Specialized Education Process
The Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) has released a Video Guide to the Special Education Evaluation Process for Families as additional guidance to support accurate and consistent eligibility determinations and access to special education services across school divisions. These video modules will provide parents, families, and other stakeholders with a brief but comprehensive overview of the special education process on the following topics: Introduction (Overview of Series), Identification, Evaluation, Eligibility, Individualized Education Program (IEP), Reevaluation, Early Intervention, and What’s Next. Each module is designed to be viewed as a stand-alone resource or viewed in succession.
Who may refer a child for consideration of a special education evaluation?
A child may be referred by any of the following people:
- Parent/legal guardian
- Family member or friend
- ITC-PIE staff
- Childcare provider
- Community agency
- School personnel
What happens once a referral is received?
Step 1: A Child Study Meeting is held within 10 days of the receipt of the referral unless the administrator who receives the referral provides written notice that a meeting will not be held and provides an explanation as to why.
- The team will review the child’s strengths and needs with parent/guardian present. The following individuals will also be in attendance at this meeting: the referring source, at least one teacher, at least one specialist, and the administrator/designee.
- The team will determine if there is a need for evaluations due to a suspected disability.
- Any proposed evaluations will require parent/guardian to consent to be completed.
Step 2: An Eligibility Meeting is held within 65 business days of the receipt of referral.
- The team will review the evaluations with parent/ guardian present. The following individuals will also be in attendance at this meeting: a general education teacher of the student, a special education teacher, individuals representing the areas in which assessments were conducted, and the administrator/designee.
- The team will review eligibility criteria in area of suspected disability(ies) and determine if the child meets the criteria to receive special education services.
Step 3: If the child is determined to be eligible for special education services, an Individualized Education Program (IEP) Meeting is held within 30 calendar days of eligibility meeting.
- The team reviews the child’s strengths and needs with parent/guardian present. The following individuals will also be in attendance at this meeting: general education teacher of the child, special education teacher, related service providers as appropriate, and the administrator/designee.
- The team discusses the IEP proposal to include goals that the child will work towards mastering, services that will be provided to the child to support the child in mastering the goals and accommodations to support the child in the school environment.
- Implementation of the IEP will require parent/guardian consent.
How often are IEP and eligibility meetings convened?
- IEP meetings must be held annually but can be held more often upon request of any team member.
- Eligibility meetings must be held every three years but may be held sooner should data indicate the need.
Is there anyone that can support me in understanding the many aspects of special education?
- The Parent Resource Center located at ACHS- Minnie Howard offers a variety of free services (e.g. workshops, training sessions, parent support groups, individual support and consultation).
- Call 703-824-0129 or visit https://www.acps.k12.va.us/prc to learn more.