- You may request to have your child evaluated for support at school at any time.
- You must make your request in writing and present it to your child’s teacher or school administrator.
- The school has the right to accept or deny your request and must explain the reason in the form of a written notice.
- Once the school has accepted your request for evaluation, IDEA requires that it must be done within 60 calendar days.
- If the results of the evaluation show that your child qualifies for support then a meeting will be set to discuss further actions.
What is an IEP?
- IEP stands for Individualized Education Plans.
- Outlines personalized accommodations, modifications when taking standardized tests, special education, and related services in order to meet your child’s academic and functional needs.
- The IEP, by law, includes how your child is doing in school presently, constant progress updates, and transition planning for life after K-12.
- An evaluation may be requested by anyone concerned for your child (parents, teachers, counselors, doctors).
- Parents and school officials mutually decide if your child needs special educational services to help learn the general curriculum in school or not.
- An IEP helps specify what kind of support and services your child will benefit the most from and how your child can better learn, as well as be able to show what they have learned (e.g. have extra time on tests).
- People involved in an IEP will be parent(s), at least one of their teachers, a school district representative, a specialist who can interpret your child’s evaluation and test results, and when your child turns 16, they will be included into the team.
- A hired professional, a friend providing extra support, and a translator may also be included into the IEP team.
- Parents are able to accept parts of the IEP OR refuse the entire plan OR ask to meet to go over concerns about the plan.
- The IEP should reveal your child’s strengths, needs, and progress as they continue their K-12 education.
What is a 504 Plan?
- 504 Plan is for students who have special health care needs but are still not eligible for special education services.
- Students with physical, learning, and attention disabilities still participate in general education.
- Students with a physical or mental disability that limits one of more vital life activity (ex: reading or concentrating), has a record of the disability, and isn’t a temporary impairment.
- The plan outlines how your child’s specific needs will be met through certain accommodations, modifications, and other related services while taking part in general class activities.
- 504 Plan includes the name of a school professional who will help provide the services/accommodations/supports and the name of the person making sure the plan is being implemented.
- 504 requires evaluation procedures in order to prevent from misclassifying and incorrectly labeling child’s disability and incorrectly placing the child as a result.
- People involved in developing 504 plan are:
- Your child’s general education teachers
- A special education teacher
- School principal
- Depending on age, the child may be included as well
- Things discussed at a 504 plan meeting are:
- Child’s strength
- Concerns and suggestions for improving education
- Whether or not provided modifications and accommodations are helpful
- If you do not agree with the plan you can:
- Ask for a middle man to help reach an agreement between yourself and school
- File a complaint with Office of Civil Rights
- File lawsuit