Arizona IEP Evaluation Concerns
What are some evaluation concerns regarding an IEP in Arizona? An evaluation is the very beginning of the IEP process. It not only decides if your child or student is eligible for an IEP but what that may entail accommodations or specialized instruction, special education. So, evaluations are a critical part of the IEP process, but today we’re talking about concerns. Sometimes, well, let me backtrack. So, the purpose of an evaluation is to collect data, assess if the student is eligible for an IEP, and what type of accommodations or specialized instructions they will be granted. Again, evaluations sometimes actually aren’t even necessary to take place.
Whose Assessment is Reliable?
If the teacher has observed certain behavior and grades, medical health professionals, or maybe your primary care provider or specialized therapist have already assessed the student, you may not need an additional evaluation. That was probably one of the first concerns that parents have. If they just don’t need an additional evaluation from the information they have, they can decide if the student is eligible. Now, if they’re eligible for an IEP, that’s great.
School Evaluation vs Independent Education Evaluation
Sometimes parents see where the school will just declare the student not eligible and then the process stops there. So, parents and guardians need to know and remember that if you disagree with the evaluation, so let’s say even if the school brings in an evaluator, maybe a psychologist, and they evaluate the student and you disagree with that, as a parent or a guardian, you have the right to ask for an independent education evaluation for a special education evaluation.
And what this means is that the school must pay for it. This is not something that you would be paying for. The school would bring in an individual who is not employed by the school, and they’re just using their services for an evaluation, and they would do an independent education evaluation of the student. So, this is a great way. And it’s one thing that parents don’t understand. I think a lot of times in the IEP process, they do have a lot of rights and a lot of say about their students and their special education evaluations.
Unfavorable Evaluation Outcome
So, if at the beginning they’re saying that your student, they’ve already conducted an evaluation and they’re not eligible, you absolutely have the right to ask for an independent education evaluation. Now, there are processes that happen if the school decides that they do not want to provide this. If that happens, I recommend seeking an attorney to help advocate for you and instruct you on your rights for this outside independent education evaluation. The other concern about an evaluation, the main one is if you just don’t agree with it, and you would like an outside evaluation. You also could potentially pay if you wanted to for your own outside evaluation as well. But the school does have to provide that for you. So, there are timelines, but sometimes parents don’t want to wait, so they’ll just pay for an evaluator.
Right to Request for a Second Opinion
The school does have to take that into consideration for the IEP. So, I’d say the main concern is not getting an evaluation when you think that there should be one, you’re disagreeing with what the evaluators are saying, and potentially you would like a second opinion or a second evaluation by an independent person that’s not employed by the school, that the school then has to actually provide for you. And then, maybe there are specific concerns about the accommodations if you feel like the evaluators aren’t supporting the concerns or the accommodations that you’re seeking.
Seek Legal Advice
Again, I just want parents and guardians to know that they do have lots of rights and they should be speaking up during this process. Sometimes the schools aren’t the most forthcoming about what these parents’ rights are. And again, that’s why I always recommend speaking with an attorney to help you through the process or through any special education evaluations. We know the law, we know what you’re entitled to, and we can help you throughout the whole process.
At Chelle Law, we understand the unique challenges parents of children with disabilities face. We are here to help you navigate the special education process and ensure that your child receives the best possible education. Contact us or visit our office today to schedule a meeting.
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Arizona Individual Education Program: How Arizona IEP Attorney Can Help
Statistics in 2016 showed that more than 53,000 students in Arizona had specific learning disabilities. Such students must be subjected to the Individualized Education Program (IEP). This form of special education has been designed to assist Arizona students with various learning disabilities. It’s also essential to communicate that this program has been prevalent in the country for many years.
If you believe that your child needs special education, it’s essential to consider taking them for an Individualized Education Program. However, for this system to work for your child, they must meet a few fundamental requirements. Understanding some unique factors behind IEP will enable you to seek this program for your child seamlessly.
What are Team-Based Early Intervention Services in Arizona?
The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) is a federal law that helps to ensure that all children with disabilities have access to a free and appropriate education. The law also requires states to provide early intervention services to infants and toddlers with developmental delays. In Arizona, these services are known as Team-Based Early Intervention Services (TB EIS).
TB EIS is a statewide system of services and supports designed to meet the needs of infants and toddlers with developmental delays. The system is based on the belief that all children have the right to participate in meaningful activities in their homes, communities, and schools.
Is AZ IEP Free?
You might have a perception that education is expensive. However, the good news is that IEP is a free program in Arizona. The federal and state government have put in place adequate measures to ensure that all children with disabilities can access this form of education at no cost. However, this does not mean that the program is entirely free. Families must pay for some costs associated with IEP, such as travel expenses, books, and other materials.
How Do I Get an IEP For My Child in Arizona?
As a parent or guardian, you can request an IEP evaluation for your child if you think they might need special education services. You can make this request to the school district in which your child attends school. The school district must evaluate whether your child is eligible for special education services.
If the school district determines that your child is eligible for special education services, they will develop an IEP for your child. The IEP is a document that outlines the special education services that your child will receive.
What Are the Components of An IEP In Arizona?
The components of an IEP vary from state to state. However, in general, an IEP must include:
- A statement of the child’s present level of educational performance
- A description of the child’s special education and related services
- Annual goals for the child’s educational progress
- A description of how the child’s progress will be measured
- The date by which the IEP will be reviewed and revised, if necessary
It’s essential to understand that an IEP is a living document that can be revised. As your child’s needs change, the IEP can be revised to address those changes.
What Is the Difference Between A 504 Plan and IEP In Arizona?
You might wonder whether your child needs an IEP or a 504 plan. IEPs and 504 plans help children with disabilities succeed in school. However, there are some critical differences between the two. IEPs are individualized education programs created for students who need special education services. IEPs must be reviewed and updated at least once per year.
504 plans are designed for students who do not need special education services but still need accommodations to help them succeed in school. For example, a student with a 504 plan might need extra time to take tests or have a quiet place to work. 504 plans do not need to be reviewed as often as IEPs.
What Is the Arizona IEP Timeline?
As a parent with a child in the Arizona IEP process, it’s essential to understand the timeline for each process step. This timeline can vary depending on your child’s individual needs and the school district in which you live. However, in general, the Arizona IEP timeline looks like this:
- The parent requests an IEP evaluation from the school district
- The School district evaluates the child to determine if they are eligible for special education services
- If the child is eligible for special education services, the school district develops an IEP
- The IEP is reviewed and revised as necessary at least once per year
When Must an IEP Meeting be Convened?
You must understand that an IEP meeting must be convened within 30 days of the child’s eligibility determination. The IEP team will meet to discuss the child’s needs and create an individualized education program. If the time frame for the IEP meeting is not met, you, as the parent, have the right to contact the school and request a due process hearing.
What Should You Not Say at An Arizona IEP Meeting?
It’s natural for parents to want to advocate for their child at an IEP meeting. However, there are some things that you should avoid saying during an IEP meeting. These things can jeopardize your child’s chances of getting the necessary services.
Some of the things you should avoid saying at an IEP meeting include:
- Making demands
- Threatening legal action
- Saying that you don’t trust the IEP team
- Speaking in a negative tone
It’s also important to remember that an IEP meeting is not a place for you to vent your frustrations. Instead, it’s a place for you to collaborate with the IEP team to create a plan to help your child succeed.
Arizona IEP Progress Monitoring Basics
The IEP progress monitoring process is designed to help ensure that your child is progressing toward their goals. Progress monitoring can take many forms, but it typically includes regular check-ins with the IEP team. Progress monitoring might also include collecting data on your child’s progress and reviewing that data with the IEP team.
How Long Does a School Have to Respond to an Evaluation Request in Arizona?
Traditionally, schools have up to 45 days to respond to an evaluation request. However, due to the pandemic, this timeline has been extended to 60 days. You must keep track of the timeline by counting days, including weekends and holidays. The clock starts ticking the day after you submit your request for special education evaluation to the school. If the school does not respond to your evaluation request within the 60-day timeline, you have the right to contact and file a due process complaint.
Do You Need an Arizona IEP Attorney?
Understanding the Arizona IEP process can be complicated. If you’re concerned about your child’s education, you may want to consider hiring an IEP attorney. An IEP attorney can help you navigate the IEP process and ensure that your child’s rights are protected.
At Chelle Law, we understand parents’ challenges when trying to advocate for their child’s education. We can help you understand your rights and options under the law. We will work with you to create an individualized education plan that meets your child’s unique needs.
Contact us today to schedule a consultation.
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