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 basically considered a second opinion. Whenever you have written your request to the school, asking for your child to be evaluated to see if they qualify for special education in an IEP setting, then that initial screening will decide if they feel like they have enough information to assess the student already. So, this might just be observations from your healthcare provider, your teachers in the general education setting, and grades, and 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?
Now, if they decide that the student is not qualified for an IEP, or they decide not to evaluate the student in a specified area, then the parent can request an individualized education evaluation. And what this is, is the school must provide an outside evaluator to come in and basically give a second opinion like I said.
Independent Educational Evaluator
So, if you disagree with what the first evaluator had said, they’re normally employed by the school. If you disagree with that, 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. As I said, if you feel like your child should have been evaluated in a specific area and they were not, maybe behavior would be a good example of that, and the school decided that they did not want to provide that type of evaluation, you can request for an IEE.
Now, 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 with that. So, they must get that second evaluation, that IEE that we had talked about. If they don’t, you can file a complaint to the State Board of Education.
Due Process Hearing with State Board of Education
If the school disagrees and feels like they do not need an IEE, 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, to every parent, whenever you’re in the IEP process, or even at the very beginning with evaluations, you have the right to request it. Now, statutorily, you only are provided one IEE. So, if you disagree with that other party, the IEE, then 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
As parents, you have the right to request an Individual Educational Evaluation for your child if you disagree with the school’s evaluation of your 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 by the public school that your child attends. Once the IEE is complete, the results will be shared 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, as a parent, you have the right to request an IEE at any time. If you want to write a letter asking for an IEE, you need to include certain information in the letter. This includes:
- 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 their child will be placed for learning purposes 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 key 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.’ This 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 they are placed 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 within the state of Arizona. The evaluation team responsible for carrying out this process is known as the Multi-Disciplinary Team or MDT.
If you believe that 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. This 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 or 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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