The Special Education Process Under IDEA and the Wyoming Chapter 7 Rules Governing Services for Children with Disabilities
1. Child Find
Fremont County School District #14- Wyoming Indian Schools must locate, identify, and evaluate all children ages birth-21, suspected of having a disability and residing within the district’s boundaries. To do so, Wyoming Indian Schools conducts "Child Find" preschool screenings with the Early Intervention Program for children birth-age 5. For school age children 5-21, the student’s general education teacher makes a referral to the Building Intervention Team (BIT) when a student is not demonstrating reasonably calculated progress in the general curriculum. The BIT works to design appropriate and effective tiered interventions and supports to improve the academic progress of the student. If the interventions are not successful within a reasonable amount of time, the BIT refers the student for a comprehensive special education evaluation to determine if the student has a disability. Parents may also contact the child's teacher or other school professional to ask that their child be evaluated. This request may be verbal or in writing.
2. Child is evaluated
Parent will receive a copy of the Procedural Safeguards and informed parental consent is required before the child may be evaluated. A Multidisciplinary Evaluation Plan will be developed and the evaluation must assess the child in all areas related to the child's suspected disability. Evaluation needs to be completed within 60 calendar days after the district receives the parent’s informed consent for evaluation. The evaluation results will be used to decide the child's eligibility for special education and related services and to make decisions about an appropriate educational program for the child. If the parents disagree with the evaluation results, they have the right to request an Independent Educational Evaluation (IEE), at the school district’s expense. The parent also has the right to revoke consent at any stage of the Evaluation or Individualized Education Program (IEP) Process.
3. Eligibility is decided
When assessments are completed, the Multidisciplinary Assessment Team including the special education teacher, general education teacher, appropriate related services personnel, school administrator, and the parent(s) reviews the child's evaluation results. Together, they decide if the child meets any of the 13 eligibility categories in Wyoming and demonstrates the need for specialized instruction, therefore qualifying as a "child with a disability," as defined by IDEA. Parents have the right to ask for a hearing to challenge the eligibility decision.
4. Child is found eligible for services
If the child is found to be a "child with a disability," as defined by IDEA, he or she is eligible for special education and related services. Within 30 calendar days after a child is determined eligible, the IEP team must meet to write an IEP for the child. Typically, this IEP meeting is held immediately following the eligibility determination meeting.
5. IEP meeting is scheduled (Initial or Annual Review)
To schedule the IEP meeting, the student’s assigned case manager will:
6. IEP meeting is held and the IEP is written
The IEP team including the special education teacher of the child, a general education teacher, parents, school administrator, related services personnel, and students (when age appropriate) gathers to discuss the child's strengths and needs and write the student's IEP. Parents and the student (when age appropriate) are an important part of the team.
Before the district can provide special education and related services to the child for the first time, the parents must give informed consent and receive Prior Written Notice (PWN) of the proposed district actions/program.
If the parents do not agree with the IEP and placement, they may discuss their concerns with other members of the IEP team and try to work out an agreement. If they still disagree, parents can ask for mediation, or the school may offer mediation. Parents may file a complaint with the state education agency and may request a due process hearing, at which time mediation must be available. Parents also have the right to revoke consent at any time after the IEP had been implemented.
Wyoming Indian School staff members make sure the child's IEP is being carried out as it was written. Parents are given a copy of the IEP. Each of the child's teachers and service providers has access to the IEP and knows his or her specific responsibilities for carrying out the IEP. This includes the accommodations, modifications, and supports that must be provided to the child, in keeping with the IEP.
7. Progress is measured and reported to parents
The child's progress toward the annual goals is measured, as stated in the IEP. The student’s parents receive quarterly progress notes of their child's progress and whether that progress is enough for the child to achieve the goals by the time of the IEP annual review.
8. IEP is reviewed
The child's IEP is reviewed by the IEP team at least once in a calendar year or more often if the parents or school ask for a review. If necessary, the IEP is revised. Parents, as team members, must be invited to attend these meetings. Parents can make suggestions for changes, can agree or disagree with the IEP goals, and agree or disagree with the placement.
9. Child is reevaluated
At least every three years the child must be reevaluated for continued eligibility for special education and related services. This evaluation is often called a "triennial" or “3-year re-evaluation.” Its purpose is to determine whether or not the child continues to be a "child with a disability," as defined by IDEA, and if the child's educational needs have changed. However, the child may be re-evaluated more often if conditions warrant or if the child's parent or other IEP team member requests a re-evaluation.