Special Education Referral Process

A student is typically referred for an evaluation by a Student Support Team (SST) (Tier 3) when it has documented sufficient evidence to suspect that a disability may be the primary cause of the student’s learning or behavior problem(s). This usually occurs after appropriate interventions in the general education classroom have failed to find a satisfactory solution. A parent may also request in writing an evaluation. Refer to Parent Request Procedures. 

RTI: Parents should note that Georgia Rules for the IDEA eligibility require "Response to Intervention" (RtI) data in order to eliminate other explanations for student problems. If the RTI process has been bypassed, the data may need to be gathered during the evaluation process. The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) requires that before a student can receive special education services, the district must determine whether the student meets eligibility requirements for special education and needs special education services. The district must conduct (or arrange for) a comprehensive evaluation that 

  1. provides sufficient data to determine whether the student is a student with a disability;
  2. documents how the disability affects the student’s academic or behavioral performance in school; and
  3. provides appropriate information for the development of an IEP, if eligible.

Referral Procedure:

  • ◦If a referral is made to special education eligibility and consideration, the SST must be sure to include documentation of interventions attempted, observations, and any assessment results. 
  • ◦Parents must sign consent for special education evaluation and eligibility before a referral to special education can be started. Once consent for evaluation is received by the school, the eligibility meeting must be held within 60 days.
  • ◦After the referral packet is compiled and entered in GOIEP and reviewed by the In School Coordinator (ISC), the packet will be sent to the special education office.  The referral will be date stamped after receipt and incomplete packets or GOIEP information will be returned to school for additional information.
  • ◦Once the referral has been logged, the ISC and/or SES will gather remaining required components or request additional assessments if needed. Once all information needed is gathered, an eligibility meeting will be scheduled.
  • ◦The eligibility team will determine eligibility decision based on the data and state and federal special education rules. If the student is deemed eligible, an IEP will be developed within 30 days of the eligibility meeting. Once the IEP meeting is held and developed, parental consent for placement must be signed. If the parent refuses consent for placement, the student remains in regular education and special education services are not implemented. If the student is not deemed eligible for special education, the file will be returned to the school to determine what level of Tier intervention, support, strategies, and/or 504 is needed. Complete file and change of status form is submitted to the Special Education office at Werz.




If the referral is made by parental request, the district can either agree to or refuse the request. If the district refuses, it must give the parent written notice explaining the reason(s) why it is declining to initiate an evaluation, what data the decision was based upon, and other factors considered. The parents then have the right, if they choose, to request a due process hearing to seek a favorable ruling to conduct an evaluation.




Referral Procedures Checklist

  • Request for Consent for Evaluation for Special Education Services
  • Receive Signed Consent for Evaluation for Special Education Services from the parent
  • The 60 calendar day timeline begins upon receipt of the signed consent
  • Request Hearing & Vision Screening if not current within one year
  • Analyze Interventions or Implement Interventions if not in place
  • Review Other Data including the Permanent Record, Current Classroom assessment and progress, Results of Statewide Assessments, Attendance Data, Disciplinary History,
  • Complete Classroom Observations
  • Interview Current and/or Previous Teachers
  • Interview Parent Review Previous Data (other previous or independent evaluations, medical reports, information from previous schools)
  • Review Questionnaires and/or Forms from Respondents
  • Multidisciplinary Evaluation team reviews the information and determines what additional individual assessments are needed
  • Determine and Conduct One-on-One Assessments using a variety of instruments, using non discriminatory materials, in the student's native language, and by appropriately trained personnel
  • Determine Other Areas to Investigate if Needed, Based on Data
  • Score All Instruments Analyze & Interpret Results
  • Share the results with parent and educators - may be done at the same time as the eligibility meeting
  • HOLD MEETING TO DETERMINE ELIGIBILITY within 60 days of receipt of signed parental consent - the multidisciplinary team determines  whether a disability exists based on state criteria and what the impact is on the education of the student. If there is significant impact, the team may determine that the student is a student who needs special education and related services.
  • Write/Complete Eligibility Report (regardless of whether or not the student is eligible)
  • If eligible, complete file and change of status form and submit file to the Special Education office at Werz.
  • If not eligible, complete file and file remains at the school. Submit change of status form and copy of eligibility report to Special Education office at Werz.