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Cassy: A parent requested testing in the prior school district at the end of the 15-16 school year. The child moves into our district at the beginning of the 16 – 17 school year. Parent calls and wants to know how the testing is going? We had no knowledge of the request. Parent is informed by an advocate all that is required is a handwritten note to test that was given to the prior district. We have never tested a child without Prior Written Notice, Consent to Evaluate, and Procedural Safeguards given and explained to the parent. Is this correct? I have never gotten a hand written note requesting special education testing.

  1. This sounds legally correct and the advocate did not provide adequate information however if the school really wanted to help they would have seen the note and informed the parent the correct procedure instead of just ignoring it.

  2. A parent can request that their child be evaluated for special education by writing a note. After receiving the parent’s request, the school needs to provide procedural safeguards, etc. The parent may have given consent in the body of the note.

    The IDEA requires that initial evaluations and eligibility be completed within 60 calendar days of receiving parental consent unless a state has statutes or regulations that permit longer timelines. You need to check your state’s special ed regs about your state’s timelines.

    When a child transfers to a new school, the receiving school must complete assessments “as expeditiously as possible to ensure prompt completion of full evaluations.” 20 U.S.C. § 1414(b)(3)(D)

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