When is a Parent Entitled to an Arizona Individual Educational Evaluation? | Special Education
When is a parent entitled to an Independent Educational Evaluation in Arizona?
So, this IEE, I’ll call it, is considered a second opinion. Suppose you have written your request to the school asking for the evaluation of your child to see if they qualify for special education in an IEP setting. That initial screening will decide if the school has enough information to assess the student already or not.
So, this might be observations from your healthcare provider, your teachers in the general education setting, and grades. Sometimes that’s enough for them to decide if the child is eligible for an IEP or if they have one of the qualifying disabilities.
When Can a Parent Ask for an Individualized Education Evaluation in Arizona?
Suppose they decide that the student is not qualified for an IEP, or they choose not to evaluate the student in a specified area. In that case, the parent can request an individualized education evaluation. The school must provide an outside evaluator to come in and give a second opinion, as I said.
Independent Educational Evaluator
So, suppose you disagree with what the first evaluator (usually employed under the school) said. As parents or guardians, you may request, at the expense of the school, to bring in an independent educational evaluator. And they will just come in and give a second opinion.
If you feel the school should have evaluated your child in a specific area but didn’t—maybe behavior would be an excellent example—and they decided not to provide that evaluation for your child, you can request an IEE.
If a parent or guardian requests this by federal statutes, the Individuals with Disability Education Act, the public school, or the charter school must comply. So, they must get that second evaluation, the IEE we discussed. You can file a complaint to the State Board of Education if they don’t.
Due Process Hearing with State Board of Education
Suppose the school disagrees and feels like they do not need an IEE. In that case, they can proceed with a due process hearing with the State Board of Education, where you both would then meet with an administrative law judge and discuss why or why not this IEE evaluation should occur.
Again, every parent has the right to request it whenever they’re in the IEP process or at the beginning of evaluations.
Now, statutorily, you’re only provided one IEE. So, if you disagree with that other party, the IEE, it gets a little gray. The school is not statutorily required to provide a third opinion, but the parents may add at their own expense.
Parents’ Rights to Request
Parents have the right to request an Individual Educational Evaluation for their child if they disagree with the school’s evaluation of their child. However, you need to know that the public school is only obliged to pay for one IEE per disability per student.
You also have the right to choose the professional conducting the IEE. However, this professional must not be employed at your child’s public school. Once the IEE is complete, the professional will share the results with the IEP team, who will use it to make decisions about your child’s education.
How Do I Write a Letter Asking for an IEE in Arizona?
As highlighted above, you can request an IEE at any time as a parent. You must include specific information to write a letter asking for an IEE. It should consist of the following:
- Your child’s name
- The name of the school they attend
- Your contact information
- A description of your child’s disability
- The reason why you are requesting an IEE
You must also send this letter to your school district’s Director of Special Education. You can find the contact information for this person on your school district’s website. The goal of this letter is to give the school district notice that you are requesting an IEE. It is important to note that you do not need to state a reason for requesting the IEE in this letter.
Who Determines Placement of LRE Students in Arizona?
The first thing parents need to understand is that determining where they will place their child for learning is a collaborative effort between the school team and themselves.
The IEP or Individualized Education Program team, which comprises the student’s teachers, therapists, parents, and administrators, makes this decision.
Therefore, as a parent, you must ensure that you actively participate in all the meetings convened by this team. Your active participation is vital because you are the only person who knows your child best.
You understand their abilities, strengths, and weaknesses better than anyone else, and thus your input is essential in making the right decision.
What are the 2 Components of LRE in Arizona?
The LRE approach comprises two main components, which are:
The General Education Setting
Most people think of the general education setting when they hear the phrase ‘Least Restrictive Environment.’
It refers to the typical classroom setting where students with special needs learn alongside their general education counterparts. It helps such students interact with their peers regularly, learn how to socialize, and develop their communication skills.
The supportive services, on the other hand, are the extra services and accommodations that these students require to be successful in the general education setting.
These may include having a smaller class size, having a paraprofessional in the classroom, or receiving occupational or physical therapy. You must ensure that your child’s IEP team puts these services in place before placing them in the general education setting.
What is the Child Finding Process in Arizona?
The Child Find process is a continuous effort by the public school system to locate, identify, and evaluate children who may have disabilities and need special education services. This process applies to all children aged 3-21 who reside in Arizona.
The evaluation team responsible for carrying out this process is known as the Multidisciplinary Team or MDT.
If you believe your child may have a disability and requires special education services, you should contact your school district’s Special Education Department. The school district will evaluate your child’s eligibility for special education services. Make sure to ask for a copy of the evaluation report to keep it for your records.
Contact Special Education Attorney
As a parent, you must understand your child’s rights under the Disabilities Education Act. It will ensure that you can make informed decisions about their education and ensure that they receive the best possible education.
If you have any questions, seek legal advice about your child’s rights, or need assistance in ensuring that they receive the best possible education, contact an experienced Arizona special education attorney.
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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