Special Education Referral Process

Referral Process: A school staff member or parent may refer a student (ages 5-21) to the Special Education Team to consider evaluation for special education services. To refer a child ages birth-5, please contact the Multnomah Educational Service District (MESD) at 503-255-1841. Usually, prior to referral for special education, the teacher(s) has utilized a variety of interventions with a student. If you believe a child may be eligible for and in need of special education services, please contact the school office where the child attends. A school office staff member will assist you in making contact with the school counselor. The counselor will assist you with the referral process.

Evaluation Process: A meeting is scheduled which the parent is invited to attend, to determine if an evaluation for special education should be conducted. If it is determined that an evaluation needs to be conducted, the parent must provide written permission for the evaluation. The timeframe for an evaluation is 60 school days or less after receipt of the signed parental consent. An evaluation MAY consist of the following: File review of the student's academic grades, assessment scores, behavior, academic assessments, an assessment of the student's ability, observations of the student in the school setting, assessment of the student's receptive and expressive language ability, an assessment of the student's ability to function in daily routines at school, a developmental history of the child, fine motor abilities, gross motor abilities. This is not an exhaustive list; these are just some examples of assessments that the Special Education Team may determine are appropriate to evaluate a student for special education services. The evaluation team may need information provided by the student's physician as well. The staff that provide the evaluation services have extensive training in their particular area of expertise, and hold any required state certification. Evaluation staff MAY consist of the following professionals:

* Special Education Teacher
* Speech/Language Pathologist
* School Psychologist
* Autism Consultant
* Occupational Therapist
* Physical Therapist

Eligibility Process: A meeting is scheduled with the parent to review the evaluation results. The Special Education Team (the parent is also a member of this team) MAY determine that the student meets eligibility requirements for special education, and that the student requires specially designed instruction. The 11 handicapping condition categories are:

1. Specific Learning Disability
2. Communication Disorder
3. Other Health Impaired
4. Autism Spectrum Disorder
5. Emotionally Disturbed
6. Hearing Impaired
7. Visually Impaired
8. Mental Retardation
9. Orthopedically Impaired
10. Traumatic Brain Injury
11. Deaf/Blind

Special Education: Placement
Initial Placement into Special Education:
If the student is determined eligible for special education services, the parent must provide written permission for the student to begin receiving special education services. This requirement is known as Initial Placement into Special Education. This is often confused with the place or location where the student is to receive the services. Initial Placement into Special Education does NOT determine the place or location where the student will receive special education services. The written parent permission for Initial Placement into Special Education allows the student to receive special education services.

*Notice of Procedural Safeguards website http://www.ode.state.or.us/search/results/?id=261

Individualized Education Plan (IEP) The parent, student (if appropriate), and other members of the IEP team review the evaluation data to determine the student's Present Level of Academic Achievement and Functional Performance (PLAAFP). This information is used to determine specific goal areas that are appropriate for the student to receive specially designed instruction. Goals are developed for one year; progress reports on the goals are provided at least as often as general education grades are provided to parents. Any related services that the student may require to benefit from his/her education are reviewed. Any accommodations and modifications that are needed for the student to access his/her education are determined. Statewide Assessment levels and any accommodations or modifications needed for Statewide Assessments are determined. Other special factors are considered. Examples are: the type of diploma the student is expected to achieve, whether or not the student requires Extended School Year services, if the student has behavior that impedes his/her learning, if the student is an English as a Second Language Learner. The members of the IEP team may include: a general education teacher, a special education service provider (such as a special education teacher or a speech/language pathologist), and a district representative. Other members MAY be: an Occupational Therapist, Physical Therapist, Adaptive Physical Education Teacher, Autism Consultant, School Counselor, School Psychologist, Nurse.

The IEP team then determines placement based on the IEP that was developed. Placement means the Least Restrictive Environment (LRE) where the student can benefit from his/her education and be with typical peers as appropriate. The David Douglas School District offers a continuum of placement options to meet students educational needs.