Special Education Referral Policy
All students age 3 through 21 who are suspected of having a disability may be referred for evaluation. Consideration of a student’s need for special education is initiated by a referral. School personnel, parents, or guardian, physician, community agencies, or other appropriate individuals may initiate a referral for special education evaluation. Referral of students for possible special education services is part of the districts’’ overall regular education referral or screening system.
Prior to referral, students experiencing difficulties in the regular classroom should have access to research-based instructional interventions provided in the general education program. The student’s response to those interventions is a critical piece of information when a referral is being considered.
If a child is experiencing learning difficulties, the parent may contact the person listed below to learn about the district’s overall general education referral or screening system for support services. This system links students to a variety of support options, including referral for special education evaluation. Students having difficulty in the regular education classroom should be considered for tutorial, compensatory and other academic or behavior support services that are available to all students including a process based on Response to Intervention (RtI). The implementation of RtI has the potential to have a positive impact on the ability of local education agencies to meet the needs of struggling students.
At any time, a parent is entitled to request an evaluation for special education services. Within a reasonable amount of time, the district must decide if the evaluation is needed. If the evaluation is needed, the parent will be notified and asked to provide informed written consent for the evaluation. The district must complete the evaluation and the report within 60 calendar days of the date the district receives the written consent. The district must give a copy of the report to the parent.
Appropriate reason for referral includes repeated student failure, lack of student success that may not yet have resulted in failure, student age or circumstances that create unique situations, or referral from a committee. Please note that failure to pass the TAKS is not a valid reason for testing unless other concerns are present.
If the district or school determines that the evaluation is not needed, the district will provide the parent with a written notice that explains why the child will not be evaluated. This written notice will include a statement that informs the parents of their rights, if they disagree with the district. Additionally, the notice must inform the parents how to obtain a copy of the Notice of Procedural Safeguards - Rights of Parents of Students with Disabilities.