The Referral is the first step to all evaluations.
Parents who are concerned that their child may require special education services may initiate a referral by contacting school staff and expressing their desire to refer their child for special education. School staff may suggest that the student take part in a pre-referral process called the Student Support and Intervention Team (SSIT). If a parent agrees, that is a useful first step to determining if a full evaluation is appropriate to determine if this student meets the criteria for a disability and requires special education services. The initial evaluation process typically includes a variety of assessments and team meetings to discuss and evaluate information about the student. Upon a referral being started, the parent will receive a Notice of Referral which states that an IEP team will be developed to conduct the evaluation, informs parents of the steps in the process, and their rights.
A brief summary of the evaluation process to determine if a student meets eligibility criteria for special education ~ Once a referral is submitted, an IEP Team is appointed to conduct the evaluation. The IEP team meets within 15 business days of referral to review existing data and determines if additional assessment is needed or not. The parent agrees or disagrees to allow additional assessment to be conducted. Signature must be obtained for additional assessment to occur. If additional assessments are needed, the team has 60 calendar days to conduct those assessments. The IEP team then comes together to discuss eligibility determination based on the eligibility criteria checklists from the WI Department of Public Instruction. If the student is determined not eligible, the evaluation is complete. If the student is determined eligible, and Individualized Education Plan (IEP) is created within 30 days from that determination. The parent can then decide whether or not they would like their child placed in special education via a written signature.