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Evaluation & Eligibility Special Education Laws Made Simple November 2013 – Austin, Texas National Business Institute Presented by Sarah S. Flournoy, J.D.,

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Presentation on theme: "Evaluation & Eligibility Special Education Laws Made Simple November 2013 – Austin, Texas National Business Institute Presented by Sarah S. Flournoy, J.D.,"— Presentation transcript:

1 Evaluation & Eligibility Special Education Laws Made Simple November 2013 – Austin, Texas National Business Institute Presented by Sarah S. Flournoy, J.D., Ed.D. Of Counsel, West & Associates, LLP

2 2 Prong Test 1.Student has qualifying disability; AND, 2.Student requires special education services because of the disability.

3 Procedural Safeguards Timelines Yes to RTI and No to Discrepancy Model Committee determination Specific findings must be made Eligibility Determination Report in writing Parent right to inspect, review, and participate Recourse to mediation or due process hearing

4 Evaluations Necessary before providing services Request by – Parent of a child; or, – Public agency Collect information regarding both prongs of test; procedures used must address both Reevaluation – At request of parent or teacher – Not more than once annually – At least every three years (unless agree otherwise)

5 Evaluations Notice/Consent When necessary – For initial Evaluation – For provision of services Both must be informed and in writing One cannot serve for both Denial of or failure to give – Initial Evaluation: district has recourse – Provision of Services: district has no recourse

6 Evaluations Timeline Reasonable is five (5) days Evaluation conducted w/in 60 days Timeline excused if parent – Fails to present child – Removes child from district

7 Evaluations Test and Measurement Requirements No single assessment tool or strategy Variety of sources Evaluate levels – Functional – Developmental – Academic Any instrument used look at – Cognitive – Behavioral – Physical – Developmental

8 Evaluations Evaluation Options and Procedures Not the same as the determination report Parent can disagree with district’s Parent options – Request Independent educational evaluation (IEE) – Obtain their own EE District options – Due process hearing on adequacy of district’s EE – Provide IEE at public’s expense All EE considered in determination

9 Evaluations Common Mistakes to Avoid

10 Eligibility Determinations Eligibility Categories 1.Autism 2.Deaf/Blind 3.Deafness 4.Hearing Impairment 5.Mental Retardation 6.Multiple Disabilities 7.Orthopedic Impairment 8.Serious Emotional Disturbance 9.Specific Learning Disabilities 10.Speech or language impairment 11.Traumatic brain injury 12.Visual impairment including blindness 13.Other Health Impairment

11 Eligibility Determinations Adverse Educational Impact No federal definition Part of first prong of eligibility test Definition includes: “…that adversely affects a child’s educational performance” Educational performance? – Holistic – Academic

12 Eligibility Determinations Need for Special Education Services Special Services in Texas – Instruction provided by professional and support by paraprofessional in regular classroom – Related services, which are developmental, corrective, supportive, or evaluative services, not instructional in nature Based on variety of evidence

13 Eligibility Determinations Response to Intervention (RTI) and Discrepancy Model Identification Discrepancy model – Historical – Student’s score on general intelligence quotient test compared to score on achievement test Response To Intervention Model (RTI) – 1997 Amendments require – Research based interventions

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15 Questions? Sarah S. Flournoy, J.D., Ed.D. Of Counsel, West & Associates, LLP 320 South R. L. Thornton Frwy, Suite 300 Dallas, Texas


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