January 19, 2022, Meeting Update Notification: The January 19, 2022, Connecticut State Board of Education meeting will be held at 450 Columbus Boulevard, Hartford, at 9:30 a.m. The wearing of masks is required of all persons entering 450 Columbus Boulevard, as well as during the meeting. All mask and social distancing protocols will be adhered to during the meeting. This meeting will be live streamed and can be viewed here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rAyxss_PnAM

Guidance for Independent Educational Evaluations and In-School Observations

Overview


The Connecticut State Department of Education (CSDE) Bureau of Special Education (BSE) has determined that guidance about Independent Educational Evaluations (IEEs) at public expense and In-School Observations is needed to help support districts, families, students, and other stakeholders in working together to prevent disputes.1
 
The BSE values and supports collaboration and partnerships between families and schools. The BSE commends families, schools, and districts for establishing and maintaining productive relationships, which utilize effective methods of communication and shared decision making.  Strong, trusting relationships between families, schools, and districts serve as a foundation for positive and productive educational experiences for all students. Relationships may become stressed when families and schools or districts hold opposing views about a student’s education. The following guidance can serve as a resource for proactively avoiding or resolving disputes regarding IEEs at public expense and in-school observations.

An IEE is an evaluation conducted by a qualified examiner who is not employed by the school district responsible for the public education of the child. At public expense means that the school district either pays for the full cost of the evaluation or ensures that the evaluation is otherwise provided at no cost to the parent.  

The Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act (IDEA) establishes procedural safeguards, one of which is the right of a parent to request an IEE at public expense if a parent disagrees with an evaluation obtained by a school district. A parent’s right to an IEE at public expense is subject to various conditions outlined in the implementing regulations to the IDEA.   

This guidance is designed to:
Assist families, educators, students, and other interested parties in understanding the IEE process;
Emphasize the importance of home/school communication, collaboration and partnerships; and
Foster consistent practices across the state that align with state and federal law.

The links to the left of this text include an IEE flow chart, IEE frequently asked questions, in-school observation guidance, and other information.  This guidance may be updated to add new information as important issues arise or to amend the existing information as needed.  If you are interested in providing comments about this guidance please contact the BSE at 860-713-6910.
 

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1 This guidance is primarily based on the plain language of the IDEA, the regulations implementing the IDEA, commentary to the implementing regulations, as well as the Office of Special Education Programs’ policy interpretations


[1] This guidance is primarily based on the plain language of the IDEA, the regulations implementing the IDEA, commentary to the implementing regulations, as well as the Office of Special Education Programs’ policy interpretations