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Referral Information

Special Services Referral Information      

If a parent makes a written request to the Director of Special Services ( for a special education evaluation, the district has 15 school days within which to respond to the parent’s request.

The district is required to give parents the Notice of Procedural Safeguards -- Rights of Parents of Students with Disabilities. Additional information regarding the IDEA is available from the school district in a companion document A Guide to the Admission, Review, and Dismissal Process.

A meeting of qualified and knowledgeable education professionals will be held to determine if a referral to special education is warranted. The team will invite the appropriate special education evaluation staff member(s) to the meeting for technical assistance. The team will collaboratively complete the Pre-referral Form for a Full Initial and Individual Evaluation prior to consideration of a referral for a special education evaluation.

A member of the evaluation team will schedule a meeting with parents to obtain informed consent for a Full Initial and Individual Evaluation. On the date the signed Consent for Evaluation is returned to the campus, the campus staff member should note at the bottom of the form the date the form was received and initial. The evaluation will be due for completion 45 school days from this date.

An evaluation team member will conduct a classroom observation of the student using the Classroom Observation Form. A Full and Individual Evaluation (FIE) will be conducted to determine if the student meets TEA eligibility criteria in one or more of the disability categories. The ARD committee then determines if there is an educational need for special education and related services or if the student’s needs can be met through general education interventions and/or accommodations.

If the team determines that a special education referral is not warranted, the campus administrator must contact the Director of Special Services for assistance in writing the Notice of Refusal to Evaluate form. This process must be completed within 15 school Days.

Who is a Child with a Disability?
  • The term "child with a disability" is defined to mean a child with certain conditions who, by reason of those conditions, needs special education and/or related services in order to make progress in the curriculum. §300.8(a)(1)
What is Special Education?
  • Special education is defined by federal law as specially designed instruction, at no cost to parents, to meet the unique needs of a child with a disability. §300.39(a)(1)
What is Specially Designed Instruction?
  • Specially Designed Instruction means adapting the content, methodology or delivery of instruction, as appropriate to the meet the needs of an eligible student. By doing so the unique needs of the child that result from the child's disability can be addressed. This also ensures access to general curriculum for this student so that he can meet the educational standards within the jurisdiction of the public agency that apply to all students. This is an assurance of least restrictive environment (LRE). §300.39(b)(3)
What is Educational Need?
  • An Admission, Review, and Dismissal (ARD) Committee reviews the full and individual evaluation and determines:
    1. whether or not a student meets the definition of a child with a disability under federal and state law (visual impairment; auditory impairment; deaf-blindness; autism; emotional disturbance; intellectual disability; orthopedic impairment; other health impairment; learning disability; speech Impairment; traumatic brain injury; noncategorical early childhood); and
    2. how that disability affects the child's education
      • Educational need may be evidenced in:  
        • academics,  
        • behavior,  
        • socialization,  
        • communication,  
        • life and/or vocational skills,
      • and, if eligible,

  • determines appropriate special education and related services to meet the child's educational needs arising from the disability within the least restrictive environment (LRE).
Related Services?
    • Related services are available to support an eligible student's special education. Therefore, a student must qualify for special education in order to receive related services (as noted above).

  • Related services are those which are developmental, corrective, supportive, or evaluative, not instructional in nature, and may be needed for the student to benefit from special education instruction and for implementation of a student's IEP.