Your school district has an obligation to “identify, locate and evaluate” all children with disabilities who may be eligible for special education, including those who are attending private schools or are homeless or wards of the court. [34 C.F.R. Sec. 300.111; Cal. Ed. Code Secs. 56300 & 56301.) This is called “Child Find.”
You can also make a referral for assessment at any time. A referral is defined as any written request for assessment by a parent, guardian, teacher, or other service provider. So send or deliver a written, dated request for assessment to the school district (i.e. Director of Special Education, Principal, special education program consultant, etc.) in order to formally refer your child for assessment and document timelines. Once the school district receives your written request for assessment, the assessment process must begin. All written referrals shall initiate the assessment process.
You may also contact your local school administrator (i.e. the Principal or special education program consultant, etc.). Outline your areas of concern about your child’s suspected disability and request an “evaluation” or “assessment”. If your request is made verbally, school district personnel must offer to help you put your request in writing and must assist you if you request assistance. If you do meet with school personnel, give them your written referral at the meeting. [Cal. Ed. Code Secs. 56029, 56301, 56302 & 56321(a); 5 C.C.R. Sec. 3021.] See Sample Letter – Request for Assessment, Appendices Section – Appendix A.