IEP re-evaluation

Discussion in 'Special Ed 101' started by klmno, Sep 3, 2008.

  1. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    difficult child started on an IEP in spring of 2006. I think some evaluation is due at least every 3 years. He also turns 14 in Jan., meaning he'll need a transition plan by then.

    Can someone enlighten me about the re-evaluation? Does it mean going through the entire qualification process again? What should I prepared with and for?

    Also, i guess I have the same questions about the transition plan. They mentioned that we will bring him in the meeting for that and discuss his goals for after high school. (He is in 8th grade now so he'll start high school next year.)
  2. Sheila

    Sheila Moderator

    The regs state that reevaluations shall occur not less than once a year. If a full blown new evaluation is not felt to be needed by parents and school district, it's an abbreviated version -- lots of "informal means." If the school district or parent wants a full re-evaluation, that's what needs to be done. In cases like Learning Disability (LD), a formal evaluation is often needed to check the progress being made.

    The transition plan is suppose to come on-line at age 14. If you feel that difficult child is up to it, having him present can be a good thing. If student bashing goes on in your IEP meetings OR if a difficult child has an anxiety problem, it's not necessarily a good thing for the kids to be present in my opinion. Chronological age just doesn't equal 14 yrs and on-target maturity or emotionally.

    Our last IEP meeting the transition plan kicked in. I would not allow difficult child to attend. He was given documents to fill out about his goals after high school and the school counselor discussed the documents with him. difficult child was in a full-blown anxiety episode and we just didn't need additional pressure on him.
  3. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    Thanks, Sheila! I don't know if the verbage on IEP forms is standard from state-to-state, but here they call the meetings to "tweak" the IEP a "review" meeting. On Page 4 of his IEP cover, there is a list of types of meetings and blanks to fill in dates for them. On one line it says IEP Reevaluation due no later than, and then on the blank it says Mar., 2009. Maybe that is added by the state or something. I was just wondering if 1) do I need to have nueropsych testing done again because I had them done privately before and it helped get him qualified, 2) do we need to go thru the whole process of meeting with school SW, psychiatric, etc again, and 3) should I start accumulating dr's recommendations and other material to make sure he stays quallified.

    I guess I'll see how the IEP "review" meeting goes this month before deciding difficult child's involvement in the transition plan. Maybe he can come in for part of it- I think it would do him good to let everyone know his ambitions for after high school (even though they might change 20 times before he gets out) and for difficult child to see the IEP team respond by helping him make a plan for high school. But like you say, that won't happen if it's a team that mostly complains and bashes during meetings. Unfortunately, the school district case manager and other members on the team change at least once a year so I don't know what I'm dealing with yet this year.
  4. Christy

    Christy New Member

    Our school system calls the yearly iep meeting an annual review. Changes may be made to the iep, new info considered,etc.... Every three years they have what they call a reevaluation meeting where they decide if the initial testing should be redone. They would redo the psychological and eduacational testing. in my humble opinion I think it is always a good idea to get updated evaluations.

    Good Luck
  5. Superpsy

    Superpsy New Member

    The reevaluation is done every three years. It can be as complete as the initial if you request it or can also be just a file review. I think re-evaluations are not as intense as initial evaluations and usually can be regarded as a good "check-up." Hopefully the school district is monitoring progress, if not, this evaluation is a good time to assess progress.
  6. Sheila

    Sheila Moderator

    Rereading this, I gave information that is confusing. And an annual review and a reevaluation are not technically one and the same.

    The re-evaluation is required every 3 years. It can be done annually if the parent or the school district requests it.

    The "informal means" I was referring to are the present levels of performance (e.g., often "grades" which means zero to me) and teacher check sheets.

    Whether a new IEP or the annual review, all IEPs have the same content requirements. and may be good resources for you.

    I just really never can figure out how one is suppose to write effective IEPs if there's no objective means of measuring progress.
  7. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    It sounds like it might be best to get a new neuropsychologist testing done. I'm not comfortable with the school district doing them, unless there aren't means to have them done privately. In difficult child's case, there have always been at least a couple of people at school district who don't believe he should be on an iep- the testing and recommendations help prove that he needs it. Also, it will be a good gage for me to compare to the first test results. With the cognitive dulling that has come with being put on mood stabilizers, new test results will probably break my heart, though.
  8. Sheila

    Sheila Moderator

    I pulled some information from the US Dept of Ed, OSEP docs regarding annual IEP reviews.

    Step 9. IEP is reviewed.
    The child's IEP is reviewed by the IEP team at least once a year, or more often if the parents or school ask for a review. If necessary, the IEP is revised. Parents, as team members, must be invited to attend these meetings. Parents can make suggestions for changes, can agree or disagree with the IEP goals, and agree or disagree with the placement.

    If parents do not agree with the IEP and placement, they may discuss their concerns with other members of the IEP team and try to work out an agreement. There are several options, including additional testing, an independent evaluation, or asking for mediation (if available) or a due process hearing. They may also file a complaint with the state education agency.

    Step 10. Child is reevaluated.
    At least every three years the child must be reevaluated. This evaluation is often called a "triennial." Its purpose is to find out if the child continues to be a "child with a disability," as defined by IDEA, and what the child's educational needs are. However, the child must be reevaluated more often if conditions warrant or if the child's parent or teacher asks for a reevaluation.

    A Closer Look at the IEP
    Clearly, the IEP is a very important document for children with disabilities and for those who are involved in educating them. Done correctly, the IEP should improve teaching, learning, and results. Each child's IEP describes, among other things, the educational program that has been designed to meet that child's unique needs. This part of the guide looks closely at how the IEP is written and by whom, and what information it must, at a minimum, contain.

    Contents of the IEP
    By law, the IEP must include certain information about the child and the educational program designed to meet his or her unique needs. In a nutshell, this information is:

    n Current performance. The IEP must state how the child is currently doing in school (known as present levels of educational performance). This information usually comes from the evaluation results such as classroom tests and assignments, individual tests given to decide eligibility for services or during reevaluation, and observations made by parents, teachers, related service providers, and other school staff. The statement about "current performance" includes how the child's disability affects his or her involvement and progress in the general curriculum.

    Annual goals. These are goals that the child can reasonably accomplish in a year. The goals are broken down into short‑term objectives or benchmarks. Goals may be academic, address social or behavioral needs, relate to physical needs, or address other educational needs. The goals must be measurable‑meaning that it must be possible to measure whether the student has achieved the goals.

    Special education and related services. The IEP must list the special education and related services to be provided to the child or on behalf of the child. This includes supplementary aids and services that the child needs. It also includes modifications (changes) to the program or supports for school personnel‑such as training or professional development‑that will be provided to assist the child.

    Participation with nondisabled children. The IEP must explain the extent (if any) to which the child will not participate with nondisabled children in the regular class and other school activities.

    Participation in state and district‑wide tests. Most states and districts give achievement tests to children in certain grades or age groups. The IEP must state what modifications in the administration of these tests the child will need. If a test is not appropriate for the child, the IEP must state why the test is not appropriate and how the child will be tested instead.

    Dates and places. The IEP must state when services will begin, how often they will be provided, where they will be provided, and how long they will last.

    Transition service needs. Beginning when the child is age 14 (or younger, if appropriate), the IEP must address (within the applicable parts of the IEP) the courses he or she needs to take to reach his or her post‑school goals. A statement of transition services needs must also be included in each of the child's subsequent IEPs.

    Needed transition services. Beginning when the child is age 16 (or younger, if appropriate), the IEP must state what transition services are needed to help the child prepare for leaving school.

    Age of majority. Beginning at least one year before the child reaches the age of majority, the IEP must include a statement that the student has been told of any rights that will transfer to him or her at the age of majority. (This statement would be needed only in states that transfer rights at the age of majority.)

    Measuring progress. The IEP must state how the child's progress will be measured and how parents will be informed of that progress.

    Reviewing and Revising the IEP
    The IEP team must review the child's IEP at least once a year. One purpose of this review is to see whether the child is achieving his or her annual goals. The team must revise the child's individualized education program, if necessary, to address:

    the child's progress or lack of expected progress toward the annual goals and in the general curriculum;
    n information gathered through any reevaluation of the child;
    n information about the child that the parents share;
    n information about the child that the school shares (for example, insights from the teacher based on his or her observation of the child or the child's classwork);
    n the child's anticipated needs; or
    n other matters.

    Although the IDEA requires this IEP review at least once a year, in fact the team may review and revise the IEP more often. Either the parents or the school can ask to hold an IEP meeting to revise the child's IEP. For example, the child may not be making progress toward his or her IEP goals, and his or her teacher or parents may become concerned. On the other hand, the child may have met most or all of the goals in the IEP, and new ones need to be written. In either case, the IEP team would meet to revise the IEP.

    Look at Those Factors Again!
    When the IEP team is meeting to conduct a review of the child's IEP and, as necessary, to revise it, members must again consider all of the factors discussed under the section "Writing the IEP." This includes:

    the child's strengths,
    n the parents' ideas for enhancing their child's education,
    n the results of recent evaluations or reevaluations, and
    n how the child has done on state and district-wide tests.

    The IEP team must also consider the "special factors," as listed in that section.

    OSEP Monitoring
    The U.S. Department of Education's Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) regularly monitors states to see that they are complying with IDEA. Every two years OSEP requires that states report progress toward meeting established performance goals that, at a minimum, address the performance of children on assessments, drop--out rates, and graduation rates. As part of its monitoring, the Department reviews IEPs and interviews parents, students, and school staff to find out:

    n whether, and how, the IEP team made the decisions reflected in the IEP;

    whether those decisions and the IEP content are based on the child's unique needs, as determined through evaluation and the IEP process;

    whether any state or local policies or practices have interfered with decisions of the IEP team about the child's educational needs and the services that the school would provide to meet those needs; and

    whether the school has provided the services listed in the IEP.

    This guide is intended to help states and school districts write IEPs that comply with IDEA. Writing effective IEPs is a very important first step in improving educational results for children with disabilities."

    The fact is that all kids are different and each child has their own unique needs. It's difficult to determine the best way to keep up on top of determining what those needs are. I've seen too many parents learn that their child has somehow fallen another year or two behind.

    But with that said, not every student needs a re-evaluation every year.
  9. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    Thank you, Sheila! I will look at this often as we go through this year- it is a big year for difficult child being that he will go to high school next year, he turns 14 this year, and his 3 year evaluation is coming up.