Hamden Public Schools uses procedures to ensure that proper identification of students with disabilities occurs through the implementation of sound evaluative practices. Evaluation in this context means the procedures that the District uses to determine whether a student has a disability and the nature and extent of the special education services that the student needs. A full and individual initial evaluation is conducted to determine if the student is a student with a disability and to determine the student’s educational needs before any action is taken with respect to the initial placement of a student with disabilities in a special education program. A reevaluation is conducted if conditions warrant it, or if a student’s parent or teacher requests a reevaluation, but at least once every 3 years unless the parent and our District agree that it is unnecessary. In addition, a reevaluation will not be conducted more frequently than once a year unless the parent and our District agree otherwise.
6. Evaluation Prior to Termination of Special Education Eligibility
Summary of Performance:
For a student whose eligibility for special education and related services terminates due to graduation with a regular diploma or due to exceeding the age eligibility for FAPE under state law, our District will provide the student with a summary of the student's academic achievement and functional performance (Form ED 635), which shall include recommendations on how to assist the student in meeting his or her postsecondary goals.
Evaluation Study for Determination of Eligibility and Placement
An evaluation study on a student in Hamden includes reports concerning educational progress, structured observation, and such psychological, medical, developmental and social evaluations as may be appropriate to determine the nature and scope of the student’s exceptionality.
The evaluation study may include information concerning the student’s physical condition, socio-cultural background and adaptive behavior in home and school. The evaluation report documents the sources of all information. If an assessment is not conducted under standard conditions, a description of the extent to which it varies from standard conditions is included in the evaluation report.
In evaluating each student with a disability, our District’s evaluation is sufficiently comprehensive to identify all of the student’s special education and related services needs, whether or not commonly linked to the student’s disability category. A student 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.
No single procedure is used as the sole criterion to determine whether a student has a disability and to design an appropriate educational program for the student. Results of standardized or local tests of ability, aptitude, affect, achievement and aspiration are not exclusively used as the basis for determining whether a student is a student with a disability within our District. An evaluation study shall document and carefully consider the sources of all information.
Evaluative Data for Initial Evaluation or Reevaluation
Evaluation Tools and Measurements
Tests, evaluation materials, procedures and techniques used for the purpose of evaluation are chosen carefully to ensure accurate results. They are selected and administered so as not to discriminate on a racial or cultural basis. They are used to gather relevant functional, developmental and academic information including: information provided by the parent, and information related to enabling the student to be involved in and progress in the general curriculum. For a preschool student, the District looks at information that will enable the student to participate in appropriate activities. This information will help the PPT determine whether a student has a disability as well as the content of the student’s IEP.
The evaluation tools the District uses are administered according to instructions provided by the producers/publishers and have been validated for the specific purpose for which they are used. They are administered by trained and knowledgeable personnel who are appropriately certified and or licensed. The District ensures that they are technically sound instruments that may assess the relative contribution of cognitive and behavioral factors, in addition to physical or developmental factors.
The evaluation tools and measurements that the District uses include those tailored to assess specific areas of educational need and not merely those that are designed to provide a single general intelligence quotient. These assessment measures provide relevant information that directly assists persons in determining the educational needs of the student. Tests and measurements that the District uses are selected and administered to ensure that the test results accurately reflect the student’s aptitude or achievement level or whatever factors the test purports to measure, rather than reflecting the student’s impaired sensory, manual or speaking skills.