Timely Special Ed Evaluation: 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.
The State is required to annually report on the percent of children who were evaluated within 60 days of receiving parental consent for initial evaluation as part of the State Performance Plan (SPP). This refers to children that an LEA has received a referral for evaluation to determine if the student is eligible for special education services.
Click the data elements below for more information about each Timely Special Ed Evaluation data element and what should be submitted to WISEdata.
Indicator 11 Data Elements
USES: The Wisconsin State Performance Plan (SPP) represents the DPI’s plan for improving the outcomes of children with disabilities in Wisconsin. Indicator 11 is the ‘Timely Initial Evaluations’ application. Each LEA reports data for Indicator 11 once during a 5-year cycle. Milwaukee Public Schools is the exception to this, where, due to its size, ⅕ of schools participate every year.
FAQs, Details, and Use Cases
- What schools have to report Indicator 11 data? A referral generally will be made to a child’s district of residence, then that school would report the data. A private school would never be reporting the Indicator 11 data, as the private school does not complete the evaluation. A referral could be made for a child below compulsory school age, currently enrolled in a public school, parentally placed in a private school, or receiving home-based education.
- What is the timeline for the evaluation process? 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. The date upon which the LEA receives the signed consent to evaluate form is the day that starts the 60-day timeline, as per §115.78(3).
- 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.
- What dates will be entered into WISE? 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 in federal law.
- Which results from the evaluation process are reported? There will be children who are found eligible for special education services, children who are found not eligible for special education services, and children for whom eligibility is not determined. All are reported in Indicator 11.
Do students receiving an evaluation need to have a WISEid? If the child is already enrolled in a public school district, it would be expected that the child already has a WISEid and a Local Person ID assigned through the LEA’s SIS, regardless of special education eligibility status. However, some students (such as unenrolled students, below compulsory age students, private school students or homeschooled students) may not have a WISEid.
Students without a WISEid can be evaluated by a school they are not enrolled in. The education organization where the student gets evaluated for special education services will need to assign the student a School ID. The School ID counts as the Student Education Organization Responsibility Association.
Once the student’s evaluation is complete, if the student is determined eligible to receive special education services, then it would be expected that these children would be assigned a WISEid. A Student Special Education Program Eligibility Association (sSEPA) record would be expected as well.
NOTE: The School ID in sSEPA does not have to match the School ID assigned by the evaluating agency. Work with staff members within your LEA on WISEdata if you think the student should have a WISEid.
- Does the student being evaluated need to be connected to the LEA conducting the evaluation? As a prerequisite, a student's relationship to an LEA must exist in the form of students receiving services from that LEA and that may include general education or eligibility determination. LEAs evaluating students enrolled in their agency must have evidence that the student is enrolled (i.e., Local Person ID in SIS). LEAs that evaluate students who are not enrolled in their agency must indicate within their SIS an education organization responsibility association for evaluation purposes as well as if the student continues receiving special education services from the LEA.
- Can unenrolled students be evaluated? For unenrolled students (students without an enrollment record (/studentSchoolAssociation) ) who receive services from an LEA, a record from the agency responsible for the student (/studentEducationOrganizationResponsibilityAssociation) must exist before a special education program record (/studentSpecialEducationProgramEligibilityAssociation) can be submitted. Only SIS vendors can submit organizational responsibility records, whereas special education program records can be submitted to WISEdata from both the primary SIS and SPED vendors.
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