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Questions on three year re-eval

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  • Questions on three year re-eval

    Hello and thank you very much for being here. We are in MA. My daughter is in second grade and has had an IEP for a physical disability and an expressive language disorder since age 3. She has struggled this year and in February we were called in to meet the teacher who told us she was below grade level in math, writing and reading. At that time we called a team meeting, and met in early April with her team. We signed consents to begin her three year evaluation. The school psychologist went on planned maternity leave on May 21. Evals were not complete. IEP is only valid until June 7. Evals are still not done.

    Sped manager called yesterday with "good news", they have a psychologist who can do the evals. We google him. His educational psychologist license is listed as expired on the state professional licensing webpage. He assures us he is licensed to perform this testing. Then we notice his address- same one as the Sped manager. We email and ask him to verify he does not have a conflict of interest in this case- no response. We ask for a new evaluator. Principal agrees this morning, but now there is no way evals will be complete by the end of school June 15.

    My questions are:

    What do we do when the IEP expires and there has been no meeting or evals completed?

    What do you think about the evaluator and the Sped manager having the same address? It is a single family home, by the way, but we have no idea what their relationship is. Should we just let it go at this point and see what the evaluation by the new person reveals?

    Thanks very much,

  • #2
    Questions on three year re-eval


    You have asked three important questions:
    1. What do we do when the IEP expires and there has been no meeting or evals completed?
    2. What do you think about the evaluator and the Sped manager having the same address? It is a single family home, by the way, but we have no idea what their relationship is.
    3. Should we just let it go at this point and see what the evaluation by the new person reveals?
    You asked: What do we do when the IEP expires and there has been no meeting or evals completed?Your question goes right to the heart of the purpose of an IEP.

    First, both the federal and the Massachusets special education regulations require that at the beginning of each school year, a public agency (your school district) must have an IEP in effect for each child with a disability within its jurisdiction.

    But does that mean any old IEP will do? No.

    We know that to be true because the Massachusets regulations and the IDEA tell us what the purpose of special education (an IEP) is. In Massachusets the regulation tells us the purpose:
    The purpose of [the special education regulations] is to ensure that eligible Massachusetts students receive special education services designed to develop the student's individual educational potential in the least restrictive environment in accordance with applicable state and federal laws. (MA 28.01 (3):Authority, Scope and Purpose)

    (Special education shall mean specially designed instruction to meet the unique needs of the eligible student or related services necessary to access the general curriculum and shall include the programs and services set forth in state and federal special education law. (MA Education Laws and Regulations 603 CMR 28.00: 28.02 (20): Definitions)

    And this relates specifically to your question

    What are the alternatives? For starters, the school district could continue the reevaluation and IEP development after this school year ends. I do understand the school will probably resist working during the summer. And that is where your parent advocacy skills will be important.

    You could suggest that you could ask for a due process hearing. Threats, though, sometimes do have unintended consequenses. Your daughter will be in the 3rd grade next year and that means you must work with this school district for a longtime to come. If you have a decent working relationship with this school district you can gently let it know it is in trouble. And, you can also let the school kow you are willing to work with the school to get the evaluations completed and another IEP written before the new school year begins.

    The best way to do this is by writing the school a short letter (not an email message). In your own words, say you know the school is running out of time and that you are willing to be reasonable and get the reevaluation completed and an IEP written during the summer.

    What advantage does this strategy give youYou asked:Your last questions is:


    • #3
      Thank you so very much! We received a very
      nasty email from the SPED Director today saying
      that our questioning the credentials of their evaluator
      is the equivalent of withdrawing consent for a
      3 year eval but that they feel the need to proceed
      anyway. He went on to inform us that the district
      can appoint anyone they would like for an evaluation.
      You and I both know that most people would agree
      appointing your relative, lover, whatever as an evaluator
      would be seen as a conflict of interest. Today I called
      the DOE and asked for intervention in the form of
      mediation. I think it will be helpful to have a third party
      to make sure the IEP is in place come September.
      Thanks again!


      • #4

        Your message yesterday and today does not identify what license the evaluator holds. If the evaluator is a school psychologist, the
        National Association of School Psychologists website at will be helpful.

        If the evaluator is a psychologist licensed by the Massachusetts Board of Registration of Psychologist, you will find information and help at

        There is a big difference between the two kinds of licenses for psychologists. In most states, school psychologists are not licensed to practice psychology for the general public. They are restricted to working as employees of a public school system and their licesnse is issued by the State Department of Education. That might not be the way Massachusetts issues licenses. Be sure to check.

        Conflict of Interest

        You can check with either the National Association of School Psychologists or the Massachusetts Board of Registration of Psychologist about what is, for psychologists, a conflict of interest. Both will have published codes of ethics for the members or licensees. The Massachusetts Board might give you an advisory opinion if you keep personal and specific school district identification information out of your request. In other words, you would ask for an advisory opinion on a theoretical set of facts. You might style it something like this:

        Under the (State or Association) professional rules of ethics (or conduct), does a conflict or appearance of a conflict exist under the following facts: X, Y, and Z.

        Again, you should get a legal opinion from a licensed Massachusetts attorney for guidance on the conflict of interest question and any recourse you might have if a conflict exists.

        Is that a denial of FAPE?The acid test for getting ready for mediation


        • #5
          Ann, That's insane. You can ask any questions you want about the qualifications of the evaluator. That is NOT the equivalent of withdrawing consent for the evaluation. I am also in MA. They are REQUIRED to do a 3-year evaluation. We just had one. We requested a different evaluator for one of the tests because ds had a negative association with the school psychologist. Our SPED director agreed easily, without a fight. They simply used the middle school psychologist instead. They were very good about it.

          This is just absurd. You are getting a runaround, and I highly question your SPED director. What town/city are you in?

          And on the conflict of interest, *of course* it's a conflict of interest. Wow. Get an advocate or attorney asap. Sorry you are dealing with this.


          • #6
            Please keep us updated.


            • #7
              Well ― duh!

              The first red flag I see The second red flag I see is whether the statement of present levels of academic achievement and functional performance accurately describe and quantify the social skills problems. If not, then how can the school district hope to write an annual goal in his IEP to address that shortfall? Answer: It cannot.

              How can we expect any individual to absorbe social skills in one hour a week What are social skills, anyway?

              A set of social skills is a collection of isolated and discrete learned behaviors.

              Social competence is accomplished by smoothly using the isolated and discrete skills to build continuing social interactions (in real life).

              Why are they [the school district] not using lunch time?But what can you do about it?Before you ask for one

              As an aside, I think the name social autopsy is unfortunate. Look at the substance of the Guide and forget the name.

              Present your case at an IEP meeting. If the school turns you down ask the school to give you a Prior Written Notice (PWN) that explains everything a PWN requires under 34 CFR 300.503. You can find those requirements here:

              My son failed 6th grade math, but passed the modified math CRCT this yeaThey denied ESY since he passed the modified math CRCT. Independent Education Evaluation (IEE) showed that your son has a math disorder.You have several choices.I am scared for Grant's ability to complete a regular HS diploma and have it mean something


              • #8
                Thanks for answering:
                The first red flag I see :Yes, since age 3 our district has not provided appropriate related support/services. I have attempted to utilize Wrightslaw, and over the past 9 years have obtained paid advocate help,. Once during my son's 2nd grade yearar, and again last year(5th grade) and this year (6th).

                The second red flag I see: We had his annual on May 22-they pulled the trick of having to make some changes/add something on document. So the copy was mailed. I did receive copy of minutes at the meeting and draft of IEP. However, Present levels for math are NOT on the goals. They have them set for 70% which is not acceptable IMHO. When I ask for a list of 6 grade standards he did not meet in 6th I am told to use GRASP testing for 7th grade they administered sometime in May. But, if he failed math for 5th and 6th grade and previous testing on WIAT have him below grade level than where is here really? I do not even have breakdown of the CRCT (yes we live in GA) since he was administered modified version. When I requested a copy yesterday I was told they only have the overall score. I do know that 300 is passing and he received a 316. But have no idea of the range and was unable to find it on the state website. BTW, we also asked during the meeting.

                ESY~ Barely covered as we were adjourning after a 4+ hr meeting. The Learning Support Coordinator for middle schools attends all of our son's meetigns. She says that the county is providing appropriate support in math. I did not verbally deny that so that is why PWN was not given, though she did say that Grant was taking 3 math classes.

                IEEs- we have had 2 IEEs paid for by the county. One last June for Neuro-educational after I saw that the county's own data showed my son did not progress in math. But, when we asked last July for the county to retest using the math WIAT we did not specify what edition and they used a different edition. Even my son's advocate could not tell me what the scores meant and sadly I did not bring it up though it is included under present levels. The scores are the same as last year from what I can decipher.

                Social Skills- The only reason they have gone ahead with ANY social skills is that my son had great difficulty during the entire school year interacting with his peers. Which for the first time resulted in a BIP for him. Until 5th grade my son has always been able to keep it together in the school setting. 5th grade was a shock to everyone at the school he had attended since kindergarten. But, back to social skills- we have in the past had Grant in social skills classes outside of school. Locally, the only provider stopped 2 yrs ago. Finding, anything that fit into schedules without missing school hours was difficult. Some people locally pull kids from school in order to drive 35 minutes 1 way or they drive 1 hr one way on Saturdays spending the 4 hrs waiting for their child to attend social skills classes.

                They are all about inclusion and honestly I am unsure how it helps if a child is not met where he/she is at academically or socially. What our paid advocate has suggested is cutting back support at home in order to make case for ESY during school year for math. I do plan to not only write on hw that Grant was unable to complete independently, but also send emails and written letters documenting. Going to take pictures of every assignment he unable to complete on his own at home (not just math sometimes) and record date. Grant is great about attempting HW btw, so it is not avoidance. We also asked that a copy of notes be provided along with completed study guides. Still want Grant to attempt to complete on his own, but often the notes are not complete and thus study guides are not complete. We spent waaaaaaayyyy too much time this past school year hunting down correct info. With Grant's memory issues (little working memory) he needs to start reviewing for end of the week tests prior to Thursday evening.

                Thanks again


                • #9
                  Follow up

                  Wanted to update my original post. Eventually the district hired a different evaluator for my daughter. He really seemed to understand her struggles and was able to identify a language based learning disability based on his assessment. Though the school briefly challenged him on this (What? You hired him!) they did incorporate the new disability designation and subsequent plan for intervention into her new IEP which we just received. So hopefully she will get the help she needs. She has an amazing teacher who works with her one morning a week before school to help her stay on track. On another note, my three year old son just started at the integrated preschool so here we go again!
                  Thanks to Brice and my other Special moms for your guidance through this.
                  Happy New Year!


                  • #10

                    I am truly pleased that the new evaluation revealed what your daughter needs. Let us hope the school district will (with your able help) write an IEP for her that gives her the help she needs.

                    To begin, I suggest you write a model IEP for your daughter. Begin by writing a good present levels of academic achievement and functional performance. From that, you can begin to visualize the annual goals you thing your daughter will need. Once you have an idea about the annual goals, then write what you think she may need as specialized instructions and related services. A good place to start on that is to look at any recommendations the evaluator wrote into the evaluation report.

                    Review the current IEP (or draft IEP).

                    Make notes about what is working

                    Make notes about what is not working

                    Review the most recent evaluations and assessment information that you have.

                    Make a list of questions you want to ask at the meeting

                    Make a list of the important points you want to make at the meeting.

                    Make a list of the people you want to invite.

                    LOOK AT THE PRIOR WRITTEN NOTICE (PWN) you received from the school district about the IEP meeting. The notice should tell you.
                    The date, time, and place of the meeting
                    The purpose of the meeting
                    Everyone the school district intends to have at the meeting.
                    The evening before the meeting, review your meeting plan.

                    HAVING SOMEONE ELSE GO WITH YOU is helpful. That other person can take notes during the meeting so you can concentrate on what is happening and advocating for your daughter during the meeting. Can you record the meeting? If you can, do it.

                    Thanks for the update, Ann.

                    Please keep me informed.




                    • #11

                      What a blessing that your daughter has such a supportive teacher.
                      Hopefully, the IEP will help her even more.

                      I would also second a lot of what Brice suggests doing if you do not already do so.

                      Keep us updated on her progress and your son's as well.