16 Independent Educational Evaluation (IEE)


Forms/Links  

Chapter Revision Date: 05/2015

Contact Special Education Support staff for,  SDUSD IEE Policy and the IEE LETTER MASTER  forms. 

 

A parent/guardian or his/her legal representative may request an independent educational evaluation (“IEE”) of the student if the parent/guardian disagrees with the district’s educational assessment(s) of the student.  The request may be made each time the district assesses in the area for which the IEE is requested, up until a time period of two years from the date the assessment was shared at an IEP team meeting.  The district then has two options:  fund the requested IEE(s) or defend the district’s evaluation(s) at a due process hearing.  The IEE(s) is to be conducted at district expense unless the district demonstrates in a due process hearing that its assessment(s) is appropriate. 

16.1       Request for an IEE

The following conditions apply if/when a parent/guardian requests an IEE:

  • Parent/guardian may dispute one or more district assessments that were conducted and reviewed at an IEP meeting within the last two years from the date the parent requests the IEE.  Parent/guardian may not disagree with an assessment that has not been reviewed at an IEP team meeting, i.e., has not yet been discussed with the parent/guardian.  

note If the disputed assessment(s) was completed and reviewed at an IEP team meeting more than two years from the date of request for the IEE, the district will exercise its right to conduct its own assessment.  In that case, a Prior Written Notice will be sent informing the parent/guardian that the district refuses to fund the IEE because the request was made after the two year time period.  The case manager will develop an assessment plan to be provided to the parent/guardian within 15 days of the request for an IEE.  Contact your district level support person for a template of the Prior Written Notice.

 

  • If the district did not conduct an assessment(s) in the area disputed or requested, the district has the right to assess the student prior to a parent/guardian request for an IEE. 
  • If the parent requests one or more IEEs while the district is assessing the student (within the 60 day timeline) or in lieu of the district’s proposed assessment(s), the case manager will inform the parent that the district must first complete its own assessment(s), and review and discuss the results at an IEP team meeting.  The parent/guardian may dispute assessment results after the district’s assessment(s) have been completed and fully reviewed.
  • The parent/guardian has the right to disagree and then request an IEE each time the district conducts (and reviews at an IEP meeting) an assessment in the area for which the parent requests an IEE.
  • If the parent/guardian obtains an independent evaluation without district authorization and at their own expense, the district does not have an obligation to reimburse parents for that evaluation(s), but must consider the independent evaluation(s) at an IEP team meeting. 

16.2       Response to Parent/Guardian Request for an IEE:

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1.    The parent/guardian or his/her legal representative must inform the district in writing, or communicate the following concerns:

  • The parent disagrees with the district’s evaluation
  • The parent requests an IEE at public (district) expense
o   Determine if the two year time period applies, as in the NOTE above.  If so, contact the district level support person for assistance with a Prior Written Notice.
o   If this occurs within the two year time period and parent/guardian requests the IEE at an IEP team meeting, write on Team Action, “Parent disputed district’s assessment(s) and requested an Independent Educational Evaluation in ___.   District will respond in writing.”
o   If the request occurs outside of an IEP team meeting, document the request and include it in the special education container.

2.    Upon request for an IEE at public expense, the case manager or other appointed staff must contact the district level support person to obtain the following four documents to provide to the parent/guardian: 

  • An authorization letter stating the district agrees to fund the requested IEE(s).
  • The district’s IEE policy
  • A list of assessors who meet the district’s criteria for IEEs
  • Procedural Safeguards

Generally, the case manager or school psychologist will provide the documents to the parent/guardian within 15 calendar days. 

note The authorization letter, the policy, and the list of approved providers indicate a maximum cost limitation for the area(s) of evaluation requested.  The district will fund only up to the maximum amount allowed, unless the parent/guardian can demonstrate that “unique circumstances” exist.  Contact the district level support person if the parent requests a higher amount of funding for the IEE.  The total amount for a multidisciplinary IEE assessment is limited to $5,000.00 each time the district assesses

 

  • The parent has a right to choose an evaluator that is not on the district’s approved provider list as long as the evaluator meets district criteria as found in the IEE policy.  Cost limitations are the same as for the district’s approved providers.  If the parent informs the case manager that a provider not on the district’s approved list was chosen, contact the district level support person for assistance in determining if the provider meets district criteria.  Inform the parent/guardian that the provider does or does not meet district criteria as found in the IEE policy.
    • If the parent chosen provider does not meet district criteria, the district is not obligated to fund the IEE.  The parent must be informed in writing that the IEE policy does not allow funding of providers that do not meet district criteria.  A Prior Written Notice must be sent to the parent or their representative informing him/her that the district will not fund a provider that does not meet district criteria to conduct the assessment.  Contact the district level support person for assistance with this PWN.

3.    The IEP team must consider the results of the IEE at an IEP team meeting.  The authorization letter notes that the IEE report must be provided to the parent and the district at the same time, no later than five days preceding the IEP meeting in which the IEE results will be reviewed.  Someone qualified to interpret the results of the IEE(s) must be present at the IEP meeting, however, it is not required that the independent evaluator attend the IEP meeting.  District staff is generally qualified to interpret the results of the IEEs with the exception of an IEE in neuropsychology. 

  • The IEE provider of a neuropsychological assessment must be invited to the IEP team meeting to review/discuss his/her report.  The assessor’s attendance is not paid in addition to the maximum fee; rather, the maximum amount allowed includes attendance at an IEP team meeting.

4.    The IEP team is responsible for determining placement and services, not the independent assessor.  Therefore, while the IEP team will consider recommendations from the independent assessor, those recommendations are to be considered, but not necessarily required to be implemented unless the IEP team determines so.

5.    A statement must be written on Team Action noting that the IEE report and results were reviewed and discussed. 

16.3       Parent Privately Obtained Evaluation

If the parent/guardian obtains a private evaluation by a qualified professional at private expense, and if the parent/guardian agrees to share the evaluation report, the district must consider the results of the assessment when determining how to provide the student with FAPE.  A statement must be written on Team Action noting that the privately obtained report and results were reviewed and discussed.

  • The parent is not entitled to reimbursement for evaluations s/he obtained outside of the IEE request process.  If the parent requests payment at the IEP meeting for the private evaluation, write on the IEP Team Action “Parent requested reimbursement for the privately obtained evaluation.  Parent was informed that the District is not obligated to reimburse for assessments sought outside of the IEE request process.” 
    • If the parent requests reimbursement outside of an IEP team meeting, a Prior Written Notice refusing reimbursement must be sent to the parent.  Contact the district level support person for assistance with the PWN.

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