Teacher Helping a Student

Independent Educational Evaluation (IEE)

An evaluation that determines whether or not your child meets specific eligibility criteria for special education services is referred to as a Full and Individual Evaluation (FIE). If your child receives an FIE by his/her school to determine eligibility for special education services, and you disagree with the results, you can request an Independent Educational Evaluation (IEE). This means that you can choose to have a psychologist outside of the school system provide an independent evaluation of your child. However, typically the school district is responsible to pay for the evaluation.

You also have the right to request who conducts the evaluation. At PACT we have providers who hold either doctorate or specialist degrees. Our providers are all Licensed Specialists in School Psychology (LSSPs). This means that we are able to conduct comprehensive evaluations with expertise in the educational systems and psychoeducational assessment. Our providers understand how to advocate for parent and student rights and interests as well as how to communicate with schools in an effective manner.

PACT has provided IEEs throughout many districts in the Greater Austin area for over five years, including:

  • Austin Independent School District

  • Bastrop ISD

  • Comal ISD

  • Del Valle ISD

  • Dripping Springs ISD

  • Eanes ISD

  • Georgetown ISD

  • Giddings ISD

  • Hutto ISD

  • Lake Travis ISD

  • Leander ISD

  • Pflugerville ISD

  • Round Rock ISD

  • Seguin ISD

A more detailed explanation of IEEs and how to request one is below. Please contact us if you have additional questions or schedule a time to consult with one of our licesend specialist in school psychology.

 

When You and the School District Disagree

The Role of an Independent Educational Evaluation

School-based psychoeducational evaluations are characterized by a complex process where the parents, child, and school staff ideally work together to further understand the child’s strengths and weaknesses and to offer recommendations on how to improve current academic functioning.  Ultimately, the main purpose of the evaluation is to identify whether your child meets eligibility for special education services. There are thirteen disability categories, including specific learning disability, emotional disturbance, Other Health Impairment (OHI), or an autism spectrum disorder that affect functioning in school. As a result, appropriate recommendations for interventions and accommodations are made.

In certain circumstances, parents may not agree with the findings from the school-based report. Some possible reasons include:

  • You do not believe the results are accurate and they did not capture your child’s strengths and weaknesses

  • You do not believe that the school evaluator had adequate training and/or expertise to conduct the evaluation

  • You disagree with the eligibility determination (i.e., whether or not your child was found eligible for special education services)

  • You disagree with the educational placement, services, and/or accommodations that were recommended

Should you disagree with the results of an evaluation conducted in the public school, you have the right to an IEE at the public’s expense. IEEs are not limited to your child’s cognitive and academic achievement but may evaluate any skill related to your child’s educational needs. For example, evaluations of neuropsychological functioning, adaptive physical education, and sensory needs are but a few examples of the types of IEEs covered under the Individuals with Disabilities Educational Act (IDEA). You may obtain an IEE for virtually any purpose if it impacts the child’s education.

In order to obtain an IEE, you should write a letter to the Admission, Review, and Dismissal (ARD) committee or school administration stating that you disagree with the school district’s assessment and are requesting an IEE. It is recommended that you document your request in writing.  The district will determine if they will provide the IEE or opt to file a dispute to contend that the school’s evaluation was appropriate. Regardless of whether the district opts to defend their evaluation or agrees to provide an IEE, the school district must provide you with information about where an independent evaluation can be obtained. If the district is paying for the IEE, you may select an evaluator on the list or choose another provider. However, if you select a provider who is not on the district list, you should learn what school district’s educational and licensure requirements are for the evaluator as well as the pricing guidelines of the district. The results of the IEE must be considered by the school in all decisions made regarding your child’s education.

PACT offers comprehensive IEEs. We strive to complete a truly comprehensive and independent evaluation.  We conduct observations at your child’s school, interviews with you and your child’s teachers as well as completing a thorough review of previous testing and background information. If you are interested in pursuing or finding out more about an IEE, you should contact us to discuss your options. We will then schedule a time for you to consult with one of our licensed specialists in school psychology (LSSPs) as well.