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(2.2) How long will it take for the district to complete my child’s assessment?

(2.2) How long will it take for the district to complete my child’s assessment?

Under state law, your school district must give you an assessment plan within 15 days of their receipt of your written referral for special education services. If a referral for assessment is made 10 days or less prior to the end of the regular year, the assessment plan must be developed within 10 days after school commences the following school year. [Cal. Ed. Code Sec. 56321(a).] The assessment plan shall:

  1. Be in language easily understood by the general public;
  2. Be provided in the primary language of the parent or other mode of communication used by the parent, unless to do so is clearly not feasible;
  3. Explain the types of assessments to be conducted;
  4. State that no individualized education program will result from the assessment without the consent of the parent;
  5. Include a copy of the notice of parental rights, which includes an explanation of all procedural safeguards under state and federal special education law; and 
  6. Include a description of any optional dispute resolution mechanisms available under state law;
  7. A description of any recent assessments conducted (including independent assessments and assessment information the parent requests to be considered);
  8. Information stating the student’s primary language and proficiency in that language.
    [Cal. Ed. Code Sec. 56321(a), (b); 5 C.C.R. Sec. 3022.]

You have at least 15 days to respond to or approve the assessment plan.  [Cal. Ed. Code Sec. 56321(c)(4).] When the district has received the signed assessment plan, it has 60 days (excluding days of school vacation in excess of five (5) and days that school is not in session) to complete the assessment, and convene an Individualized Education Program (IEP) meeting to determine if the child is eligible for special education, and develop her IEP if she is found eligible. [Cal. Ed. Code Sec. 56344(a).]  Once the child is found eligible, she may not be exited from special education without an evaluation showing she is no longer eligible. [20 United States Code (U.S.C.) Sec. 1414(c)(5); 34 C.F.R. Sec. 300.305(e)(1).]

If a child is referred to special education 30 or less days before the end of a school year, the district must hold a meeting to develop an IEP within 30 days after the beginning of the next school year. [Cal. Ed. Code Sec. 56344(a).]