If your child is struggling in kindergarten, first grade, or second grade, you can always ask for an evaluation. But the school may also have other ways to identify struggling students. This is called early screening.
Early screening is a process many schools use that includes screening for all kids. One example is response to intervention (RTI). Here are some questions you can ask about early screening at your child’s school.
School Policy on Early Screening
- Does the school have an official policy or plan on early screening?
- Who’s in charge of the policy or plan?
- Are there any state laws on early screening for learning and thinking differences? (For example, some states have screening laws.)
- Which school team members are responsible for screening kids?
- What credentials and training do they have?
- What training do general education teachers get on learning and thinking differences, like and learning disabilities?
- Are teachers trained on how to identify kids who might have reading and math challenges?
Early Screening Practices and Response to Intervention
- Does the school use a specific program for identifying kids who need help?
- Does the school use response to intervention?
- Are all kids screened?
- How often are kids screened during the school year?
- What specific skills are looked at during screening?
- When will the school tell me if my child is going to be screened?
- How will the school explain what the screening results mean?
Next Steps After Screening
- What happens if my child is identified as needing help?
- Who can I talk to if I need more information?
After early screening, the next step may be to get your child support at school. Some families have concerns about getting help for their child. But keep in mind that with the right support, your child can thrive in school and uncover strengths.