• Independent Educational Evaluations
    Under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), a parent who disagrees with the results or content of an evaluation performed or obtained by the school district may request an independent educational evaluation at public expense. Certain conditions must be met for the District to pay for the evaluation:
              The evaluation will include only that testing and those assessment techniques that are required. The evaluator must utilize existing previous evaluations, information from school staff familiar with the performance of the child, and educational records concerning the child. Whenever possible, the evaluator shall review all such sources of information prior to conducting testing and assessment.
    Testing and assessment procedures shall be selected and administered to yield valid measurement or assessment of the construct or quality for which they were designed. The evaluator shall administer any testing or assessment procedures in a manner consistent with the requirements and recommendations stated with the instrument.  Also assessments will be administered in compliance with recognized professional principles, ethical tenets, and the report will indicate any factor(s) that might affect the validity of any results obtained.
    The evaluation shall include an observation of the student in an educational setting, unless the student is not then in such a setting. The evaluator shall obtain information concerning the performance of the student directly from at least one current teacher of the child, unless the child does not have a current teacher.
    The evaluator shall hold an active certification from the Pennsylvania Department of Education that qualifies the evaluator to conduct the type of evaluation that he/she is administering to the student. If certification from the Pennsylvania Department of Education is not issued for the particular area of professional practice for the evaluator, the evaluator shall hold a license or other credentialing as is required for the area of professional practice under Pennsylvania law.
    The evaluator shall prepare and sign a full report of the evaluation containing:
    (a)  a clear explanation of the testing and assessment results;
    (b)  a complete summary of all test scores, including, for all standardized testing administered, all applicable full scale or battery scores, domain or composite scores, and subtest scores reported in standard, scaled, or T-score format;
    (c)  a complete summary of all information obtained or reviewed from sources other than testing conducted by the evaluator;
    (d)  specific recommendations for educational programming; and
    (e) submit complete report to District concurrently with submission to the parent
    An appropriate evaluation, whether conducted by school district staff or persons not employed by the school district, shall consist of the following:
    1)    Administration of all testing and all assessment procedures required to rule in or rule out the existence of all disabilities defined in IDEA and Chapter 14. These disabilities include Traumatic Brain Injury, Hearing Impairment, Specific Learning Disability, Gifted without disability, Mental Retardation, Orthopedic Impairment, Emotional Disturbance, Speech or Language Impairment, Visual Impairment, Multiple Disabilities, and Autism.
    2)    Appropriate assessment based on the reasonable suspicion of above stated disability(ies) expressed by staff, parents and/or an evaluator.
    If the request for evaluation is received verbally, the staff member who receives the request shall immediately inform the parent that the request must be in writing to the principal of the child’s school. The principal shall provide the parent with a Permission to Evaluate- Evaluation Request Form. If the native language of the parent is other than English, the requirement of a written request shall be conveyed by whatever means practicable in the native language of the parent. A written request for an independent educational evaluation at public expense shall be immediately forwarded to the District Office of Pupil Services and Special Education.
    All requests for independent education evaluations are reviewed by the Director of Pupil Services in consultation with the multi-disciplinary team completing the evaluation in question. Within a reasonable period of time from the receipt of a written request for an independent education evaluation from a parent, the Office of Pupil Services and Special Education shall either-
    Deny the request and initiate a due process hearing and notify the parent in writing that it has done so; or
    Approve the request and issue to the parents correspondence containing:
    (a)  an assurance that the school district will pay for an independent educational evaluation as long as the evaluation meets all of the requirements of an appropriate evaluation identified above.
    (b)  a direction that the school district shall not pay for the evaluation until it receives directly from the evaluator a complete copy of a report of that evaluation and determines that the evaluation meets all of the requirements of this procedure;
    (c)  a request that the parents consider accessing reimbursement for all or part of the evaluation from
    public or private sources of insurance or reimbursement. However, the district will make it understood to parents that any reimbursement not covered by such sources, will then be assumed by the district;
    (d)  directions that the parent is responsible for arranging for the evaluation and for ensuring that the  evaluator contacts the Office of Pupil Services and Special Education to arrange for payment of the evaluation. If the evaluation has already been conducted and paid for, the correspondence shall advise the parent that the school district will not reimburse the parent for the reevaluation until it receives
    (1) a complete and unredacted copy of the report of the evaluation and determines that the evaluation meets all of the requirements of this procedure, and
    (2) documentation substantiating that the parents paid for or incurred the obligation to pay for the evaluation without reimbursement from a public or private source of insurance or reimbursement.
    The District Office of Pupil Services and Special Education shall send the correspondence to the parent by certified mail or by other independently verifiable means of conveyance and enclose a copy of this procedure.
    The Office of Pupil Services and Special Education may, upon receipt of the request for an independent educational evaluation at public expense may or may not request that the parent state his or her reasons for disagreement with the evaluation conducted or proposed by the school district. However, if parents are asked and refuse, the refusal of the parent to do so shall not delay the process required by this procedure.
              A parent is entitled to only one Independent Educational Evaluation at public expense each time the District conducts an evaluation with which the parent disagrees. THE DISTRICT LIMITS THE COST OF INDEPENDENT EDUCATIONAL EVALUATIONS TO $3000.00.
              The District must consider the results of the evaluation of your child, if it meets the District’s criteria for IEEs, in any decision made with respect to the provision of FAPE to the child.  
             The parent or the District may present the evaluation as evidence at a due process hearing regarding the child.
    The Office of Pupil Services and Special Education shall maintain a list of qualified independent evaluators and shall make that list available promptly to any parent who requests it. Parents are not required to choose an evaluator from this list.