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Evaluation basics

6 Steps for Requesting a School Evaluation

By Amanda Morin

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If you think your child might have a learning or attention issue and decide to have her evaluated, you need to make a formal request to her school. Here are the steps to take when you’re making that request.

1

Find out where to send your request.

Ask your child’s teacher who to address your request for an educational evaluation to. If he doesn’t know, ask the principal or your school’s special education director.

2

Write a formal letter.

Download a sample letter to give yourself a model to follow. Modify it based on your concerns and observations of your child.

3

Be specific about why you’re requesting the evaluation.

Write as much as you need to about your concerns. Don’t be afraid to say things like, “I’m requesting my child be evaluated to see if she has dyslexia.”

4

Consent to your child being evaluated.

Say explicitly in your letter that you are giving consent for your child to be evaluated. Request a “Consent to Evaluate” form to sign.

5

Make sure the letter arrives.

Hand-deliver it or send it via certified mail (“return receipt requested”). If you hand-deliver the letter, ask for a date-stamped, signed copy for your records.

6

Follow up.

After five days, if you haven’t heard anything, check in with the school. You can do this by phone, but send an email or letter to confirm the next steps that were agreed upon in that conversation.

Find out what to expect from the evaluation process if your request is approved. If your request is denied, here are steps you can take.

About the Author

Portrait of Amanda Morin

Amanda Morin is a parent advocate, a former teacher and the author of The Everything Parent’s Guide to Special Education.

Reviewed by

Portrait of Bob Cunningham

Bob Cunningham, Ed.M., serves as advisor-in-residence on learning and attention issues for Understood.

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