Don’t Decline Triennial Evaluations!

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Sec. 300.303 Reevaluations.

(a) General. A public agency must ensure that a reevaluation of each child with a disability is conducted in accordance with Sec. Sec. 300.304 through 300.311–

(1) If the public agency determines that the educational or related services needs, including improved academic achievement and functional performance, of the child warrant a reevaluation; or

(2) If the child’s parent or teacher requests a reevaluation.

(b) Limitation. A reevaluation conducted under paragraph (a) of this section–

(1) May occur not more than once a year, unless the parent and the public agency agree otherwise; and

(2) Must occur at least once every 3 years, unless the parent and the public agency agree that a reevaluation is unnecessary.

(Authority: 20 U.S.C. 1414(a)(2) ) Reference: IDEA Website

The law permits the triennial evaluation to be dispensed with if the parent and the district agree that the re-evaluation is unnecessary. Because of the time and costs associated with a reevaluation, it is likely that, if the student clearly continues to qualify for special education services, the school will recommend dispensing with the triennial evaluation. I urge you NOT to agree with this. The purpose of the triennial reevaluation is not only to determine continued eligibility for special education services, but also to “assess whether any additions or modifications to the special education and related services being provided are needed to help the child meet the child’s IEP goals.” Since we know how fast our children change and how their needs change with them, it is almost always very valuable to have the triennial evaluations completed. Needs drive Goals and Goals drive Services. The first step is always to identify the needs of the student. Triennial Evaluations can help you do that more completely.