Can the School Delay the Evaluation Over the Summer Break?

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I am a special education teacher. There are only 35 days of school left and I have gotten 4 requests for initial testing. There are only 45 days including weekends until the end of the school year. Is it the expectation of the law that these all be completed by the last day of school? Or that we work into the summer?

The U.S. ED Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) responded to a letter requesting clarification of the requirement for a timely initial evaluation under 34 CFR 300.301 (c)(1).

There are exceptions to when the timeframe does not apply in 34 CFR 300.301(d), but –

In Letter to Reyes, April 11, 2012, OSEP responded that:

“There is no exception in 34 CFR 300.301(d) that would permit the applicable initial evaluation timeline to be suspended because of a school break.”

“The Office of Special Education Programs recognizes that conducting evaluation activities during extended breaks, such as the typical school’s summer vacation, can be challenging for school districts, particularly if fewer staff members are available.

Nevertheless, the IDEA contemplates that the initial evaluation of a child suspected of having a disability not be unreasonably delayed so that eligible children with disabilities are not denied a FAPE.”

See the Regulations in your Wrightslaw: Special Education Law, 2nd Edition, on page 240.

Letter to Reyes
https://www2.ed.gov/policy/speced/guid/idea/letters/2012-1/041012timelyintialeval1q2012.pdf

 

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jeannie

Anyone have any information about GA changing their 60 day timeline to longer? Apparently they now have to meet within a reasonable amount of time (10 days) after the evaluation is complete. So now instead of 60 days we must wait 70 days for eligibility and then potentially another 30 days to establish the IEP?

ari

I was told that in NY it does not go by school days but by calendar days and that they can not say they won’t do an evaluation over the summer because of the limited school days.

Chuck

Unfortunately, OSEP may have changed their position on this. A couple of years ago, Texas changed its rule on this to allow breaks over the summer, & I am not aware of any criticism of this by OSEP.

sheila

Georgia changes timelines from 60 days to 90 days beginning 30 days before summer break.