Local Operating Guidelines


Initial Evaluations*

The evaluation person(s) completes the full and individual evaluation, including a written report, within the 60 - calendar day time frame from the date of the parental consent. The purpose of the evaluation is to determine eligibility for special education services. The "initiation date" of the referral is defined as the earliest date on the "date line" of any referral form in the referral packet. General education teachers have 10 calendar days from the "initiation date" to deliver the completed referral packet to the evaluation person (diagnostician or speech therapist).


No less than once every three years following initial evaluation, an ARD committee reviews existing evaluation data on each student to consider the need for collecting additional evaluation data for purposes of determining: whether the student continues to have a disability, present performance levels and educational needs of the student, continued need for special education and related services, any additions or modifications to the services received to enable the student to meet IEP goals and participate in the general curriculum. The ARD committee identifies additional data to be collected as necessary and specifies a timeline for completion of evaluation.

If no additional evaluation data is deemed necessary to determine whether the student continues to have a disability, the committee will notify the student's parents (or adult student):

  • of the reasons the committee decided no additional data is necessary,
  • of the parent's right to request additional evaluation to determine whether the student continues to have a disability,
  • and that the AISD will not be required to conduct such an evaluation unless requested to do so by the parent or teacher.

Reevaluations should be completed on or before the anniversary date of the previous full and individual evaluation.

In order to provide updated information for an ARD committee's review of student's eligibility and programming -- the reevaluation process is initiated at the request of an ARD committee or routinely once each three years following the initial full and individual evaluation . Reevaluations of those students receiving direct services from the Regional Program for the Deaf (REPD) will be the responsibility of REPD personnel.

Standardized tests:

Amarillo ISD shall ensure tests and other evaluation materials used to evaluate the child must: 34 CFR Section 300.532

(a) be validated for the specific purpose for which they are used. 34 CFR Section 300.532(c)(1)(i); TAC Section 89.1230

(b) be administered by trained and knowledgeable personnel in accordance with any instructions provided by the producer of the tests. 34 CFR Section 300.532(c)(1)(ii)

(c) include those tailored to assess specific areas of educational need and not merely those that are designed to provide a single general intelligence quotient. 34 CFR Section 300.532(d)

(d) select and administer tests so as to best ensure that when a test is administered to a child with impaired sensory, manual, or speaking skills, the test results accurately reflect the child's aptitude or achievement levels, or whatever other factors the test purports to measure, rather than reflecting the child's impaired sensory, manual, or speaking skills (unless those skills are the factors that the test purports to measure). 34 CFR Section 300.532(e)

(e) have no single procedure used as the sole criterion for determining whether a child has a disability and for determining an appropriate educational program for the child. 34 CFR Section 300.532(f)


(f) A variety of assessment tools and strategies are used to gather relevant functional and developmental information about the child, including information provided by the parent and information related to enabling the child to be involved in and progress in the general curriculum or for a preschool child, to participate in appropriate activities that may assist in determining whether the child is a child with a disability under Section 300.7 and the content of the child's IEP. 34 CFR Section 300.532(b)

(g) The reevaluation of each child is conducted if conditions warrant or if the child's parent or teacher requests, but at least once every three years. 34 CFR Section 300.536(b)

(h) The date of the initial evaluation report is within 60 calendar days after the date of the initiation of the referral. 19 TAC Section 89.1011; TEC Section 29.004

(i) There is written evaluation data indicating the student's need for each related service listed in the IEP and documentation that the service will enable the student to benefit from special education. 34 CFR Section 300.24; 19 TAC Section Section 89.1060; 89.115(1)(G)

(j) The language evaluation includes the child's language dominance and most proficient method of communication (expressively and receptively). 34 CFR Section 300.19; TEC Section 29.004

(k) The evaluation is conducted in the child's native language or other mode of communication, unless it is clearly not feasible to do so. 34 CFR Section Section 300.19(a)(2); 300.532(a)(ii)

(l) The evaluation is sufficiently comprehensive to identify all of the child's special education and related services needs, whether or not commonly linked to a disability category in which the child has been classified. 34 CFR Section 300.532(h)

(m) The child is assessed in all areas related to the suspected disability, including, if appropriate, health, vision, hearing, social and emotional status, general intelligence, academic performance, communicative status, and motor abilities. 34 CFR Section 300.532(g)

(n) The multidisciplinary team that collects or reviews evaluation data in connection with the determination of a student's eligibility must include, but is not limited to, a licensed specialist in school psychology (LSSP), an educational diagnostician, or other appropriate certified or licensed practitioner with experience and training in the area of the disability, and the student's parent(s). 19 TAC Section 89.1040(b)

(o) For students served on a homebound or hospital bedside basis, there is verification that a licensed physician has determined the need for a minimum of four consecutive weeks of confinement or, for chronically ill students, any period of time totaling at least four weeks throughout the school year. 19 TAC Section 89.63(c)(2)(A)

Attention Deficit Disorder*

In order to obtain an outside evaluation for a student for attention deficit disorder an authorization for payment form must be submitted. The diagnostician completes this form and sends it to the secretary for Special Education at the Education Support Center. The diagnostician must also submit ADD/ED data sheet and the Hawthorne ADD checklist completed by the student's parent and teacher.

Emotional Disturbance*

Initial evaluations for emotional disturbance are done by a multidisciplinary team which includes, at least, the staff school psychologist, the campus diagnostician, the student's parent(s) and the student's teacher(s). The campus diagnostician is responsible for conducting the individual evaluation of cognitive and academic skills. In addition, the diagnostician will notify the psychologist of the referral and will distribute questionnaires or other evaluation instruments as requested by the psychologist. Upon completion of these instruments, the diagnostician will provide the resulting evaluation data to the psychologist. The psychologist is responsible for furnishing the questionnaires or other evaluation instruments which are directly related to the diagnosis of emotional disturbance to the diagnostician when notified of a referral. The psychologist is also responsible for doing classroom observation(s) and contacting the parents of the student as appropriate and necessary for diagnostic purposes. The psychologist will analyze the evaluation data and complete a written report addressing the student's eligibility for special education services as emotionally disturbed. This report will be furnished to campus personnel at least one week prior to the ARD meeting at which it will be discussed. The campus diagnostician is responsible for notifying the psychologist of scheduled ARD meetings where psychologist input is required at least one week prior to the meeting.


A student who meets the criteria for Autism or Pervasive Developmental Disorder must be evaluated by a multidisciplinary team. The multidisciplinary team must include at least one individual from each of the following groups: a licensed physician, or psychiatrist, or school psychologist, or a nationally certified school psychologist, or a psychologist licensed or certified by the Texas State Board of Examiners of Psychologists with training in school psychology and experience or training in the diagnosis of autism; a certified speech and hearing therapist, or a certified speech and language therapist, or a licensed speech language pathologist; and an educational diagnostician or other student evaluation specialist licensed or certified to assess disturbances in the areas defined in this subsection. The team's written report evaluation shall include specific recommendation for behavior management and family counseling.

Non-categorical Early Childhood (NCEC)*

NCEC may be used for children ages three through five who are suspected of meeting eligibility criteria for autism, emotional disturbance, learning disability, or mental retardation.

Learning Disability

Method 2 is used when the multidisciplinary team documents in its written report that the student could not be assessed through standardized procedures because of a lack of appropriate evaluation instruments OR that standardized test procedures did not reflect the severity of the discrepancy between expected and actual performance.

If the multidisciplinary team cannot establish the existence of a severe discrepancy because of the lack of appropriate evaluation instruments, or if the student does not meet the criteria, the team must document in its written report the areas identified and the basis for determining that the student has a severe discrepancy. The report shall include a degree of the discrepancy between intellectual ability and achievement.

If the professional evaluating and/or multidisciplinary team have data to indicate a learning disability -- but are currently not able to rule out the effects of environmental, cultural, or economic disadvantages as possibly being the primary cause of the evaluation data indicating a learning disability -- then -- it will be the responsibility of the ARD committee to establish a system to continue to monitor the student's progress and if needed reevaluate the eligibility status based to the student's educational progress after being exposed to research-based programs that have been proven to help most children learn.


Vocational needs will be considered for each student at each ARD meeting. If the ARD determines that formal vocational evaluation is needed, the diagnostician and appropriate teacher will complete parent, student, and teacher interviews and checklists. The diagnostician will review all previous testing and conduct any other evaluation needed.

Notice and Consent for evaluation:

1.      The law states that parents must be notified and consent must be obtained whenever an evaluation or reevaluation is conducted to determine if a child is a child with a disability and to identify the educational needs of the child. In other words, to determine eligibility for special education and related services.

2.      The AISD Notice and Consent for evaluation form is appropriate for all the areas described on the notice. If evaluation is requested in any area NOT addressed on the Notice (such as music therapy), a new consent form must be obtained which indicates the parent has been informed about the purpose and type of evaluation to be done.

3.      If the evaluation is for purposes of measuring student progress (Brigance, etc.), no consent is required.

4.      The signed consent form obtained from parents is "current" for three years. If new evaluation to determine eligibility in any other area or for any other service described in the notice is required during that three year period, no new consent is necessary. However, a notice to parents would certainly be appropriate in these instances.

5.      If an ARD committee or a parent requests a complete reevaluation at any time, formal notice should be given and Consent for Individual evaluation should be obtained regardless of the date on the previous consent.

* The appropriateness of evaluation instruments. including reliability, validity, and technical characteristics is the responsibility of the trained and licensed professional conducting the evaluation and is subject to review by district evaluation personnel and ARD committees.

* To the extent feasible, the person conducting the evaluation will insure that the results of evaluations considered to be part of a full and individual evaluation will be provided to parents and appropriate school personnel before any meeting to discuss the identification, evaluation, or educational placement of the child, or the provision of FAPE to the child.


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