If a child already receives special education, he or she must be re-evaluated to show if there is still a need for special education, and to address any new needs that arise.  A reevaluation should not occur more than once a year, unless the parent and the school district agree that one is needed.  Every child must have a reevaluation at least once every three years, unless the parent and the school agree that it is not needed.  The purpose of the reevaluation is to:

  • See if the child still needs special education and related services
  • Identify how the child is doing in school and identify any educational need
  • Determine if any changes are needed in the Individualized Education Program (IEP) to help the child to:
    • Meet the annual goals in the IEP; and
    • Participate, as appropriate, in the general curriculum.

Reevaluation does not necessarily mean more testing.

If a parent asks for reevaluation in writing to see if the child is making appropriate progress or needs additional services, or if it is time for the three-year reevaluation, someone from the school may set up a team meeting to meet with the parents and look at existing information.  The child’s parent is a member of this team.  Generally, these are the steps:

  1. Team members will review test results and other information that has been gathered on the child, including information that the parent provides to the school.  This review will include observations made by the teachers or other school staff and current classroom-based assessments.  The team will decide if additional information is needed to make a decision.
  2. The team will consider whether additional testing is needed to determine whether the child continues to need special education and related services.  The team may also consider whether accommodations or modifications are needed to help the child meet annual IEP goals and participate in the general curriculum. 
  3. School personnel will notify parents in writing of their decision, and must state the reasons for the decision.
  4. If the team believes that a child needs more testing, parents must agree in writing before any new tests are given.  If the parent does not agree, the school cannot test the child unless it obtains permission through mediation or other due process procedure or can demonstrate that it made reasonable efforts to obtain consent and the parent failed to respond.
  5. If the team agrees that a child no longer needs special education services, parents have a right to request that school staff conduct additional evaluation.  The school must tell parents of this right.
  6. Parents may consider asking the same questions at the reevaluation meeting that are recommended for the initial (first-time) evaluation.

Adapted with permission from materials developed by Technical Assistance Alliance for Parent Centers at PACER Center

8161 Normandale Blvd. l Minneapolis, MN 55437-1044 l www.taalliance.org