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Reevaluations: When are they necessary?

| Feb 3, 2021 | Special Education Law |

When children first receive their individualized education program (IEP), families often feel a great relief. After going through all the steps to get an IEP evaluation, it is good to know that children will receive the support and services they need.

However, the initial evaluation is not the only one of which parents and students alike should be aware.

What is the purpose of a reevaluation?

Under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) as well as California law, a reevaluation of a student and their IEP is necessary every three years. According to California State University, Sacramento, these reevaluations are meant to:

  • Review the IEP and see how the child meets the goals
  • Assess if the child still requires special education services
  • Make any necessary modifications to help the student succeed

Some parents of students with special needs fear the prospect of a reevaluation. They worry that the school or the professionals will find that their child is no longer eligible to receive the special education services that support them.

However, it is important to note that this requirement for reevaluations is not in place to take away special education services. It serves as a precaution to ensure the IEP continues to meet the child’s needs.

Parents do not have to wait three years for reevaluation

The law requires a reevaluation every three years. However, parents can request a new evaluation at any time. The terms under IDEA state that children or the IEP can be evaluated once a year to make sure it is up to date.

Generally, parents may also wish to request a reevaluation if they notice:

  • Any changes in their child’s needs
  • Signs of growth or regression

There is no reason for parents or children to fear the evaluation process. As long as parents understand their rights as they approach the reevaluation process, they can protect their children.