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Cindy:  Hi! I am a new advocate and have a student who has a 504 plan. I’m suspicious that he might have Dysgraphia because his writing inside and out is horrendous. I understand RTI has to take place before I request an Special Education assessment. Is there any way around not doing to the RTI and going straight for the assessment. The school has not held up their end of the deal.

  1. Cindy, I’m not sure where you got that impression. If it was from staff, then I suggest you share this memo with them from the feds, which says the opposite: https://www2.ed.gov/policy/speced/guid/idea/memosdcltrs/oseprtipreschoolmemo4-29-16.pdf. The staff at your school might not be aware of this, so be gentle! But firm, of course.
    You might say that you’re all in favor of the school beginning the RTI process now, to start helping the child, as long as they start the timeline to evaluate for an IEP simultaneously. Ask them to send you their Consent to Evaluate form immediately. Then sign it and get it back to them right away. (To avoid possible delaying tactics.)

  2. I’m going through the same thing as you are . It’s so frustrating to know that our children are struggling , and the school won’t even try to help . We are trying off An IEP , they said he doesn’t qualify, but his GPA is now 1.00 , What does that say ??? He needs an IEP . ASAP . 4 th gr , please if anyone can give me some tips about getting him an IEP. That would be so apppreciated .

    • What you need to do is go to the district office and fill out the request for Special Ed testing form. Sign the form right there. Then the school has 60 days to do the testing. Afterwards request for a copy of the results and if you disagree you can request an Independent Assessment. From there you will have a meeting with the school to get the IEP set up and implemented. Hopefully this helps and good luck with everything.

  3. (My opinion only): I cannot find anything in IDEA that gives the school this authority. Sec. 614 says a request for an evaluation by the parent (and others) must be done within 60 days from date of parental consent.

    When talking about the evaluation process, under “ADDITIONAL AUTHORITY”, IDEA allows the LEA to use “research-based interventions” as part of the evaluation procedures.

    It seems to me this school is misusing this authority to delay the evaluation, rather than using it as an element of the evaluation.

    And since RTI is supposedly an ongoing process for all students, shouldn’t the LEA have this information already?

  4. I’m going through the same thing !! My son has a diagnosis. And his Dr wrote a recommendation for an I IEP he took the test . They turned him down , ive been going thru this for 4 yrs . And he’s in 4 th grade . They are not holding there end of the 504 . Either . I connected the district again . Just waiting to hear back . But in the long run. Time is not on our side .
    And neither is the school . !!!! I’m very frustrated. And I don’t know what to do . I

    • Dawn, it’s true that an IEP gives more legal protections than a 504 plan, but nevertheless one can often get a child the help he needs through a strong 504 plan. And if not… well, having a record of a 504 plan with plenty of supports built in can actually help you if you have to go to due process to get an IEP later on. So if I might suggest, look at lists of supports provided for your son’s diagnosis, and brainstorm what additional supports could be helpful; then request a 504 meeting and bring your proposals.
      Regarding noncompliance with the existing plan: you may need to go into broken record mode and repeatedly ask them to provide the 504 supports as prescribed in the plan. Document as you go (e.g. email), in case you decide to file an OCR noncompliance complaint.

  5. Federal guidelines say that an evaluation can be done without RTI being done first. However, schools can & do say no, but the parents are to be given prior written notice of refusal to test. Sometimes this notice is weak, & can be used to convince the school or state that the student should be tested. The state parent training & information project can assist you. http://www.parentcenterhub.org/find-your-center

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