If a student has been consistently struggling in school, his or her problems may be due to a disability that falls under Individuals with Disabilities Act (IDEA) or Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act. Referrals for an evaluation may be made by individuals with knowledge of the student’s needs, and/or educational programming, including teachers, other staff members, parents/guardians, etc. The purpose of the evaluation is to determine if the student has a disability and requires special education services or services under Section 504. This evaluation is free of charge. Parents/Guardians can make a request for an evaluation at any time. Requests should be written including the date and reason. This request is to be directed to the student’s home school counselor for team consideration. If the student has been identified by a doctor or other professional as having a disability, the information should be included in the request.
If the school determines an evaluation is warranted for the student, an assessment or evaluation team, consisting of parent/guardian and persons knowledgeable about the student, will conduct an individual evaluation of a student initially referred for IDEA or Section 504 evaluation. Parent/Guardian consent will be obtained prior to the evaluation completed by the school. The team will review all submitted documentation, current teacher reports, past records and tests as a part of the student’s evaluation. Additional evaluation tests will be conducted by the school if deemed necessary. If a parent/guardian declines consent for an evaluation, the school district may (but is not required to) use hearing procedures to seek to override the denial of consent.
If the school declines to evaluate the student, the district will provide written notice to the student’s parent/guardian of procedural safeguards, including the parent’s/guardian’s right to challenge the school’s refusal to evaluate the student.
Students with disabilities who do not qualify for an individualized education program, as required by the federal Individuals with Disabilities Education Act and implementing provisions of this Code, may qualify for services under Section 504 of the federal Rehabilitation Act of 1973 if the child (i) has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities, (ii) has a record of a physical or mental impairment, or (iii) is regarded as having a physical or mental impairment.
Parents/Guardians have the right to be involved in each step of the evaluation and placement process. For additional information about parent/guardian rights under IDEA go to: https://www.isbe.net/Pages/Special-Education-Parent-Rights.aspx
For additional 504 Handbook procedures, click here.