Special Education » Assessment


Each child referred for assessment receives a full and individual evaluation to identify area(s) of disability, determine eligibility, and assess educational needs. The assessment information provides the basis for an Individualized Education Program (IEP) or Individualized Family Service Plan (IFSP) to ensure the individual receives a free and appropriate public education (FAPE). 

An assessment plan describing the proposed assessments is delivered to the parents within 15 calendar days of receipt of the written referral for assessment. Days between the pupil’s regular school sessions or days of school vacation in excess of five school days are not counted in the 15 calendar days. The 15-day timeline recommences on the date that the pupil’s regular school days reconvene.  If the referral is made within 10 days of the end of the regular school year, the assessment plan must be developed within 10 days after the commencement of the subsequent regular school year (EC 56043).
Assessment Plan 

The assessment plan uses language easily understood by the general population and is provided in the primary language of the parent or other mode of communication used by the parent, unless to do so is clearly not feasible. 

Assessment plan development may include: 

  • Summary of academic progress 
  • History and results of past supports or interventions 
  • Developmental history 
  • Gross and fine motor functioning 
  • Adaptive behavior 
  • Career/Vocational assessments 
  • Social and emotional functioning 
  • Functioning in the school environment 
  • Health status, including vision and hearing screening 
  • Intellectual functioning/Affective functioning 
  • Sensory-motor functioning 
  • Observation of behavior in home or school environment 
  •  Reading ability 
  • Oral and written language ability 
  • Mathematics ability
  • Speech/Language or communication assessment 
  • Cultural, ethnic, and language factors that may affect school function 

The assessment plan document includes the following required components: 
    Reason for assessment 
  • Description of the type of assessments, materials, and procedures 
  • Personnel listed by title (not name) and assessment area 
  • Student’s primary language and language proficiency status 
  • A statement that assessment materials will be administered in the pupil’s primary language or 
    other mode of communication, or if not, the reasons why it is not feasible 
  • Information the parent requests 
  • Alternative means of assessment, as appropriate 
  • Parent consent and date 
Assessment Requirements 
Assessment requirements include the following, as appropriate: 
  • Tests administered in the child’s native language or mode of communication, unless it is clearly not feasible to do so 
  • Assessments conducted by trained personnel in conformance with the instructions provided by the producer 
  • Materials selected and administered so as not to be racially, culturally, or sexually discriminatory 
  • Materials include those tailored to assess specific areas of educational need 
  • Tests selected and administered to best ensure that when administered to a pupil with sensory, language, or physical impairments, the results accurately reflect the pupil’s skills and abilities 
  • A variety of assessment tools and strategies used to gather relevant functional and developmental information, including information provided by the parent 
  • No single procedure used as the sole criterion for determining an appropriate educational program 
  • For students with possible learning disabilities, an observation of the child in the regular classroom is conducted 
  • Assessments for students with severe and low incidence disabilities are conducted by persons knowledgeable of the disability and are consistent with guidelines for Deaf-Blind, Deaf and Hard of Hearing, Visually Impaired, Severely Orthopedically Impaired, and Physical Therapy 
The pupil is assessed in areas related to the suspected disability, using tools and strategies that provide relevant information that directly assists in determining educational needs. Areas to be assessed include the following, as appropriate: 
  • Health and development 
  • Vision, including low vision 
  • Hearing 
  • Motor abilities 
  • Language function 
  • Academic performance 
  • Self-help 
  • Orientation and mobility 
  • Career and vocational abilities and interests 
  • Social/emotional status 
  • General ability 
Written Assessment Report (EC 56327)
All personnel who assess the pupil prepare a written report, as appropriate, of the results of each assessment. The report includes, but is not limited to, the following:

  • Whether the pupil may need special education and related services
  • The basis for making the determination
  • The relevant behavior noted during the observation of the pupil in an appropriate setting
  • The relationship of that behavior to the pupil’s academic and social functioning
  • The educationally relevant health and developmental findings
  • For pupils with learning disabilities, whether there is a discrepancy between achievement and ability such that it cannot be corrected without special education and related services
  • A determination concerning the effects of environmental, cultural, or economic disadvantage
  • The need for specialized services, materials, and equipment for pupils with low incidence disabilities (deaf, deaf/blind, hard of hearing, orthopedically impaired, visually impaired)
Prior to the IEP team meeting, a “staffing” may be held to bring together members of the assessment team to discuss assessment results. Placement and services may not be discussed without parents present.  At the IEP team meeting, team members review assessment results, provide parents with copies of individual assessment reports, and obtain signatures at the conclusion of the meeting. The parent is given a copy of all reports and a copy of the completed IEP document.