Evaluation Sample letters

Page Index (click on the line that applies, and will will take you to that place):
   Letter to request an initial school evaluation
   School refused to evaluate my child
   Letter to request an independent evaluation
   What the law says about requesting an independent evaluation (IEE),
     (or sometimes called private, or outside evaluation):
    State Rate for an independent evaluation (IEE)
  
114.3 CMR 30.00, 'Team Evaluation Services', August, 27, 2009 (in PDF format),
rates can be found on  pages 6 - 11,  a total of 13 pages.
    Sliding Fee Scale for Public Payment of Independent Education Evaluations (IEEs)
   How long does the school have to response? 

Letters & Rate Charts

Letters that you use to request help for your child can be found in a book called the 'Parents Manual', published by  the Federation for Children with Special Needs (September 1996).  The following samples are adaptive from that manual.
 

 Letter to request an initial school evaluation:


Your school Principal  (For a list of Concord school principals and address, click here)
(In Concord, as of Sept., 2004, our elementary schools Team chairs are now the Principals, Principals are responsible for the students in their building.)
Your School name
street address
Concord, MA 01742

Your name
address
Concord, MA 01742
Day phone number to contact you

RE:  students name, grade level

Date: n/nn/nn

In this sample letter, have listed six general areas.  If you are concern about your child's reading, it would be useful to have testing in all five areas of reading, which you want tested:

  1. Phonemic Awareness
  2. Phonics
  3. Fluency
  4. Vocabulary
  5. Comprehension

Dear Principal name,

We are requesting an evaluation for our child, your child's name and date of birth. We would like the assessment to include testing in (any or all) of the following areas:

  • Educational (for Reading, Writing, Spelling and Math, including a classroom observation)
  • Speech and Language (include: Phonemic Awareness, Problem Solving, etc.)
  • Social Skills
  • Occupational Therapy
  • Functional Behavioral
  • Psychological (Can include: cognitive ability, i.e. Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children (WISC); behaviors, i.e. Behavior Assessment System for Children (BASC) ; attentional issues i.e Conners Rating Inventory (Conners) ; executive functioning i.e.  Behavior Rating Inventory of Executive Function (BRIEF), all given by a Psychologist)

    We would like to meet with the Team chairperson before the testing begins so that we might share information about our child's name.  Learn about the procedure and find out who will be doing the different testing.  We would like a copy of the written reports from each tester so that we can review them before the Team meeting.

    Or

    I understand that I have to give my written permission for these tests to be done. I look forward to meeting with you and signing the proper forms. I would like these evaluations and Team meeting to be completed before the end of the school year.

    Or

    I will call you on (3 days from the date on this letter) to set up an appointment with the Team chair.

    Thank you for your prompt consideration in this matter.

    Sincerely,

    sign and print your and spouses name
     
     

    c.c.
           Jessica Murphy, Special Education Director,
    Ripley Building, 120 Meriam Road, Concord, MA  01742
           Your Classroom Teacher

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    Sample Letter to request an initial school evaluation from Additude magazine: Living Well with Attention Deficit:

     "Request Accommodations for ADHD Students: Use this letter to get school accommodations for ADHD students or children with learning disabilities like dyslexia" by ADDitude Editors (2004)
    http://www.additudemag.com/adhd/article/792.html

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    HAVE YOU HAD DIFFICULTY GETTING SPECIAL EDUCATION TESTING FOR YOUR CHILD  (or for a child you represent)?

    State law requires school districts to proceed and conduct a special education evaluation within 30 days after a parent refers the child for testing.

    School districts do not have the option to refuse or delay testing for any reason (i.e. pre-referral efforts, CAP plans, etc.).

    Administrative Advisory SPED 2002-2:
    Requirement to Review Refusals to Evaluate for Special Education Eligibility

    This is what the regulation states: 

    "Referral for Initial Evaluation. A student may be referred for an evaluation by a parent or any person in a care giving or professional position concerned with the student's development." 28.04(1)

    "When a student is referred for an evaluation to determine eligibility for special education, the school district shall send written notice to the child's parent (s) within 5 school days of receipt of the referral." 28.04(a)

    "Initial Evaluation. Upon consent of the parent, the school district shall provide or arrange for the evaluation of the student by a multidisciplinary team within thirty (30) school days. The assessments used shall be adapted to the age of the student and all testing shall meet the evaluation requirements set out in state and federal law. The school district shall ensure that appropriately credentialed and trained specialists administer all assessments." 28.04(2)

    Massachusetts Advocacy Center is representing children who have not received special education evaluations after a referral has been made by parents.
    I
    f you have referred your child for an evaluation, and the school district has failed to proceed with testing, please call:

    Johanne Pino
    Massachusetts Advocacy Center
    617-357-8431, x234.
    email: pinoj@powerinter.net

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    To request an independent evaluation (IEE), (or sometimes called private, or outside evaluation):

    "Upon receipt of evaluation results, if the parent disagrees with an initial evaluation or re-evaluation completed by the school district, then the parent may request an independent evaluation."  28.05.

    There are several ways to be eligible for the school district to fund a full outside evaluation:

    1. Your child is receiving free lunch or reduced cost lunch, that tells the school that your income is low enough that you are automatically qualifies you for a free evaluations.
    One way to be eligible for the school district to pay for the evaluation in full public expense, for the independent evaluation, the family must be receiving free or reduced cost for lunch 28.04(5)(c)(6).  Families who are not on reduced lunches, may choose to share financial information with the district and share the cost of the outside evaluation.  28.04(5)(c)(1).

    2. Your income can qualify you based on Federal Poverty Guideline.
    To view chart of income/family size qualify for our states public funding of Independent Education Evaluation (IEE), the Department of Education has posted the actual dollar figures.  Click here, for a chart of the actual income levels.

    3.
    The school evaluation was not comprehensive and appropriate.
    The school district shall agree to pay for the IEE or within five (5) school days, proceed to the Bureau of Special Education Appeals (BSEA), which means going to hearing (or possible mediation) to show that their evaluations were comprehensive and appropriate. 28.04(5)(d).

    4. The school district's evaluation did not covered this area.
    You also have a right under federal law (34 C.F.R. sec. 300.502), to request an independent evaluation in areas not covered by the school district's evaluation. See 603 CMR 28.04(5)(d).

    5. The parent may obtain an independent evaluation at private expense at any time.  28.04(5)(b)

    Is the school required to pay for an independent evaluation?
    Once you make a request for
    independent evaluation, the school district can agree to fund (pay) the independent evaluation (IEE), or within 5 school days (1-5 school days), they can file for a hearing with the BSEA to show that its own evaluation was comprehensive and appropriate.  If the Bureau of Special Education Appeals finds that the school district's evaluation was comprehensive and appropriate, then the school district shall not be obligated to pay for the independent education evaluation requested by the parent.  State Regulation 28.04(5)(d).

    How much time do I have to request an independent evaluation?
    The right to this publicly funded Independent Education Evaluation (IEE) continues for 16 months from the date of the evaluation which the parents disagrees. State Regulation 28.04(5)(c)(6).

    A parent can still request that the school pays for Independent Education Evaluation (IEE), under federal law (34 C.F.R. sec. 300.502).  This federal right is not limited to 16 months from the school's evaluation, the way the state right is. 

    How much of the cost of independent evaluation will the school district cover?
    According to our state special education regulations, all independent education evaluations shall be conducted by qualified persons who are registered, certified, licensed or otherwise approved and who abide by the rates set by the state agency (see our State Rate Document) responsible for setting such rates. Unique circumstances of the student may justify an individual assessment rate that is higher than that normally allowed. 603 CMR 28.04(5)(a)

    Our State Rates:
    Click here, to view the State Rates listed for TESTING / Evaluations
    State Rate for an independent evaluation (IEE), 114.3 CMR 30.00, 'Team Evaluation Services', August 27, 2009,
    rates can be found on  pages 6 - 11,  a total of 13 pages. (in PDF format),

    See pages 6 - 11, there are a total of 13 pages.

    (Please note: That PDF files require a program called Adobe Acrobat.
    31   To get a free version of this program,  click  here.)
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    Letter to request an independent evaluation:

    Your school Principal (List of Concord school principals and address, click here)
    Your School name
    street address
    Concord, MA 01742

    Your name
    address
    Concord, MA 01742
    Day phone number to contact you

    RE:  students name
            school building and grade level

    Date: n/nn/nn

    In this sample letter, we are using 3rd reason, from this listed below, and we are also documenting that we will not be sharing  our financial information with the school (as stated in reasons 1 & 2); choose the reasons that is appropriate to your situation:

    1. Our child is eligible for free or reduced cost lunch,
    2. Our income qualifies (based on Federal Poverty Guideline), that we are willing to share our financial information
    with the school,

    3. The school evaluation was not comprehensive and appropriate,
    4. The school district's evaluation did not cover this area.

    Dear Principal first name

    We are requesting independent evaluation at public expense for our child, [student name].  We understand that the independent evaluation is to be provided at no charge, according to state special education law and federal law. 

    Our request is based on the school evaluation that was not comprehensive and appropriate and we will not be sharing our financial information with the school.

    We are requesting the evaluations in the following areas, to include attendance of the evaluator at the Team meeting where the testing results will be discussed:
    1.      Educational (for Reading , Writing, Spelling and Math), to include classroom observation 
    2.      Speech and Language (areas of: Phonemic Awareness, Problem solving )
    3.      Social Skills
    4.      Occupational Therapy
    5.      Functional Behavioral 
    6.      Psychological  (Cognitive, Behavior, Attentional)
    7.      Neuropsychological

    We plan to have the independent neuropsychological evaluations performed by Dr. xxxxx, of the xxxxxxxx Testing Center, address. The Speech and Language and Educational Evaluations to be done by  xxxxx, xxxxxxxxx Testing Center, address.  We plan to have the OT evaluation performed by xxxxxx, xxxxxxx Testing Center, address. 

    Please contact xxxxxxx at xxxxxxx testing center, to arrange payment for these services.  I will be in touch with the above evaluators to schedule the evaluation appointment.

    I understand that the school must pay for the independent evaluation unless it can prove in a due process hearing that its assessment is comprehensive and appropriate. Please inform me in writing within five days whether you intend to honor my request or to request a hearing on the issue.

    It is also my understanding that the independent evaluators will forward the evaluation report to you since you are paying for them, and that you will schedule a Team meeting for us to discuss the results of an independent evaluation, that the new evaluation must be considered in any future decisions about my child.

    Sincerely,

    sign and print your and spouses name      

    c.c.
    Jessica Murphy, Special Education Director, Ripley Building, 120 Meriam Road, Concord, MA  01742
    Your Classroom Teacher 

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    How long do I wait to hear back from the school personal?  Click here, to view the Time Line.

    Need more information?, click here, to visit our 'Parent Tool Kit' page

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