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REFERRAL 1. If a public agency receives a referral without intervention strategies in the regular education classroom does the timeline start? The timeline starts when the public agency receives a signed consent for initial evaluation from the parent. 2. If the parent insists that interventions be waived due to the serious nature of his/her childs problems, can the referral be accepted without intervention strategies? Yes, intervention strategies may be waived for a child who has severe problems that require immediate attention. Waiver of intervention strategies is addressed in the AAC at 290-8-9.01(4). Remember, however, that the IEP Team (not one member) makes the decision regarding the need to evaluate the student. If the IEP Team believes there is reason to suspect a disability and the situation is one included in the waiver statement, the IEP Team may proceed without intervention strategies. SES does encourage LEAs to provide the interventions during the evaluation process so that there is data to rule out the lack of appropriate instruction in reading and math. 3. Who can make a referral? A parent of a child or a public agency may initiate a request for an initial evaluation to determine if the child is a child with a disability. 4. What are the avenues for making a referral for an evaluation? A referral may be made in several different ways, some of which include the following: A referral may be made over the phone, whereby, the public agency would be responsible for completing a Referral for Evaluation. A referral may be received through the mail. When this occurs, the public agency should call the referring person and complete a Referral for Evaluation. A referral may be made during a personal conference. When this occurs, public agency personnel should complete a Referral for Evaluation. A Referral for Evaluation may be submitted by school personnel, e.g., classroom teacher, guidance counselor, bus driver, etc. A public agency must obtain information and complete a written referral for any parent who is unable to complete a written referral. 5. If a parent makes a referral directly to an individual school via telephone, mail, and/or conference, is the local school personnel allowed to refer the parent elsewhere? For example: may a public agency representative direct the referring person to the special education central office? This is a public agency decision. SES suggests that each school have someone who is knowledgeable about the referral process. 6. When a school-based secretary receives a telephone call from a parent wishing to have his/her child tested for special education services, does this mean that the referral has officially been received and the 60 calendar day timeline begins? No. The 60 calendar day timeline begins when the public agency receives parental consent for the initial evaluation.

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7. May a public agency wait until a child's third birthday to act upon a referral? Example: A public agency receives a referral on a 30-month-old child. Would the public agency wait until the child is three years of age before acting on the referral? No. A public agency must act upon all referrals in a timely manner once received. Children transitioning from EI must be evaluated and if eligible, must have an IEP implemented on the childs third birthday. 8. When does a referral for an evaluation become official? The referral becomes official on the date it is received via phone, mail, conference, or when a written referral form is submitted to any education personnel (e.g., secretary, guidance counselor, principal, etc.). 9. When does the 60 calendar day timeline begin? The public agency has 60 calendar days to complete the initial evaluation. Day one of the timeline is the day the public agency receives a signed Notice and Consent for Initial Evaluation form from the parent. The initial evaluation must be completed on or before day 60. SES uses the field Final Completion Date of All Evaluations to determine if the timeline was met. The public agency has 30 calendar days from the completion of the initial evaluation to determine eligibility. The public agency has 30 calendar days from eligibility determination to develop an IEP. 10. After the public agency receives a referral, is there a timeline between the receipt and the acceptance of the referral? No, not a specific timeline, however, it should be acted on in a timely manner. 11. May the public agency stop receiving referrals for special education evaluations in the spring? No. Referrals are to be received and acted upon year round by the public agency. 12. Must the public agency receive a referral from a parent when there is no clear evidence of a problem? Yes. The public agency must receive a referral from a parent when submitted. Once submitted, an IEP Team meeting is scheduled to discuss the referral. The parent is a member of the IEP Team and must be invited to participate in this meeting. The IEP Team reviews the referral and existing data and determines if there is a need for an evaluation. 13. What happens if the IEP Team determines that the referral is not substantiated? If the IEP Team determines that the student does not need to be evaluated for special education services, the Notice of Intent Regarding Special Education Services form must be used to document the IEP Teams decision not to accept the referral for evaluation and a copy must be given to the parent and student (age 19 and older). 14. Must the public agency keep documentation on a student who is not going to be evaluated? Yes. It is a requirement that the public agency keep documentation on all students who are referred for an evaluation for special education, even if it was determined by the IEP Team that an evaluation was not necessary at that time. The public agency should keep the original referral form and a copy of the Notice of Intent Regarding Special Education Services form to document the process.

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15. Will the Natural Environment Observation/ELPP Documentation and Family Focus Interview/ELPP Documentation be added to STISETS? There are no plans to add the two items to STISETS. The forms are designed to be used in situations where computer access may not be available (i.e., daycare centers) or where it would be awkward to use a computer (i.e., during a parent interview). 16. Will STISETS have special transfer forms for out-of-state students in the transfer process? No. If an evaluation is necessary for an out-of-state transfer it is an initial evaluation. An evaluation for an out-of-state student will be documented in the Referral Process. If an evaluation is necessary for in-state transfer for students who are already IDEA eligible, it is a reevaluation. An evaluation for in-state transfers will be documented in the Reevaluation Process. 17. What is the best time during the referral process to obtain an ECEC Checklist? The most appropriate time would be at the referral meeting with the parent and the rest of the IEP Team. 18. What process do you use for an out-of-state transfer that meets Alabama criteria? The referral process. 19. How do we document parent participation in a meeting if they participate by phone? In hard copy forms and in STISETS, on the parent signature line write, parent participated by phone. 20. How do we document the parent chose to participate by phone, but at the time of the meeting they did not answer the phone? If the parent said they were going to participate in the meeting by phone and did not participate, document that the parent was unavailable by phone and proceed with the meeting.