Parents, school personnel, school district staff, or other persons with knowledge about a student may make a referral requesting that the student be evaluated to determine eligibility for special education.
If at any time you believe your child may need special education, you should contact someone at your child’s school and/or the SBLSD Special Services office at 253-891-6037 to request that your child be evaluated for special education.
When requesting to have your student evaluated, be sure to include why you think your student may need special education services and all of the areas of suspected disability. If you think, for example, that your student has difficulty in reading and also has emotional or behavioral struggles that need to be addressed, then ask for both areas to be evaluated. It is also helpful to provide examples of the types of situations that appear challenging to your student. If you have them, provide any documents which indicate that your student may have a specific condition or impairment, such as letters from doctors or mental health providers.
The referral process includes a review of existing data about your student. Existing data includes, but is not limited to, any information you have provided, any medical information available, and any information about your student's performance at school or in other settings (such as preschool, private school, at home, and other settings). Based on all this information, the district must make a decision within 25 school days as to whether or not it will evaluate the student.
If a school district decides the information in the referral does not support the need for an evaluation, it must provide you with a Prior Written Notice letter of its decision not to evaluate. The Prior Written Notice must include the reasons why the district does not believe your student needs to be evaluated. You have the option of challenging the district's decision using one of the dispute resolution options available under special education law and/or inquiring about eligibility under Section 504.