Independent Educational Evaluation (IEE)

Independent Educational Evaluation (IEE) at Public Expense

A parent has the right to request an independent educational evaluation (IEE) at public expense if the parent disagrees with an evaluation that was obtained by the District. A parent does not have the right to an IEE at public expense if the District declines to evaluate a student to determine eligibility for special education (i.e., declines to conduct an initial evaluation). If the parent disagrees with the District’s decision to not conduct an initial evaluation, the parent may use the dispute resolution options (i.e., state complaint, mediation, due process hearing) afforded by the IDEA in order to pursue an evaluation by the District. Comprehensive guidance related to IEEs and in-school observations is available through the Bureau of Special Education.[1]

The parent may request an IEE at public expense either at or outside of a PPT meeting. The District may ask for the parent’s reason, but will not require the parent to provide an explanation and may not unreasonably delay either providing the IEE at public expense or filing a request for a due process hearing to show that its evaluation is appropriate. If the request is made during a PPT meeting, the District is not required to provide an answer to the parent’s request at that time. Although the PPT may review the request during the meeting, the District may inform the parent of its decision regarding the IEE at public expense subsequent to the PPT meeting, provided that the decision is made without unnecessary delay.

Criteria for Outside Evaluators (Independent Evaluators and Outside Evaluators Selected by Waterford Public Schools)

Evaluators chosen to conduct independent evaluations must meet all of the criteria established by the district as follows: 

  1. Minimum Credentials for Evaluators

For Psychologists:

  1. Hold a valid Connecticut Department of Health license as a psychologist.
  2. Have achieved a Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D) or Doctor of Psychology (Psy.D.) in Psychology, Neuropsychology or clinical Psychology from an accredited university.    
  3. Have training and experience in evaluating students of the same age level.
  4. Have clinical background, advanced training, and recent experience in the areas of disability being evaluated.
  5. Be able to schedule an evaluation in a timely manner and produce a written report within forty-five (45) school days of the evaluation, subject to any contractual arrangement with the district or unusual circumstances which justify an extension of this timeline.

For individuals conducting academic achievement testing, the individual must either:

  1. Fulfill the following requirements:
  1. Have attained a minimum of a Master’s degree; and
  2. Hold an appropriate and valid special education or other academic specialization (such as reading or mathematics) certificate from the Connecticut, Massachusetts or Rhode Island State Departments of Education; and
  3. Have experience in teaching and evaluating students in the area of suspected disability.

 Or

  1. Fulfill the requirement of the psychologist above.



For Speech Pathologists, Audiologists, Occupational Therapists, Physical Therapists and Physicians:

  1. Hold a valid Connecticut Department of Health license to practice.
  2. Have clinical pediatric experience in evaluating and treating children in the area of disability being evaluated.
  3. In the case of physicians, be Board Certified in the appropriate specialty area (pediatrics, care of children and adolescents, etc.)



  1. Cost:   Evaluations must charge fees for evaluation services which, in the judgment of the school district, are reasonable and customary for such evaluations.

     

  2. The evaluator must not be an employee of the school district.

     

  3. The evaluator must be permitted to directly communicate with school staff who work with the child in school and the members of the Planning and Placement Team, including the Special Education Director, as well as to obtain information from the school and share information with the school.

     

  4. The evaluator must obtain and consider school information and observations of the child in the school setting in the evaluation process and the written report.

     

  5. The evaluator must agree to provide the assessment information and results, including the results of teacher and parent checklists and surveys, in a written report to the district prior to receipt of payment for services.  The evaluator will be expected to produce his/her written report within forty-five (45) school days of the evaluation, subject to any contractual arrangement with the district or unusual circumstances which justify an extension of this timeline.

     

  6. The evaluator must comply with all guidelines required under the Individuals with Disability Education Act (IDEA) and the Connecticut State Department of Education regulations regarding the evaluation of children with disabilities.  The evaluator must also comply with all applicable confidentiality requirements under state and federal law.


Location Limitations for Evaluators

Evaluators who will be considered for approval must be located within a radius of seventy-five miles.  Evaluators outside of this geographic area will be approved only on an exceptional basis, provided that the parent can demonstrate the necessity of using personnel outside of this geographic area.  The district shall not be responsible to provide transportation, nor pay any travel expenses, to and from the location of the evaluator.  In the case of low incidence or severe disabilities where qualified evaluators may not exist in the geographic area, this requirement may be reconsidered by the district.

Additional Information

If the district has not conducted an evaluation of a child, the parent does not have a right to an independent evaluation at public cost.  The district has the right to first evaluation.  A parent/guardian may request only one independent evaluation at public expense for each evaluation conducted by the district.

Outside Evaluations Which are Not IEEs

Evaluations and/or assessment obtained by parents/guardians which do not meet the criteria for an IEE are considered outside evaluations for which parents/guardians are not entitled to reimbursement or payment from a public school district.  Nonetheless, if a parent/guardian decides to unilaterally obtain an outside evaluation and to share the results of such evaluation with the district, the school district will consider the evaluation at an IEP meeting, as appropriate.

The results of an independent evaluation procured by the district will be considered at a Planning and Placement Team meeting.

Questions

Please contact the Director of Special Services with any questions regarding the criteria for independent educational evaluations.

 

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