A school has 30 days to respond to your request for evaluation. If you are having difficulty getting your child evaluated by the school district, write a letter requesting your child be evaluated and why, and fill out PR-05 Parent Consent for Evaluation and sign it. School districts are required by Child Find under Federal IDEA law to identify, locate, and evaluate all children with disabilities [Sec 1412 (a)(3)]. As a parent, you have the right to request a multi-factored evaluation from the school district of your residence if you suspect your child has a disability. You also have the right to request specific areas to be evaluated, such as the reading and spelling of real words and non-words if dyslexia is suspected as dyslexia reveals itself in the patterns of errors. From the date you sign this form, the school has 90 days to develop the initial IEP.
The school may not like this move on your part, and may send you a PR-01 Prior Written Notice stating the school district denies your request for evaluation and does not suspect a disability. The school cannot deny your request based on grades alone. Grades are subjective and do not take into account any accommodations the student might be receiving, such as extra time or being read aloud to on tests. The school must to take into account the objective measures of standardized tests. Another valid reason for requesting an evaluation is if your child is spending a significant amount of time completing homework and/or you provide a significant amount of support so your child is able to do well in school. If you go the route of submitting a signed Parent Consent for Evaluation with your request, make sure you have supporting documentation, such as previous standard testing results such as the Ohio Achievement Test, samples of school work, and any independent evaluations.
As part of the evaluation process, your child should be observed in the classroom setting to see if your child is on task, how much time is spent on task, and how your child responds to the teacher, etc. Prior to the classroom obversation, you should request in addition to oberserving your child, the observer (usually the school psychologist) should also review (better yet obtain samples of) ) the child’s work to see the output of the child and if the child is able to complete grade level work.
Wrightslaw’s Do Schools Have Any Legal Obligation to Identify and Test Students?