Consent to Evaluate: Special Education
The Timely Initial Evaluations (Indicator 11) pilot will continue into the 2023-24 school year. Indicator 11 data collection pilot started in 2022-23. The Indicator 11 project will help record the date of parental consent and the date of the evaluation for special education eligibility in WISEdata Portal and WISEdash for Districts. It will also improve the collection, quality, and use of our data about how students are receiving timely evaluation for special education eligibility, which is their right under federal law.
Consent to Evaluation Received Date: The date upon which the LEA receives parental consent, the signed consent to evaluate form, is the day that starts the 60-day timeline, as per §115.78(3). Parental consent is required before any LEA member can assess or otherwise work with a student towards the goal of determining eligibility for special education. A parent must give consent for their child to be evaluated for special education eligibility. This consent must be given by a signature on the required form provided to the parent by the LEA.
Ideally, the date upon which the parent signs the required form is the same day upon which the LEA receives that signed form. If this is the case, the 60-day timeline begins on that date.
However, there could be a scenario where the date of the signed form is not the date on which the LEA receives the signed form; for example; the LEA holds a meeting on a Friday and provides the required form to the parent. The parent takes the required form home to read it over, and signs the required form later in the evening adding Friday's date to the form. The parent places the form in the student's backpack to return it to school the following Monday, but the student does not give the form to the teacher until Wednesday. In this scenario, the 60-day timeline begins on the date of that Wednesday because that is the date upon which the LEA received the consent to evaluate.
LEAs are required by law to perform the evaluation within 60 days; these are 60 calendar days, not 60 school days. If that timeline falls across a holiday break or other time off of school, the LEA needs to plan accordingly within that time frame. Failure to perform the evaluation within the timeframe is an instance of noncompliance, which is important for monitoring and for the DPI Special Education team's annual reporting. For evaluations that occur outside the timeframe, there may be allowable exceptions.
This date must fall within the DPI school year, which begins on July 1 of each calendar year, and conclude on June 30 of the following calendar year (i.e., July 1, 2022 - June 30, 2023). If the date on which consent is given occurs outside of this date range, it will trigger an error.
In the documenting of this evaluation process, the Consent to Evaluation Received Date should be the initial and earliest date, as it is required before any other steps can commence. LEAs should only send Indicator 11 records relevant to the school year they are sending it for, which is based on the Consent date.
Consent is given in writing, commonly obtained via signature on a form. Districts are permitted to use their own IEP forms, although most use the model forms developed by DPI. You can locate these model forms and the parent consent forms IE3 and RE-5 on the Sample Special Education Forms webpage.
FAQs, Details, and Use Cases
What is the timeline for the evaluation process? Once the LEA receives the signed, required form that indicates a parent has given consent for their child to be evaluated for special education eligibility, LEAs are required by law to perform the evaluation within 60 days.
These are 60 calendar days, not 60 school days, for the IEP team to:
collect additional information, and
meet with the parent as part of the IEP team to determine whether the student is eligible for special education.
If that timeline falls across a holiday break or other time off of school, the LEA needs to plan accordingly within that time frame. Failure to perform the evaluation within the timeframe is an instance of noncompliance, which is important for monitoring and for the state education agency (SEA) special education team's annual reporting.
What dates will be entered into WISE? LEAs should only send Indicator 11 records relevant to the school year they are sending it for, which is based on the Consent date.
What if the date of parental consent was given outside of the DPI school year? The DPI school year begins July 1 of every calendar year and continues to June 30 of the following calendar year. The consent date determines which school year in which LEAs need to submit the record for the evaluation. After receiving consent, the local education agency or school district then has 60 days to complete the evaluation, AND the evaluation must be completed within the DPI school year in which consent was given.Please read the examples on the KBA for Error 7184 for further details about how to manage data reporting when a consent date occurs outside of a given school year.
For more information refer to the Timely Special Ed Evaluation data element page.
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