View Full Version : How does this evaluation request sound?


JenE
04-03-13, 11:35 AM
How does this sound? The ALL CAPS will be replaced by the appropriate names of course.


Dear PRINCIPAL,
<O:p</O:p
We request the school district to evaluate our son, STUDENT, for special education eligibility and services.
<O:p</O:p
We are concerned about STUDENT’s progress in school this year. He is diagnosed with Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and anxiety which is impacting his school performance and behavior. These diagnoses were communicated in writing to the school in August 2009 and again in March 2013.

STUDENT has had difficulties focusing on his assignments which lead has led to him being behind in his work. STUDENT also can be quite talkative and interrupts during lessons. The school performance issues he has had this year have increased STUDENT's anxiety level to the point where he has been unable to attend class on a consistent basis since the beginning of February 2013.
<O:p</O:p
Kindly provide us with a Permission to Evaluate form so they we can move forward with the process.

We will call you by 4/10/13 to follow up on this request. If you have any questions about this request, you may call or email me.
<O:p</O:p
Thank you.

PARENTS

Lunacie
04-03-13, 12:17 PM
I think it might be helpful to add some information about how your son's
anxiety has kept him out of the classroom so often, and how whatever the
school is doing to handle that issue doesn't seem to be working, and even
make a suggestion on what could be done just to get the ball rolling so
they will be more likely to come up with something.

It would also be helpful to document if his grades are slipping as a result
or explain in some way what your concern is about him not making
progress, and how this leads to an increase in his anxiety about school.

You're on the right track!!!

ginniebean
04-03-13, 12:27 PM
Sounds good! If you are getting resistance or a frustrating run around document the information. Always be pleasant but after a verbal conversation you can send an email-mail saying you want to make sure you understood the conversation, relay the important points and ask for feedback. If you don't get feedback that's okay because you now have documentation for any in person or phone conversation.

Caution and vigilance are a necessary part of advocating for our children.

dvdnvwls
04-03-13, 01:03 PM
Small edit:

Change this He is diagnosed with Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and anxiety which is...
to this:He is diagnosed with Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and anxiety, both of which are...

zette93
04-03-13, 03:11 PM
I would start with this, which includes reference to the relevant laws:


I am writing to formally request that a team be formed to evaluate my son NAME for special education services under the Individuals with Disability Education Act and any disabling condition under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act.


I would scratch this sentence:
STUDENT also can be quite talkative and interrupts during lessons.

The next sentence needs to be stronger -- quantify how much class he has missed, and say something about the resulting behavior being serious enough to be suspended for X number of days. State that the school needs to develop a plan to ensure that your son has access to a free and appropriate public education.

anxiety level to the point where he has been unable to attend class on a consistent basis since the beginning of February 2013.

I'm debating, because in this letter you don't need to justify why the request is being made, but justifying it does help create a paper trail if you get into a dispute later on.

dvdnvwls
04-03-13, 03:23 PM
I would scratch this sentence:

STUDENT also can be quite talkative and interrupts during lessons.



I agree - this sentence is not doing any good. If this sentence is to be kept, it would need to be improved a lot, by adding information about why this matters and why you have said it.

Lunacie
04-03-13, 04:20 PM
zette, good catch! I'd forgotten that he had been suspended as well as
refusing to go to class. I thought the reason for the suspension was dodgy.

JenE
04-03-13, 04:34 PM
Thanks everyone. I'm going to do some more revisions and repost later tonight. I also want to take a copy to his psychologist tomorrow as he deals with the schools all the time and see what his opinion is.

zette93
04-03-13, 05:13 PM
I've also seen some samples that cite the timelines -- ie you "look forward" to being contacted within 5 days to set up the initial meeting, and to receiving an evaluation plan within 15 days or some such.

dvdnvwls
04-03-13, 06:06 PM
When you state your time line clearly, and it is a reasonable one (i.e. you make a point of giving them some time to respond, not demanding things be done immediately) then it is good for everyone; administrators know exactly what they are dealing with, and you have clear knowledge of when to take your next step in the process - which otherwise can be tricky to know. If you say "I look forward to hearing from you by Wednesday the 10th" then you know that your next step (if no results) can take place on Friday the 12th, and you won't have to waste time and energy debating "should we wait till Monday".

I would state everything in letters in terms of real days and dates, not numbers of days. Everybody really thinks in terms of the real dates, and forcing them to translate from "15 days" just wastes time and is confusing.

ccom5100
04-03-13, 08:23 PM
Make sure you send the letter either certified mail/return receipt requested, OR deliver it in person and get a signed copy that reads: Received by:________, Date: ______.

Ms. Mango
04-03-13, 10:03 PM
When you state your time line clearly, and it is a reasonable one (i.e. you make a point of giving them some time to respond, not demanding things be done immediately) then it is good for everyone; administrators know exactly what they are dealing with, and you have clear knowledge of when to take your next step in the process - which otherwise can be tricky to know. If you say "I look forward to hearing from you by Wednesday the 10th" then you know that your next step (if no results) can take place on Friday the 12th, and you won't have to waste time and energy debating "should we wait till Monday".

I would state everything in letters in terms of real days and dates, not numbers of days. Everybody really thinks in terms of the real dates, and forcing them to translate from "15 days" just wastes time and is confusing.

Under IDEA days to respond, test, evaluate and present the findings are specified. States have some latitude, so OP should look up how her state administers IDEA to know what a "day" is. Then she can amend her letter accordingly.

Ms. Mango
04-03-13, 10:13 PM
I think the letter is very good and everyone's suggestions will only make it better.

I have a question about a something that's kind of related to this issue--your son has missed a lot of days this school year; either due to refusal to attend (due to his disability, obviously) or through suspension. Is he in danger of being retained due to absenteeism? If so, how does the school plan to address this?

It seems to me like the school has dropped the ball. When your son was missing so much school initially, why was no alternate plan proposed (like tutoring) or RTI (response to intervention) or even what you now are asking for in writing.

Do you think maybe a call to your state's Department of Education might be helpful in understanding what the school should be offering you, regardless of an IEP or 504?

JenE
04-03-13, 11:14 PM
He has missed a ton of school and it was all in the 3rd quarter. I have talked several times with the principal who has said if DS doesn't consistently stay in school, he would have a difficult time passing him. He did say if he does attend going forward he would not hold him back. DS is very intelligent and earned all A's and B's with a C in Spelling the first quarter and all A's and B's 2nd quarter. I do not know what his grades will be 3rd quarter but I expect they will be lower simply because of the delay between the presentation of material and the administration of tests. He has quite a bit of testing to make up when he returns (which is another source of anxiety for him). I have told the principal that retaining him is NOT in his best interest when he is academically capable and if necessary, we will fight it.

I requested and received all the work he missed during his absences and suspension. We completed the work at home and I tutored him. They did not initiate this for the absences (I had to request it) but the principal did for the 6-day suspension without my prompting.

I agree. The suspensions were because DS wouldn't go to class but he would have stayed in the office and done his work. But when administration called that "in-school suspension", that elicited an anxiety response. They were punishing him for not going to class, not trying to help him stay in school.