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Beverley:  8th grader will go to high school next Sept. Her triennial review is due now. The Multidisciplinary team isn’t asking for a new evaluation. They believe the current evaluation data and school data is sufficient to continue special education services. Since she is going into high school are we obligated to do a reevaluation even though the team doesn’t deem it necessary?

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I just had a reeval done and according to the information provided to the campus, the ARDC felt is was appropriate to not evaluate. No parental information was sought beforehand and the information presented 3 years is no longer applicable to the needs of my child. I was asked about things my child does at home and not the needs I am concerned about at school. None of the information makes any sense and I don’t know where to go from here. The SLP is the only one recommending an eval and I have refused due to her recommendations of observation and/or consultative services, not direct services to my child. The copy I received has several boxes unchecked and/or no discussion was had. The LSSP sent me a letter two days later with corrections that were found but am not allowed to change errors.


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This question is troubling.

Here is what the law says about reevaluations:

The school district shall ensure that a reevaluation of each child with a disability is conducted “at least once every 3 years, unless the parent and the local educational agency agree that a reevaluation is unnecessary.” 20 USC 1414(a)(2); page 95 in Wrightslaw: Special Education Law

You write “The Multidisciplinary team isn’t asking for a new evaluation because “they believe the current evaluation data and school data is sufficient.” What is your role? What does the parent think? Does the parent know that the law requires the school to re-evaluate “at least once every three years” unless both parent and school agree that it is unnecessary?

It’s hard to imagine how a three-year-old evaluation, completed when a child was in 5th grade, could provide accurate info about the child’s present levels of academic achievement and functional performance or the child’s current educational needs as she enters high school. How do you use three-year-old old data to develop an appropriate IEP?


Present levels can be determined with academic testing (Woodcock-Johnson, eg), along with parent and teacher interviews, record review, and observations. Can the triennial be conducted with just that data, or does the psych also have to conduct general ability and processing tests too? Our resource teacher is trying to test a 9-year old, diagnosed AUT long ago, and both student and teacher are finding it grueling. I’d hate to have to subject him to more tests than necessary; he is obviously still going to qualify under AUT. Thank you for your help, and for all the work Wrightslaw has done and continues to do for our kids, teachers, and us psychs too!


IDEA 2004 introduced the concept of review of existing evaluation data (REED) (300.305) to deal with situations like this. The IEP team determines what additional evaluation data, if any is needed.