All students from birth through age 21 who are suspected of having a disability may be referred for a special education evaluation. School personnel, parents or guardians, physician, community agencies, or other appropriate individuals may initiate a referral for special education evaluation. Referral of students for possible special education services is part of the Districts’ overall regular education referral and screening system.
If a parent makes a written request for an initial evaluation for special education services to the director of special education services or an administrative employee of the school district or open enrollment charter school, the district or charter school must respond no later than 15 school days after receiving the request. At that time, the district or charter school must give the parent a prior written notice of whether it agrees to or refuses to evaluate the student, along with a copy of the Notice of Procedural Safeguards. If the school district or charter school agrees to evaluate the student, it must also give the parent the opportunity to give written consent for the evaluation.
Please note that a request for a special education evaluation may be made verbally and does not need to be in writing. Districts and charter schools must still comply with all federal prior written notice and procedural safeguard requirements and the requirements for identifying, locating, and evaluating children who are suspected of being a child with a disability and in need of special education. However, a verbal request does not require the district or charter school to respond within the 15-school-day timeline.
If the district or charter school decides to evaluate the student, it must complete the student’s initial evaluation and evaluation report no later than 45 school days from the day it receives a parent’s written consent to evaluate the student. However, if the student is absent from school during the evaluation period for three or more school days, the evaluation period will be extended by the number of school days equal to the number of school days that the student is absent.
There is an exception to the 45-school-day timeline. If a district or charter school receives a parent’s consent for the initial evaluation at least 35 but less than 45 school days before the last instructional day of the school year, it must complete the written report and provide a copy of the report to the parent by June 30 of that year. However, if the student is absent from school for three or more days during the evaluation period, the June 30th due date no longer applies. Instead, the general timeline of 45 school days plus extensions for absences of three or more days will apply.
Upon completing the evaluation, the district or charter school must give the parent a copy of the evaluation report at no cost.
If the parent disagrees with the Full Individual Evaluation (FIE) provided by the District, the parent has a right to request an independent educational evaluation (IEE) evaluation at public expense, by someone who does not work for the District. Parents may refer to the posted 2018-2019 FBISD Special Education Independent Education Evaluation (IEE) procedures for more information.
Additional information regarding special education is available in a companion document titled Parent's Guide to the Admission, Review, and Dismissal Process.
Procedural safeguards are avaliable to review and understand your rights in the evaluation process.
If your child is enrolled at a Fort Bend ISD campus and you wish to request a special education evaluation, please provide the written request to the campus principal. If your child does not attend school but lives within the Fort Bend ISD boundaries or attends a Private School located within the Fort Bend ISD boundaries, please contact the Special Education Intake Center at 281-634-1359. The Intake Center is now located at the M.R. Wood Education Center, 138 Avenue F., Sugar Land, Texas 77498.