• Prior Interventions:
     
    What is Response to Intervention (RtI)? RtI is a framework of explicit instruction and support that is provided to students through general education and other supports. In Georgia, RtI is operationalized through the Georgia Student Achievement Pyramid of Interventions. RtI occurs at each of the four tiers. When a student struggles, the problem solving team must analyze the data collected through formative assessments such as progress monitoring to determine if the student is making progress. If the data indicates progress, the student is responding and does not require more intense support along the continuum of the pyramid.  
     
    What is considered adequate response to instruction? The research findings have defined adequate response as an increase of one standard deviation on a formal measure of progress monitoring. However, systems are not required to utilize a formal measure for progress monitoring. 
     
    Consent for Evaluation:
     
    How long will an evaluation take? Systems are expected to complete the comprehensive evaluation and determine eligibility by the 60 day timeline.  
     
    Can parents request an evaluation anytime during the process of RtI? Yes, IDEA requires that school systems consider the parent’s request for an evaluation. If evidence of prior interventions has not been obtained, the evidence can be collected during the evaluation period. If the school system decides not to conduct the evaluation, they must provide the parent with prior written notice and advise them of their parental rights to seek mediation or a due process hearing.
     
    If a parent refuses consent for an evaluation, is the school system required to go through either mediation or due process? No, when the school system decides that an evaluation is needed but the parent refuses, the system may choose to, but is not required to, seek mediation or due process. If the student is a home-schooled or private school student, this consent override does not apply.
     
    Evaluation Report:
    Are school psychologists required to write a psychological evaluation report? Yes; however, special education directors and school psychologists should work together to determine the essential components needed in a psychological report due to the comprehensive requirements of the eligibility report. It is conceivable that psychological evaluation reports may not need to be as detailed due to the comprehensive nature of the new eligibility report.
     
    Timelines for Developing the Initial IEP:
     
    What are the timelines for developing an IEP after a determination of eligibility is made? After a student is determined eligible for special education services, the system has 30 calendar days to develop and implement the IEP. A local school system is required to have an IEP in place by the beginning of the school year for any currently eligible students.  
     
    Individual Education Program (IEP):
     
    Who develops the IEP? The IEP is developed by a team of individuals that includes key school staff and the child’s parents. The team meets, reviews the assessment information available about the child, and designs an educational program to address the child’s educational needs that result from his or her disability. 
     
    What’s in an IEP? Each child’s IEP must contain specific information, as listed within IDEA, our nation’s special education law. This includes (but is not limited to):
    • the child’s present levels of academic achievement and functional performance, describing how the child is currently doing in school and how the child’s disability affects his or her involvement and progress in the general curriculum
    • annual goals for the child, meaning what parents and the school team think he or she can reasonably accomplish in a year
    • the special education and related services to be provided to the child, including supplementary aids and services (such as a communication device) and changes to the program or supports for school personnel
    • how much of the school day the child will be educated separately from nondisabled children or not participate in extracurricular or other nonacademic activities such as lunch or clubs
    • how (and if) the child is to participate in state and district-wide assessments, including what modifications to tests the child needs
    • when services and modifications will begin, how often they will be provided, where they will be provided, and how long they will last
    • how school personnel will measure the child’s progress toward the annual goals
    Does an IEP only occur once per year?  An formal IEP must occur one time per school year, however it is a fluid document so can be amended based on student need. 
     
    Re-evaluation:
     
    What happens if the parent refuses consent for re-evaluation? The school system can determine based on the current data and other information that the student either continues to or does not continue to be eligible. The system should then provide prior written notice to the parents. Systems may also use the consent override procedures (due process hearing or mediation) to gain permission to evaluate.
     
    If the parent requests an evaluation at the re-evaluation consideration meeting and the system does not feel that it needs one to continue eligibility and documents that the student is still eligible, what happens if the information obtained in a re-evaluation conflicts with the current eligibility? The team must consider all information, not just the assessment/psychological. Test scores alone should not determine if the system should reconsider eligibility. On a case-by-case basis, this information should be reviewed and the initial determination that the student continues to meet eligibility may need to be revised based on the additional information. The system certainly does not have to wait three years to consider eligibility again.
     
    What are the timelines for completing a re-evaluation? The 60 day timeline only applies to the initial evaluation. Once a student is in special education, all further evaluations are considered re-evaluations. The re-evaluation must be completed within a reasonable time frame, no later than the 3 year eligibility determination date. 
     
     Dismissal:
     
    If a child is dismissed from special education, must the eligibility form be completed? There must be a review of the data indicating that the child is not a child with a disability. This must be shared with the parents. To meet the requirements of prior written notice, the parents must be informed of changes, what data was considered, what options were considered. Completing or updating the eligibility form will document this.
     
    Obtained from the GADOE FAQ September 2007 & Center for Parent Information & Resources