As required by A.A.C. R7-2-401(E)(8), the Arizona Department of Education developed a list of professionals qualified to verify the existence of specific disabilities for evaluation purposes as prescribed in subsection (E)(7).
Arizona Qualified Professionals List
As part of an initial evaluation or re-evaluation, the IEP team (of which the parent is a member) and other qualified professionals must review existing data on a child. “On the basis of this review, and input from the child’s parents, a determination is made about whether additional data are needed to determine whether the child is a child with a disability, whether the child continues to have such a disability, and the educational needs of the child.” [34 C.F.R. § 300.305(a)(1)and(a)(2)(i)(A)-(B)] It is important to stress that although the regulations that implement the IDEA permit the group referenced above to conduct its review without a meeting, it is still the IEP team that is required to review the existing data. [Id. at subsection (b)]
Because a student’s educational needs can change over time, the regulations that implement the IDEA require that a student be reevaluated every three years unless the parent and the school agree that such a reevaluation is unnecessary. [34 C.F.R. § 300.303(b)(2)] A reevaluation can occur more frequently, but not more than once a year, unless the parent and the school agree otherwise. [34 C.F.R. § 300.303(b)(1)] This does not mean that a school is required to conduct additional assessments if the IEP team, in conducting its review of existing data, determines that no additional data are needed to determine whether the child continues to have a qualifying disability and continues to need special education and related services; the educational needs of the child; or whether the child has an additional category of disability. Said another way, additional assessments every three years are not necessarily required, but a reevaluation every three years is required. [See 34 C.F.R. § 300.305]
Evaluation is defined as procedures that are used to determine whether a student has a disability and, if so, the nature and extent of his/her need for special education and related services. [34 C.F.R. § 300.15] The term reevaluation generally means a comprehensive evaluation that is analogous to initial evaluation under 34 C.F.R. § 300.532. [See Letter to Tinsley, 26 IDELR 1076 (OSEP 1990)] The purpose of a reevaluation is to determine whether the child continues to have a disability and his or her educational needs. [34 C.F.R. § 300.305(a)]
According to the regulations that implement the IDEA, either a parent or school may initiate the evaluation process. [34 C.F.R. § 300.301(b)] However, if a school has no basis for suspecting that a student might have a qualifying disability under the IDEA, it need not conduct an initial evaluation. [Pasatiempo v. Aizawa, 103 F.3d 796 (9th Cir. 1996)] In those cases, however, educators must inform parents of their decisions in a prior written notice and afford them an opportunity to challenge the decision by exercising their procedural safeguards right to mediation or due process. [34 C.F.R. § 300.503(a)(2)] Said another way, “[i]f a parent requests a reevaluation and the public agency disagrees that a reevaluation is needed, the public agency must provide prior written notice to the parent, consistent with § 300.503, that explains, among other things, why the agency refuses to conduct the reevaluation and the parent’s right to contest the agency’s decision through mediation or a due process hearing.” [34 C.F.R. Part 300, Analysis of Comments and Changes, Subpart D-Evaluations, Eligibility Determinations, Individualized Education Programs, and Educational Placements. Federal Register, Vol. 71, No. 156, p. 46640 (August 2006)]