Policy - JLDAD
EFFECTIVE DATE: 12/4/96
CANCELS SHEET DATED: NEW
REVIEWED BY POLICY COMMITTEE: 10/14/03
MODEL REFERRAL/PRE-REFERRAL PROCEDURES
It shall be the policy of MSAD #74 to refer all school-age students suspected of having a disability that requires special education to the Pupil Evaluation Team (PET) for an evaluation in the suspected areas of disability. Referrals of students to the pupil evaluation team may be made by professional school staff, by parents, and by other persons knowledgeable about the child’s educational needs.
School employees who are making a referral shall do so by contacting the Principal and by filling out the appropriate referral forms. Parents may at any time refer their child to the pupil evaluation team if they believe the child may be in need of special services. Parents should contact the school Principal to make a referral, but also contact the child’s teacher to make that referral. School employees who are informed by parents or others of a desire to refer a student shall immediately direct that person to the school Principal for initiation and discussion of the referral process. The school employee shall document in writing the contact with the parent or other person and shall immediately forward that documentation to the school Principal.
Once a referral has been made, MSAD #74 has 15 school days to send the family a form requesting written consent for the evaluation of the student. When the school receives that consent form back from the family with the appropriate signatures, MSAD #74 has 45 school days to complete the evaluation and to hold a Pupil Evaluation Team (PET) meeting to determine whether the student qualifies for special education services.
Notice of these referral and evaluation timelines will be provided to the parent when the evaluation process will be interrupted by summer vacation and will be continued into the next school year.
Transfer students who have already been identified as in need of special services shall be served by MSAD #74 in accordance with their current Individual Education Plan as soon as the IEP is received. If it has been received, but the parents have notified MSAD #74 that the child has an IEP, the special education office shall contact the prior school, request a copy of IEP and other records, and ask that the content of the IEP be read over the phone or faxed. MSAD #74 shall attempt to provide services consistent with the information read over the phone by the prior school until a copy of current IEP is received, and shall then follow that IEP. A PET meeting shall be scheduled for that transfer student to review his or her identification, evaluation program, and placement.
Upon enrollment in public school, a student who was being served by the CDS system shall be treated by MSAD #74 in the same manner as are transfer students under the state special education regulations, except that the student’s Individual Family Service Plan from CDS will be considered as his or her current IEP until such time as a PET meets to alter or end that program. Placement, however, will be in the public school system rather than at the site provided by CDS.
Professional school staff members who observe that a student is encountering academic, social, or emotional difficulties in school that interfere with the student’s education shall document those specific difficulties on a Pre-Referral Checklist.
The school staff member shall then develop an intervention strategy, using the intervention checklist that accompanies the pre-referral checklist. The staff member may consult with other school employees and/or the student’s parents in developing the intervention strategy. The intervention strategy shall have an established time period for implementation, and at the end of that time its success shall be assessed and documented at the bottom of the intervention checklist. If the intervention strategy fails to resolve satisfactorily the difficulties that were interfering with student’s education and the staff member suspects that the student may be in need of special education, the staff member shall immediately refer the student to a pupil evaluation team in accordance with the referral process noted above.
In addition to other requirements for parental notification, MSAD #74 shall notify parents in writing consistent with the state special education regulations whenever their child has been referred to the pupil evaluation team, and shall notify parents whenever their child has demonstrated educational difficulties that have led to completion by a staff member of the pre-referral checklist and intervention strategy checklist.
That notification of pre-referral interventions shall include copies of the completed checklists and shall request that the parents contact the staff member who has completed the documents. That notification shall also inform parents that they have a right to refer their child directly to the pupil evaluation team if they suspect that their child may need special education services. MSAD #74 may advise the parents as to why it may be appropriate to have the child participate in the intervention strategies prior to a referral to the pupil evaluation team, but MSAD #74 shall not reject or delay the referral until the intervention strategies have been tried if the parent requests that the school proceed immediately with the referral. The school shall document the parent’s decision.
That notification shall also inform the parents that they have a right to request a due process hearing from the Maine Department of Education in response to any refusal by the school to proceed with their request to refer this child to the pupil evaluation team.