The RTI system is a lenghty process. Perhaps you, as a parent, have outside evaluations and information that you can share with your child’s school. North Carolina schools must consider your private evaluations as part of the data finding process in identifying your child’s unique learning needs. A parent can also formally request a special education meeting to evaluate for special education services. Once the parent has made this request, the school has 90 days to start and complete the process. Please read the blog post Knowing Your Forms (coming very soon) to learn about the different forms and what they mean. During the first meeting, the team will discuss your child’s strenghts in various areas and his/her areas of need. The team will also discuss any evaluations or inofrmation you might have and what interventions have been tried prior to this meeting. After all data has been discussed and documented, one of three decisions will be made: 1. conduct an evaluation 2. determine your child is eligible for services or 3. do not conduct an evalution.
If the decision is to conduct the evalution, the team will decide based on the areas of need which evaluation will be conducted. If there is enough data to support finding your child eligible at this meeting, eligibility forms can then be completed and an IEP implemented.
The third choice of not conducting an evluation could happen as a reult of not having enough data. It could also result in your child moving to a meeting for a 504 instead (there is an upcoming blog post coming soon about the differences between IEPs and 504s). If the team decides that there is not enough data the team may decide to also have your child go back into the RTI process to gather more information, observations and overall data on what your child needs to be more successful in his/her school environment. The law says, however, that the RTI process can not be used to prolong or delay evaluating. If it is decided that your child should be evaluated based on current data, then the information that would be collected through RTI must be complete before the timeframe for the special education process is complete. In North Carolina, that would be 90 days from the day the school received the referral.
If you need help writing a letter to your child’s school, please check out this link: http://www.parentcenterhub.org/repository/evaluation-2/
Wendy and Christina