What can I expect or ask for in a Re-evaluation?    

There are generally two factors that shape a school re-evaluation. Those two are best summed by NASP (Natl Association of School Psychologists Position Paper on Re-evaluations; (1) conforming to IDEA requirements [confirming and identifying any [new/existing] needs arising from disabilities AND affecting education) and (2) answering 'the referral questions'.

The school psychologist is often described as the "author" of the re-evaluation report, since they coordinate it, do most of the assessments and report and explain it to the IEP team, of which parents are full members. Know that they likely have higher ethical obligations as credentialed professionals than other people on the IEP team.So, gather your parent input and get it to the school psychologist quickly. Review your records-- all old evaluations, progress across IEPs and evaluation data. You can ask for a MDE meeting to review records and then be part of the team that chooses areas to investigate.

For instance, they must involve you in the evaluation, and early enough so that if you talk about new suspected disabilities they give themselves enough time to properly explore it If they don't have the area of practice, such as auditory processing testing, areas they must refer out, and BEFORE the evaluation is complete.

The school psychologist must ensure that IDEA requirements for evaluations are followed. They must follow relevant and current procedures for the assessments they use. They must indicate if the results they obtained are reliable, and to what degree. They must sign an evaluation only after they believe it correct. They must provide an evaluation that emphasizes recommendations [rather than lists of scores]. They must properly identify the work of other authors and must always practice within their areas of practice (training and credentials). If there is a conflict over the evaluation, they MUST consider your child their primary client. They must provide it to you within 60 days of the school receiving your signed Permission, except if that time includes the summer break.

To read the actual Ethical Principles in the "Professional Conduct Manual", visit the National Association of School Psychologist's (NASP) Professional Ethics site page. Note that school psychologists who are either a NASP member and/or a Nationally Certified School Psychologist (NCSP) are required to adhere to these principles, and can be held accountable if they do not.

What about the record review part of a re-evaluation. Is it supposed to happen when the district goes over the completed evaluation? (no).
Remember the purpose of the re-evaluation. The purpose of a re-evaluation is "to determine, among other things, 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 curriculum." (OSEP Letter to Scheinz, 2000). Thus a re-evaluation is not merely to decide if your child is still eiigible under IDEA.

Letter to Scheintz clarifies also the purpose of the record review in meeting that re-evaluation purpose; "Under 34 CFR §300.533(a), as part of any reevaluation, a group that includes the individuals
described in §300.344 (the IEP team), and other qualified professionals, as appropriate, must
review existing evaluation data on the child.
On the basis of that review, and input from the
child's parents
, the group must identify what additional data, if any, are needed to determine,
among other things, 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 curriculum."

If the IEP team determined that additional data was necessary -- and WHAT additional data is required, then the PTE would likely be amended to include the precise details of that additional data so the parents could 'expressly' agree to it. Some parents will handwrite the changes on the PTE and sign it on the spot, so the district may take action immediately. Then, within 60 calendar days of receiving that signed permission, the district should have provided a completed report and an IEP meeting scheduled to discuss it. The signed PTE or PTR comes before the assessments it lists are begun.

What are the standards for testing a student?

The school psychologist must follow educational testing standards. Four primary ones are:
Code of Professional Responsibilities in Educational Measurement (1995) [free word document]
the National Council on Measurement in Education (NCME) has adopted this Code to promote professionally responsible practice in conduct that arises from either the professional standards of the field, general ethical principles, or both. (adopted 1995)

Code of Fair Testing Practices in Education (2004). [free pdf]
Washington, DC: Joint Committee on Testing Practices. (Mailing Address: Joint Committee on Testing Practices, Science Directorate, American Psychological Assoc., 750 1st St, NE, Washington, DC 20002

NASP Professional Conduct Manual
Because a school psychologist's main function for many children is to evaluate them under IDEA, their professional conduct through the process is relevant as well. This Manual pertains to NASP members and those who have the credential 'NCSP' after their name.

Standards for Educational and Psychological Testing (book)
(American Educational Research Association, American Psychological Association, National Council on Measurement in Education, 1985) $49.95 by calling 202-238-3200.

Also see: What about an FBA? Is it considered an evaluation? (Short answer: YES).


What to ask for:

Do an inventory of your child's

- known or suspected medical conditions identified by medical doctors, dentists, etc.
- known or suspected medical conditions that are being treated with medication
- typical behaviors towards school, siblings, parents, teachers.
- typical effort on homework on a daily, weekly or by subject basis
- number and type of friendships
- things that are an ongoing struggle, persistent issues that are not going away
- number and type of activities done out of school
- any bullying or intimidation they have been a target of
- any extra support they receive from other entities (therapies, social service agencies, BHRS/wrap around)
- NEW behaviors, such as anxiety increases, negative comments, inappropriate behaviors, repeatedly wanting to not go to school, or being upset when getting off the bus, throwing up in certain classes, etc.

    © 2011 Amber Mintz, Non-Attorney Advocate, 610-927-9904- business hours; 9am to 4pm Monday to Friday