Last Updated: September 22, 2016


ELL Pre-referral Procedures

The purpose of this procedure is to prevent the inappropriate identification of learning disabilities in the BSD ELL student population. For example, Hispanic students are 3 times as likely as any other student in Bellevue to be identified with a specific learning disability. OSPI has identified BSD as having disproportionate representation of Hispanic students in special education. Teams and school staff are encouraged to use this procedure prior to making a referral for special education services.  However, a team cannot use this process to delay considering an evaluation once a referral has been made by a parent or teacher.

*ELL –  a student who speaks a first language other than English.  “Qualifies for ELL services” – an ELL who scores between Level 1 and Level 3 on the placement/annual WELPA

Interventions, Consultation, & Data Collection
  • ELL student experiences difficulty in the classroom
  • Teacher & ELL staff consult and attempt a variety of research-based strategies
  • Parents of student are contacted and fully briefed. Interventions and suggestions are shared with parents.
  • Document interventions and progress data:
    • If the student shows adequate progress, continue interventions until student meets goal.
    • If the student continues to experience difficulty after interventions are implemented with fidelity for a sufficient period of time (typically cycles of 6-10 weeks), then refer to guidance team (GT).

Information Gathering


  • Guidance Team Referral form is completed by teacher and counselor. 
  • The GT, including teacher, counselor, and ELL staff, meets for pre-planning purposes to determine how to gather needed information. Parents may be invited to this meeting.
  • Tasks are assigned at the meeting (all forms on ELL SharePoint):
    • ELL parent Interview form
    • ELL facilitator form
  • Additional needed information as determined by the team (ie: special health related information, etc.)
    Additional interventions are brainstormed and implemented. Interventions and suggestions are shared with parents (language line or interpreter available through district).

ELL Critical Data Matrix

(GT meeting)

This meeting continues the pre-planning process. Parents should be informed of meeting and may be invited.

  • The intervention team meets to review gathered information
  • Team completes the ELL Matrix and documents on GT tab of IEPonline.
    • If the Matrix indicates need for more intervention:
      • Continue with guidance team process
      • Continue or amend interventions
      • Collect new information if necessary
    • If the Matrix indicates need for evaluation:
      • GT refers student to MDT
Multi-Disciplinary Team Meeting (MDT)
  • The district documents the request for an evaluation and notifies the parent.
  • The MDT must meet and determine whether to evaluate the student within 25 school days of receiving a written special education referral  from the GT.
  • The MDT team consists of:
    • Parent
    • Interpreter
    • General education teacher
    • Special education teacher
    • ELL teacher
    • School Counselor
    • School Psychologist
  • If the team agrees an evaluation is warranted, the district will:
    • Provide prior written notice to the parent
    • Obtain written consent
    • Fully evaluate the student and arrive at a decision within 35 school days of receiving written consent.
Initial Referral and Evaluation

The Special Education referral process begins when a teacher, parent, student, and/or other agency identifies a student who may have a disability that adversely impacts their educational progress and be in need of specially designed instruction. Upon written request of a referral the parents must be notified and offered an opportunity to participate in all meetings with respect to the identification, evaluation, educational placement, and provision of free and appropriate public education (FAPE) for the student. In most cases, the student has previously gone through the pre-referral process.

Please review WACs regarding initial evaluations, found here: Referral and timelines for initial evaluations

Receipt of Special Education Referral
  • MDT leader informs parent of special ed referral and schedules MDT meeting to consider referral and invites parent.
  • Existing information on student is gathered.
  • MDT meeting must be conducted within 25 school days of received referral. Team decides if information warrants an evaluation for special education, 504, referral to Student Intervention Team (SIT), or if no further action is required.
  • If the MDT decides to conduct special education or 504 evaluation, the parent is informed and asked to sign consent for evaluation created in the GT tab in IEPonline.
  • If the MDT decides that no further action is needed, or refers the student to the Student Intervention Team, the parent is informed with a Prior Written Notice (PWN) completed in the GT tab.
Evaluation Consent and Exchange of Information
  • Consent for evaluation is given to the parent along with notification of the MDT decision.
  • Consent will indicate the areas of evaluation to be conducted.
  • Evaluation must be completed within 35 school days from the receipt of signed consent.
  • 35-school day timeline starts the date that the consent is received by the district
    • Enter the date consent is received in the Parental Response Date on the Consent tab of the Special Ed Referral Record in
    • Evaluation case manager should make a note on the received consent indicating the date of receipt and the recipient.
  • A signed Records Request must be completed prior to connecting with any out-of-district provider. A Records Request is located in IEPO under Demographics in the lower left column. When creating a Records Request: * Fill in the blanks (to, from, date) * Print (you may need to cross off or add information * Have parent (and student if age appropriate) sign * Scan and attach signed copy into IEPO * Records Requests are only valid for 90 days
Initial Evaluation Extension
  • If the Initial evaluation needs to be extended beyond the original 35 school-days, consent for extending the evaluation must be granted by the parent prior to the expiration of the original evaluation period.
  • When completing the Consent for Extension of Initial Evaluation form, the Meeting Date and Time on the form should reflect the date and time the consent was signed by the parent, not the date to which the evaluation was extended.
Complete Evaluation
  • Student should be evaluated in all areas of suspected disability and in all areas indicated on consent.
  • Each member of evaluation team completes appropriate area of the evaluation report with suggestions for possible services based on the three prong test (presence of disability, adverse educational impact and need for SDI)
  • Evaluation Team leader schedules eligibility meeting and invites the parent and team.  Document the invitation in IEPonline on the notification tab.
  • Evaluation team must meet within 35 school days of consent receipt (or obtain consent for evaluation extension from the parent.)
    • The evaluation/eligibility team is defined as, “a group of qualified professionals and the parent.”
    • Each professional member of the team must sign and date the evaluation report. Parents are encouraged, but not required to sign the evaluation. If parents do not sign, document reason in the Prior Written Notice (PWN).
Finalizing Documents
  • If student is eligible for special ed the parent is notified of the decision through PWN.
    • IEP case manager is informed of the team decision and must hold an Initial IEP meeting within 30 calendar days of evaluation team meeting.
    • If student is not eligible for special education the parent is notified of the decision through PWN.
    • Send a final version of the signed evaluation report with the PWN to parent and Data Coordinator at ESC within 5 school days of the meeting.  Send all supporting materials (protocols, outside reports, signed release of records) to ESC.
Assessment Revision

The purpose of an Assessment Revision is to revise the last evaluation to meet one (or more) of the following functions: (1) to complete a corrective action that does not affect services, (2) to revise an evaluation when important new information is obtained following the completion of an evaluation, (3) to document findings from an Independent Educational Evaluation (IEE), (4) to consider change of placement.

Assessment revisions require all of the same procedural steps as a comprehensive reevaluation including parent notification and consent (or 3 documented attempts) and PWN as noted below.

  • Corrective Action:
    The team must follow the same procedures as if conducting a reevaluation through the review of existing data. Changes to content of a substantial nature cannot be completed through an Assessment Revision; a reevaluation will need to be completed to make substantial changes. The Assessment Revision for a corrective action can be completed and sent home to the parent with a PWN documenting the reason.
  • Adding or Deleting a Single Service:
    Supplementing an existing evaluation report through an Assessment Revision may be appropriate when, despite the best efforts of the evaluation team, new information is obtained after the evaluation is completed. In these situations, it might be appropriate to supplement the existing evaluation.  If this approach is used, the team should verify with all members of the IEP team, whether there is only one suspected area of service affected or if there are other areas for which there is new information.
  • Documenting findings from an IEE:
    Teams always need to consider any information in an IEE.  An Assessment Revision can be used to document the findings that will result in an IEP amendment.
  • Change of placement:
    If the team is considering a possible change of placement for a student, they have the choice of completing either a Reevaluation or an Assessment Revision. The choice of format should be selected based upon the evaluation procedures that will be conducted. If the team will simply be supplementing the evaluation with existing information, then an Assessment Revision could be utilized. If evaluation procedures will be more comprehensive in nature and include standardized instruments then a Reevaluation would be the appropriate tool to select.

Restrictions for use of an Assessment Revision:

  • An Assessment Revision to add or delete a service can only be conducted within the first 18 months of an evaluation timeline
  • Only one Assessment Revision to add or delete a single service can be conducted during a three-year evaluation timeline
  • An Assessment Revision cannot be conducted within three months of an upcoming IEP yearly review
  • An Assessment Revision cannot be used to exit a student from special education or to change the eligibility category.
1.  An IEP team member, including the parent, may recommend an area of service that needs to be reevaluated due to new information. If more than one area is being considered, an Assessment Revision cannot be completed. A comprehensive reevaluation should be discussed as an option. IEP Case Manager, evaluation case manager, and/or IEP Service Provider As needed OSPI Technical Assistance Paper 5
2. The Evaluation Case Manager informs the other members of the evaluation team, including the parent, of the recommendation for a revision and verifies this is the only area requiring reevaluation, and sends a Notification of Assessment Revision to the parent. Notification of Assessment Revision Evaluation Case Manager Begin 35 day timeline
3. If the team determines no additional data are needed,

  • The Evaluation Case Manager or service provider completes the assessment revision section in IEP Online.
  • The Evaluation Case Manager or service provider reviews the revision with the parent and obtains relevant signatures.
  • A PWN documents the changes.


Assessment Revision




Service Provider or Evaluation Case Manager

Service Provider or Evaluation Case Manager

4. If the team determines additional data are needed,

  • Parent consent is obtained by the Evaluation Case Manager and attached in IEP Online (or three attempts are documented).
  • The Evaluation Case Manager or service provider conducts an evaluation and completes the revision section in IEP Online.  Relevant members of the team should participate in the process.
  • The Evaluation Case Manager or service provider reviews the revision with the IEP Team and parent and obtains relevant signatures. A copy of the assessment revision report is provided to the parent.
  • A PWN documents the changes.

Parent Consent


Assessment Revision






Evaluation Case Manager


Service Provider or Evaluation Case Manager




Service Provider or Evaluation Case Manager

5. The copy of the revision paperwork is provided to the parent and IEP Case Manager, including the revision form, copy of consent and PWN. Immediately following meeting (no more than 2 days)
6. All revision paperwork turned in to Central Office 5 school days after meeting
7. An IEP amendment needs to be created to reflect the necessary changes. Invitation
IEP Case Manager
IEP Team
When Revision is completed

Reevaluations must occur every three years, when the service needs of the student change (ie: change of placement), or when a parent or teacher requests one. Only one reevaluation must be conducted per year, unless agreed to by the parent and the district. The purpose of the reevaluation is to determine whether the student continues to be eligible for services and whether any modifications to services are needed, and to document the student’s present levels of functioning.

Please review WACs 392-172A-03015 through 392-172A-03080 regarding reevaluations, found here: Reevaluation WACs

Review Existing Data
  • Review existing data including information provided by parent, performance on local and state assessments, and observations of teachers to identify what, if any, additional information is needed in the reevaluation.
  • This review can be conducted without a meeting.
Evaluation Consent
  • Obtain parent signature on Reevaluation Notification/Consent.
    • The reevaluation must be completed within three years from the date of the last evaluation AND
    • The reevaluation is due 35 school days after consent is received OR such other time period as agreed to by the parent. However the due date cannot extend beyond the 3 year limit.  
    • Extending reevaluation timelines directions can be found here: Non-triennial reevaluation extension
  • If the parent refuses consent, document the refusal through a PWN. Conduct the reevaluation using a review of existing data.
  • If the parent ignores attempts to obtain consent, document at least three attempts to obtain consent. You may either conduct a review of existing data, or proceed with testing. (See OSPI Technical Assistance Paper 5)
Complete Evaluation
  • The evaluation/eligibility team is defined as, “a group of qualified professionals and the parent.”
  • The evaluation should be comprehensive enough to identify all of the student’s service needs, whether or not commonly linked to the disability category under which the student is classified.
  • Because a non-triennial reevaluation resets the clock and another reevaluation will not be due for three years, the non-triennial reevaluation must comprehensively address all areas of suspected disability.  
  • Each member of evaluation team completes appropriate area of evaluation with suggestions for services to be considered by the team.
  • If the category of SLD might be considered:
    • The eligibility team is defined as above with the addition of “the student’s general education teacher.”
    • The evaluation must include an observation of the student in the general education setting to document student performance in the areas of difficulty.
  • The evaluation team leader schedules reevaluation feedback meeting, inviting all members and parents.
  • Each professional member of the team must sign and date the evaluation. Parents are encouraged, but not required to sign the evaluation. If parents do not sign, document reason in the Prior Written Notice (PWN).
Finalizing Documents
  • The parent is notified of the student’s eligibility, team conclusions and recommendations through aPWN.
  • If the reevaluation recommends changes to services, an  IEP meeting must be held within 30 calendar days of the reevaluation meeting.
  • Send a final version of the signed evaluation report with the PWN to parents and the Data Coordinator at ESC within 5 school days of the meeting.  Send all supporting materials (protocols, outside reports, signed release of records) to ESC.
Waiving Reevaluations The parent and school district can determine that a reevaluation is not necessary.  

  • This option should be reserved for students aging out of services who have a well developed transition plan in place, have a stable and well understood disabling condition, and no changes to the program are anticipated as a result of reevaluation.
  • Create a reevaluation waiver in IEPonline by selecting this option under “create” in the evaluation tab, and obtain parental signature
  • Send a copy of the completed waiver and PWN to parents and to the Data Coordinator at ESC
Private School and Homeschool Referral Process

Families whose students attend private schools or are home schooled and are interested in accessing special education services should be directed to call the district special education office at 425-456-4149 to initiate the process and obtain an intake packet.

Next Steps:

  1. Special education department obtains a completed intake packet from the family and assigns the evaluation (or transfer review for currently eligible students) to a School Psychologist, who sets up an MDT.
  2. The MDT determines whether a special education evaluation is warranted.
  3. If an evaluation is completed and the student is found eligible for special education services, the neighborhood school IEP team writes an IEP with services as if the student were attending BSD full time.
  4. The parent can then select from the following options:
    • Full time enrollment in BSD with services as outlined in the new IEP.
    • Part time enrollment in BSD following the district guidelines found here. The family must complete the part time enrollment form indicating which services or courses they wish to access (sp ed and/or gen ed).  Note that in this option, the family can “pick and choose” services from the IEP, since they are not full time BSD students.  The IEP must be revised to reflect the new plan.
    • Services through an Individual Service Plan (ISP), if attending a private school and not interested in attending BSD part or full time.  Please refer the family to the district special education office for more information about how to access an ISP.
Out Of District Transfer

When a student who had an IEP in effect in another district transfers to Bellevue SD, BSD must provide the student FAPE, including services *comparable to those in the existing IEP, until it: 1) conducts an evaluation of the student, if it determines that an evaluation is necessary; and 2) develops, adopts, and implements a new IEP, if appropriate.  Our top priority is to get the student in school promptly.  They have the right to attend on day one upon enrollment.

The decisions to accept or reject the IEP and evaluation are done independent of one another (i.e. the team may choose to reject the evaluation while at the same time accepting the IEP)

*Comparable services means services that are similar or equivalent to the ones described in the student’s existing IEP, as determined by the BSD.

Obtain Records
  • Registrar or elementary office manager informs psychologist and special education teacher immediately when a special education student enrolls.
  • Registrar or elementary office manager requests most recent evaluation and IEP at the time of registration. If parent does not have copies, a request for records is sent to the previous district immediately.
  • School Psychologist may need to personally follow up with previous district to obtain records in a timely manner.
  • Case Manager calls previous district to learn about the student’s present levels.
Record Review and Parent Notification
  • At the neighborhood school, a team of professionals, including all IEP identified service providers, will review the incoming records for compliance.
  • If the IEP indicates a center (Cascade, PACIFIC, Olympic, Transition, etc.) placement
    • The neighborhood school should contact the appropriate program coordinator immediately.
    • The neighborhood school will review the OOD evaluation for compliance.
      • If the evaluation is accepted the neighborhood school will complete an Assessment Revision to document that acceptance
      • If the evaluation is not accepted the neighborhood school will be responsible for case management of a reevaluation in collaboration with the center placement school
    • The receiving center placement program will accept or reject the IEP of center placement students

(See Program Placement Procedures for new students)

Evaluation Paperwork

(Psych/SLP Completes)

  • To document the evaluation information from the previous school district in the BSD school evaluation team should create Skeletal Special Ed Referral and Eligibility Records. This step must be completed before the team determines if the OOD evaluation information is acceptable .
  • When determining if the evaluation is adequate, review the qualifying category and goal areas. If the evaluation is technically compliant and meets WA state criteria, it can be accepted. If not, the student must be reevaluated while comparable services are delivered.
  • If accepting OOD Evaluation, create:
  • If NOT accepting OOD Evaluation:

IEP Paperwork

(Case Manager completes)

  • If the IEP is technically compliant according to WA state criteria, it can be accepted. Minor changes or amendments can be made on the transfer review form.
  • If accepting OOD IEP:
  • If not accepting the OOD IEP:
    • Create a new IEP (do not do a transfer review).
    • If OOD IEP was from Washington, create a Review IEP.
    • If the OOD IEP was from another state/country, it cannot be accepted and an Initial IEP should be created.
Birth to Three Transition

The following procedures describe the evaluation and IEP process for determining if a child needs Part B Special Education services after having been served under Part C of IDEA (Birth to 3).

3-6 months prior to the child’s third birthday

  • Bellevue School District receives electronic notification that a student is potentially eligible for Part B services.
    • This initiates a referral for special education and the District obligation to determine need for evaluation on or before 25 school days
  • The District provides the legal guardian with a Prior Written Notice of initiation of the Referral for special education Part B eligibility, as well as Special Education Procedural Safeguards.
  • With legal guardian approval, the Part C agency arranges a transition conference and invites a representative from the District and relevant staff to attend the transition conference.

Transition Conference (at least 90 days prior to third birthday but not prior to nine months before third birthday)

  • Transition conference is held at a time and location convenient for the family, and includes the student’s legal guardian, the Part C agency Family Resource Coordinator (FRC), the District Birth to three (B-3) Transition Coordinator, and relevant staff.
  • During the transition conference, the District’s B-3 transition coordinator reviews services offered by the District, reviews the transition process with the legal guardian, provides legal guardian a mutual exchange of information form and obtains consent authorizing Part C agency and District to communicate and share relevant data (unless previously obtained at initial or annual IFSP).  The District collects developmental health information, collects information from parent regarding student strengths and needs, explains the evaluation process, shares timelines and develops a timeline going forward for a seamless transition.
  • If appropriate, a release for medical records is signed by the parents. The District B-3 transition coordinator sends the release and request for medical records to the appropriate healthcare facility.

Within 25 school days from date of referral

  • District evaluation team will review all available information about the child and determine need to assess for eligibility for special education Part B services
  • If the District determines not to evaluate the child, the District school psychologist sends the parent(s) prior written notice of the decision to that effect.
  • If the District determines need to evaluate the child for Part B eligibility, the District B-3 transition coordinator will review plan and consent with legal guardian and team at Transition Conference, seek written consent, provide prior written notice  indicating the District will evaluate the child in all areas of suspected disability. Procedural Safeguards will be provided to legal guardian.
  • If not completed at the Transition Conference, the District invites legal guardian and FRC to an evaluation plan and consent meeting, documents the assessments the District plans to conduct, and obtains consent for evaluation.  The District will consider and implement all relevant and current evaluation information in the comprehensive evaluation of the child.

Within 35 days of obtaining parental consent for evaluation

  • The District contacts the family to schedule an evaluation appointment.  Parent interview, observations, consideration of medical or other relevant information if appropriate, and additional assessments are conducted at the evaluation appointment.  If needed, follow-up evaluation appointments are scheduled with the family.
  • On or before the 35 school day, the District invites the legal guardian and relevant members of the Part C agency to an evaluation feedback meeting to determine eligibility for Part B special education and related services.  The District provides legal guardian with Prior Written Notice indicating eligibility and Procedural Safeguards.
  • If eligible for services, the District shares that legal guardian and FRC will be invited to a meeting to develop an Individual Education Plan (IEP) with the student’s IEP team.

Within 30 calendar days from the date of eligibility meeting or by the child’s third birthday (whichever date occurs first)

  • The IEP case manager will contact the legal guardian to schedule an IEP meeting, and follows up with a written invitation to all relevant District IEP members, as well as FRC if requested by parent.
  • A meeting is held with legal guardian to develop an IEP aligned to the evaluation and IFSP, and to discuss program placement.
  • Legal guardian sign consent for initial special education and related services.
  • A transportation form is completed if identified as a related service need on the IEP.
  • The IEP case manager sends the legal guardian a Prior Written Notice proposing recommended services and the start date for student services as aligned to the IEP.  Procedural Safeguards and relevant school and program information is included.

Late Referral (60-45 days or less)

  • When a referral is received by the B-3 agency, the legal guardian will choose to have either the B-3 agency or District complete the initial evaluation for Eligibility for services.
  • If B-3 agency completes the evaluation, the Transition conference and initial IFSP are completed at the same time.
  • The District will complete the evaluation if legal guardian chooses not to pursue Part C services and prefers to have District evaluation for potential eligibility for Part B services.
  • The District follows the referral to evaluation process identified above.

Late Referrals (45 days or less)

  • The B-3 agency provides parent with the Child Find contact information and alerts the district to a Child Find potential referral.

OSPI guidance doc:

Childfind Process
  • Child Find is a process through which children, birth through age 21, with disabilities are located. These children include highly mobile students such as homeless and migrant students. A variety of methods are used to find these children.
Who makes a Referral?
  • Anyone with knowledge of the child can recommend that the family call the Special Education Department in the Bellevue School District, 425-456-4138 to refer the child for a special education evaluation. 
    • If the child is school age and attending Bellevue Schools, they will be referred to their school of attendance.
    • Students who are Home Schooled or in a Private School in Bellevue will follow the “Private School Referral Procedures”.
    • Prechool aged students (age 3-5) will be provided with a referral packet to return to the Special Education Department
    • Students aged birth-three are referred to Kindering for the B-3 referral process
Office Process
  • When the packet is returned completed (including verification of home address) the information will be logged into the spreadsheet in the log book and date stamp the paper work.
  • The student will be scheduled into the next available appointment.  Meetings requiring a translator should be scheduled into the 10:30 am time slots in case they run over the scheduled time.
  • A letter will be sent to the family with appointment time and location.  
  • The District Registrar will register the student in BSD’s student information system.
  • The packet will be mailed to the Childfind team lead.
Prior Written Notice Descriptions and Procedures

Prior written notice (PWN) is a document outlining important school district decisions about a student’s special education program. School districts must provide parents with prior written notice after a district decision is made, but before the decision is carried out. A prior written notice should be issued 2 to 3 days after the decision, and then the changes should be implemented about 3 to 5 days after the parent receives the prior written notice.

Purpose of the prior written notice: A prior written notice is used to notify a parent about decisions that affect the:

  • identification,
  • evaluation,
  • placement  or
  • provision of FAPE to an IEP student

Even if the decision was made through a series of emails and there was no actual meeting. If a parent has made a request – this is how we inform parents of the team decision.

When: Issue a prior written notice after every team decision to:

  • Initiate
  • Refuse to initiate
  • Change, continue or discontinue; the
    • identification
    • evaluation
    • placement
    • provision of FAPE
Description of the Action: Explain the items you marked on the prior written notice in a clear statement. Example:

  • The district is proposing to initiate an IEP for student.
  • The district is refusing to initiate educational placement for student.
Reason for Action: Explain why you are proposing or refusing an action. This feels repetitive, but allows for clarity. Use the sentence from the description of action as your sentence starter. Example:

  • The reason the team is proposing to initiate an IEP for student is that he was recently evaluated and found to qualify for special education services.
  • The reason the team is refusing to initiate educational placement for student is that the evaluation completed on 1.15.15 documents that student is not eligible for services.
Options Considered but Rejected: Describe with reasonable detail any other options that were considered at the meeting.
(do not list unavoidable options, such as NOT reevaluating every three years, or not offering services to qualified students. If no other options were considered/rejected, state that instead.)
  • The team considered but rejected parent request  to change Johnny’s qualifying category from Emotional Behavioral Disability (EBD) to Specific Learning Disability (SLD).
  • The team considered but rejected the parent’s request for school based equine therapy.
  • As the team was in agreement, no other options were considered or rejected.

Reason Those Options Were Rejected:

Explain succinctly the team’s reasoning for rejecting the request using the statement above as a sentence starter:

  • The reason the team rejected the parent request to change Johnny’s qualifying category from EBD  to SLD is because the evaluation documented that EBD is the most accurate eligibility category.
  • The reason the team rejected the parent’s request for school based equine therapy is that the team determined that SDI in emotional regulation would be most beneficial for the student in the school setting.
  • As the team was in agreement, no other options were considered or rejected.

Description of Info Used as the Basis for Action:

List the information the team considered when making the decision. Example:

  • Review of present levels, team discussion, assessment in cognitive, academic, parent input, student self-report, observations, etc.



Understanding Prior Written Notice – WAC 392-172A-05010
Prior Written Notice v. Meeting Invitations

Prior Written Notice (PWN) must be sent every time a district proposes or refuses to initiate a change to the identification, evaluation, educational placement of or provision of FAPE to a student. Often, but not always, these decisions are made during IEP meetings. Prior written notice is not a meeting invitation; which is how the district notifies the team, including the parent, of the meeting particulars. Prior written notice is a document the district uses to inform the parent of any decisions the team has made that affect the identification, evaluation, educational placement of or provision of FAPE to a student. Prior written notice is sent AFTER a decision is made but PRIOR TO implementing the decision.

For example:

January 1st January 15th January 17th A reasonable time after Parent receives notice prior written notice.
Send invitation to meeting (after selecting a mutually agreeable time and place.) Hold the meeting, at which time options are discussed and decisions are made. Provide prior written notice with the finalized document to parent explaining the team’s decision(s), the action the District is taking/refusing to take, and the date on which the change will take effect. Implement changes outlined in prior written notice . Make sure that you allow enough time for the parent to receive the prior written notice before implementation. Depending on issues, (for ex. placement changes), implementation date may need to be later, giving time for parent to exercise due process option.


Drafting Prior Written Notice

  1. In the “Description of the proposed or refused action” section:
    • List every action discussed during the meeting. Actions will include issues related to the identification, evaluation, educational placement of or provision of FAPE to a student.
    • List and identify each meeting participant. This will help you document that you had a properly assembled team for your meeting, if you do not have documentation of the participants elsewhere.
  2. In the “The reason why we are proposing or refusing to take action is:” section:
    • State the action that you are taking/refusing to take.
    • State each reason why you are proposing/refusing to take this action.
  3. In the “Description of any other options considered and rejected” section, describe in detail each of the other options that were considered and rejected.
  4. In the “Reasons why we Rejected” section:
    • State each reason why you rejected the other options.
    • Do not list options or reasons that are unavoidable. For example, if you are preparing a prior written notice following an annual IEP meeting, don’t write that you considered and rejected the option of not holding the meeting – You don’t have the option of not holding the meeting!
  5. In the “Description of Each Evaluation Procedure, etc.” section:
    • List each evaluation, test, record or report that the team used in making the decision to take or refuse to take the action.
    • If prior written notice  is being sent to inform the parent of a reevaluation, list each of the areas in which the student will be reevaluated (eg: cognitive, behavioral, reading, etc.)

Other Requirements and Tips

  1. Don’t avoid prior written notice because of its awkward name – prior written notice is required. It is a highly effective way to communicate with parents anddocument that you have done your job.
  2. Describe the facts (who said what and when) of the meeting in a neutral tone; avoid making emotional, judgmental or speculative statements.
  3. Prior written notice must be in the parent’s native language or other mode of communication used by the parent.
  4. Check all the boxes and fill in all the blanks – if you don’t, it may appear that you overlooked a section – avoid N/A.
  5. Prior written notice should be sent following EVERY DECISION even if there was no meeting.


PLAAFP Guidelines

Guidelines for Present Levels of Academic Achievement and Functional Performance (PLAAFP)

General Education; global performance of student: Every IEP should contain an introduction that gives a clear global picture of the student (do not describe parents or families), including:

  • Student strengths,
  • Student’s academic functioning in all general education areas (in General Education),
  • Student’s performance in other areas, as relevant to understanding and gaining a clear picture of the student,
  • Health concerns or diagnoses as appropriate (in Medical/Physical), and
  • Any other information that is important to understanding the student (attendance, need and rationale for staff support, etc., in appropriate area)
Adverse Education Impact:

A clear statement of how the student’s disability affects the student’s involvement and progress in the general education curriculum (the same curriculum as for non-disabled students) for each qualifying area.

Include these five components for a complete statement:

  • Identify student’s disability,
  • List the student’s areas of specially designed instruction,
  • Explain what specific issues impact the student’s ability to access the general education curriculum,
  • Identify what services or instructional practices are needed (including levels of independence and dependence),
  • Identify what supports are needed for the student because of the disability; examples may include: special equipment, transportation, medical care, highly individualized instruction, school settings, care or proximity.
Content for Qualifying Areas

You must report on present levels for every qualifying area as listed on the evaluation.  You may not add or delete areas through the IEP process; a reevaluation/assessment revision is required.

Present levels of performance will be listed for every area in which a student qualifies for specially designed instruction. Present levels will be written in objective, measurable terms with easy-to understand non-technical language. Information will be comprehensible to all IEP Team members.  Present levels should be linked to your measurable annual goal statement. Use objective language to describe observable behavior using qualitative and quantitative data. Reports should focus on what the student looks like, at this moment in time.  Be as specific as you can and use current data.  Although the content of present levels of academic and functional performance statements are different for each individual student, present level of academic and functional performance statements will meet the following requirements:

  • The statement will include the strengths and the needs of the student in each qualifying area.
  • The statement will include student’s progress towards previous IEP goals (if any) and recommendations for the current IEP including baseline data.
  • Information about the student’s achievement (test scores, classroom scores, progress towards goals, and any other available quantitative data) should be included for each area in which they qualify. This should include an explanation of how student’s academic achievement scores relates to student’s academic performance in their chronological grade level.
  • Describe the location of service and service model with a rationale.

Other important reminders:

Quantitative information about the qualifying areas from the triennial evaluation should be included if it is less than one year old.  Note the data source and the date of the evaluation.

When discussing behavior areas for students who have Behavior Intervention Plans, reference progress made towards target behaviors including a description of quantitative data around the target behaviors (i.e., frequency, duration).

Change of Program

What would an IEP team do if they were concerned about a student’s progress and/or program within the Bellevue School District and may be considering a significant change in the student’s program and/or placement to one that is less or more restrictive?

 For students who are currently enrolled in the Bellevue School District

1. The current IEP team should first:
  • Evaluate the data and the effectiveness of the multiple interventions attempted.
  • Have an IEP meeting which includes, updating IEP goals, school, home, and health progress.
  • Consult with appropriate specialist(s) (behavior, ITCL, TAT Specialist, or Curriculum Developer) who may complete a student observation and provide feedback. Further consultations may include coordinator, ITCL, and district consultants.
  • Specialists will contact appropriate special education supervisor.
  • Determine and implement the most appropriate intervention(s) and collect data.
  • If student data determines interventions are not effective, consider a re-evaluation with the purpose of identifying student’s current needs.
2. Conduct a Re-evaluation
  • Continue to consult with specialist(s) during the re-evaluation process.
  • Facilitate a re-evaluation feedback meeting including service recommendations.
  • A district specialist and/or special education supervisor must be invited to and participate in the meeting and offer a tour if necessary.
3. Conduct an IEP meeting
  • Develop a new IEP (by the current school) based upon the re-evaluation feedback with consultation from district specialist(s) and coordinator/s, and determine placement.
  • Make sure to consider the pros and cons of all potential placements. An example of a guidance document for this discussion is located here.
  • Implement program changes in the current placement if no placement change occurs.
4. If a change in placement is recommended, then the IEP team should:
  • Arrange a transition meeting with the receiving IEP team for exchange of information and program planning to include, at minimum, the parent, student (where applicable), case manager from receiving school, school psychologist, program coordinator, principal and counselor.
  • Share with the intake school and team members the student’s FBA, BIP, and transition details as appropriate for each student (refer to PASSING THE BATON.1.8.16.pdf document).

For students with IEPs who are new to the Bellevue School District

  • Complete the enrollment process at the neighborhood school.
  • School psychologist reviews the out-of-district evaluation and makes recommendations to the MDT and contacts the appropriate district coordinator.
  • Student placement must be made within 3 school days of registration in the school district.
  • MDT determines whether a comparable program can be provided at the neighborhood school or another school in the District. If it is determined a comparable program may not be provided at the neighborhood school, the school psychologist from the neighborhood school will contact the supervisor assigned to his/her school to seek assistance in facilitation of placement.
  • For Transition specific students contact Transition Services Supervisor.
State Testing and Graduation Requirements

States testing is a requirement for graduating in Washington State. Students must pass one of the state tests or alternative paths for graduation.  Specific testing decisions are the responsibility of the IEP team.

Certificate of Academic
Achievement (CAA)

Most Washington state public high school students will fulfill their assessment requirement by taking the general state assessment. If students do not pass, there are retake opportunities. Some students may need an alternate way to demonstrate their skills.

Assessment options:

  • General Testing
  • Collection of Evidence
  • GPA Comparison
  • College Admission/AP/IB Tests
Certificate of Individual Achievement (CIA)
(For students receiving special education services)

Students receiving special education services will have multiple assessment options in mathematics, English language arts, and science towards earning a Certificate of Individual Achievement (CIA), but a student’s IEP team will make the determination as to which assessment is appropriate for the student based on the student’s learner characteristics, taking into consideration a student’s PLAAFP, post-secondary goals, and previous testing history. Please see IEP Team Guidance document for further direction.

Assessment options:

  • Basic (level 2) scoring on general assessments/Collection of Evidence
  • Off-Grade Level Assessment
  • Locally Determined Assessment
  • WAAS-Access to Instruction and Measurement (WAAS-AIM)
For more information about state testing:

Visit OSPI’s Graduation Alternatives Website

Visit OSPI’s State Testing Website

IEP Team Guidance for selecting the appropriate Assessment to earn a Certificate of Individual Achievement (CIA)

To be eligible to graduate in Washington, all students must pass state exams in each of the required content areas to meet requirement to earn a Certificate of Individual Achievement (CIA). There are multiple assessment options available to students with IEPs. A determination as to how a student with an Individual Education Plan (IEP) is assessed to meet the graduation requirement will be made by the student’s IEP team.

When making the determination as to which assessment option is the most appropriate, there are many factors the IEP team should consider. These considerations include:

  • The student’s Present Levels of Academic Achievement and Functional Performance (PLAAFP)
  • The student’s transition plan and post-secondary goals
  • The student’s current course of study, including participation in the general education curriculum
  • The student’s previous testing history

Basic (L2) Cut Score on a General Assessment:

The student takes one of the general assessments, with or without accommodations, under standard testing conditions. S/he is considered having met standard at a Level 2 (Basic) instead of the Level 3 (Proficient).

The option is available on the following assessments:

  • English Language Arts Exit Exam
  • Math End of Course Exams
  • Biology End of Course Exam
  • Smarter Balanced graduation cut score
  • Collection of Evidence – any content area

All state testing accommodations are applicable if selected as appropriate by the IEP team. This option is available to any student receiving special education services.

  • Student is receiving the vast majority of her/his instruction in the general education setting.
  • Student is demonstrating knowledge and skills close to that of her/his grade level peers
  • Student is preparing for post-secondary education


Level of Cognitive Development

Abstract Conceptual: Comprehends, interprets, and analyzes grade-level text; understands and applies grade-level mathematics concepts and skills; communicates ideas in writing using elaboration and complex structures.

Concrete Conceptual – on Grade-Level: Reads and comprehends on-grade level text; masters a limited number of on-grade level mathematics concepts and skills; communicates ideas in writing with limited elaboration and simple structures.





Off-Grade Level Assessment:

The student takes a standards based test in a specific content area (mathematics, English Language Arts,

Science) at an elementary or middle grade level. The student must meet the established cut score for proficiency.

This option is available:

  • Smarter Balanced: English language arts and Mathematics
  • Washington DAPE for science (Continuing until NGSS)
  • Student is instructed on academic content that is several years below his/her chronological peers
  • Student has not demonstrated proficiency on grade level high school assessments


Level of Cognitive Development

Concrete Conceptual – on or below grade level: Reads and comprehends below-grade level or modified on-grade level print text; masters below grade level or a very limited of on-grade level mathematics concepts and skills; communicates basic ideas in writing using simple structures.

Locally Determined Assessment:

For mathematics and English language arts, the student takes one of several approved published achievement tests for each content area assessment. For each

content area, specific subtests are designated for each of the approved achievement tests and the selected assessment is administered by a trained professional at the local level and then scores submitted to the OSPI with the appropriate documentation from district administration.

For science, teachers may submit documentation of a student’s academic accomplishments, including assessment experiences and classroom based projects, which are aligned to the biology standards. This option will take the form of a rubric which will be submitted to the state with the appropriate documentation from school and district based personnel.

  • Student is instructed on academic content that is several years below his/her chronological peers
  • Student’s learner characteristics make it difficult for the student to demonstrate his/her knowledge in a typical testing environment.


Level of Cognitive Development

Concrete Conceptual – on or below grade level: Reads and comprehends below-grade level or modified on-grade level print text; masters below grade level or a very limited of on-grade level mathematics concepts and skills; communicates basic ideas in writing using simple structures

**Alternate Assessment: The student takes the alternate assessment for accountability purposes. The student may also retake the alternate assessment for purposes of meeting the CIA requirement.


***Please see guidelines for participating in the Alternate Assessment. ***

  • Student requires extensive, direct, individualized instruction and substantial supports to achieve measureable gains in the grade- and age-appropriate curriculum.
  • Student has previously been assessed with the alternate assessment.


Level of Cognitive Development

Abstract Symbolic: Reads sight words and picture symbols; writes using sight words or picture symbols to communicate; counts objects and recognizes symbolic numbers; comprehends modified texts composed of sight words and picture symbols.

Early-Symbolic: Recognizes pictures; may also use a range of picture/objects to communicate ideas.

Pre-Symbolic: Uses objects or gestures to communicate, relies on immediate context and uses objects to communicate.

Awareness: Limited consciousness.

ESY Description and Procedures
What is it?
  • Extended school year (ESY) is explained in WAC 392-172A-02020.
  • ESY is the provision of special education services beyond the normal school year at no cost to the parent.
  • The purpose of extended school year services is the maintenance of the student’s learning skills or behavior, not the teaching of new skills or behaviors
  • ESY determination meetings must be held by April 15 so that parents have the time to intiitate their due- process rights if they do not agree with the school team.
Who is it for?
  • Students who experience significant regression of learned skills over the summer and require an extended amount of time to recoup the skills lost (10 weeks or more).
  • Other considerations include severity of disability, rate of progress, and critical learning period
When is it used?
  • The need for ESY is made by the IEP team and primarily based on data.
  • ESY determinations are specific to IEP skill areas in which the student experiences significant regression and recoupment ( It is not meant to work on every IEP goal, pick specific goals to work on).
  • During every Annual IEP, the team should consider ESY for the student.  If the team decides that the student will need ESY services an ESY IEP will need to be developed at that time.  The team can decide there is not enough information at the time of the annual IEP, in that case check no.  The team can reconvene in the spring to decide about services.
Other Information
  • Please see the ESY IEP procedures, ESY Projection Form.

ESY Procedures

ESY services may be provided to students who meet the following specific eligibility criteria:

  • Reasonable Recruitment Periods Are:
    1. 20 – 30 instructional days for a six to eight week break, such as summer vacation.
    2. 5 – 7 instructional days for a three week break.
    3. 3 – 5 instructional days for a two week break, such as winter break.
    4. 2 – 3 instructional days for a one week break, such as mid-winter break or spring break.
  • Failure to make progress despite appropriate modifications:
    1. The student failed to make reasonable gains over the year.
    2. Data and IEP revisions MUST be in evidence to demonstrate that the IEP was somehow adjusted and in effect for at least one month in order to facilitate student progress (i.e. change of objectives, method, material, placement, reinforcements and/or time).
    3. Goals/objectives (in effect for at least one month in order to see changes) should be  reviewed and/or changed with an IEP amendment.
  • Exceptional Circumstances:
    1. Student has had an acute/regressive/chronic physical/psychiatric health problem which caused excessive absences during the school year and negatively impacted FAPE.
    2. Student is just beginning to progress on a goal/objective from an IEP that has been implemented for the majority of the current school year and is at a critical learning stage.

ESY Service Delivery

  • For students who will need classroom based services, ESY will usaually be during the month of July for 4 days a week.
    • Preschool and Elementary are 4 days per week, usually housed in the same location
    • Secondary is 4 days per week, usually  at Interlake High School
  • Itinerant students will ideally be served in July between the hours of 8:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. by appointment.


  • Students must meet eligibility requirements in each service area separately to receive ESY services in that area.
  • Students do NOT automatically qualify in all areas if they receive service in one area.
  • Students do NOT automatically qualify for ESY each year.

The IEP team will make this determination at the IEP meeting OR at a later IEP meeting if there is not sufficient data at the first meeting.

Discipline of Special Education Students

The District is committed to reducing the disproportional impact of out-of-school suspensions on any identifiable group of students including those with disabilities. When disciplining students qualifed for special education services, two processes must be followed: 1) general discipline rules and procedures; and 2) special education discipline rules to make decisions about whether to remove a student from his or her current placement, and if so, what services will be provided to the student. A Suspension/Explusion is a removal from any subject, class period, or full schedule for a known period of time. An Emergency Explusion is a remvoal from any subject, class period, or full schedule for a temporary period of time, no longer than 10 school days.

Background Protections for IEP students:

  • Can be disciplined the same as gen ed students if removed less than 10 cumulative school days a year.
  • Cannot be punished beyond 10 school days if the behavior was caused by the disability or caused by the district’s failure to implement the IEP.
  • Must continue to receive sped services that allow participation in the general education curriculum and progress towards IEP goals during removals that are a change of placement.

If behaviors are a current or increasing concern, intervene early! Consider: Positive behavioral interventions; Developing behavioral IEP goals; Providing modifications; Special support to the child’s teachers; ConductFunctional Behavioral Assessment (FBA) and develop Behavior Intervention Plan (BIP).

Removal of 10 or Less School Days in a Year
  • Can remove from school for up to 10 school days in a year.
  • Discipline the same as general education students. Avoid disproportionality. Use personal judgment.
  • There is no need to provide educational services beyond what we give any other general education student.
Removal for 11+ School Days in a Year When the 11th day of removal is assigned it is considered a special education Change of Placement (more restrictive) and the district must:

  • Follow all regular discipline procedures
  • Immediately inform parent the student is being removed, and the reason for the removal.
  • Provide parents with a copy of the Notice of Procedural Safeguards, and
  • Hold a manifestation determination review (MDR) meeting.
Conduct Manifestation Determination Review (MDR)
  • Is conducted any time a removal is a change of placement (>10 days cumulative removal)
  • The MDR team, made up of IEP team members, must be held within 10 days of the removal.
  • The team will review the student’s behavior and all relevant info (parent input, teacher observations, evaluations, the IEP, etc).
  • Purpose of the MDR is to determine if the misconduct:
    • Was caused by the student’s disability OR
    • Was a direct result of the district’s failure to follow the IEP.
MDR Results
  • If the behavior IS a manifestation of the disability – do not remove from school for more than 10 days.  The team must conduct an FBA (if it hasn’t already) and implement a BIP (or revise the existingBIP) to address the behavior.
  • If the behavior IS NOT a manifestation of the disability, the student can be removed, but the school must provide educational services. An FBA/BIP should be developed.
Interim Alternative Educational Setting (IAES) Student may be removed to an IAES for up to 45 days without regard to whether the behavior is determined to be a manifestation of the child’s disability in cases where a child carries or possesses a weapon on school premises or to a school function, knowingly possesses or uses illegal drugs, or distributes controlled substances while on school premises or at a school function, or inflicts serious bodily injury on another person while at school, on school grounds, or at a school function. 
Protections for Students Not Yet Eligible If a district knows a student would be eligible for special education, it must follow procedures above. There are three ways to know a student could be eligible:

  1. The parent expressed concern in writing to a teacher or administrator that the student needs special education.
  2. The parent requested an evaluation for special education.
  3. The student’s teacher expressed in writing to district administration, concerns about the student’s demonstrated pattern of behavior.
Grading and Progress Reporting - Elementary

Progress Reporting

  • Enter quarterly/semester progress reports into IEP Online as noted on the student’s IEP.

Adapted Grading Guidelines for Elementary Special Education

Prior to Grading:

  1. Know for which areas your students have IEP goals. (Please check with the Special Education teacher for status information on students.)
  2. Understand the difference between Modification and Accommodation:
    1. Accommodation– A change in the way a student accesses information or shows learning, while meeting Gen. Ed. content objectives.  (Example: social studies text read to the student, scribe used to record answers, oral response versus written response accepted, etc. In this example, students would receive a grade, and the accommodations do not count against a student’s grade.)
    2.  Modification– A significant change in the standards, content, goals or objectives. (Example: student is only required to meet one learning objective instead of all, etc. In this example, students would receive an “A”, for “Adapted”.)
  3. If the student will receive an Adapted grade for any reason, it should be discussed by the IEP team and included as a modification in the Program Accommodations and Modifications section of the IEP through a progress report on the IEP reporting system.
Scenario 1: If students are receiving accommodations stated on IEP (see definition above) to the General Ed. Curriculum. The student would receive a grade. (Example scenario: Student does the science lesson and gives oral answers or has a scribe to show learning.)
Scenario 2: Students in Special Ed. Receive an “A”, for “Adapted,” if/when: Students have an IEP goal in a particular subject area.  Students have an IEP goal in a particular subject area. (Example: IEP goals and objectives in reading wouldreceive an A, for Adapted, in reading on the progress report).Responsibility for Written Comments:

  • The General Ed. teacher is responsible for including comments on the students’ current performance in the general ed. classroom if they receive instruction in the area in which they have an IEP goal and/or objective. (Example: Student receives support in Special Ed. for reading, but also remains in class for reading instruction.  Teacher would report how student’s needs are being met in the General Ed. classroom and on student’s performance in the content area).

The Special Ed. teacher is also responsible for reporting current performance in their educational setting, in relation to IEP goals and/or objectives. 

Scenario 3: Students in Special Ed are receiving a modification (see definition above) to the General Ed. Curriculum in areas in which they do not receive specially designed instruction.  The student would receive an A, for Adapted, in the modified content area and modifications will be recorded in the comment section of the progress report, by the Gen. Ed teacher. (Example scenario: Student participates in science but is only required to meet one of the General Ed. objectives whereas classmates are required to meet all, OR student uses alternative text to access content at their level, etc.)
Scenario 4: Students in Special Ed are receiving services during delivery of OTHER subjects. If students are receiving Special Education support and are missing other curricular areas in the General Ed. classroom then the student would receive an NI, for Not Introduced, in the subject area if they are consistently missing class during this instructional time. This should also be noted by the Gen. Ed. teacher in the progress report’s comment section. (Example scenario:  The student receives reading in the resource room during science instruction in the Gen. Ed. room.)
Grading and Progress Reporting - Secondary

Progress Reporting

  • Enter quarterly/semester progress reports into IEP Online as noted on the student’s IEP.
Adapted Grading Guidelines for Secondary Special Education: Guidelines and Process for Modified Course Designation for students with IEPs

Below are the grading guidelines for students with IEPs. This designation will change the course objective and grading standard for the course.  Having the course objective and grading standards changed will mean the class no longer meets the National Collegiate Athletic Association and College Academic Distribution Requirements.  The course will no longer meet the standard and be accepted by colleges, which may impact college access as well as participation in college athletics.  Therefore, we want to make appropriate decisions.  This is also in alignment with Administrative Procedure 2420. Please keep in mind, per state law no graduation requirement may be waived for Special Education students, but Modified Grading and Course Substitutions are available options for students who the team has determined will be working toward a CIA.

If all of the following statements are true…

  • The student is in the general education class/es and has an IEP
  • The student’s transition plan and post-secondary outcomes do not include the receiving of a Certificate of Academic Achievement
  • Observable, measurable evidence demonstrates the student significantly struggles with the conceptual understandings of the general education curriculum.

Follow the steps below.

Step 1: Student’s Case Manager has a conference with the Special Education Supervisor to discuss the observable, measurable data that prompted consideration of a Modified “M” course designated for this student.
  1. With Special Education Supervisor approval that data supports, move to Step 2.
  2. Without Special Education Supervisor approval related to the data, the process is stopped.  The supervisor should be invited to the upcoming meeting to they can be a part of reviewing  and potentially adjusting the accommodations and modifications for the student.


Step 2: If the Case Manager and Special Education Supervisor agree that the “M” course designation is appropriate, then

  1. The Case Manager gathers the observable, measurable data that have prompted the “M” course designation request.
  2. Based on the data, the IEP team will convene for the purpose of discussing a Modified Designation specific to the data.
  • If the he team determines a Modified Designation is appropriate to access the general education curriculum based on a demonstrated need, then they will update the present levels, appropriately document in the IEP, and obtain a signed parent disclosure form (Attached) that explains the decision and implications of a Modified Designation.  Case Manager will set up a meeting with General Education Teachers impacted by the designation to provide guidance and support. Move to Step 3.
  • If the team does not determine a Modified Designation, the team should review and adjust accommodations and modifications based on the student’s need.  No further action is needed.

Step 3:  Based on the team decision, the Case Manager should inform the Special Education Supervisor. The Supervisor is responsible for requesting as the modified course code in the student information system. 


Guidelines for IEP Meeting Invitations (Including Protocol for Excused Team Members)

When to Send Invitation & What to Include

Send the Invitation to IEP Meeting form to the parent/guardian two weeks prior to the proposed meeting date. The Invitation to IEP Meeting form should include a proposed date and time, location of the meeting, purpose of the meeting, a list of the invited attendees, and your contact information. Allow several days for the parent and/or adult student to confirm the meeting.


Methods of Contact & Multiple Contact Attempts

If the parent does not respond to a phone call or notice, make another attempt in a different way to schedule the meeting. Methods of contact may include a phone call, written, notice, home visit, registered letter, electronically, or in-person. Document the attempts to contact the parent(s) in IEP Online and if parent does not attend, reflect that as well on the Prior Written Notice. The case manager must make at least three attempts in two different ways to schedule the meeting, one of which must be in writing (letter or email).


Excused Team Members

If a required IEP team member is not able to attend, the parent must agree in advance of the meeting starting. An excusal form must be signed prior to proceeding with the meeting. If the parent does not agree to the excusal, the meeting must be rescheduled for a time when all required participants are able to attend. The IEP case manager and LEA rep may not be excused.



If an interpreter is needed and is not available through the school, fill out the Interpreter Request Form two weeks prior to the IEP meeting. Once the Interpreter Request Form is complete, send it to the Special Services office for an interpreter to be assigned. Once an interpreter is assigned, the IEP team will be notified. (For more information on interpreters: )


Initial IEPs (Parent MUST attend)

For an initial IEP, the parent must sign approval of the IEP and initial placement. The team must continue to contact the parent(s) to schedule the meeting and obtain parent attendance (three attempts in two different ways).


Continuing IEPs (Annual IEP reviews) For continuing IEPs, if the parent agrees to the IEP meeting but does not attend or request another meeting, the team may hold the IEP meeting without the parent. The team may also hold the IEP meeting without the parent if three attempts, in two different ways, have been made to reach the parent, with no response. After the meeting, a copy of the completed IEP must be sent to the parent(s) and to each service provider.
IEP Amendment
Explanation When a student’s current IEP is amended changes are made either by the entire IEP team at an IEP team meeting or by making changes to part of the IEP.
Explanation – Amending with a Meeting

A student’s current IEP can be amended at any time but the “Duration of this IEP” does not change.

One way to amend an IEP is to convene the IEP team and hold a meeting.

Preparing for the IEP Amendment Meeting Before the IEP Amendment Meeting the person leading the meeting must:

  • Identify the change(s) that needs to be made
  • Collect supporting data
  • Decide who needs to be at the meeting
  • Send Invitation to all required team members
During the IEP Amendment Meeting 

Follow the IEP process for the areas to be amended.

For example, if a goal is being amended be sure that:

  • the data supporting the change in the goal is included in the Present Levels;
  • the progress monitoring procedure tracks the student’s progress on the goal; and
  • the services described in the IEP support the goal attainment.
Explanation – Amending without a Meeting

In making changes to a child’s IEP after the annual IEP team meeting for a school year, the parent of a child with a disability and the district may agree not to convene an IEP team meeting for the purposes of making those changes and instead may develop a written document to amend the child’s current IEP.  These changes can be made via email or phone call.

The district must be clear about:

  • How the process for amending an IEP without a meeting will work?
  • How will the decision to amend an IEP without a meeting be made?
  • Who will be involved in making the decision to amend an IEP without a meeting?
  • Who will be involved in amending an IEP without a meeting?
  • Will the amendment(s) to the current IEP affect the provision of FAPE?The agreement between the parent and the district to amend the IEP without a meeting must be documented in the Invitation and Prior Written Notice.It is important when amending an IEP without a meeting that the parents/families/adult students are active participants in the decisions that are made regarding the amendments.
Follow-up/Implementation of the Amended IEP IEP Team members need to be informed of and see the changes in writing. The purpose of written changes is to assure that:

  • all team members are aware of the changes,
  • everyone impacted by the changes is aware of any new responsibilities in regard to amended IEP, and
  • Free Appropriate Public Education (FAPE) continues to be providedImplement the IEP as amended.
Goal Writing

Measureable Annual Goals

Annual goals shall reflect the needs described in the present levels of academic and functional performance statements. Measurable academic achievement, developmental, and functional annual goals are designed to meet the student’s needs that result from the student’s disability, to enable the student to be involved in and make progress in the general education curriculum, and to meet each of the student’s other educational needs that result from the student’s disability.

a. A goal is a written, measurable statement, developed from the baseline data, describing what a student is reasonably expected to accomplish within the time period covered by the IEP, generally one year.

b. Goals are written to enable the student to be involved in and make progress in the general education curriculum and to meet other educational needs that result from the disability.

c. A goal shall include the behavior, the performance criteria, and the evaluation procedure.

Measurement Characteristics

  • the action, behavior, or skill to be measured
  • tells what to measure and how to measure it



  • yields same result regardless of who measures it



  • numerical or descriptive information that can be compared to previous data point
  • understandable by all involved, especially non-educators

(Bateman, B. D. & Herr, C. M. (2003). Writing Measurable IEP Goals and Objectives. Verona, WI: Attainment.)

Types of Criteria 


• the expected accuracy or frequency of a performance

• rate compares the number of correct behaviors, trials, or units of time with the total number


• time segment in which the behavior must be performed

• sets parameters for completing the performance

• used when speed of performance is important


the number of correct responses compared to the total number of possible responses

• must define and be able to measure the whole

Descriptive Statement • description of the expected characteristics or quality of the final product/behavior in clear, objective language


• use specific, clear information

• align goal to student need

• use quantifiable or descriptive information


• use vague terms (i.e. about, sometimes, approximately)

• site specific curricula or tests


For students taking Alternate Assessments based on Alternate Achievement Standards objectives are required in the areas being assessed.

IEP Meeting and Document Procedures

When is an IEP meeting necessary?

Initial IEP IEP meetings must be held within 30 calendar days after the student is found to be eligible for services.
Annual Review IEP Each IEP must be reviewed at least prior to the one-year anniversary date.
Other reasons IEP meetings might be necessary:

•             The IEP needs to be revised because of changes to program, services or placement changes, reevaluation results, mastery of goals, lack of progress, or other reasons.

•             The parent(s) or other team members request an IEP meeting.

•           Following a Manifestation Determination that requires a Functional Behavior Assessment or development of a Behavior Intervention Plan.

How do I schedule an IEP meeting and what is the appropriate documentation?

IEP Invitations in Procedural Handbook

Who are required team members and how I document their attendance?

Required Team Members The IEP Team includes

  1. The parents of a student with a disability
  2. not less than 1 general education teacher of such student
  3. not less than 1 special education teacher
  4.  School Adminstrator or trained designee
  5. an individual who can interpret the instructional implication of evaluation results
  6. at the discretion of the parent or the agency, other individuals who have knowledge or special expertise regarding the child, including related services personnel as appropriate; and
  7. whenever appropriate, the student with a disability EP Team members are different from required Evaluation Team Members.
*IEP Team Members are different from required Evaluation Team Members.
Signature page

Complete the identifying information section of the signature page of the IEP. The IEP team members on the signature page should match the IEP invitation. Signatures are required of all IEP team members who are present at the meeting.

This signature indicates presence, not consent or approval.

Excusal of IEP Team members IEP Invitations in Procedural Handbook


When do I share Procedural Safeguards and Restraint, Isolation and Other Uses of Reasonable Force Procedures documents?

Procedural Safeguards and Restraint, Isolation and Other Uses of Reasonable Force Procedures documents are share with parents/families at every IEP meeting and documented on the prior written notice section of the IEP.

When do I get Medicaid consent?

Medicaid consent is required once. Medicaid consent is typically received during the initial IEP.  Parents/families may give consent, deny consent or not return the form with no consequence to the family or district. The purpose of Medicaid consent is to receive consent to share the necessary information to verify Medicaid eligibility and bill for school-based Medicaid reimbursement with the Washington State Health Care Authority, Health and Recovery Services Administration. Billing HCA does not affect individual benefits under Medicaid or require a co-pay or deductible. Parents/families may give consent or deny consent.

What documents do I complete after the meeting?

A prior written notice should be issued 2 to 3 days after the decision, and then the changes should be implemented about 3 to 5 days after the parent receives the prior written notice.

Finalized copies of the IEP including copies of any accompanying forms (for example; BIP, ERP, ESY IEP, rubrics, etc.) and signature pages should be sent to the ESC, Data Coordinator within five school days from the meeting date.

Exchange of Information with Outside Providers

Exchanging Information with Outside Providers/Exchange of Information 

A signed Records Request must be completed prior to connecting with any out-of-district provider. A Records Request is located in IEP.Online. Records Requests are only valid for 90 days.

When creating a Records Request, follow these steps:

  1. Open IEP.Online and go to the Demograhics section. It is located in the lower left column.
  2. Create a new Records Request.
  3. Fill in all the blanks (To, From, Date, etc.).
  4. Print the form (information may need to be crossed off or added).
  5. Have the parent (and student if age appropriate) sign the form.
  6. Scan the signed form and attach the copy to the Record Request in IEP.Online.
Accommodations and Modifications

Guidelines for Accommodations and Modifications WAC 392-172A-03090

Accommodations and modifications are determined on an individual basis through the IEP process. The IEP team is charged with determining the appropriate accommodations and/or modifications that are necessary for the student to:

  • Advance appropriately toward attaining their annual IEP goals
  • Be involved in and progress in the general curriculum
  • Participate in extracurricular and other nonacademic activities
  • Be educated and participate with other students with and without disabilities.

Accommodation vs Modification


*There is a significant difference between an accommodation and a modification. Understanding the difference is crucial when developing education plans for students.

Accommodation- Changes in conditions by which the task is performed.

Modification- Changes in task requirement.



Supports for School Personnel

Supports for school personnel are supports that would help staff to more effectively work with the student. These supports for school personnel are those that are needed to meet the unique and specific needs of the student. (Examples: training in use of specific positive behavioral interventions; training in the use of American Sign Language; assistance with curriculum modifications; behavioral consultation with school psychologist, social worker or other behavioral consultant; and/or transitional support services.)


IEP Online Processes for Accommodations

  • Determine if accommodations and modifications are necessary for the student to access their educational program- Select “Yes” or “No” from the drop down menu next to Accommodations and Modifications Necessary.
  • To add accommodations for the student, select the plus sign under the Accommodations heading.
  • Select the type of accommodation (Classroom or Testing) and then click the “get”.
  • Select the applicable accommodation by clicking the plus sign in the far right column titled Add to Plan
  • Enter a Location, Duration, and Frequency for the accommodation: ALL fields are necessary and must be completed!
  • Repeat this process for each accommodation required for the student.
  • Press cancel to return to the IEP (all previously added accommodations will now populate in the IEP document)

IEP Online Processes for Modifications

  • To add modifications for the student, select the plus sign under the Modifications heading.
  • Select the type of modification (Access/Use of the Following, Behaviorally Related, Content Area, Environment Modifications, Grading Modifications, Medical, Organization, Testing)
  • Select the applicable modification from the drop down menu
  • Enter a Location, Duration, and Frequency for the modification: ALL fields are necessary and must be completed!
  • Select save to return to the IEP
  • Repeat this process for each modification required for the student


FBA and BIP Procedures

A Functional Behavior Assessment (FBA) is an evaluation that examines the factors contributing to a student’s behaviors that interfere with the student’s learning or the learning of others. The FBA identifies interfering behaviors, the setting conditions, the antecedents, and the consequences that function to maintain the difficult behaviors. An FBA must be conducted when the student’s behavior is a significant ongoing concern, and the current behavior goals/objectives and instruction are not sufficient to guide the student toward success. The FBA process can include direct assessment procedures and/or indirect assessment procedures. Direct assessment tools include observations (e.g., ABC forms, frequency counts, Scatterplots, time-on-task, etc.), data collections, direct behavior ratings, and etc. Indirect assessment procedures include interviews of staff, parents, or student, functional rating scales, and etc.

After the FBA is completed a Behavior Intervention Plan (BIP) must also be done. A BIP is a written, specific, purposeful, and organized plan which describes positive behavioral interventions that address setting events/conditions, antecedents, and consequences that maintain the undesirable behaviors. Specifically, the BIP provides more socially appropriate replacement behaviors that meet the function of the interfering behavior and provide strategies to prevent the interfering behavior. The BIP needs to be closely aligned with the IEP behavior goal(s) and describe projected improvement or remediation of the problem. Data collection systems must be designed to evaluate student progress on a frequent basis which will allow for modification of the BIP as needed. The BIP should be reviewed or updated at least annually with the annual IEP renewal.

The FBA and BIP process is a team process and can include, but is not limited to, the following individuals: school psychologist, counselor, special education teacher, general education teacher, administrator, parent, student, related service providers, etc.

Since the FBA is an evaluation, consent must be obtained prior to conducting any FBA. The type of consent depends upon the existing conditions. The following scenarios explain the procedures for the FBA and BIP process.

The following links provide additional information about how to complete FBAs and BIPs

Initial Evaluation Process- For students that do not currently have an IEP, but have been referred for a special education evaluation.
  1. Student has been referred for special education and typical initial evaluation procedures have started, which includes an initial evaluation consent form.
  2. If a student’s behaviors are adversly impacting learning (of self or others), an FBA must be developed.
  3. When consent for evaluation is sought, make sure to indicate that an FBA will be conducted.
  4. The evaluation team determines which behaviors on which to focus and conducts an assessment through direct and/or indirect assessment procedures.
  5. The evaluation team examines all the assessment data collected and compiles the findings into an evaluation report.
  6. The FBA team leader writes the FBA and utilizes the FBA support documents located here. The documentation will be completed using the IEP.Online.
  7. The FBA is presented to parents during the evaluation feedback meeting and necessary revisions are made.
  8. The IEP.Online FBA forms contain recommendations for interventions to be included in the BIP.  
  9. The BIP is developed during the IEP process.
  10. As with the FBA, a BIP is conducted in a team process and the IEP case manager is responsible for writing the BIP on IEP.Online.
  11. The BIP interventions should provide a clear link to the target behaviors identified in the FBA. The replacement behaviors on the BIP should also drive the social/emotional and behavior goals on the IEP.
  12. The BIP should be presented to the IEP team during the IEP meeting.
  13. The BIP needs to be reviewed and updated at least annually, or as progress monitoring data indicate a need for changes in the interventions.
Adding an FBA/BIP when student has an IEP, but no social/emotional and/or behavior goals– This process is for students that already have an IEP, but the student is demonstrating behaviors that are interfering with his or her learning, or the learning of others.
  1. Since the student evaluation may need to add behavior goals as a recommended area of service, a new reevaluation is required and consent for a reevaluation must be obtained. Use the IEP.Onlinereevaluation consent form. and link the FBA to the reevaluation.
  2. Use the remaining procedures described for the FBA when it is a part of an initial evaluation and FBA process.
  3. Initiate steps 4 through 13 in the Initial Evaluation Process for FBA/BIP shown above.
  4. Once the reevaluation is completed, make sure the IEP is revised to include a goal or goals in social/emotional and behavior.
Adding an FBA/BIP when student already has an IEP and the student already has behavior goals.
  1. Since a reevaluation is not in consideration, create an FBA in and use the consent contained in that record.
  2. Conduct the FBA as indicated in Initial Evaluation Process for FBA/BIP shown above.
  3. Although a specific timeline does not exist it is prudent to complete the BIP within 30 school days.
  4. Initiate steps 4 through 13 in the Initial Evaluation Process for FBA/BIP shown above.
Modification of BIP without Change of FBA- This process is used when the IEP team determines that the BIP requires modification, but the FBA has been determined to be current.
  1. Consent for changes to the BIP is not required.
  2. Initiate steps 9 through 13 in the Initial Evaluation Process for FBA/BIP shown above.


Responding to Formal Parent Requests

A parent or guardian may make a request to make changes to the IEP, ask for an Independent Educational Evaluation (IEE), request a change of service or placement. The following scenarios will provide information on how to respond to these requests.

Independent Educational Evaluation (IEE) If you receive parental request for an “Independent Educational Evaluation,” notify your Special Education Supervisor immediately because legal response timelines apply.
Substantial Change of Program or Outside Services If you receive parental request for a change of placement, substantial change in service delivery, or out-of-district placement or services, contact your Special Education Supervisor.  The next step will be to hold an IEP team meeting to discuss the request.
Legal Representation

If you receive notification from parents that they plan to bring legal representation to a meeting, contact your Special Education Supervisor.  Typically, the district will opt to have legal representation at the meeting as well in this circumstance.

If a parent brings legal representation without prior notice, cancel the meeting and reschedule the meeting on a date when a district attorney can be present

Guidelines for Services Logs, Progress Monitoring and Progress Reporting
Special Education Service Log Documentone for each student
  • Track attendance
  • Note reasons why student did not have/missed therapy
  • Special Education  Attendance Document for each student will be uploaded for district archiving (location TBD) at end of each school year
  • *The above are minimum requirements—therapists may add codes, boxes, etc. to the form if they choose.
Progress Monitoring
  • Written note of progress for each goal is noted after every 4-5 sessions
  • Use your own recording system
  • Progress Monitoring notes are kept by the therapist, recommended minimum of 2 years
  • Are not uploaded for district archiving
  • *the above are minimum requirements—therapists may monitor progress more often
Progress Reporting
  • Enter quarterly/semester progress reports into IEP Online as noted on the student’s IEP

Procedural Safeguards

The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) requires schools to provide the parents/guardians of a student who is eligible for or referred for special education with a notice containing a full explanation of the rights available to them. Learn more…