Putting your evaluation requests in writing can help protect your rights. Choose from the templates below based on where you are in the evaluation process. Copy and paste the text into an email or letter. Then use the notes in the template to add details about your child.
The sample letters were adapted from The Everything Parent’s Guide to Special Education (Adams Media, 2014).
Letter template: Request an evaluation
Once you’ve decided to ask the school to evaluate your child for , it’s time to write your request. Use this letter template to help you include key details:
- Describe your concerns about your child.
- Mention what you and the school have done to try to help.
- Include the date that you are making this request. (By law, the school district must respond to your request within a certain number of days. This time frame varies from state to state.)
Letter template: Accept the evaluation plan with conditions
After you request an evaluation, the next step is for your child’s school to approve or deny the request. If it’s approved, you’ll receive an evaluation plan. The school team can’t move forward until you give your consent.
If you like the plan, sign it. If you think the plan doesn’t cover all of your concerns, use this letter template to ask the school team to add more testing.
Letter template: Reject the evaluation plan
By law, the school evaluation has to be comprehensive. It also has to be multidisciplinary. This means it must look at more than one aspect of your child, and it must include a variety of tests and data.
Use this letter template if you want to reject the school evaluation plan. This template can help you raise concerns about key areas, like types of testing or an evaluator’s credentials.
Letter template: Request the evaluation report
After the evaluation, the school team will meet to decide if your child is eligible for special education. You have the right to receive your child’s evaluation report before this meeting.
Use this letter template to ask for a copy of the evaluation report at least a few days before the meeting. Reading the report in advance can give you time to process the information and think about what you want to ask.
Letter template: Request an independent educational evaluation at public expense
Do you disagree with the result of your child’s school evaluation? Or are you worried that it wasn’t thorough enough? You have the right to pay for a private evaluation, and the school must consider those results. But you also have the right to ask the school district to pay for an (IEE).
Use this letter to request an IEE at public expense. The school district can approve or deny your request. If your request is denied, the school district has to explain why.
About the author
About the author
Amanda Morin is the author of “The Everything Parent’s Guide to Special Education” and the former director of thought leadership at Understood. As an expert and writer, she helped build Understood from its earliest days.
Kristen L. Hodnett, MSEd is a clinical professor in the department of special education at Hunter College in New York City.