Once you’ve made the decision to have your child evaluated, you have to get the process rolling. It starts with a formal request letter from you. The process is fairly simple, even though it’s formal. And there are
steps you can take ahead of time to get prepared.
This guide provides the information you need to make your request and follow up on it to make sure the process goes smoothly.
How to Request a School Evaluation
The request process begins with a formal letter that you write to the school. It’s not complicated, but there are certain things that definitely have to be in the letter. Once you deliver that letter, it’s important to follow up with the school to make sure your request is moving forward.
No matter what type of school your child goes to, you have the option for a private evaluation instead of a free school evaluation. The process for getting one is very different from getting one at school, though. Instead of making a request, you have to find and hire a professional to do the testing. These evaluations can be expensive. But you may be able to
get them for free or at a low cost.
Once you give your consent for an evaluation,
special education law requires that the school complete your child’s evaluation within 60 days. (Some states use calendar days, while others use school or business days.)
In the meantime, there are things you can do to get support for your child. You can ask your child’s teacher to give extra support in the classroom. You can also ask about getting your child targeted support through
response to intervention (RTI).
your child’s rights in the case that your child gets in trouble at school before having an
What to Do If Your Evaluation Request Is Denied
Sometimes schools deny a request for an evaluation. There are things you can do if that happens. One option is to request an
independent educational evaluation (IEE). This is an evaluation done by an outside professional, but paid for by the school.
Requesting an evaluation is the first step toward getting your child help at school. Testing will let you understand why your child struggles, and what accommodations may be helpful. Testing will also reveal your child’s strengths.
It might have taken you awhile to decide to request an evaluation. Once you start the evaluation process, though, things usually move pretty quickly.
Here are the next steps in your evaluation journey: