Re-evaluation Overview

IDEA Reevaluations state “reevaluation for students with disabilities must occur once every 3 years, unless the parent and the public agency agree that a reevaluation is unnecessary.” §300.303(b)(2). However, under the PARC Consent Decree, students with Intellectual Disability must be reevaluated every 2 years in Pennsylvania, and neither the IEP Team nor the parents can waive the reevaluation for students with Intellectual Disability. There are no exceptions.

 

One purpose of a reevaluation is to decide if the student continues to have a disability and needs special education and related services. The reevaluation should also help the IEP Team decide whether the student is making reasonable progress towards IEP goals and, if reasonable, progress is not being made, what changes are needed.

 

The reevaluation process begins with a review of existing data about the student (i.e., PSSA scores, report cards, progress monitoring reports, and other relevant data) by the student’s IEP Team. The Team must decide if any additional information is needed to determine: 1) if the student continues to have a disability and what are the student’s educational needs; 2) the present levels of academic achievement and related developmental and functional needs; 3) whether the student continues to need special education and related services; and 4) whether any additions or changes to the special education and related services are needed to allow the student to meet the measurable annual goals in the IEP and to participate, as appropriate, in the general education curriculum.

There might be a condition that warrants a reevaluation be completed more frequently than every three or two years. This occurs when an IEP Team believes additional information is required to determine educational or related services needs of a student, or to try and determine why a student is not making academic or functional progress. Furthermore, a reevaluation is also required if:

  • A student’s educational placement and/or services is being proposed to change to a more restrictive placement;
  • A student is thought to no longer be in need of special education supports and services;
  • A parent requests a reevaluation;
  • A member of the student’s educational team requests a reevaluation.

If the student’s eligibility is not in question, but a parent requests a reevaluation to determine educational needs of the student, the LEA must respond to the parent’s request to conduct a reevaluation by: (1) conducting a review of data; (2) conducting a full reevaluation; or (3) declining to conduct the reevaluation. If the LEA declines to conduct the reevaluation, the LEA must issue a NOREP/PWN to the parent. The LEA must provide notice to the parent if the LEA refuses to initiate or change the identification, evaluation, or education placement of the student or the provision of FAPE to the student.

A reevaluation must be conducted prior to implementing a change in level of support and/or change in service on a student’s IEP (i.e., a change from full time learning support to itinerant learning support). One of the purposes of the reevaluation is to determine the educational needs of the student, including whether any additions or modifications to the specially designed instruction and related services are needed to enable the student to meet his/her IEP goals and/or to participate in the general education curriculum. Because the evaluation/reevaluation report outlines the unique needs of the student, the IEP Team develops an IEP based on the needs described in the evaluation/reevaluation. For example, if a student is in a full-time special education placement, that placement decision was based upon the needs described in the evaluation/reevaluation report. When the student’s placement is changed from full time to itinerant, there should be a basis for the change in educational placement. It is unlikely that that the student’s IEP developed for the full-time level of support could be implemented in the itinerant setting because the educational program in the itinerant setting is likely to be substantially and materially different from the educational program in the full-time setting. Therefore, the IEP Team will need new information available through the reevaluation process to support the change in type of support.

 

Reevaluation Process:

 

For all students (including those with Intellectual Disability), the reevaluation begins with a review of existing data by the IEP Team, including the parent. If a student has a disability category of autism, emotional disturbance, Intellectual Disability, multiple disabilities, other health impairment, specific learning disability, or traumatic brain injury , the school psychologist must be involved in the process. This review does not require permission from the parent nor is a meeting required. (“The group may conduct its review without a meeting.”§300.305 (b)). However, the parent must be included in the review.

The data review is documented in the section titled Summarize Information Reviewed of the reevaluation report. Next, the IEP Team determines whether there is a need for additional data. If the IEP Team determines that no additional data are needed:

  • The appropriate box on the reevaluation report is checked and the reason(s) written on the reevaluation report. Findings (based upon existing data) are summarized and conclusions regarding eligibility are made.
  • A copy of the reevaluation report is given to the parent and the reevaluation report becomes part of the student’s educational record. Please note, if additional data are not needed, the Permission to Reevaluate-Consent Form is not needed and, therefore, is not part of the student’s educational record.
  • The student’s IEP must be reviewed and revised within 30 calendar days of the completion of the reevaluation report.
  • Reevaluation is not required for another 2 years for students with Intellectual Disability and for 3 years for all other students with disabilities.

If the IEP Team determines that additional data are needed:

  • The appropriate box on the reevaluation report is checked
  • The Permission to Reevaluate-Consent Form is provided to the parent. The LEA must indicate the reason for the reevaluation and the specific types of assessment tools, tests, and procedures that will be used. The Permission to Reevaluate-Consent Form is part of the student’s educational record.
  • The reevaluation still must be completed and presented to the parents within 60 calendar days (not including summer days) of parental consent and by the anniversary date of the previous Evaluation/Reevaluation Report.
  • After the additional data are collected and analyzed, the findings and interpretation of the additional data are written into the reevaluation report and conclusions regarding eligibility are made.
  • A copy of the reevaluation report must be given to the parent at least 10 school days prior to the meeting of the IEP team. The reevaluation report becomes part of the student’s educational record.
  • The student’s IEP must be reviewed and revised within 30 calendar days of the completion of the reevaluation report.
  • Reevaluation is not required for another 2 years for students with Intellectual Disability and for 3 years for all other students with disabilities.

Waiving a Reevaluation

 

If the Local Educational Agency (LEA recommends that the reevaluation is not necessary, the form titled Agreement to Waive Reevaluation must be provided to the parent. The LEA must indicate on the form the reasons it has made this determination. The parent has the option to agree to waive reevaluation or proceed with the reevaluation. A waiver of reevaluation requires written parental consent. Important reminder: waiving a reevaluation is not an option for a student who has a diagnosis of Intellectual Disability.

If the parent agrees to waive reevaluation,

  • No reevaluation report is written.

  • No Permission to Reevaluate-Consent Form is issued.

  • The signed Agreement to Waive Reevaluation is included in the student’s educational record.

  • A reevaluation is not required for 3 years from the date of the parent signature on the Agreement to Waive Reevaluation.

  • There is no requirement to revise the Individualized Education Program (IEP) as part of this process unless the IEP is due for its annual review.

     

    Students Transfers from Out-of-State

     

    If a student with an IEP transfers from out-of-state into Pennsylvania, the school district must issue a NOREP indicating that they will implement the current IEP (to the best ability). The district should issue a PTE.   This evaluation would be considered an initial evaluation. The evaluation is conducted to determine eligibility for special education programs and services in Pennsylvania. During this process, the LEA must implement the existing IEP until the evaluation is completed.

    If by chance the parent refuses to provide consent for the initial evaluation, the LEA may go to due process to override the parent’s refusal to consent to the initial evaluation. If the LEA does not decide to go to due process, the LEA would not be in violation of FAPE. The LEA has a Child Find responsibility and would meet this responsibility by issuing the Permission to Evaluate. Since the purpose of the evaluation is to determine eligibility in Pennsylvania and the parent refuses consent, the LEA met its child find responsibility. Because the initial evaluation to determine eligibility in Pennsylvania cannot be conducted, the student is not considered eligible for special education programs and services.

     

    Students Unilaterally Enrolled in Private School by Parents

     

    The LEA must conduct a reevaluation of a student with a disability who is unilaterally enrolled in a private school by his or her parents in the same manner it conducts a reevaluation for a student with a disability enrolled in the school district. At a minimum, however, the LEA must complete a reevaluation – or otherwise reach an agreement with the student’s parent that a reevaluation is unnecessary via a written parental agreement to waive the reevaluation – at least every three years. For children with Intellectual Disability, a reevaluation must be completed every two years and no agreement to waive the reevaluation can be made.

    For a student with a disability who attended a private school and then enrolls in the school district, the school district must determine if a reevaluation needs to be conducted. If the student transfers to the public school and the reevaluation was not completed in a timely manner, the LEA must complete a reevaluation. Additionally, the LEA must complete a reevaluation if it determines it needs more information about the student’s educational or functional needs or to determine related service’s needs. A school district would also need to complete a reevaluation if a parent or school personnel request a reevaluation. If the LEA declines to conduct a parentally requested reevaluation, the LEA must issue a NOREP/PWN to the parent.

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