due in early fall. The IEP manager must alert the evaluation team in a timely manner so that the eligibility determination and all evaluations are completed on or before the three-year anniversary of the previous eligibility determination.

When possible, try to space the referrals for re-evaluation over the course of the year in order not to overload the evaluation team at any one time. For many itinerate staff, it may be extremely difficult to complete evaluations if they are held back until the last month or so of school. Each district should implement a cut off date for referrals that will allow time for evaluations to be completed within 30 school days prior to the end of the school year.

3.02.03 Use of Existing Data and Additional Data

  1. Review of Existing Evaluation Data

As part of an initial evaluation, if appropriate, and as part of any reevaluation under this part, or a reinstatement under part 3525.3100, the IEP team and other qualified professionals, as appropriate, shall:

  1. review existing evaluation data on the pupil, including evaluations and information provided by the parents of the pupil, current classroom-based assessments and observations, and teacher and related services providers observation.

MN R. 3525.2710, subp. 4(A)(1)

Reevaluation does not necessarily mean retest. Based on a review of existing data, there is a continuum of options for reevaluation ranging from full evaluation to a determination that no additional data are needed. However, all criteria components must be addressed in each reevaluation.

The difference between an evaluation and a reevaluation is that the team knows significantly more about the student through the previous three years of experience with the student. This knowledge expands even further when there is a second or third reevaluation. The experience and knowledge gained can, if documented, substitute for formal testing so that the requirements for reevaluation may be altered. As a part of the evaluation, the team shall review existing evaluation data on the child, including evaluations and information provided by the parents of the child, current classroom-based evaluations and observations, district wide assessment data, and teacher and related services providers observation.

On the basis of that review, and input from the parents, the team must identify what additional data, if any are needed. The use of existing data for reevaluation purposes means applying previous test scores and evaluation findings to address: 

These previous findings must be confirmed by current information including at least teacher observations, parent input, and classroom evaluations.

It is not sufficient for the team to merely agree the student is still disabled. The team must still base its decision on reliable, valid, nondiscriminatory comprehensive and objective sources of data. After reviewing the existing data, the team may decide that no additional or formal evaluation needs to be done in order to make the determination that the child continues to be in need of special education. The case manager through the Notice of Educational Evaluation/Reevaluation Plan and the Prior Written Notice form must notify the child's parents of the determination and the reasons for it.  The parents must be informed that they have the right to request an evaluation, if they choose.  If one or both parents ask the district in writing for retesting to provide additional data, the district must do so.

If no further information is required, and with parent permission, the team could schedule a time to meet to develop a new IEP or, if the parent is present and is agreeable, move into developing a new IEP at that meeting. Even when no additional information is needed, an Evaluation Report is still required. The information that is used to make the determination that no additional information is needed will be used by the school psychologist to write the Evaluation Report. This written report must identify:

It is the responsibility of each team member to enter in SpEd Web a written statement of the data that is used to make the team decision in their area of disability. The case manager or school psychologist is also responsible for providing a written review of previous evaluations and if the parents do not attend this meeting, a brief summary of parent perceptions of the child's strengths and skills and their concerns about their child's education. The school psychologist will be responsible for writing the eligibility documentation. If information required for eligibility is not found in the body of the evaluation report, the team member responsible for that information will be asked to provide adequate detail in order to document eligibility.

Norm-referenced evaluations and outside evaluation data may be considered "current" if they were conducted within 12 calendar months prior to the eligibility determination meeting.

  1. Additional Data Required

The public agency must administer such assessments and other evaluation materials as may be needed to produce the data identified under paragraph (A) of this section.

34 C.F.R. 300.305(c)

  1. No Additional Data Required

If the IEP team and other qualified professionals, as appropriate, determine that no additional data are needed to determine whether the pupil continues to be a pupil with a disability, the district shall notify the pupil's parents of that determination and the reasons for it, and the right of such parents to request an evaluation to determine whether the pupil continues to be a pupil with a disability, and shall not be required to conduct such an evaluation unless requested to by the pupil's parents.

A district shall evaluate a pupil in accordance with this part before determining that the pupil is no longer a pupil with a disability.

MN R. 3525.2710, subp. 4(D)-(E)

  1. Conduct of Review

The group described in paragraph (A) of this section may conduct its review without a meeting.

34 C.F.R. 300.305(b)

 

A formal meeting is not required in order to determine no additional data is required on a re-evaluation.

3.02.04 Parent Involvement

Upon completion of administration of tests and other evaluation materials, the determination of whether the child is a pupil with a disability as defined in Minnesota Statutes, section 125A.02, shall be made by a team of qualified professionals and the parent of the pupil in accordance with item E, and a copy of the evaluation report and the documentation of determination of eligibility will be given to the parent.

MN R. 3525.2710, subp. 3(D)

It is recommended that a clearly labeled draft of the Evaluation Report be made available to the parent at the meeting if the report is not able to be completed prior to the meeting. The final copy of the Evaluation Report should be provided to the parents within a reasonable time (i.e. within 10 days of the meeting). After the school psychologist has determined that all the required information is in the Evaluation Report, the report must be "finalized" in order to remove the "draft" from the final copy. At that point the copy for the parents and the Learner File copy should be printed.

3.02.05 Evaluation Team

"Evaluation" or "reevaluation" means an appropriate individual educational evaluation of a pupil's performance or development conducted by appropriately licensed personnel according to recognized professional standards, parts 3525.2550 and 3525.2710.

MN R. 3525.0210, subp. 18

A teacher with early childhood special education licensure must be a part of the team for children in kindergarten or first grade identified as developmental delay.

For children birth to age seven suspected of having a hearing or vision disability, the team must include a licensed teacher in the area of suspected sensory impairment.

  1. SLD Evaluation Team

The IEP team is required to conduct evaluations, determine eligibility, and develop the IEP. The IEP team itself must meet the requirements for the multidisciplinary evaluation team when performing this function.  Team membership includes:

  1. the parent,

  2. at least one general education teacher (if the child is, or may be participating in the general education environment),

  3. at least one special education teacher, or where appropriate, one special education provider,

  4. a district representative who is qualified to provide, or supervise the provision of specially designed instruction, is knowledgeable about the general education curriculum, and is knowledgeable about the availability of resources of the district,

  5. an individual who can interpret the instructional implication of evaluation results, who may already be one of the above named members,

  6. at the discretion of the parents or the district, other individuals who have knowledge or special expertise regarding the student, and

  7. whenever appropriate, the student with a disability.

The public agency must ensure that the child is observed in the child's learning environment (including the regular classroom setting) to document the child's academic performance and behavior in the areas of difficulty.

The group, in deciding whether a child has a specific learning disability, must decide to:

  1. Use information from an observation in routine classroom instruction and monitoring of the child's performance that was done before the child was referred for an evaluation; or

  2. Have at least one member of the group conduct an observation of the child's academic performance in the regular classroom after the child has been referred for an evaluation and parental consent, is obtained.

In the case of a child of less than school age or out of school, a group member must observe the child in an environment appropriate for a child of that age.

34 C.F.R. 300.310

When conducting an observation for evaluation purposes, it is not necessary to describe in the evaluation report each detail that occurred during the observation. Instead, it is important to summarize the observation, making note of observations that support the need for special education. If no areas of special education need were noted, that environment may not be appropriate for a special education observation or it may be supporting that the child does not have a special education need.

  1. Secondary Transition

As defined in this section, every district must ensure the following:
(1) all students with disabilities are provided the special instruction and services which are appropriate to their needs. Where the individual education plan team has determined appropriate goals and objectives based on the student's needs, including the extent to which the student can be included in the least restrictive environment, and where there are essentially equivalent and effective instruction, related services, or assistive technology devices available to meet the student's needs, cost to the district may be among the factors considered by the team in choosing how to provide the appropriate services, instruction, or devices that are to be made part of the student's individual education plan. The individual education plan team shall consider and may authorize services covered by medical assistance according to section
256B.0625, subdivision 26 . The student's needs and the special education instruction and services to be provided must be agreed upon through the development of an individual education plan. The plan must address the student's need to develop skills to live and work as independently as possible within the community. The individual education plan team must consider positive behavioral interventions, strategies, and supports that address behavior for children with attention deficit disorder or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. During grade 9, the plan must address the student's needs for transition from secondary services to postsecondary education and training, employment, community participation, recreation, and leisure and home living. In developing the plan, districts must inform parents of the full range of transitional goals and related services that should be considered. The plan must include a statement of the needed transition services, including a statement of the interagency responsibilities or linkages or both before secondary services are concluded.

MN Stat. 125A.08(a)(1)


For each pupil, the district shall conduct an evaluation of secondary transition needs and plan appropriate services to meet the pupil's transition needs. The areas of evaluation and planning must be relevant to the pupil's needs and may include work, recreation and leisure, home living, community participation, and postsecondary training and learning opportunities. To appropriately evaluate and plan for a pupil's secondary transition, additional IEP team members may be necessary and may include vocational education staff members and other community agency representatives as appropriate.

MN R. 3525.2900, subp 4(A)

For each student, the district shall conduct an evaluation of secondary transition needs and plan appropriate services to meet the student's transition needs. The areas of evaluation and planning must be relevant to the student's needs related to training, education, employment and where appropriate, independent living skills. To appropriately evaluate and plan for a student's secondary transition, additional IEP team members may be necessary and may include vocational education staff members and other community agency representatives as appropriate. Current and secondary transition needs, goals, and instructional and related services to meet the student's secondary transition needs must be considered by the team with annual needs, goals, objectives, and services documented on the student's IEP.

In developing the plan, districts must inform parents of the full range of transitional goals and related services that should be considered. Transition services according to Federal Law "means a coordinated set of activities for a child with a disability that...is designed to be within a results-orientated process that is focused on improving the academic and functional achievement of a child with a disability to facilitate the child's movement from school to post-school activities, including postsecondary education, vocational education, integrated employment (including supported employment), continuing and adult education, adult services, independent living, or community participation." The IDEA also state that transition services should be, "based on the individual child's needs, taking into account the child's strengths, preferences and interests" and should include related services, community experiences, and the development of employment and other post-school adult living objectives, and when appropriate, acquisition of daily living skills and functional vocational evaluation.

For some students, at this point in their academic career, there may be more a need to focus on life skills rather than strictly on completing traditional classroom curriculum. To assess and plan for a learner’s secondary transition appropriately, additional members of the multi-disciplinary evaluation team may be necessary and may include vocational education staff members and other community representatives as appropriate. In general, involvement of non-school participants on a student's transition-focused IEP team will be requested at least two years before a student leaves high school.  If in doubt about when to include a person to participate on the team, contact the person/agency to discuss the request for involvement. 

Outside Agencies

In a number of ASEC districts, county social services professionals encourages the case manager to notify them of students as they turn age 14 who will have significant transitional issues (e.g., supported living, guardianship, etc.).

All Minnesota high school students with disabilities which may impact them in career planning/plan implementation should have the opportunity to learn about Work Force Center and vocational rehabilitation (VR) core and intensive services at least two years before leaving school. The Minnesota Rehabilitation Services program has a vocational rehabilitation counselor assigned to each secondary school system in Minnesota. The name of your district's counselor can be obtained from www.deed.state.mn.us/rehab/transition . This individual is expected to meet with high school special education staff in their assigned district's each fall in order to discuss VR services and schedule dates and times that the VR counselor will be at the school and available to meet with students.   It is very important to note that personal information about a student cannot be shared until the district has a signed release of information from the student's parent. Once permission has been obtained the VR counselor may be given access to the student.

  1. Multidisability Team Teaching Model

The team member licensed in a pupil's disability shall be responsible for conducting the pupil's evaluation and participating at team meetings when an IEP is developed, reviewed, or revised. Consultation and indirect services as defined in part 3525.0210 must be provided to the general or special education teacher providing instruction if not licensed in the disability. The frequency and amount of time for specific consultation and indirect services shall be determined by the IEP team.

MN R. 3525.2350, subp. 3

 

Pupils may receive instruction and related services from any or all of the team members with appropriate skills. The special education provided by each team member shall be included in the IEP.

MN R. 3525.2350, subp. 4

Students Identified as Developmental Delay

Kindergarten and First Grade students identified under Developmental Delay must have an Early Childhood special education licensed teacher as a team member. Consultation services provided to the classroom teacher or special education teacher providing instruction should be documented on the IEP.

  1. Interagency Services

If at the time of initial referral for an educational assessment, or a reassessment, the school district determines that a child with disabilities who is age 3 through 21 may be eligible for interagency services, the district may request that the county of residence provide a representative to the initial assessment or reassessment team or the first individual education plan team meeting following the assessment or reassessment. The district may request to have a county representative attend other individual education plan team meetings when it is necessary to facilitate coordination between district and county provided services. Upon request from a district, the resident county shall provide a representative to assist the individual education plan team in determining the child's eligibility for existing health, mental health, or other support services administered or provided by the county. The individual education plan team and the county representative must develop an interagency plan of care for an eligible child and the child's family to coordinate services required under the child's individual education plan with county services. The interagency plan of care must include appropriate family information with the consent of the family, a description of how services will be coordinated between the district and county, a description of service coordinator responsibilities and services and a description of activities for obtaining third-party payment for eligible services, including medical assistance payments. Any state, county, or city government agency responsible for providing services or resources to students with disabilities under this section is subject to the same dispute resolution systems as local school districts, and all such agencies must comply with corrective action requirements that ensue from these systems.
MN Sta. 125A.10

3.02.06 Nondiscriminatory Evaluation Procedures

Each ASEC district shall ensure the following:  in accordance with recognized professional standards, testing and evaluation materials, and procedures used for the purposes of classification and placement of children with a disability are selected and administered so as not to be racially or culturally discriminatory.
MN Stat 125A.08(a)(6)

Each ASEC district shall ensure: evaluation tools and strategies that provide relevant information that directly assists persons in determining the educational needs of the pupil are provided.
MN Rule 3525.2710, subp.3(C)(5)

Every effort is made to assure that testing and evaluation materials and procedures used for the purposes of evaluation and placement of children with disabilities are selected and administered so as not to be racially or culturally discriminatory.  If staff has any questions regarding the appropriateness of particular evaluation procedures they should contact their school psychologist or the director or assistant director.

3.02.07 Evaluation Materials and Procedures

  1. District to Provide Relevant Evaluation Tools

Each ASEC district shall ensure: evaluation tools and strategies that provide relevant information that directly assists persons in determining the educational needs of the pupil are provided.
MN Rule 3525.2710, subp.3(C)(5)

  1. Evaluation Materials Designed Measure Special Education Needs

Each ASEC district shall ensure that: materials and procedures used to evaluate a child with limited English proficiency are selected and administered to ensure that they measure the extent to which the child has a disability and needs special education and related services, rather than measure the child's English language skills.
MN Rule 3525.2710, subp. 3(C)(2)

Spanish Speaking Learners

Conducting speech and language evaluations for Spanish speaking English Language Learners (ELL) can be challenging, but a number of Spanish-language instruments exits. However, Spanish-language tests must be selected and used with careful consideration for the norming population and the dialect of Spanish. Several members of MSHA Multicultural Committee collaborated to develop instructions for administration by a clinician working with an interpreter using either:

 

 

Minnesota Department of Education

June 2009

Q & A: Evaluations for Children who are Limited English Proficient (LEP)

The Minnesota Department of Education (MDE) Division of Compliance and Assistance has developed

this document to address questions raised by parents and school districts regarding evaluations for

children who are Limited English Proficient (LEP).

 

 

Minnesota Department of EducationApril 2012

Q & A: Evaluations Due Process Requirements for English Language Learners
The Minnesota Department of Education (MDE) Division of Compliance and Assistance has developed
this document to address questions raised by parents and school districts regarding evaluations for
children who are Limited English Learners (ELL).

 English Language Learners

For your information: In Minnesota, English Language Learner (ELL) is defined as a learner who:
  1. First learned a language other than English; comes from a home where the language usually spoken is other than English; or usually speaks a language other than English; and
  2. Scores significantly below the district average for learners of the same age on the reading and language arts subtests of a nationally normed achievement test. Teacher evaluation of skills in understanding, speaking, reading and writing should also be considered.

Communicating with Parents Who are English Language Learners

Federal laws and state rules require schools to inform all parents of their special education due process rights. This includes parents who do not speak English or who use another communication mode. This necessitates the use of translations and interpretations for parents who are not fluent in English. The underlying goal of federal laws and rules is to enable parents to provide informed consent. In order to give informed consent, parents must receive information in a manner that they can understand. Informed consent also increases school/parent cooperation and understanding. In order to meet the intent of the law, schools should think about both the language of the parent and the best methods of communication

One method of communication is to use the written translations of due process materials. These are available by contacting the ASEC office. Parents, however, have varying abilities to speak and read their native language and English.  For example, some parents are highly literate in their native language but do not speak or read in English. These parents can benefit from translated forms. Other parents may speak some English as well as their native language but not read in either. Oral interpretation may be more meaningful to these parents. The district school social worker along with an interpreter may be a valuable resource to families as the special education process occurs.

For guidance in how to conduct an IEP meeting with ELL families and interpreters access the Let's Talk brochure.

Parents Do Not Want An Interpreter

Many adults in Minnesota who are native speakers of another language are very fluent in English. However, cultural values, personal pride and the desire to not create a burden for the school may lead some parents to claim a greater degree of English proficiency than they actually possess. There may be situations where the parents refuse the right to an interpreter, but staff members suspect that they do not fully understand the complex information being presented. In these cases, districts may wish to try the following steps. In all cases, it is important for the school staff and parents to take some time to get to know each other and develop a trusting relationship.

Parents are Unable to Read

Because of lack of opportunity for education, some parents of LEP students are unable to read or write in their native language. Districts should provide oral interpretation in these cases so that parents can be involved in their child's education in a meaningful way. Even when parents are unable to read, districts are advised to have their interpreter use the translated due process forms. This is recommended for the following reasons.

It is also helpful to tape record oral interpretations of special education materials. Special education is complex and the information shared at team meetings can be difficult to absorb in one sitting. A tape recording would give parents the chance to listen to the information several times to refresh their memory. The brochure developed by MDE Holding Meetings with ELL Families and Interpreters is a useful document to review and share with interpreters.

Limited English Proficient Families and Due Process Documentation

The following are a variety of steps that schools can use to communicate with families and provide due process documentation.

Procedure

Documentation

1. Offer translations of written materials and oral interpretation to all parents when the home language questionnaire and other information indicate that the parents speak a language other then EnglishContact ASEC for a sample form to document that translation and interpreting services were offered. It is also sufficient to place a written note in the special education file.
2. If parents are able to read in a language other than English, districts may comply with due process requirements by utilizing the translated forms. Provide oral interpretation at team meetings.Put copies of translated forms in due process file. Make note of the presence of an interpreter by including their name on due process forms where applicable or by noting their involvement in meeting notes.
3. If the parents are unable to read in their native language or in English, use oral interpretation. An interpreter should call or meet with the family to explain notices as they are sent out. In addition, an interpreter should attend meetings.There should be some form of documentation that written materials were interpreted into the native language. Contact ASEC for sample forms. Attach this form to an Evaluation Report or IEP. In addition, the interpreter should be listed on due process forms and in meeting notes. In addition, school are recommended to tape record oral interpretations so that parents can review the information as needed.
4. If parents are able to read in their native language but translated forms are not available, schools have two choices: (1) contract with an individual to prepare a written translation; (2) provide oral interpretation.See #2 and 3 above.
5. If parents are able to read and comprehend English and if they refuse the offer of translation and interpretation, districts may use English language materials.See item #1 above.

Funding for Interpreters

Special education laws and rules specifically require schools to communicate with parents in their native language. Laws and rules also require that students be evaluated in their native language, which frequently requires use of an interpreter. State and federal special education funds may therefore be used to pay interpreters who help carry out due process requirements (including implementation of IEP's). Schools can either employ staff or contract for these services. Employees should be claimed as Bilingual Home-School Liaisons (EDRS personnel type 39) Contracts are handled in the same manner as any other outside contract for special education services.

Functional Evaluation

A functional behavioral evaluation is a process of gathering information which seeks to identify the problem behavior a student may exhibit in order to determine the function or purpose of the behavior and to develop interventions to teach acceptable alternatives to the behavior.  When a thorough functional analysis is completed, the following information is available:

  1. Description. Target behaviors, both undesirable, challenging behaviors and positive, replacement behaviors are described in such a manner that anyone reading the description knows exactly what the behavior looks like.

  2. Prediction. A predication is made of the times and situations during which the target behaviors will and will not be performed across the full range of typical daily routines. Such a prediction includes the following elements:

  1. Function. Identification of the functions or maintaining reinforcers for the challenging behaviors, adaptive replacement target behaviors are defined. In addition, a history of the challenging behaviors including previous intervention efforts and their effects are documented.

The ASEC district's procedure for conducting a Functional Evaluation should be reviewed prior to conducting an FBA. FBA forms can be found under ASEC Forms.

  1. Validity and Reliability of Evaluation Materials

Each district shall ensure that: any standardized tests that are given to the child have been validated for the specific purpose for which they are used, are administered by trained and knowledgeable personnel, and are administered in accordance with any instructions provided by the producer of such tests.

MN R 3525.2710, subp. 3(C)(3)

  1. Comprehensive Evaluation

Each district shall ensure that:

the child is evaluated in all areas of suspected disability, including, if appropriate, health, vision, hearing, social and emotional status, general intelligence, academic performance, communicative status, and motor abilities.

and

in evaluating each pupil with a disability, the evaluation is sufficiently comprehensive to identify all of the pupil's special education and related services needs, whether or not commonly linked to the disability category in which the pupil has been classified.

MN R. 35125.2710, Subp. 3(C)(4 & 9)

When the district determines that the evaluation or a portion of the evaluation cannot be performed using the personnel resources of the district and/or ASEC, the district shall make arrangements elsewhere for that portion of the evaluation and shall assume all costs for such evaluation unless the evaluation is for services contracted and paid for by ASEC.

  1. Need to Use Multiple Procedures

In conducting the evaluation, the district shall: use a variety of evaluation tools and strategies to gather relevant functional and developmental information, including information provided by the parent, that are designed to assist in determining whether the child is a pupil with a disability and the content of the pupil's individualized education program, including information related to enabling the pupil to be involved in and progress in the general curriculum or, for preschool pupils, to participate in appropriate activities.
MN Rule 3525.2710, subp. 3(B)(1)

The evaluation team will not use a single procedure as the sole criterion for determining whether a child is a pupil with a disability or determining an appropriate education program for the student.

  1. Use of Assessments Transferred from other Public Schools

Assessments of children with disabilities who transfer from on public agency to another public agency in the same academic year are coordinated with those children's prior and subsequent schools, as necessary and as expeditiously as possible, to ensure prompt completion of full evaluations.

34 C.F.R. 300.304(c)(5)

When students who are in the process of an evaluation transfer from one district to another during the school year, every effort should be made to facilitate the completion of the evaluation. The case manager assigned at the receiving school should attempt to obtain information on those portions of the evaluation that was completed at the previous district. This information should be reviewed and if appropriate, used for evaluation purposes. The  Notice of Evaluation/Reevaluation should document that some portions of the information will be obtained through a review of previous district's data. 

If information is not made available by the previous district within a reasonable period of time, the receiving district should proceed with a full evaluation based on the presenting concern. With parent approval, a reasonable delay in evaluation may be appropriate in order for the student to adjust to a new school environment and allow the staff an opportunity to become familiar with the student.

3.02.08 Braille Skills Inventory

In developing an individualized education plan for each blind student the presumption must be that proficiency in Braille reading and writing is essential for the student to achieve satisfactory educational progress. The assessment required for each student must include a Braille skills inventory, including a statement of strengths and deficits. Braille instruction and use are not required by this paragraph if, in the course of developing the student's individualized education program, team members concur that the student's visual impairment does not affect reading and
writing performance commensurate with ability. This paragraph does not require the exclusive use of Braille if other special education services are appropriate to the student's educational needs. The provision of other appropriate services does not preclude Braille use or instruction.
Instruction in Braille reading and writing must be available for each blind student for whom the multidisciplinary team has determined that reading and writing is appropriate.

MN Stat. 125A.06(c)

3.2.9 Secondary Transition Evaluation

By grade nine or age 14, whichever comes first, the IEP plan shall address the pupil's needs for transition from secondary services to postsecondary education and training, employment, and community living.

A. For each pupil, the district shall conduct an evaluation of secondary transition needs and plan appropriate services to meet the pupil's transition needs. The areas of evaluation and planning must be relevant to the pupil's needs and may include work, recreation and leisure, home living, community participation, and postsecondary training and learning opportunities. To appropriately evaluate and plan for a pupil's secondary transition, additional IEP team members may be necessary and may include vocational education staff members and other community agency representatives as appropriate.

MN R. 3525.2900, subp.4(A)

 

The secondary transition results must be documented as part of an Evaluation Report. The Minnesota statute now states transition planning must occur during grade 9.

For each student, the district shall conduct an evaluation of secondary transition needs and plan appropriate services to meet the student's transition needs. The areas of evaluation and planning must be relevant to the student's needs related to training, education, employment and where appropriate, independent living skills. To appropriately evaluate and plan for a student's secondary transition, additional IEP team members may be necessary and may include vocational education staff members and other community agency representatives as appropriate. Current and secondary transition needs, goals, and instructional and related services to meet the student's secondary transition needs must be considered by the team with annual needs, goals, objectives, and services documented on the student's IEP.

In developing the plan, districts must inform parents of the full range of transitional goals and related services that should be considered. Transition services according to Federal Law "means a coordinated set of activities for a child with a disability that...is designed to be within a results-orientated process that is focused on improving the academic and functional achievement of a child with a disability to facilitate the child's movement from school to post-school activities, including postsecondary education, vocational education, integrated employment (including supported employment), continuing and adult education, adult services, independent living, or community participation." The IDEA also state that transition services should be, "based on the individual child's needs, taking into account the child's strengths, preferences and interests" and should include related services, community experiences, and the development of employment and other post-school adult living objectives, and when appropriate, acquisition of daily living skills and functional vocational evaluation.

For some students, at this point in their academic career, there may be more a need to focus on life skills rather than strictly on completing traditional classroom curriculum. To assess and plan for a learner’s secondary transition appropriately, additional members of the multi-disciplinary evaluation team may be necessary and may include vocational education staff members and other community representatives as appropriate. In general, involvement of non-school participants on a student's transition-focused IEP team will be requested at least two years before a student leaves high school.  If in doubt about when to include a person to participate on the team, contact the person/agency to discuss the request for involvement. 

Transition Areas to Assess

The five transition areas to be assessed and areas of need annually addressed in the IEP/transition planning process for all Minnesota students with special education needs age 14 years and older. These transition areas are:

A. Home Living: developing necessary skills to live as independently as possible;

B. Recreation and Leisure: knowing about and experiencing social and free time activities;

C. Community Participation: accessing community resources including people, places, and activities in the community;

D. Jobs and Job Training: developing employment skills; and

E. Postsecondary Education and Training: developing skills to access life-long learning opportunities.

Transition Evaluation Plan

The following is a suggested plan for assessing students with disabilities throughout their transition years.

  1. By the time a student with an IEP reaches grade nine, he or she needs a multidisciplinary evaluation of transition needs and a plan for obtaining services to meet those needs. School districts with Carl D. Perkins funding need to begin vocational awareness activities for students in 8th grade. The Career Winds software that your district may already have is a valuable tool for assessing vocational awareness in middle school students. If the district has a guidance counselor, information may already be available that can be incorporated into the assessment.

  2. For initial referral, transition evaluation cannot occur until signed parent permission is received. Permission is given when a parent or guardian signs the Parental Consent and Objection Form  based on the Notice of Educational Evaluation/Reevaluation Plan.  For students with an existing IEP, reevaluations may begin unless the parent(s) or guardians object in writing within 14 school days after receiving the request. If the team reviews existing data and determines that no further evaluation is needed the parent must sign the Parental Consent and Objection Form.

  3. For transition planning, all five areas must be addressed using more than one evaluation tool. In many instances, the use of surveys, interview of student and parent, observations and formal or standardized evaluations will provide the most effective transition evaluation tools.

  4. In general, a student’s IEP Manager will be the primary person to ensure that transition evaluation and planning is carried out. Other members of a student’s planning team may and should conduct any appropriate evaluation to obtain a holistic picture of the person. For some student's with disabilities it may be appropriate to include other agencies (i.e., county social services and or vocational rehabilitation) as early as age 14 in order to address issues such as guardianship and supported living and work situation planning may begin. Other agencies must be contacted for those students for which it is appropriate by age 16 in order for other agencies to become familiar with the student and identify services they may provide after graduation.

3.02.10 Infant and Toddler Evaluation

Once the public agency receives a referral, it shall appoint a service coordinator as soon as possible. Within 45 days after it receives a referral, the public agency shall:

  1. Complete the evaluation and assessment activities; and

  2. Hold an IFSP meeting, in accordance with 303.342.

34 C.F.R. 303.321(e)

 

Multidisciplinary New

Multidisciplinary means the involvement of two or more separate disciplines or professions with respect to:

  1. Evaluation of the child and assessments of the child and family may include one individual who is qualified in more than one discipline or profession; and

  2. The IFSP Team must include the involvement of the parent and two or more individuals from separate disciplines or professions and one of these individuals must be the service coordinator.

34 C.F.R . 303.24

  1. Health Status and Medical History

The evaluation and assessment of each child must include the following:

A review of pertinent records related to the child's current health status and medical history.

34 C.F.R. 303.322(c)(3)(i)

  1. Levels of Functioning

The evaluation and assessment of each child must include an evaluation of the child's level of functioning in each of the following developmental areas:

  1. Cognitive development;

  2. Physical development, including vision and hearing;

  3. Communication development

  4. Social or emotional development;

  5. Adaptive development.

34 C.F.R. 303.322(c)(3)(ii)

  1. Unique Needs

The evaluation and assessment of each child must include the following:

An assessment of the unique needs of the child in terms of each of the developmental areas including the identification of services appropriate to meet those needs.

34 C.F.R. 303.322(c)(3)(iii)

  1. Family Evaluation

Family assessments under this part must be family-directed and designed to determine the resources, priorities, and concerns of the family and the identification of the supports and services necessary to enhance the family's capacity to meet the developmental needs of the child. Any assessment that is conducted must be voluntary on the part of the family. If an assessment of the family is carried out, the assessment must:

  1. Be conducted by personnel trained to utilize appropriate methods and procedures;

  2. Be based on information provided by the family through a personal interview; and

  3. Incorporate the family's description of its resources, priorities, and concerns related to enhancing the child's development.

34. C.F.R.303.322(d)

 

Determination That a Child is Not Eligible New

 

If based on the evaluation conducted under 303.321, the lead agency determines that a child is not eligible under this part, the lead agency must provide the parent with prior written notice required in 303.421 and include in the notice information about the parent's right to dispute the eligibility determination through dispute resolution mechanisms under 303.430, such as requesting a due process hearing or mediation or filing a State complaint.

34 C.F.R. 303.400

 

3.2.11 Evaluation Report

 

ASEC districts use locally developed SpEd Web templates to guide the content of the Evaluation Report. These templates have been designed to meet all the due process requirements outlined in IDEA '04 and Minnesota Rule and Statute. District evaluation teams are required to used these templates. The IFSP incorporates the evaluation report within the IFSP document.

  1. General Requirements

In interpreting evaluation data for the purpose of determining if a child is a child with a disability and the educational needs of the child, each public agency must:

  1. Draw upon information from a variety of sources, including aptitude and achievement test, parent input, and teacher recommendations, as well as information about the child's physical condition, social or cultural background, and adaptive behavior; and

  2. Ensure that information obtained from all of these sources is documented and carefully considered.

34 C.F.R. 300.306(c)(1)

  1. Secondary

An evaluation report must be completed and delivered to the pupil's parents within the specified evaluation timeline. At a minimum, the evaluation report must include:

  1. a summary of all evaluation results;

  2. documentation of whether the pupil has a particular category of disability or, in the case of a reevaluation, whether the pupil continues to have such a disability;
    the pupil's present levels of performance and educational needs that derive from the disability;

  3. whether the child needs special education and related services or, in the case of a reevaluation, whether the pupil continues to need special education and related services; and

  4. whether any additions or modifications to the special education and related services are needed to enable the pupil to meet the measurable annual goals set out in the pupil's IEP and to participate, as appropriate, in the general curriculum.

    MN R. 3525.2710, subp.6

A "specified evaluation timeline" is generally considered 10 school days from the date of the meeting.

  1. Secondary Transition

Secondary transition evaluation results must be documented as part of an evaluation report. Current and secondary transition needs, goals, and instructional and related services to meet the pupil's secondary transition needs must be considered by the team with annual needs, goals, objectives, and services documented on the pupil's IEP.

3.03 Procedures for Determining Eligibility and Placement

  1. In interpreting the evaluation data for the purpose of determining if a child is a pupil with a disability under parts 3525.1325 to 3525.1351 and the educational needs of the child, the school district shall:

  1. draw upon information from a variety of sources, including aptitude and achievement tests, parent input, teacher recommendations, physical condition, social or cultural background, and adaptive behavior; and

  2. ensure that the information obtained from all of the sources is documented and carefully considered.

  1. If a determination is made that a child is a pupil with a disability who needs special education and related services, an IEP must be developed for the pupil according to part 3525.2810.

MN R. 3525.2710, subp. 5

Each district shall ensure that: tests are selected and administered so as best to ensure that if a test is administered to a child with impaired sensory, manual, or speaking skills, the test results accurately reflect the child's aptitude or achievement level or whatever other factors the test purports to measure, rather than reflecting the child's impaired sensory, manual, or speaking skills, unless those skills are the factors that the test purports to measure.

MN R. 3525.2710, subp. 3(C)(8)

3.03.01 Determining the Child is a Child With a Disability

Upon completion of the administration of assessments and other evaluation measures:

  1. A group of qualified professionals and the parent of the child determines whether the child is a child with a disability, and the educational needs of the child; and

  2. The district provides a copy of the evaluation report and the documentation of determination of eligibility to the parent.

34 C.F.R. 300.306(a)

 

In making a determination of eligibility under item D, a child shall not be determined to be a pupil with a disability if the determinant factor for such determination is lack of instruction in reading or math or limited English proficiency, and the child does not otherwise meet eligibility criteria under parts 3525.1325 to 3525.1351.

MN R. 3525.2710, subp. 3(E)

 

"Child with a disability" means a child evaluated as having mental retardation, a hearing impairment (including deafness), a speech or language impairment, a visual impairment (including blindness), serious emotional disturbance (referred to in this part as "emotional disturbance"), an orthopedic impairment, autism, traumatic brain injury, and other impairment, a specific learning disability, deaf-blindness, or multiple disabilities, and who by reason thereof, needs special education and related services.

34 C.F.R. 300.8(a)(1)

 

If it is determined, through an appropriate evaluation, that a child has one of the disabilities identified in paragraph (a)(1) of this section, but only needs a related service and not special education, the child is not child with a disability under this part.

If consistent with 300.39(a)(2), the related service required by the child is considered special education rather than a related services under State standards, the child would be determined to be a child with a disability under paragraph (a)(1) of this section.

34 C.F.R. 300.8(a)(2)

 

"Child with a disability" for children aged three through nine (or any subset of that age range, including ages three through five) may, include a child:

  1. Who is experiencing developmental delays, as defined by the State and as measured by appropriate diagnostic instruments and procedures, in one or more of the following areas: Physical development, cognitive development, communication development, social or emotional development, or adaptive development; and

  2. Who, by reason thereof, needs special education and related services.

34.C.F.R. 300.8(b)

3.03.02 Determining the Child is not a Child With a Disability

  1. A district must evaluate a child with a disability before determining that the child is not longer a child with a disability.

  2. The evaluation is not required before the termination of a child's eligibility due to graduation from secondary school with a regular diploma, or exceeding the age eligibility for FAPE under State law.

  3. For a child whose eligibility terminates under circumstances described above, a district must provide the child with a summary of the child's academic achievement and functional performance, which shall include recommendations on how to assist the child in meeting the child's postsecondary goals.

34 C.F.R. 300.305(e)

 

A child with a short-term or temporary physical or emotional illness or disability, as determined by the standards of the commissioner, is not a
child with a disability.

MN Stat. 125A.02 subd. 2

 

3.03.03 Infants and Toddlers with Disabilities

Infants and toddlers with disabilities means individuals from birth through age two who need early intervention services because they:

  1. Are experiencing developmental delays, as measured by appropriate diagnostic instruments and procedures in one or more of the following areas:

    1. Cognitive development;

    2. Physical development including vision and hearing;

    3. Communication development;

    4. Social or emotional development;

    5. Adaptive development; OR

  2. Has a diagnostic physical or mental condition that has a high probability of resulting in developmental delay.

34 C.F.R.303.16

Every attempt should be made to ensure that the evaluation is completed within 45 calendar days from parent permission. In the event that exceptional circumstances make it impossible to complete the evaluation within 45 calendar days, the case manager should document those circumstances and develop and implement an interim IFSP as appropriate.

Within 45 calendar days after it receives a referral, the district shall complete the evaluation and evaluation activities and hold an IFSP meeting. In the event of exceptional circumstances that make it impossible to complete the evaluation and evaluation within 45 calendar day (e.g., if the child is ill) the district will:

Interim IFSP

Early intervention services for an eligible child and the child's family may commence before the completion of the evaluation and assessment if the following conditions are met:

  1. parental consent is obtained

  2. an interim IFSP is developed that includes:

    1. the name of the service coordinator who will be responsible for implementation of the interim IFSP and coordination with other agencies and persons; and

    2. the early intervention services that have been determined to be needed immediately by the child and the child's family

  3. the evaluation and assessment are completed within the time period required.

Each infant or toddler with a disability and their family shall receive:

An evaluation must include a health status and medical history.  The child’s present level of functioning, must identify the unique needs of the child and the services appropriate to meet those needs in the following areas:

  1. cognitive development

  2. physical development, including vision and hearing

  3. communication development

  4. social or emotional development

  5. adaptive development

Family Evaluations

Family evaluations must be family-directed and designed to determine the resources, priorities, and concerns of the family related to enhancing the development of the child. Any evaluation that is conducted must be voluntary on the part of the family. ASEC uses the Routine Based Intervention model for determining family issues and concerns. If an evaluation of the family is carried out, the evaluation must:

  • Be conducted by personnel trained to utilized appropriate methods and procedures;

  • Be based on information provided by the family through a personal interview; and

  • Incorporate the family’s description of its resources, priorities, and concerns related to enhancing the child’s development.


Transition From Part C to Part B Services

 

For Children Potentially Eligible for Part B

Good timely transition planning is critical. The service coordinator provided for in Minnesota Statutes, section 125A.33 must facilitate transition from infant and toddler intervention services before the child's third birthday. The transition conference must be held between 2 years 3 months and 90 days prior to the child's 3rd birthday if the child is potentially eligible for Part B. The IFSP must include steps to determine and document eligibility for special education, and steps to support the transition of the child to special education or to other appropriate community-based services that may be available. Monitoring of transition planning is monitored through a special report generated by SpEd Forms that alerts administrators and staff when a child reaches 2 years 3 months.

For a child who may be eligible for special education services under Part B, the service coordinator must with the approval of the family of the child, convene a conference between the family, the local educational agency, and community-based service providers to discuss services that the child may receive.

The districts within the Area Special Education Cooperative have separate staff for Part C and part B early childhood services. The Early Intervention case manager/service coordinator must inform the district Early Childhood Special Education teacher of the upcoming transition to school based services and invite that person to the transition planning conference. It may be appropriate to hold the transition conference at the school as it will provide the parent the opportunity to meet staff and tour the classroom.  The conference must be held not less than 90 days, and at the discretion of all the parties, not more than nine months, before the child is eligible for the preschool services. After the transition planning conference the child's case manager will inform the district MARSS secretary of the date of the transition planning conference.

For Children Who May Not be Eligible for Part B

In the case of a child who may not be eligible for Part B services, the case manager should make reasonable efforts to convene a meeting to discuss the appropriate services that the child might receive.  Appropriate people to invite, in addition to the parents, would include district staff and providers of other appropriate services for children who are not eligible for preschool services under Part B such as Head Start, Learning Readiness or Early Childhood Family Education.

Transition Plan For Children Transitioning from Part C to Part B

A transition plan must be developed for all children potentially eligible and not eligible for Part B. The plan should include:

  1. The steps to be taken to support the transition of the child to:

    1. Preschool services under Part B, as appropriate;

    2. Other services that may be available, if appropriate

  2. These steps include:

    1. Discussions with, and training of parents regarding future placements and other matters related to the child's transition;

    2. Procedures to prepare the child for changes in service delivery, including steps to help the child adjust to, and function in, a new setting

  3. The IFSP must include steps to determine and document eligibility for special education;

    1. This documentation occurs on the Transition Steps and Services page of the IFSP.

    2. If eligibility was not determined at initial placement and the team is not certain as to whether the child is eligible to continue special education services, an evaluation must take place prior to the child turning age 3.

    3. A Decision Tree for Transition from Part C to Part B services may be helpful in making placement decisions

Order for Filing Due Process Forms

Attach the forms for the Evaluation Report in the following sequence and place in the learner file in your school district office:

Send the MARSS secretary notice of the student’s placement or continued placement in special education by completing the Special Education Status Form. This form is found on SpEd Web under Prior Written Notice.

3.04 Specific Disabilities

3.05 Early Childhood Special Education

3.06 Other Available Programs

A child with a disability means a child having mental retardation, a hearing impairment including deafness, a speech or language impairment, a visual impairment including blindness, serious emotional disturbance, an orthopedic impairment, autism, traumatic brain injury an other health impairment, a specific learning disability, deaf-blindness, or multiple disabilities and who, by reason of the disability needs special education and related services. A child that has one of the disabilities listed but who only needs a related service and not special education is not considered a child with a disability.   In addition every child under age three, and by policy of the ASEC district's, from age three to age seven, who needs special instruction and services because the child has a substantial delay or has an identifiable physical or mental condition know to hinder normal development is a child with a disability.

Click to view Disability Criteria

3.07 Team Override On Eligibility Decisions

The team may determines that a pupil is eligible for special instruction and related services because the pupil has a disability and needs special instruction even though the pupil does not meet the specific requirement in parts 3525.1325 to 3525.1345 and 3525.2335.  The team must include the documentation in the pupil's special education record in items listed in items A, B, C, and D.

  1. The pupil's record must contain documents that explain why the standards and procedures used with the majority of pupils, resulted in invalid findings for this pupil.

  2. The record must indicate what objective data were used to conclude that the pupil has a disability and is in need of specialized instruction. These data may include, for example, test scores, work products, self-reports, teacher comments, medical data, previous testing, observational data, ecological evaluations, and other developmental data.

  3. Because the eligibility decision is based on a synthesis of multiple data and not all data are equally valid, the team must indicate which data had the greatest relative importance for the eligibility decision.

  4. The team override decision must be signed by the team members agreeing to the override decision. For those team members who disagree with the override decision, a statement of why they disagree and their signature must be included.

MN R. 3525.1354, subp. 1

3.08 Exit Procedures

The district shall evaluate a student with a disability before determining that the student is no longer a student with a disability. Evaluation does not necessarily mean formal evaluation, the team must review existing data and determine what additional data is needed, if any, to make an informed decision.  The team shall consider discontinuing special education instruction and services after:

  1. reviewing existing evaluation data on the student, including evaluations and information provided by the parents of the student, current classroom-based evaluations and observations, and teacher and related services providers observation and

  2. on the basis of that review, and input from the student's parents, identify what additional data, if any are needed to determine:

This evaluation is not required before the termination of a student's eligibility due to graduation with a regular high school diploma or through exceeding the age eligibility for FAPE under State Law.

Exit Summary

For any pupil discontinuing special education and services, the IEP manager must attach/include an exit summary to the Evaluation Report which specifies what data was used to make the determination that the student no longer qualifies for special education services.

Graduating Student's on IEP's

Student's on IEP's who are graduating from high school are transitioning to another environment and are not exiting from special education (i.e. they are still an individual with a disability).  Therefore, they are not dismissed from special education but are transitioning to another setting based on their transition goals and objectives. A student's right to FAPE is terminated upon graduation with a regular high school diploma. An evaluation is not be needed for this transition to occur. This change of placement requires Prior Written Notice to the parent or to the student, if age 18.  An Summary of Performance review of transition information is required for all student's with disabilities who will be graduating. The Summary of Performance which is found on SpEd Forms could take place during a Progress Review time.

 

 

Minnesota Department of Education

November 19, 2008

Q & A: High School Diploma for Children with Disabilities

The Minnesota Department of Education (MDE) Division of Compliance and Assistance has developed

this document to address questions raised by parents and school districts regarding high school diplomas

for children with disabilities.

 

 

 

 

Minnesota Department of Education

May 27, 2009

Q & A: Evaluations: Dismissal and Reinstatement of Services

The Minnesota Department of Education (MDE) Division of Compliance and Assistance has developed

this document to address questions raised by parents and school districts regarding dismissal and reinstatement of services.

 

 

 

Reinstatement of Special Education Services

Pupils who are discontinued from all special education services may be reinstated within 12 months of dismissal. If data on the student’s present levels of performance are available and an evaluation had been conducted within three years, the district is not required to document two pre-referral interventions or conduct a new evaluation.

Revised 11/30/2009