Evaluations typically occur after parents or school staff suspect that a disability may be hindering a student in the school setting. The typical first step after a concern is express is for a “Student Assistance Team” made up of teachers, counselor and when necessary a representative from school administration and the special education department to meet and recommend individual interventions (pre-referral interventions) that may help the student. If the interventions do not show positive results a special education evaluation will often be considered.
To determine a student’s eligibility to receive special education services, an evaluation is conducted. Evaluations seek to determine whether a disability is present and if so if the child requires special education services. To make this decision the evaluation team will consider various types of information which often include standardized testing, observations of the student and information provided by parents, teachers, doctors, psychologists and other outside specialists.