Frequently asked questions about the evaluation process
[+] Who may refer a child for evaluation?
Teachers, counselors, principals, parents and agencies may refer students in accordance with the steps outlined above. To begin a referral, you should call your child’s teacher or school counselor. The evaluation is conducted in cooperation with local component school district personnel. If your child is not enrolled in public school or is enrolled in a private/parochial school, contact SSD at 314.989.8123 for information.
[+] How will I know that my child has been referred for evaluation?
Local districts should involve parents in the data gathering process from the initial identification of concerns. You will be notified in writing by the Joint Review Committee of the decision as to whether or not a referral for special education evaluation will be made. A pamphlet describing your parental rights and responsibilities and a copy of the Missouri Parents Bill of Rights will accompany the letter. The school counselor will call to arrange a review of existing data conference if a referral is made.
[+] Who will evaluate my child?
SSD evaluations are conducted by a multi-disciplinary evaluation team of specialists who are licensed and/or certified in their respective fields. The team may include a school psychologist, school psychological examiner, diagnostician, your child’s teacher, SSD teacher(s), speech/language pathologist and other individuals as appropriate.
[+] How will I know in which areas my child will be evaluated?
At the review of existing data conference, an evaluation plan, which will indicate areas to be tested, will be developed. A “Notice of Action: Intent to Evaluate” identifying the proposed areas of assessment must be signed by you. It is accompanied by an “Areas to Be Assessed Form,” which identifies tests that may be administered.
[+] Where will the evaluation be completed?
Testing and all conferences for public school students take place at your child’s local school. The only exception is if your child requires a hearing evaluation, this will be conducted at Lizsinger School. Parochial/private school students are evaluated at an SSD designated site.
[+] What is a diagnosis?
As educational requirements for eligibility often differ from medical requirements,
SSD refers to eligibility as identification instead of diagnosis. The evaluation team determines if the student meets criteria for identification as a child with a disability. If your child does not meet criteria, your child would be not eligible. If your child meets eligibility criteria, they will be identified as a student with a disability.
[+] Must I attend the evaluation conferences?
You are invited to attend the review of existing data conference and are strongly encouraged to attend the eligibility and individualized education program (IEP) conferences in order to better understand services that will be provided. You will receive a letter explaining the results of the latter two conferences should you be unable to attend.
[+] Will I receive a copy of my child’s evaluation report?
A copy of your child’s evaluation results will be mailed to you within 21 days of the conference. Your child’s local school also will receive a copy. If you would like anyone else to receive a copy, notify the school psychologist at the eligibility conference so that the appropriate release form can be obtained.
[+] What if my child is found to be “not eligible”?
If your child is found to be “not eligible” for special education, it does not mean your child may not have school problems. A request for evaluation would not have taken place if your child’s local school personnel had not perceived significant education problems. The responsibility for meeting your child’s educational needs will be addressed by the local school. Remedial reading, tutoring and counseling may be some of the many resources you and the school can use. In addition, you have due process rights and may disagree with the eligibility determination.
[+] Why would a child with school problems not be eligible for special education?
State and federal laws define the specific conditions that make children eligible for special education services. Many factors can indicate ineligibility. If your child is ineligible for services, the diagnostic team will explain criteria for eligibility and why your child is not eligible.
[+] Can a child who has been determined as not eligible be re-evaluated?
Yes. By federal law, parents may request their child be evaluated for special education services. Contact your local school if you believe your child may need to be re-evaluated. If your local school does not resolve your concerns, contact the SSD Related Services Department at 314.989.8123.
[+] What if I disagree with my child’s eligibility determination?
Your parental rights and procedures will be explained at the conference. If you disagree with the evaluation team’s diagnosis, you may request mediation or a due process hearing through the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, Division of Special Education. You have the right to request an independent evaluation if you disagree with the results of the evaluation.
[+] What happens after my child is identified as a student with a disability?
Once your child is identified as a student with a disability who requires special
education, he/she is eligible for SSD services. The specific services are determined at the IEP conference.
[+] If my child receives special education services, will he/she stay at his/her local school?
Your child’s IEP is the basis of all special education services he/she will receive from
SSD. The proper placement and location will be decided at the IEP conference; however, every effort is made to place the student in his/her home school. Some SSD services for children enrolled in a private/parochial school are available.