Skip to main content

Special Education: How to Make A Referral

Parent-teacher communication is essential to your child’s success and is valued in our district. Begin by expressing your concerns with your child’s teacher. In most cases, those concerns will be shared with the school’s Response to Intervention Team and a plan will be created to include: how data will be collected and how that data will determine which targeted interventions should be used.

If your child is pre-school age and you have concerns, please contact Noreen Smyth-Morrow, School Psychologist at Onaway School, (216) 295-4090.

Below is information taken directly from Procedures and Guidance for Ohio Educational Agencies serving Children with Disabilities, which can be found here.

Request and referral for initial evaluation
Either parents of a child or a public agency may initiate a request for an initial evaluation. If the school district, after reviewing all relevant information about the child, agrees that an evaluation is necessary to determine if the child is a child with a disability, the district should obtain parental consent. The school district should promptly request parental consent to evaluate a child if the child has not made adequate progress when provided with high quality interventions or when these interventions require a level of intensity that can be provided only with special education and related services.

All parental requests for evaluation for a suspected disability should be considered very seriously, and as a first step, it is typically helpful for district personnel to meet with the parents to gain a better understanding of their concerns for their child. In most cases, an explanation of the sequence of intervention activities (i.e., targeted interventions and individualized intensive interventions, coupled with progress monitoring-often referred to as Response to Intervention) will reassure the parents that the child’s needs are recognized and are being addressed by the school. As explained in, in some cases the district may agree to an evaluation prior to any interventions taking place. In that instance, the district should obtain parent consent and implement an intervention during the 60-day timeline. However, if a preponderance of data from multiple sources indicates that the child would not be eligible for special education, the district should send prior written notice to the parents indicating that the district will not be conducting an evaluation. Regardless of the decision by the district, every attempt should be made to assist the parents and address the needs of the child, even if these needs do not require special education services.

For children transitioning from Help Me Grow, discussion should occur at the Preschool Transition Conference (PSTC) and there should be a review of information available to determine if the child is suspected of having a disability. If not, a Prior Written Notice to Parents PR-01 form should be provided and referral processes should be addressed.