Thursday, September 27, 2012

Special Education Time Frames Part 1

While some federal and state special education regulations describe the timeframes in which a school district and area education agency must take certain actions.  While some of these regs state a specific number of days, others indicate that actions should be taken in an unspecified but timely way.  In this post, I will begin setting out some of the time frames that apply to specific actions under the special education regulations contained in the Iowa Administrative Code. 

Child Find  -- See 281—41.111
School districts and AEAs are responsible to conduct activities on an ongoing basis to identify:
1. children who require SPED and
2. children who need general education interventions under subrule 281--41.48(2).

Full and Individual Initial Evaluation -- See 281--41.301, 281—41.302 and 281—41.312(4)
A parent, AEA or school district may request a full and individualized initial evaluation of a child at any time to determine whether or not a child is a child with a disability and identify the child's educational needs.  Even if the evaluation team has implemented general education interventions to address the child’s needs, the parent may still request a full and individual initial evaluation.
[A screening for instructional purposes is not evaluation to determine whether a child is a child with a disability. The screening of a student by a teacher or specialist to determine appropriate instructional strategies shall not be considered to be an evaluation for eligibility for special education and related services.]

Parental Consent for an Evaluation  -- See 281—41.300
The school district and AEA must obtain informed parental written consent before it may perform a full and individual initial evaluation. 

Parental Consent for Special Education-- See 281—41.300
The school district and AEA must obtain informed parental written consent before it may begin providing special education and related services

Refusal to Perform a Full and Individual Initial Evaluation -- See 281—41.503 
The school district and AEA must give written notice to the parents within a reasonable time before either agency refuses to initiate or change the identification, evaluation, or educational placement of the child or the provision of FAPE to the child, including notice that the parent  may file a request for a mediation or due process hearing.

Completion of a Full and Individual Initial Evaluation -- See 281—41.301  
Initial Evaluation Completion An evaluation must be completed within 60 days of the request for it.
The full initial evaluation must be conducted within 60 calendar days of receiving parental consent for the evaluation.

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