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Virginia Administrative Code
Title 8. Education
Agency 20. State Board Of Education
Chapter 81. Regulations Governing Special Education Programs for Children with Disabilities in Virginia
12/5/2020

8VAC20-81-70. Evaluation and reevaluation.

A. Each local educational agency shall establish procedures for the evaluation and reevaluation of referrals of children in accordance with the provisions of this section. (34 CFR 300.122)

B. Determination of needed evaluation data for initial evaluation or reevaluation. (34 CFR 300.305 and 34 CFR 300.507)

1. Review of existing evaluation data. A group that is comprised of the same individuals as an IEP team and other qualified professionals, as appropriate, shall:

a. Review existing evaluation data on the child, including:

(1) Evaluations and information provided by the parent(s) of the child;

(2) Current classroom-based, local, or state assessments and classroom-based observations; and

(3) Observations by teachers and related services providers; and

b. On the basis of that review and input from the child's parent(s), identify what additional data, if any, are needed to determine:

(1) Whether the child is, or continues to be, a child with a disability;

(2) The present educational needs of the child;

(3) The child's present level of academic achievement and related developmental needs;

(4) Whether the child needs or continues to need special education and related services; and

(5) Whether any additions or modifications to the special education and related services are needed to enable the child to meet the measurable annual goals set out in the IEP of the child and to participate, as appropriate, in the general education curriculum.

2. Conduct of review. The group completing the review may conduct its review without a meeting. The local educational agency shall provide notice to ensure that the parent(s) has the opportunity to participate in the review. If there is a meeting, the local educational agency shall provide notice of the meeting early enough to ensure that the parent(s) will have an opportunity to participate. The notice shall meet the requirements of 8VAC20-81-110 E 2 a.

3. Need for additional data. The local educational agency shall administer tests and other evaluation materials as may be needed to produce the data identified in this subsection.

4. Requirements if additional data are not needed:

a. If the team and other qualified professionals, as appropriate, determine that no additional data are needed to determine whether the child continues to be a child with a disability and to determine the child's educational needs, the local educational agency shall provide the child's parent(s) with prior written notice, including information regarding:

(1) The determination and the reasons for it; and

(2) The right of the parent(s) to request an evaluation to determine whether the child continues to be a child with a disability and to determine the child's educational needs.

b. The local educational agency is not required to conduct the evaluation to gather additional information to determine whether the child continues to have a disability and to determine the child's educational needs, unless the child's parent(s) requests the evaluation for these specific purposes.

c. The child's parent(s) has the right to resolve a dispute through mediation or due process as described in this chapter.

d. This process shall be considered the evaluation if no additional data are needed.

5. If the team determines not to evaluate a child suspected of a disability, prior written notice, in accordance with 8VAC20-81-170, shall be given to the parent(s), including the parent's rights to appeal the decision through due process proceedings.

C. The local educational agency shall establish policies and procedures to ensure that the following requirements are met. (§ 22.1-214 of the Code of Virginia; 34 CFR 300.304 and 34 CFR 300.310)

1. Assessments and other evaluation materials used to assess a child under this chapter are:

a. Selected and administered so as not to be discriminatory on a racial or cultural basis;

b. Provided and administered in the child's native language and in the form most likely to yield accurate information on what the child knows and can do academically, developmentally, and functionally, unless it is clearly not feasible to do so;

c. Used for the purposes for which the assessments or measures are valid and reliable; and

d. Administered by trained and knowledgeable personnel in accordance with the instructions provided by the producer of the assessments.

2. Materials and procedures used to assess a child with limited English proficiency are selected and administered to ensure that they measure the extent to which the child has a disability and needs special education, rather than measuring the child's English language skills.

3. A variety of assessment tools and strategies are used to gather relevant functional, developmental, and academic information about the child, including information provided by the parent(s), and information related to enabling the child to be involved in and progress in the general curriculum (or for a preschool child, to participate in appropriate activities), that may assist in determining whether the child is a child with a disability and the content of the child's IEP.

4. The assessment tools and strategies used provide relevant information that directly assists persons in determining the educational needs of the child.

5. If an assessment is not conducted under standard conditions, a description of the extent to which it varied from standard conditions (e.g., the qualifications of the person administering the test or the method of test administration) shall be included in the evaluation report.

6. Any nonstandardized assessment administered by qualified personnel may be used to assist in determining whether the child is a child with a disability and the contents of the child's IEP.

7. Assessments and other evaluation materials include those tailored to assess specific areas of educational need and not merely those that are designed to provide a single general intelligence quotient.

8. Assessments are selected and administered so as to best ensure that if an assessment is administered to a child with impaired sensory, motor, or communication skills, the assessment results accurately reflect the child's aptitude or achievement level or whatever other factors the test purports to measure rather than reflecting the child's impaired sensory, motor, or communication skills (except where those skills are the factors that the test purports to measure).

9. The evaluation is sufficiently comprehensive to identify all of the child's special education and related services needs, whether or not commonly linked to the disability category in which the child has been classified.

10. Technically sound instruments are used that may assess the relative contribution of cognitive and behavioral factors, in addition to physical or developmental factors.

11. No single measure or assessment is used as the sole criterion for determining whether a child is a child with a disability and for determining an appropriate educational program for a child.

12. If the evaluation requires assessments in more than one area relating to the suspected disability, a group of persons, including at least one teacher or other specialist with knowledge in the area of the suspected disability, shall complete the assessments.

13. For a child suspected of having a specific learning disability, the evaluation shall include an observation of academic performance in the regular classroom by at least one team member other than the child's regular teacher. In the case of a child of less than school age or out of school, a team member shall observe the child in an environment appropriate for a child of that age.

14. Each child is assessed by a qualified professional in all areas relating to the suspected disability, including, if appropriate, health, vision, hearing, social and emotional status, general intelligence, academic performance, communicative status, motor abilities, and adaptive behavior. This may include educational, medical, sociocultural, psychological, or developmental assessments.

a. The hearing of each child suspected of having a disability shall be screened during the eligibility process prior to initial determination of eligibility for special education and related services.

b. A complete audiological assessment, including tests that will assess inner and middle ear functioning, shall be performed on each child who is hearing impaired or deaf or who fails two hearing screening tests.

D. The evaluation report(s) shall be available to the parent(s) no later than two business days before the meeting to determine eligibility. (34 CFR 300.306(a)(2))

1. A written copy of the evaluation report(s) shall be provided to the parent(s) prior to or at the meeting where the eligibility group reviews the evaluation report(s) or immediately following the meeting, but no later than 10 days after the meeting.

2. The evaluation report(s) shall be provided to the parent(s) at no cost.

E. Assessments of children with disabilities or suspected of having a disability who transfer from one local educational agency to another local educational agency in the same school year shall be coordinated with those children's prior and subsequent schools, as necessary and as expeditiously as possible, consistent with 8VAC20-81-60 B 1 g, to ensure prompt completion of full evaluations. (34 CFR 300.304(c)(5))

F. Reevaluation.

1. A reevaluation shall be conducted: (34 CFR 300.303(a) and (b)(2))

a. If the local educational agency determines that the child's educational or related services needs, including improved academic achievement and functional performance, warrants a reevaluation;

b. If the child's parent(s) or teacher requests a reevaluation; or

c. At least once every three years, unless the parent and local educational agency agree that a reevaluation is unnecessary.

2. The local educational agency shall not conduct a reevaluation more than once a year unless the parent(s) and the local educational agency agree otherwise. If the local educational agency does not agree with the parent's request for a reevaluation, the local educational agency shall provide the parent(s) with prior written notice in accordance with 8VAC20-81-170. (34 CFR 300.303(b)(1))

3. The local educational agency shall conduct a reevaluation in accordance with the requirements of subsection B of this section. (34 CFR 300.305)

G. Parental consent for reevaluation. (34 CFR 300.300(c) and (d))

1. Informed parental consent is required before conducting any reevaluation of a child with a disability.

a. If the local educational agency can demonstrate that it has taken reasonable measures to obtain consent and the child's parent(s) has failed to respond, the local educational agency shall proceed as if consent has been given by the parent(s). Reasonable measures include providing notice to the parent(s) in writing (or by telephone or in person with proper documentation).

b. If the parent(s) refuses consent, the local educational agency may continue to pursue those evaluations by using due process or mediation procedures. The local educational agency does not violate its obligation under this chapter if it declines to pursue the reevaluation.

2. Parental consent is not required before:

a. Review of existing data as part of an evaluation or reevaluation;

b. A teacher's or related service provider's observations or ongoing classroom evaluations; or

c. Administering a test or other evaluation that is administered to all children unless, before administration of that test or evaluation, consent is required of parents of all children.

3. If a parent of a child who is home-instructed or home-tutored, or who is placed in a private school by the parents at their own expense, does not provide consent for reevaluation, or the parent(s) fails to respond to a request to provide consent, the local educational agency may not use mediation or due process to pursue the reevaluation. In this instance, the local school division is not required to consider the child as eligible for equitable services under the provisions of 8VAC20-81-150 for parentally placed students.

H. Timelines for reevaluations.

1. The reevaluation process, including eligibility determination, shall be initiated in sufficient time to complete the process prior to the third anniversary of the date eligibility was last determined.

2. If a reevaluation is conducted for purposes other than the child's triennial, the reevaluation process, including eligibility determination, shall be completed in 65 business days of the receipt of the referral by the special education administrator or designee for the evaluation.

3. The parent and eligibility group may agree in writing to extend the 65-day timeline to obtain additional data that cannot be obtained within the 65 business days.

I. The local educational agency is not required to evaluate a child with a disability who graduates with a standard diploma or advanced studies diploma. Since graduation is a change in placement, the local educational agency is required to provide the parent with prior written notice in accordance with 8VAC20-81-170. (34 CFR 300.305(e)(2))

Statutory Authority

§§ 22.1-16 and 22.1-214 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from Volume 25, Issue 21, eff. July 7, 2009; amended, Virginia Register Volume 26, Issue 08, eff. January 25, 2010.

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