Previously, we wrote a couple of posts talking about what to do if your child is struggling in school What Does the School Do if My Child is Struggling? and What Can I Do if My Child is Struggling in School?
We wanted to specifically touch on the option of a parent requesting an evaluation. According to IDEA, you do have the right to request an evaluation from your child’s public school. This letter must be in writing. The public school is responsible for providing and paying for any evaluation for any child who may need special education services. This link provides details http://www.wrightslaw.com/info/tests.evals.crabtree.htm. Another good reference can be found here http://www.parentcenterhub.org/repository/evaluation-2/
You also have an option of obtaining an outside evaluation and bringing it to your child’s school. Public schools must consider all private evaluations as part of the fact finding process for your child. Here is a link that details your rights if you choose to have an independent evaluation performed outside of your child’s school http://www.wrightslaw.com/info/test.iee.steedman.htm
We have prepared a simple letter requesting an evaluation to send to your child’s school. The words in bold need to be changed to add specific details such as your child’s name, areas of concern, date, etc. Remember, once you have officially requested an evaluation, your child’s school must contact you to set up a meeting to discuss your child’s strengths, areas of need/concern, interventions tried and the results of those interventions. Here is a link to a past post about what type of meeting you will have Know Your Forms-Referral For Help
Here is the letter that you can download to request an evaluation:
Here is a copy of the letter if you would rather type it in a different format:
Dear (preferably addressed to EC Teacher and/or principal),
I have concerns regarding (insert your child’s name) in (insert specific area such as reading, writing, math, social). I have spoken with my child’s teacher, (name) and we have tried certain strategies to help him (or her). However, he (or she) continues to have difficulty in this area (or areas-be specific).
I would like to formally request an evaluation for my child to discuss his (or her) strengths and areas of needs in school. I would like to have a meeting within ten days of this letter to begin the process.
I can be reached at (e-mail address) or (phone number).
Thank you. I look forward to meeting and discussing how to help (your child’s name).
As always, if you have any questions about this process, please send us an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Christina and Wendy