The Committee on Special Education (CSE) is required to meet at least once a year to review your child’s IEP, educational progress, and to make recommendations for the following school year. This is called your Annual Review meeting. Typically, Annual Review meetings take place in the spring to allow as much data and information to be available when making decisions and recommendations for your child’s program for the next school year. It’s important to remember that any recommendations made at your Annual Review (i.e. changes to your child’s IEP placement, services, and accommodations) will only be implemented at the start of the following school year.
Although Annual Review meetings are typically in the spring, districts have the ability to start holding them as early as January or February, but these meetings can also take place over the summer. Like everything else in the world of Special Education, the timing of the Annual Review should be individualized based upon your child’s specific situation.
If you have concerns about your child’s educational progress which you want to discuss and address for the current school year, you have the right to request a Program Review CSE meeting. If you have already had your Annual Review and a plan is in place for next year, it’s not too late- contact your Special Education Department, in writing, and request a Program Review CSE meeting.
If your child is already a student who receives Special Education services, you are probably familiar with two of the most common assessments and evaluations school districts conduct: psychological evaluations and educational evaluations (sometimes referred to as achievement testing).
While those are two of the most-common evaluations used by the Committee on Special Education when determining a student’s eligibility, needs, and services, there are a number of other evaluations your district can conduct to better identify your child’s specific disability and to provide the appropriate services for your child’s needs.
We often hear parents say things like “my daughter is really struggling at school but I don’t understand why- her teacher says she is so smart, she just has to try harder”, or “it takes my son hours to do homework, it’s almost always wrong, and it’s a constant battle between us”, or “my child cannot read but the teacher keeps telling me there is no problem- some kids just learn slower than others”.
If you have concerns about your child, their learning, or suspect something may be impacting their ability to learn, the school district is responsible for evaluating your child in all areas of suspected disability. That being said, parents need to communicate their concerns to their school and request that additional evaluations be conducted to address all areas of concern. You may be thinking “how do I know what evaluations exist and how do I know which ones do I ask for?” Great question!
There are a number of concerns parents have about their children as well as some concerns we consider ‘red flags’. We say ‘red flags’ because there are things that may seem typical for your child or their age, but if you are concerned about your child’s learning, you may want to request an evaluation for more information and to help you better understand if those things are contributing to your child’s difficulty in school.
To learn more about these concerns, red flags, and the evaluations you can request through the Committee on Special Education, click here.
New to the world of Special Education? Or looking for an easy to understand basic guide through the process?
No problem. Click here for the basics.
Can’t keep track of all of the acronyms used in Special Education? You’re not alone!
Click here for “Alphabet Soup”: LIAC’s Guide to Special Education