Full and Individual Evaluation

Initial Evaluation

Albuquerque Public Schools is required by federal regulations to conduct an initial evaluation of a child with a suspected disability before special education services are provided. This evaluation must take place within sixty (60) days of receiving consent to perform the evaluation.  To comply with these regulations, Albuquerque Public Schools shall conduct a full and individual initial evaluation, in accordance with §300.305 and §300.306, before the initial provision of special education and related services to a child with a disability.  (34 C.F.R. § 300.301(a))

The initial evaluation shall consist of procedures to:

Determine if the child is a child with a disability under federal law (34 CFR §300.8) and

Determine the educational needs of the child

(34 C.F.R. § 300.301(c) (2))

The sixty (60) day time frame for an initial evaluation shall begin when Albuquerque Public Schools receives the consent for evaluation.  (71 Fed. Reg. 46636 (August 14, 2006))

Reevaluation of Children with a Disability

Albuquerque Public Schools may reevaluate a child with a disability if that reevaluation occurs not more than once a year, unless the parent and district agree otherwise.  (34 C.F.R. § 300.303(b)(1))

Albuquerque Public Schools shall reevaluate a child with a disability at least once every three (3) years, unless the parent and the district agree that a reevaluation is unnecessary.  (34 C.F.R. § 300.303(b)(2))

Albuquerque Public Schools shall ensure that a reevaluation of each child with a disability is conducted in accordance with § 300.304 through §300.311, which include:

If the district determines that the educational or related services needs, including improved academic achievement and functional performance, of the child warrant a reevaluation; or

If the child’s parent or teacher requests a reevaluation.

(34 C.F.R. § 300.303(a))

A reevaluation shall not be conditioned on the parent providing a reason for requesting a reevaluation.  (71 Fed. Reg. 46640 (August 14, 2006))

If a parent requests a reevaluation and Albuquerque Public Schools disagrees that a reevaluation is needed, Albuquerque Public Schools shall provide prior written notice to the parent as set forth in “Prior Written Notice” procedural directive.  (71 Fed. Reg. 46640 (August 14, 2006))

Children classified as developmentally delayed must be reevaluated no later than the school year in which they turn nine (9) years of age. When children become 10 years of age, they are no longer eligible as developmentally delayed. Depending on the results of the evaluation, a child may be determined to no longer qualify for services or may be found eligible for services under another eligibility category. (6.31.2 .10(F)(2)(b) NMAC) 

Scope of Evaluations

In conducting an evaluation, Albuquerque Public Schools shall use a variety of assessment tools and strategies to gather relevant functional, developmental, and academic information about the child, including information provided by the parent, which may assist in determining:

Whether the child is a child with a disability under § 300.8 and

The content of the child’s IEP, including information related to enabling the child to be involved in and progress in the general education curriculum (or for a preschool child, to participate in appropriate activities)

(34 C.F.R. § 300.304(b) (1))

Albuquerque Public Schools shall ensure that when evaluating each child with a disability under §§ 300.304 through 300.306, the evaluation is sufficiently comprehensive to address all of the child’s special education and related services needs, whether or not commonly linked to the disability category in which the child has been classified.  (34 C.F.R. § 300.304(c) (6))

Albuquerque Public Schools shall ensure that the child is assessed in all areas related to the suspected disability.  This may include, if appropriate, health, vision, hearing, social and emotional status, general intelligence, academic performance, communicative status, and motor abilities.  This shall not be an exhaustive list of areas that must be assessed.  Decisions regarding the areas to be assessed shall be determined by the suspected needs of the child.  If a child’s behavior or physical status is of concern, evaluations addressing these areas shall be conducted.  (71 Fed. Reg. 46643 (August 14, 2006))

The scope of an initial evaluation (if appropriate) and any reevaluation shall be determined by a review of existing evaluation data as set forth in federal regulation.  (34 C.F.R. § 300.305)

Evaluation Assessments and Process

Albuquerque Public Schools shall not use any single measure or assessment as the sole criterion for determining whether a child is a child with a disability and for determining an appropriate educational program for the child.  (34 C.F.R. § 300.304(b) (2))

Albuquerque Public Schools shall use technically sound instruments that may assess the relative contribution of cognitive and behavioral factors, in addition to physical or developmental factors.  (34 C.F.R. § 300.304(b) (3))

Albuquerque Public Schools shall select and administer assessments and other evaluation materials so as to not be racially or culturally discriminatory.  (34 C.F.R. § 300.304(c)(1)(i))

Albuquerque Public Schools shall provide and administer tests in the child’s native language or other mode of communication and in the form most likely to yield accurate information about what the child knows and can do academically, developmentally and functionally, unless it is clearly not feasible to do so.  (34 C.F.R. § 300.304(c) (1) (ii))

Albuquerque Public Schools shall use assessments for the purposes for which the assessments or measures are valid and reliable.  (34 C.F.R. § 300.304(c) (1) (iii))

Albuquerque Public Schools shall ensure that assessments and other measures are administered by trained and knowledgeable personnel.  (34 C.F.R. § 300.304(c) (1) (IV))

Albuquerque Public Schools shall ensure that assessments are administered in accordance with the instructions provided by the producer of the assessments.  (34 C.F.R. § 300.304(c) (1) (v))

Albuquerque Public Schools shall include assessments and other evaluation materials tailored to assess specific areas of educational need and not merely those that are designed to provide a single general intelligence quotient.  (34 C.F.R. § 300.304(c) (2))

Albuquerque Public Schools shall select and administer assessments so as best to ensure that, if an assessment is administered to a child with impaired sensory, manual, or speaking skills, the assessment results accurately reflect the child’s aptitude or achievement level or any other factors the test purports to measure, rather than reflecting the child’s impaired sensory, manual, or speaking skills (unless those skills are the factors that the test purports to measure).  (34 C.F.R. § 300.304(c) (3))

Albuquerque Public Schools shall ensure that the child is assessed in all areas related to the suspected disability, including, if appropriate, health, vision, hearing, social and emotional status, general intelligence, academic performance, communicative status, and motor abilities.  (34 C.F.R. § 300.304(c) (4))

When a child transfers from one district to another in the same school year, Albuquerque Public Schools shall coordinate with the other school district, as necessary and as expeditiously as possible, to ensure prompt completion of full evaluations.  (34 C.F.R. § 300.304(c) (5))

Albuquerque Public Schools shall comply with the additional procedures, as appropriate, for determining the presence of a specific learning disability.  (34 C.F.R. §§ 300.307 through 300.311)

Members of the Eligibility Determination Team

Upon completion of the administration of assessments and other evaluation measures, Albuquerque Public Schools will convene a team meeting to determine whether the child qualifies as a student in need of special education and related services.  This Eligibility Determination Team (EDT) shall be comprised of a group of qualified professionals and the parent.  (34 C.F.R. § 300.306 (1)).  If the EDT is considering whether the child is a child with a specific learning disability (SLD), the EDT shall also include the child’s regular education teacher.  If the child for whom SLD is being considered does not have a regular education teacher, the EDT shall include a regular education teacher qualified to teach a child of his or her age.  The EDT shall also include at least one person qualified to conduct educational evaluations such as a school psychologist, speech language pathologist, an educational diagnostician or remedial reading teacher.  (34. C.F.R. § 300.308).

The district shall provide a copy of the evaluation report and the documentation of determination of eligibility at no cost to the parent. (34 C.F.R. § 300.306 (a) (2)). 

NM TEAM

The New Mexico Public Education Department has issued a guidance document entitled, New Mexico Technical Evaluation and Assistance Manual: Determining Eligibility for IDEA Part B Special Education Services (NM TEAM).

The NM TEAM presents a sustained effort to standardize evaluation and assessment procedures and eligibility criteria in every IDEA disability category across New Mexico.  School districts are expected to attend to the recommendations that NM TEAM establishes.

Albuquerque Public Schools by reference in this procedural directive, and through staff professional development (as appropriate), shall inform appropriate personnel of this guidance document.  Albuquerque Public Schools shall utilize the guidance of NM TEAM.

Administrative Position:                       Chief Academic Officer

Department Director:                             Executive Director of Special Education

             

References

Legal Cross Ref.:                          

Code of Federal Regulations (CFR)
Federal Registry (Fed. Reg.)
New Mexico Administrative Code (NMAC)
34 C.F.R. § 300.301
34 C.F.R. § 300.303
34 C.F.R. § 300.304
34 C.F.R. § 300.305
34 C.F.R. § 300.306
34 C.F.R. § 300.308
71 Fed. Reg. 46636
71 Fed. Reg. 46640
71 Fed. Reg. 46643
6.31.2.10 NMAC
New Mexico Technical Evaluation and Assistance Manual: Determining Eligibility for IDEA Part B Special Education Services

Board Policy Cross Ref.:
I.11 Special Education

Procedural Directive Cross Ref.:
Special Education – Prior Written Notice
Special Education – Independent Education Evaluations

Forms:

NSBA/NEPN Classification:        IHBA

Introduced: April 1, 2011
Reviewed: April 12, 2011
Adopted: April 22, 2011
Reviewed: October 12, 2012
Revised: October 12, 2012
Reviewed August 8, 2018
Revised: August 24, 2018