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OT: Public school testing

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    #16
    Re: OT: Public school testing

    We ran this gamut last year. I was the first homeschooler to request an evaluation in our district.

    A few caveats about my particular location to start, which may be important. We have one pk-12 school in the county. The whole county. There are no other educational choices, private or charter or hybrid. Period. There are no other behavioral or psych offerings in the county. None.

    I was denied at first at the local county when I requested an eval. They said he had to be an enrolled student. I pointed yo the law as Cheryl noted. It doesn't say anything about enrolled student. I got the brush off..."well look into it and get back with you".

    I went above the district. The district shares special education and behavioral services with two other adjoining counties. I called their administrator. She was more knowledgeable than the locals. She agreed to push it through the locals and actually showed up at the initial evaluation consultation. Definitely put the locals on notice to get this done.

    They agreed to do the eval. They tried to hard sell me on enrolling him to receive services. I partially enrolled him for behavioral and psych services, but passed on English Language Arts and Math services.

    The key is make your request in writing. That starts the clock running to complete an eval within a specific time frame.
    Married to DH for 14 years. Living the rural life in the Colorado mountains

    DS11- Simply Classical 5/6
    DD9- Simply Classical 5/6 (neurotypical, but schooling with big brother to save mom's sanity)
    DD 6- Classic Core First Grade

    We've completed:
    Classic Core Jr. kindergarten, kindergarten, first grade, and second grade.
    Simply Classical levels B, C, 1, 2, 3, and 4.

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      #17
      Re: OT: Public school testing

      Originally posted by cherylswope View Post
      This does sound convoluted, doesn't it?!

      We were able to obtain all of our testing privately through insurance coverage, so I did not experience this as a parent firsthand; however, Wrightslaw.com tries to stay current and offers the following notes & laws as reference points as you advocate. Your state homeschool advocacy group will know any state-specific requirements in addition to verifying these from Wrightslaw:

      - The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act includes the Child Find mandate. Child Find requires all school districts to identify, locate and evaluate all children with disabilities, regardless of the severity of their disabilities. This obligation to identify all children who may need special education services exists even if the school is not providing special education services to the child.

      -The law about the requirement to evaluate if requested by the child’s parent is clear and unambiguous:
      "A State educational agency, other State agency, or local educational agency [school district] shall conduct a full and individual initial evaluation ... either the parent of a child, or a State education agency, other State agency, or local educational agency may initiate a request for an initial evaluation to determine if the child is a child with a disability." 20 USC 1414(a)(1)

      - "All children with disabilities residing in the state, including children with disabilities attending private schools, regardless of the severity of their disabilities, and who are in need of special education and related services, are identified, located, and evaluated . . ." (20 U.S.C. 1412(a)(3))

      - Schools are required to locate, identify and evaluate all children with disabilities from birth through age 21. The Child Find mandate applies to all children who reside within a State, including children who attend private schools and public schools, highly mobile children, migrant children, homeless children, and children who are wards of the state. (20 U.S.C. 1412(a)(3))

      - This includes all children who are suspected of having a disability, including children who receive passing grades and are "advancing from grade to grade." (34 CFR 300.111(c)) The law does not require children to be "labeled" or classified by their disability. (20 U.S.C. 1412(a)(3)(B); 34 CFR 300.111(d)).

      You might be paving the way for others! Let us know what happens --
      Yes, it is very confusing! I heard from the school's psychologist and our state homeschool association today that they can do a special education dual enrollment for a child enrolled in a private school (which is what homeschooled students are considered in Texas). That will allow him to receive the evaluation while not being counted absent every day.

      My state homeschool association also clarified that while they are required to provide an initial evaluation/diagnosis as you quoted above on any student in the district suspected of having a disability, in Texas at least they are not required to offer any services to privately or homeschooled students after that. They can if they choose to. I am not sure, but I think our request for an update to the initial evaluation falls under the first category. I'm not looking for any kind of services beyond that. In any case, this particular school seems willing to work with us. We'll see how it goes!
      Catherine

      2019-20
      DS16, 10th
      DS13, 7th
      DS11, 6th
      DD11, 6th
      DS7, 1st
      DD4, JrK
      DS 17 mos

      Homeschooling 4 with MP
      2 in classical school

      Comment


        #18
        Re: OT: Public school testing

        Originally posted by jen1134 View Post
        Has anyone run into trouble as homeschoolers using the public school testing. Like, being given a hard time about homeschooling, ending up on “the radar”, etc? We aren’t required to report or register in Indiana and I kind of like the freedom of that. At the same time, public school testing is already paid for by my tax dollars rather than trying to scrape money together, get financial assistance, etc for private testing. Would PS testing be as thorough as private neuropsych?
        Jen,

        It is definitely a hassle to go through the public school. Our first go-around was 12 years ago when we were looking for a diagnosis for our son--3 years old, we suspected autism. On the initial evaluation, they sent him to a psychiatrist who did not do any official tests, just spent an hour with him and said he's not autistic, just gifted, and gifted kids are difficult. And by the way, you should start making him use the potty. Some help! We found out we had the right to an appeal, which we pursued, and which took forever, but by age 4 1/2 the school district paid for a full evaluation by a developmental pediatrician in private practice. It was the exact same evaluation he would have done had we been paying through insurance or cash.

        The district offered him a spot in their special needs preschool program, but we declined that without any problems. A few years later we did enroll him for a short time in a self-contained special ed classroom, and when we withdrew him to return to homeschooling, the teachers were disappointed, but they were always respectful of our decision. The school sent me letters for about a year afterwards, reminding me that I could continue services even while homeschooling, but that was all.

        Our health insurance covers neuropsychological testing but not psychoeducational testing. I'm still not sure exactly how those tests differ, but our psychiatrist assures me psychoeducational is what we need for our purposes right now (documentation that allows for accommodations with SAT/ACT or with college classes). That's what we are looking for from the school at this point. I don't even know for sure that our son will need those accommodations, but I don't want to get to that point and then not have the paperwork.

        HTH!
        Catherine

        2019-20
        DS16, 10th
        DS13, 7th
        DS11, 6th
        DD11, 6th
        DS7, 1st
        DD4, JrK
        DS 17 mos

        Homeschooling 4 with MP
        2 in classical school

        Comment

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