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    SUSQUEHANNA TOWNSHIP SCHOOL DISTRICT

    Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, 17109

     

    POLICY

    INDEPENDENT EDUCATIONAL EVALUATIONS

     

     

    PURPOSE

    Parents or guardians of exceptional or thought-to be exceptional students, other than those students whose sole category of exceptionality or suspected exceptionality is ”mentally gifted,” are entitled to request an independent educational evaluation at public expense only if they disagree with the results of an evaluation conducted or sponsored by the District within the twelve months immediately preceding such request. The scope of the independent educational evaluation at public expense shall be limited to areas of disagreement with the District’s evaluation.

     

    AUTHORITY

    In accordance with federal and state special education regulations, the Susquehanna Township School District will provide an independent educational evaluation as part of the Multidisciplinary Evaluation (MDE) or Reevaluation process when there is disagreement with evaluation results obtained by the school entity.

     

    RESPONSIBILITY

    1.      A request for an independent educational evaluation must be requested by parents/guardian in writing, specifying type(s) of evaluation and reason(s) for each. However if the reasons are not forthcoming from the parents, the District must proceed with the request without delay.

     

    • If a parent requests an independent educational evaluation at public expense, the District without unnecessary delay, will either (a) initiate a hearing under 34 CFR 300.507 to show that its evaluation is appropriate or (b) ensure that an independent educational evaluation is provided at public expense, unless the District demonstrates in a hearing under 34 CFR 300.507 that the evaluation obtained by the parent did not meet the District’s criteria.

     

    • If the District initiates a hearing and the final decision is that the District’s evaluation was appropriate, the parent(s) still have the right to an independent education evaluation, but not at the District’s expense.

     

    2.     The Superintendent or designee will make available to parents, on request, information where independent educational evaluations may be obtained at public expense.

     

    3.      The Superintendent or designee will establish and maintain a scale of maximum allowable charges for specific evaluations.

     

    GUIDELINES

    1.   Independent educational evaluations provided at public expense shall meet all requirements applicable to evaluations conducted by district or intermediate unit personnel, including but not limited to the following:

     

    Tests and similar evaluation materials shall be:

         1.)  Selected and administered in a manner that is free from racial or cultural bias;

    2.)  Administered in the native language or mode of communication of the child, unless it is clearly not feasible to do so;

    3.)    Selected and administered so that the test results accurately reflect the student’s aptitude, achievement level or 
     whatever other factor the test purports to measure, rather than the student’s impaired sensory, manual, or speaking
     skills, unless those skills are the factors that the test purports to measure;

    4.)     Validated for the specific purpose of which they are used in a manner generally accepted within the profession or
     discipline for which they are intended;

    5.)     Administered in accordance with the instructions or testing protocols provided by the producer or publisher of the test
     or materials in accordance with sound professional practice and selected and administered to assess specific areas
     of educational need or ability and not merely to produce single standard scores or quotients.

     

    2.   Persons administering the evaluation shall possess current professional certification issued by the Pennsylvania Department of Education qualifying the holder to perform the type of evaluation in question or, if a qualifying area of a professional certification does not exist, such other licensure or certification issued by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania is required to qualify the holder to administer the type evaluation in question.

     

    3.   Evaluators are to be from within Pennsylvania unless parents/guardians are able to show unique circumstances that require an exception.

     

    4.   The evaluator must consult with the chairperson of the evaluation team prior to the evaluation.

     

    5.   The evaluator must observe the student within the educational environment.

     

    6.   The evaluator must consult with the Superintendent or designee to ensure the student’s accurate educational history.

     

    7.   The persons administering the evaluations shall prepare and sign a comprehensive report of the evaluation that includes, at a minimum, a statement of all standard and scaled scores obtained, a description of the student’s behavior during the evaluation, an analysis of the results and specific educational recommendations. This report must be made available to the chairperson of the evaluation team at least one week prior to the scheduled completion date of the Evaluation Report (ER).

     

    8.   The method of payment for independent educational evaluations shall be direct payment to the provider of the evaluation. Direct payments shall be issued for approved independent educational evaluations upon receipt of an invoice from the provider indicating the type of activities performed, the date of those activities, the charge for each activity, the total charge and any required taxpayer identification numbers or similar information.

     

    9.   The results of the evaluation will be considered by the District and the evaluation team in any decision made with respect to the identification of exceptional students and provision of FAPE (Free Appropriate Public Education) to the child.

     

    10. If a hearing officer requests an independent educational evaluation as part of a hearing, the cost of the evaluation will be covered by the District.

     

     

    Approved by the School Board - 9/25/06