Through the special education process, all relevant and comprehensive information is gathered and considered by a group of people, including you within certain timelines and with certain procedural safeguards. Your involvement in each step of the process is important and encouraged. There are five steps in the process, and each step builds on the previous one.
- Identification and referral. When your child is suspected of having a disability, a referral is made to the Child Study Committee. The committee may make a request for an evaluation for special education and related services.
- Evaluation. The school then evaluates the child in the areas requested by the Child Study Committee.
- Determination of eligibility. Based on the results of the evaluations, a team decides if your child is eligible to receive special education and related services. To be found eligible, the team must decide that the child has a disability and as a result needs special education and related services.
- Development of an individual education program (IEP) and determination of services. If your child is eligible to receive special education, a team develops an appropriate IEP to meet the needs of your child. The team also decides the particular services the child will receive. The IEP is reviewed annually.
- Reevaluation. At least every three years, the team will determine if your child should be reevaluated and if your child continues to need special education and related services