Video Summary: Re-evaluation

This video goes over the process of a re-evaluation. At some point after your child has been selected by Child Find screenings, evaluated and found eligible for special education services, and placed into an Individualized Education Program (IEP), your child will need to be re-evaluated, regardless of their performance within that program. At minimum, a re-evaluation must occur every three years your child is on an IEP; however, if you, your child’s doctor or teacher, or anyone else involved with the child’s education is seeing additional problems in the child, or with meeting the yearly goals of the IEP, then a re-evaluation can occur more often. An evaluation can also not occur more than once per year, unless you (the parent) and the school agree that one is necessary.

Once a re-evaluation is agreed upon, then you may receive a form of notice and consent, like you would with a regular evaluation (we have included a copy of this form in another section). If, after gathering some information, the re-evaluation team determines that your child still qualifies for special education and that they do not need to do a re-evaluation, you may receive a Notice of No Additional Information Needed instead. This form lists all the reason why the team thinks your child still qualifies, and why no additions or changes need to be made (we have also provided this form in another section).

To further analyze how a re-evaluation is done, let’s now take a look at the Code of Federal Rules and Regulations (CFR) for re-evaluations. [Note: the symbol “§” stands for section]

Code of Federal Regulations

Title 34. Education

§ 300.303. Reevaluations

(a)General.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.

This outlines how reevaluations are mandatory, and how they must take place if either the school, you, a teacher, and/or doctor request one. The school must specifically state why they deem one is necessary, whether it’s because their performance in school is too high or too low.

(b)Limitation.A reevaluation conducted under paragraph (a) of this section–

(1)           May occur not more than once a year, unless the parent 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.

This establishes the rules of reevaluations; they must take place at least once every three years, and cannot take place more than once per year. This rule was added after parents would ask for immediate reevaluations of their children after they disagreed with the results of a reevaluation. If you do disagree with a reevaluation, you should instead request an Independent Educational Evaluation (IEE), which we cover more in-depth here. If a school and parent agree on the matter, however, reevaluations can happen more than once per year and less than every three years.

§ 300.305. Additional Requirements for evaluations and Reevaluations

(a)Review of existing evaluation data.As part of an initial evaluation (if appropriate) and as part of any reevaluation under this part, the IEP Team and other qualified professionals, as appropriate, must–

(1) Review existing evaluation data on the child, including–

(i)             Evaluations and information provided by the parents of the child;

(ii)           Current classroom-based, local, or State assessments, and classroom-based observations; and

(iii)Observations by teachers and related service providers; and

This part clarifies how the evaluation must review existing data before conducting the reevaluation, including everything told to them by teachers, doctors, and parents.

(2) On the basis of the review, and input from the child’s parents, identify what additional data, if any are needed to determine–

(i) (A) Whether the child is a child with a disability, as defined in § 300.8, and the educational needs of the child, or

(B) In case of a reevaluation of a child, whether the child continues to have such a disability and the educational needs of the child;

(ii) The present levels of academic achievement and related developmental needs of the child;

(iii) (A) Whether the child needs special education and related services; or

(B) In the case of a reevaluation of a child, whether the child continues to need special education and related services; and

(iv) Whether any additions or modifications to the special education and related services are needed to enable the child to meet the measurable annual goals set out in the IEP of the child and to participate, as appropriate, in the general education curriculum.

This details how the Multidisciplinary Evaluation Team (MDT) must conduct the reevaluation; they must use the data they have from previous evaluations, along with any additional data they may have, to determine if the child still qualifies for services, or if any changes need to be made to the current IEP based on how the child is doing in school.

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

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

(d)Requirements if additional data are not needed.

(1)           If the IEP Team and other qualified professionals, as appropriate, determine that no additional data are needed to determine whether the child continues to be a child with a disability, and to determine the child’s educational needs, the public agency must notify the child’s parents of–

(i) That determination and the reasons for the determination; and

(ii) The right of the parents to request an assessment to determine whether the child continues to be a child with a disability, and to determine the child’s educational needs.

(2) The public agency is not required to conduct the assessment described in paragraph (d)(1)(ii) of this section unless requested to do so by the child’s parents.

Note that the meeting in part (b) is by no means mandatory. The IEP can conduct the meeting or collect additional data, they can, but they don’t need to in order to make their judgment. If they decide not to (for example, if the child’s primary disability is legal deafness, for which additional data is likely not necessary), they must tell the parents of the child why they chose this route, as well as about the their (the parent’s) right to have the IEP’s  conduct a proper assessment. [Note: FAPE stands for “Free Appropriate Public Education”]

(e)Evaluations before change in eligibility.

(1)           Except as provided in paragraph (e)(2) of this section, a public agency must evaluate a child with a disability in accordance with §§ 300.304 through 300.311 before determining that the child is no longer a child with a disability.

(2)           The evaluation described in paragraph (e)(1) of this person is not required before the termination of a child’s eligibility under this part due to graduation from secondary school with a regular diploma, or due to exceeding the age eligibility for FAPE under State law.

(3)           For a child whose eligibility terminates under circumstances described in paragraph (e)(2) of this section, a public agency 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.

If the eligibility requirements change for any reason, or the IEP Team decides your child is no longer eligible, then your child must be reevaluated, unless it’s because they have graduated from school or have aged out of the FAPE age range (in Nebraska, children age out of FAPE at age 19).