SPrEaD the word

Volume 1 Issue 4 (11.18.2019)

MPS Special Education Process and Procedure Manual

Evaluation Process (p. 5)

Once the Team Chairperson receives the signed evaluation consent form, all members of the Team are notified that evaluations can begin, and they are given the relevant timelines for completion and anticipated meeting date. The Team meeting date will be confirmed with the parents/guardians and the Team will be notified of the date. Each member of the Team is responsible for scheduling and completing their assessments according to mandated timelines.


Evaluations of the student must be made in all areas of suspected disability in order to determine eligibility for Special Education. Evaluations should be tailored to the specific referral questions for the individual student and need to address whether or not there is a disability, and if the disability affects the student's learning. The Team will then use the evaluation results to determine if the student requires specially designed instruction in order to make effective progress.


Evaluations must provide information to determine present levels of academic achievement and related educational needs. No single test should be used as the sole criterion for determining eligibility. Rather, a variety of techniques (both formal and informal assessments), including information provided by parents, observation of the student in the classroom, work samples/portfolios, interviews, and review of records should be used as part of a comprehensive process.



Evaluation Guidelines and Procedures (p. 6)

Millbury Public Schools adheres to the following evaluation guidelines and procedures to

determine eligibility for special education:

  • Evaluations are completed within 30 school days from receipt of the parent's written consent and reports are made available at least 2 days prior to the Team meeting.

  • Tests and assessments are administered to evaluate all areas of suspected disability(ies).

  • Team members carefully consider all referral questions and concerns to determine which evaluation assessment components are needed to provide enough information,

  • Evaluations must be provided and administered in the language and form most developmentally, and functionally appropriate unless it is not feasible to do so. Evaluation measures should also take into account the impaired sensory skills of the student so the results accurately reflect their abilities.

  • Tests selected as evaluation instruments are considered valid, reliable instruments and are as free as possible from cultural and linguistic bias.

  • A classroom observation (other than the child’s classroom teacher) is conducted for each evaluation process.

  • Tests and assessments provide a broad spectrum of relevant information needed. However, they are not the sole sources of considered data used to determine eligibility for special education services.

  • The evaluation process will also include information regarding the student's daily school performance, student work, and information from the student's parents.

  • Optional evaluations include, but are not limited to: Psychological, Health, Speech/Language, Occupational Therapy, Physical Therapy, and Home.

  • For a child being assessed at age 3, an observation of that child occurs in the natural or early intervention environment. Current assessments from Early Intervention can be considered to avoid duplication of testing.

  • Written reports are made available to parents at least 2 days prior to the Team meeting. Reports must include assessment results, diagnostic impressions, and educational recommendations. They should be written in a language that is easily understood and uses commonly understood terms. (Please see the Evaluation Report Checklist that follows)



Evaluation Report Checklist (p. 7)

Identifying Information

  • Is the information complete?

  • Is the information accurate?


Concerns/Reason for Assessment

  • Is the reason for the assessment clearly stated?

  • Is the source of the referral (initial evaluation) cited?


Relevant Background Information

  • Is the information provided educationally relevant?

  • Is there information that can be omitted?


Assessments Administered

  • Are all the assessment procedures listed (formal and informal)?

  • Are the names of tests correct with the current edition noted?


Behavioral Observations

  • Does this section help the reader visualize the student's behavior?

  • Are the observations objective?

  • Do testing behavior observations relate to the areas of concern?


Assessment Interpretation

  • Is there a description of each evaluation tool?

  • Is there a table of results with descriptors?

  • Are standard scores and percentile ranks used? (No age or grade equivalents should be reported)

  • Are strengths and areas of concern noted?


Evaluation Results Summary

  • Does this section restate the major themes and how the testing addressed the reason for assessment and areas of concern?

  • Is the information provided in an organized way?

  • Have the student’s strengths and major areas of need been identified?


Recommendations

  • Do the recommendations guide the direction and focus of instruction?

  • Can each recommendation be supported by information in the report?


General Checklist

  • Is the report professional in appearance?

  • Is the report free of spelling and grammatical errors?

  • Are there page numbers on all pages?

  • Is the report clear and written in language that is easily understood?



To ensure that all evaluation reports contain the required components and to support consistency, all evaluators should be using the MPS Evaluation Report Template.

Future Topics:

  • Extended School Year (ESY)
  • MCAS 2.0 vs. MCAS-Alternative Portfolio Assessment
  • Team Process
  • Development of the IEP
  • Parent Response to an IEP
  • MPS Policy and Procedures Regarding In School Observation by Parents and their Designee