Evaluations: SCHOOL PSYCHOLOGIST REFUSES TO EVALUATE IF PARENT REQUEST IS VERBAL NOT WRITTEN

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d:  A teacher informed the newly hired school psychologist (the third psychologist this year) that a parent verbally requested that their child be tested to see of the child still qualifies for special education. The previous school psychologists acted on verbal requests and sent the necessary documents to the parent for permission to test right away. The new school psychologist has stated multiple times that the parent has to place it in writing first, and is not responding to verbal requests. The parent is wondering why she hasn’t received anything and is wondering why her child hasn’t been tested yet. Can the school psychologist or any other district personnel ignore a verbal request from a parent, even if the parent doesn’t place it in writing? I was under the impression that once a school district staff person has been approached by a verbal request, that the school district has to respond to this request within 15 days of the request, either stating that they will test or not test.

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3 Comments on "Evaluations: SCHOOL PSYCHOLOGIST REFUSES TO EVALUATE IF PARENT REQUEST IS VERBAL NOT WRITTEN"

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Written requests leave a paper trail which will hold the district accountable as well as the parent. I have learned that it is best to put requests in writing. A paper trail also in some ways alerts the district that the parent knows how to properly advocate at some level. One time, I typed up a letter for parent for her child to get tested. Before then, the district ignored the parents verbal concerns. The school acted immediately to test for special education after that parent gave them that letter. The best you can do for this parent is to educate that parent on advocacy, paper trails and give them the Wrightslaw link.

This is one of many areas where states can develop rules. Some states require that requests for testing must be in writing. Even if the state does not have a rule on this, a district could have a policy or rule requiring requests be in writing.

Written request is the only thing that makes sense. A verbal request cannot be documented.

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