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The Initial Evaluation Process

The Initial Evaluation Process


Parents and/or teachers may refer a child to the Child Study Team (CST) for an evaluation.  The purpose of the evaluation is to determine if the child qualifies or continues to qualify for special education services.  If the child is not currently in special education this is called an Initial Evaluation.  

 The CST is comprised of administrators, special education staff, teachers, guidance counselors, and the school psychologist.  At the time of referral, the CST reviews available information and makes a determination whether an evaluation is warranted.  The CST reviews available data including grades, standardized test scores, teacher input, and parent input to make that determination.  Generally, if a child is performing at his or her age-level academically and there are no serious social, emotional or behavioral concerns then an evaluation will not be considered necessary.

   If an evaluation is warranted, the CST makes a formal referral.  Parents will receive a Permission to Evaluate form (PTE) in the mail, which also provides information regarding the scope of the evaluation.  Signing the PTE formally gives the district permission to proceed with the evaluation.  Once permission is received by the district the school has 60 calendar days to evaluate and issue a report.  Summer vacation days are not counted toward this timeline.    When the evaluation report (ER) is completed it is usually mailed home to parents.  After review, parents are encouraged to contact the school psychologist to discuss any questions they may have about the information in the report.  

 If the child is found eligible for special education services parents are invited to an Individualized Education Plan (IEP) meeting where the IEP is discussed and developed based upon the information in the ER.