Many parents who have children in a private school don’t know if they can request an full evaluation from the school district if their child is struggling in school. Parents can request a full evaluation from the current school district that their child resides in. They must offer special education and related services to children. Under the 2004 amendments to IDEA, school districts must consult with private schools about whether and how special education and related services will be provided to children whose parents placed them in private school. However, the school district may not provide these services at the private school (although it can choose to do so), nor does it have provide any services different if the child were in public school.
Parents can contact the Special Education Director of the current school district your child resides in by sending a written letter requesting your child have a full evaluation. You can search on the school districts website for the contact information for the name of the administrator and the email and phone number. Once you have sent the request to the director, the school district will present you with an evaluation plan listing all testing to be done on your child in order for eligibility for special education, or to assess your child’s current status if already in special education. The next step you will have to approve the assessment plan or ask for certain tests or evaluation tools be added or eliminated. Federal Law (IDEA) requires the school district to complete your child’s first evaluation and determine whether your child is eligible for special education within 60 days of receiving your consent to do the evaluation. 60 calendar days, not business or school days, weekends and holidays count toward the 60-day deadline.
What should the evaluation plan include? The evaluation plan should include specifically named tests, a section where you can request additional tests or other methods of evaluation, and a place for you to provide your written approval or disapproval. IDEA requires that the school district to get your permission before it can evaluate your child. Your consent must be informed which means that you must understand fully what your consenting to.