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Regulation 4020: Independent Educational Evaluations

Regulation 4020: Independent Educational Evaluations

Introduction

The Chappaqua Central School District has established the following procedure for obtaining Independent Educational Evaluations (IEEs) for children with educational disabilities or for children who are referred to the Committee on Special Education/Pre-School Special Education because they are suspected of having an educational disability and may, therefore, be in need of special education.

A parent of a disabled children has the right, under Federal and State regulations, to obtain an IEE at public expense under certain conditions. Regulatory standards are outlined in New York State Regulations of the Commissioner of Education Part 200.5(g). Additionally, the Federal Regulations 34CFR 300.502 specify requirements for IEEs. These documents, in addition to A Parent's Guide to Special Education: Your Child's Right to an Education in New York State, detail IEE requirements. These documents are available from the Special Education Office for parent(s) who desire additional information.

Procedures for Requesting Reimbursement

If a parent disagrees with an evaluation by the School District, the parent should explain, in writing to the Chairperson, Committee on Special Education/Pre-School Special Education, the reason(s) why he or she disagrees with the District's evaluation and can request an Independent Educational Evaluation (IEE) at District expense. The Chairperson, Committee on Special Education/Pre-School Special Education will promptly make a decision as to whether the request for an independent educational evaluation at public expense will be granted and will notify the parent in writing. If such request is denied, the District will inform the parent in writing and without unnecessary delay, of its intent to commence an impartial hearing to demonstrate the appropriateness of the challenged evaluation(s). Should the parent withdraw the request for an Independent Educational Evaluation, then the District will not commence an impartial hearing. If the hearing officer's decision is that the challenged evaluation is appropriate, the parent still has the right to an independent educational evaluation, but not at public expense. The results of any independent educational evaluation will be considered by the Committee on Special Education or the Committee on Pre-School Special Education in decisions made with respect to the student's educational program.

Qualified Professionals

The Chappaqua Central School District will permit parents to select any independent evaluator, as long as the qualified professional selected by the parent is an individual who possesses a current license or certification from the New York State Education Department in the area of evaluation. Whenever an independent educational evaluation is at public expense, the criteria under which the evaluation is obtained, including the geographic location and the qualifications of the examiner, must be the same as the criteria that the district uses when it initiates an evaluation. The District has also established a list of qualified professionals who are in private practice or employees of other public agencies to whom parents may go to secure an IEE which is available to parents if they so request. This list of independent evaluators includes professionals in all areas of suspected educational disabilities. The approved list is maintained by the Chappaqua Central School District, Special Education Department, 66 Roaring Brook Road, Chappaqua, New York 10514.

It is the responsibility of the professional chosen by the parent to contact the school to arrange for payment, dates of classroom visitations and discussions with school staff. The independent evaluator is also responsible for sending a copy of their state certification/license to the Chairperson, Committee on Special Education/Pre-School Special Education. Requests for exception to these procedures should be forwarded in writing to Chairperson, Committee on Special Education/Pre-School Special Education.

Procedure for Reimbursement

Upon receiving a request for reimbursement for an IEE, granted at public expense, the Chairperson, Committee on Special Education/Pre-School Special Education will forward an acknowledgment letter to the parent and/or independent evaluator within 10 calendar days. Any further information needed by the school district to reach a decision regarding payment will be requested in the letter. (A copy of the evaluation report, if already obtained, should be attached to the request for reimbursement.) The bill for the evaluation should include a breakdown of costs (e.g., record review; client interview; test administration, scoring and interpretation; and report writing). No payment will be made until the district receives a copy of the evaluation report.

 

Reimbursement Rates

The Chappaqua Central School District has established reasonable reimbursement rates for independent evaluators that do not exceed the rates that the School District would be required to pay to Putnam Northern Westchester BOCES. A copy of such rate schedule is available in the District's Special Education Department at 66 Roaring Brook Road, Chappaqua, New York 10514 and will be updated annually.

In exceptional circumstances only (e.g., if an unusual evaluation is needed, or if no appropriately certified independent evaluators can be found whose rates meet those set by the District), the Chairperson, Committee on Special Education/Pre-School Special Education may authorize an independent evaluation for which the fee charged will exceed the allowable fee which may be paid for a particular type of independent evaluation.

If the qualified professional performing the evaluation is an employee of a public school district in Westchester County or Putnam/Northern Westchester BOCES, the District will pay the evaluator the current hourly rate paid by his/her respective public school district or BOCES.

Further Information

The Chappaqua Central School District has developed these procedures on IEEs in furtherance of the law and to inform parents of their rights. Parents can obtain further information on IEEs by contacting Chairperson, Committee on Special Education/Pre-School Special Education. Parents can also contact the State Education Department for additional information on IEEs.

Administrative Regulation

Approved by Superintendent of Schools: November 5, 2003