Time Factors

Massachusetts Special Education Regulations
603 CMR 28.00, In effect January, 2001

Page Index:
Initial evaluations:
Who can request evaluation, how many days after the request do you receive a consent form to sign.
Initial evaluations and
Re-evaluations: Number of days to complete the evaluation, how often does re-testing or re-evaluation happen.
IEP: number of days for the school complete their evaluations and you recieve a copy of IEP.
Reports: number of days before the meeting to receive the school evaluation reports.
End of Team meeting: Annual review IEP Team meeting, what document you receive at the end of your Team meeting, and number days you recieve a school distrist proposed IEP (updated, revised and signed by the school admin.).
Time factors Diagrams,
IEP arrives, Independent Evaluation, Waiting for the IEP, Laws.
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Initial evaluation:

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

(a) 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.

Initial evaluation,  Re-evaluation: 

603 CMR 28.05(1) . . . The evaluation assessments shall be completed within thirty (30) school working days after receipt of parental consent for evaluation. Summaries of such assessments shall be completed so as to ensure their availability to parents at least two (2) days prior to the Team meeting.

For evaluations being done close to the end of the school year: 

603 CMR 28.05(1) . . . If consent is received within thirty (30) to forty-five (45) school working days before the end of the school year, the school district shall ensure that a Team meeting is scheduled so as to allow for the provision of a proposed IEP or written notice of the finding that the student is not eligible no later than fourteen (14) days after the end of the school year.

603 CMR 28.04(3) Annual reviews and three-year re-evaluations. The school district shall review the IEPs and the progress of each eligible student at least annually. Additionally, every three years, or sooner if necessary, the school district shall, with parental consent, conduct a full three-year re-evaluation consistent with the requirements of federal law.

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Time factors Diagrams:


Diagram of the Mass. Special Education Timeline
This diagram was created by the Sharon SPED PAC and is located on their PAC website.

'A Parent's Guide to Special Education Manualby Federation for Children and Department of Education (DOE), See pages 7 & 8.


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Team meetings:

'Memorandum on the Implementation of 603 CMR 28.05(7): Parent response to proposed IEP and proposed placement'


Guidance: Currently, most districts have the technology or resources that make it possible to present at least the key service components of an IEP to the parents as they leave the IEP development Team meeting. This is referred to as a "summary." At a minimum, this summary of the decisions and agreements reached during the Team meeting must include:


(a) a completed IEP service delivery grid describing the types and amounts of special education and/or related services proposed by the district, and
(b) a statement of the major goal areas associated with these services.
By providing parents with this summary at the conclusion of the Team meeting, in the Department's opinion the district has complied with the requirement to provide the parent with the key decisions and agreements immediately. The district may then take no more than two calendar weeks (this reflects the former ten (10) school working days standard) to prepare the complete IEP for the parent's signature and for the student's records (both home and school).

The role of the parent: The parent is under no obligation to wait to receive the complete IEP to begin considering whether to consent to the proposed IEP services and goals. We urge parents to begin their consideration while developing the IEP in the Team meeting, and to respond to the district's request for consent as soon as they are ready to do so. The district's delivery of a summary at the IEP meeting, and any additional time needed to deliver the complete IEP, does not delay the parent's right and opportunity to respond promptly to the proposed IEP.

(The original memorandum issued by Massachusetts Department of Education (DOE), Program Quality Assurance (PQA) department, on Timelines for Issuing IEPs, dated July 25, 2002
Stated: If you did not receive your child's IEP immediately after your team meeting, and for good reason, the IEP must be given to the parents within three (3) calendar days, (five (5) calendar days, if a weekend intervenes).  In this case, as a placeholder, the parents must be given "a written summary of the decisions and agreements reached during the Team meeting" at the conclusion of the meeting.)

The IEP arrives:

603 CMR 28.05(7)
(a) No later than thirty (30) days after receipt of the proposed IEP and proposed placement, the parent shall:
1. Accept or reject the IEP in whole or in part;
request a meeting to discuss the rejected portions of the IEP or the overall adequacy of the IEP;
or if mutually agreed upon, accept an amended proposal; and

2. Accept or reject the proposed placement.

(b) Upon parental response to the proposed IEP and proposed placement, the school district shall implement all accepted elements of the IEP without delay.


603 CMR 28.05(7): Parent response to proposed IEP and proposed placement. Immediately following the development of the IEP, and within 45 school working days after receipt of the parent's written consent to an initial evaluation or reevaluation, the district shall provide the parent with two (2) copies of the proposed IEP and proposed placement along with the required notice, except that the proposal of placement may be delayed according to the provisions of 603 CMR 28.06(2)(e) in a limited number of cases.


Independent Evaluation:


  In the mean time:

Link to our law webpage, Massachusetts Special Education Regulations and Federal law - IDEA




One of our original webpages, created July, 2001, by Melody Orfei

Webpage last modified on June 30, 2016 - V18, by Melody Orfei