How does this evaluation process begin?

Free services for school-aged children, including initial evaluations, are handled through your local public school system.

  • Call your district's Special Education office and request the Parent's Rights and Procedural Safeguards for your district. The Director of Special Education will be able to tell you the guidelines for your district.
  • Follow up your phone call by putting your request in writing.
  • In your letter, tell them you're concerned about your child's progress and would like to have your child evaluated to see if he or she has a disability. Sample Parent Letter to Public School District (Word Format)

The IDEA 2004 (Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act of 2004) is a law designed to provide children with a disability to have a free and appropriate public education (F.A.P.E).


The Department of Special Education has my written request for an evaluation, what is my next step?

  • The public school will send a parental consent form asking permission to evaluate your child.
  • Sign and complete all requested paperwork
  • Make copies for your personal file and return as quickly as possible to the school district.
  • The district must complete the evaluation in a reasonable amount of time.

Now that my public school district has my written permission to evaluate my child, what should I do?

Naturally you want the school system to provide the best evaluation for your child. Your job is to gather information about your child.

  • Begin a notebook dedicated to your child's standarized test results; samples of his/her class work, informal observations or photographs.
  • Brainstorm and begin to write down your child's profile, include information like his strengths, successes, challenges, needs, describe his personality and your vision for his future.
  • Continue to follow up with the school district until you have written confirmation for the date of your child's evaluation.

The evaluation needs to be completed within a reasonable time after the parent gives consent.


My local school district has scheduled an evaluation date, am I done with my responsibilities?

  • Not yet! But, you are on your way to an evaluation!
  • Your child's evaluation must assess all areas related to your child's suspected disability.
  • The results from your child's evaluation will be used to decide if your child is eligible for special education and related services.
  • A group of qualified professionals and you will look at your child's testing. Together, you will decide if your child is a "child with a disability," as defined by IDEA 2004.

My child was found to be eligible for special education services through my school district, how shall I proceed?

If your child is found to be a "child with a disability," as defined by IDEA 2004, he or she is eligible for special education and related services from the public schools.

  • Within 30 calendar days after your child is determined eligible, the IEP (Individual Educational Plan) team must meet to write an IEP for your child.
  • An agreeable date for your child's IEP will be scheduled.
  • The IEP team may include: School Administrator, General Education Teacher, Special Education Teacher, Evaluation Personnel, Therapists who work with your child, a Support Person for the Parent and YOU ( the most important member of your child's team) will gather to talk about your child's needs and write an IEP.
  • Before the school district may provide special education and related services to your child the first time, you must give your written consent.
  • You will be given a copy of your child's IEP, add it to your child's notebook.

What if I feel the most appropriate educational environment is Pasadena Christian School?

  • After listening to their offer of support services, you will decline the district's offer for support services.
  • At that time the district will offer another plan called, Individualized Service Plan (ISP)
  • Please note: a private school child with a disability does not have a right to receive some or all of the special education services that he or she would receive if enrolled in your local public school district. You may be offered similar support services: Up to ten (10) hours of consultation services per student per year (regarding curriculum and behavior modifications for each enrolled student with a disability who has been determined to be eligible for special education services.)
  • Such services may be provided by any of the following providers: Speech Language Pathologist, School Psychologist, Special Education Teacher or Occupational Therapist.

I have my child's formal evaluation from the school district and Individualized Service Plan, how can I best help my child?

  • Schedule a meeting with Vikki Mele, Emerging Needs Coordinator.
  • We will arrange a Student Evaluation Team (SET) meeting to review your child's testing, the professionals' recommendations and discuss strategies to help your child reach his or her academic potential.

Once my child has his Individualized Service Plan, am I finished with the school district?

  • Simply put - No! Once each year, the IEP team will review your child's IEP/ISP, or more often if you ask for a review.
  • Every three years your child must be reevaluated. This evaluation is often called a "triennial." Its purpose is to find out if the child continues to be a "child with a disability," as defined by IDEA 2004, and what your child's educational needs are.