Overview of the Special Education Process

  • A parent, teacher, or other individual having knowledge about the child may refer a child for consideration for special education services. When a child is referred to special education, the parent will receive a written notification receipt of this referral. The parent will also receive a formal invitation to participate as a member of the school’s evaluation team to review current academic and behavioral information and data regarding the child and determine whether there is a need for any additional data or information.


    The referral meeting takes place within ten (10) school days of the team’s receipt of the referral. Parental participation in this process is very important. The referral should include the following information as appropriate:

    • Area(s) of concern
    • Documentation of the modifications and interventions
    • Documentation of the student’s response to the interventions
    • Medical history
    • Attendance data
    • Assessment data
    • Implemented behavior plans results and data
    • School history
    • Personal Literacy Plan
    • Other pertinent information as needed 


    At the conclusion of the referral meeting, the evaluation team may decide that a comprehensive evaluation is warranted, in which case parental consent is needed to proceed. The team may also determine that it is most appropriate to further observe the student to better assess and clarify the child’s needs and then reconvene at a later date. Finally, the referral team may decide that the child should remain in a regular classroom setting but develop a plan with strategies and interventions to assist the child to be successful.