SLD Considerations for Learners Who Are CLD April 2011 Exceptional Student Leadership Unit

SLD Considerations for
Learners Who Are CLD
April 2011
Exceptional Student Leadership Unit
Learning Outcome
To increase understanding and
skills related to the evaluation
process of learners who are
CLD and are suspected of
RtI Process and
Referral for Evaluation
Early Intervening Services
with Students who are CLD
For students who are CLD, it is essential
to have input from a professional with
expertise in typical communication
development, including second language
acquisition, to differentiate culturallinguistic differences from disorder.
Key Question: How long should
interventions, as part of the RtI
process, be provided?
Length of time is dependent upon
several factors:
age of the student
skill involved
severity of deficit(s)
student’s response to intervention
Key Question: Who initiates a
referral for special education
evaluation and when should a
referral be made?
The following slides describe
three referral scenarios.
Referral of student (receiving intervention) by
the RtI problem-solving team:
Initiated at any time for a student suspected of
having a disability
Evidence of significant skill deficit AND
Evidence of insufficient progress when provided
research-based intervention
Apparent need for ongoing specialized instruction
and support
Consideration of answers to guiding questions
(see SLD Topic Brief: RtI & Referral for
Caution should be taken not to delay a
referral for special education evaluation
beyond the point when the team should be
suspecting a disability. RtI problemsolving and the provision of interventions
do not replace the right of a child with a
disability to be identified as such and to
receive special education and related
<see the OSEP memo dated Jan 21, 2011>
Referral of student by parent:
Parent has right to request an evaluation at any time
Administrative Unit (Administrative Unit: District or
BOCES) may…
Agree with parent that the child may be a child
with a disability
– Develop an evaluation plan with input from
– Issue a Prior Written Notice (PWN) & Consent
to Evaluate
– Complete the evaluation within 60 days* of
receiving consent
* The 60-day timeline for completion of the evaluation must be
adhered to unless extended by mutual written agreement.
Referral of student by parent (continued):
Disagree that an evaluation is warranted
– Issue PWN addressing why it has been
determined an evaluation is not indicated
– Parent can challenge by requesting a due
process hearing
* The 60-day timeline for completion of the evaluation must be
adhered to unless extended by mutual written agreement.
Referral of student not receiving intervention
(via RtI process) and AU proposes and/or agrees
to proceed with the evaluation
Criteria for eligibility in category of SLD do not change
Research-based intervention in area(s) of concern
initiated and progress monitored
Evaluation process and RtI process are initiated
Parents are members of both the RtI problem-solving
team and the multi-disciplinary eligibility team
(membership may overlap)
60-day timeline* for completing evaluation is in effect
* The 60-day timeline for completion of the evaluation must be
adhered to unless extended by mutual written agreement.
Evaluation & Assessment
Full and Individual Evaluation
• More focused than when conducted
a “comprehensive evaluation”
• Child assessed in all areas related
to suspected disability
• Must identify all child’s special
education needs (whether or not
The preamble to the Federal Regulations
“Support for models that focus on
assessments that are related to
instruction and promote intervention
for identified children…”
Federal Register p. 46647
Review of Assessment
(at grade level)
• Brief assessments of key skills
• Comparison to established
• Identification of students at-risk
Progress Monitoring
(typically at instructional level)
• Frequent measures of skill attainment
• Measurements are sensitive to
incremental growth
• Provides evidence of sufficiency of
growth (e.g., evidence of “insufficient
progress in response to scientific,
research-based intervention”)
• Focused to identify specific skills needing
improvement (within area of concern)
• Typically norm-referenced & individually
• Informs specific instruction or intervention
for an individual student
• Adds to evidence of performance level
(e.g., evidence of “academic skill deficit”
for eligibility determination)
Evaluation Plan Development
Review existing evaluation data on the child,
• Evaluations and information provided by the
• Relevant medical findings
• Current classroom-based, local, or State
assessments, and
• Classroom-based observations
On the basis of that review, and input from
the child’s parents, identify what additional
data, if any, are needed.
Key Questions in Planning an
What is known?
What are the concerns and who has them?
How does each concern affect academic
What evidence is available specific to each
Key Questions in Planning an
What additional information/data are
What are the specific assessment tools
or strategies that should be employed?
Who will be responsible?
Building a Body of Evidence: A “variety of
assessment tools and strategies” (during RtI
and evaluation) may include…
• Interviews (family, classroom)
• Observations in relevant settings (home,
• Analysis of work samples
• Performance of informal tasks
• Curriculum Based Measurements and/or
• Other progress monitoring strategies
(Required at some point for SLD determination)
Building a Body of Evidence: A “variety of
assessment tools and strategies” (during RtI
and evaluation) may include…
• Results from state and district assessments
• Functional Behavior Assessment
• Behavior Rating Scales
• Vocational assessments
• Norm-referenced assessment (focused,
not full battery for every child referred)
(Required at some point for SLD determination)
Convergence of Data
SLD identification should be based
on a convergence/triangulation
of data gathered throughout the
RtI process as well as any further
assessment data collected as part
of the evaluation.
Guiding Questions
• What evidence is there that the
student has deficits in both languages
and across various settings?
• Is it possible that deficits exhibited by
the student are accounted for by
limited experiences in using the
• How does the level of proficiency in
English impact instruction?
Guiding Questions
• Is the student demonstrating sufficient
rate of progress in the skill in question
as compared to their peers of similar
background and culture?
• Has there been sufficient multi-tiered
systems of support given to help the
student access the curriculum?
Possible Identifiers
• The student’s rate of progress is
below the expected rate for LEP
• The students academic skills are
significantly delayed.
Possible Indicators
• The parent regard the student as
“different: or delayed.
• The student does not exhibit mastery
of academics at their language and
carefully planned and administered
targeted interventions.
Quality Assessments Should
• Assess the student’s current level and
mode of functioning within the scope of
their cultural background and experiences
• Identify educational needs rather than
focus on perceived or inferred intellectual
• Focus on learning assets and strengths as
the basis for new learning
• Be on-going or dynamic
Evaluation Report
• Includes information from a body of
• The data are accurately interpreted in the
• The data are triangulated and conclusions
are clearly stated
Evaluation Report
• Directly and explicitly address
performance in relation to the
identified concerns, questions and
• Identify characteristics the student
demonstrates that are or are not
consistent with special education
eligibility criteria
Evaluation Report
• Documents the sources of information
and assessment methods used
• Includes dates the assessments were
completed and by whom
Evaluation Report Checklist
 Does it provide meaningful and
understandable information to parents
and others who do not have your
background and training?
 Does it directly and explicitly address
the initial questions and concerns?
 Does it discuss a pattern of strengths,
interests, and weaknesses so that a
meaningful plan can be developed?
Triennial Reevaluation
and Continued Eligibility
Key Questions:
How might a Triennial Reevaluation be
conducted for a student initially identified
under the previous SLD criteria?
How is a determination of continued
eligibility made and documented?
States that change their eligibility criteria for SLD
may want to carefully consider the reevaluation of
children found eligible for special education services
using prior procedures. States should consider the
effect of exiting a child from special education who
has received special education and related services
for many years and how the removal of such
supports will affect the child’s educational progress,
particularly for a child who is in the final year(s) of
high school. Obviously, the group should consider
whether the child’s instructional and overall special
education program have been appropriate as part of
this process. If the special education instruction has
been appropriate and the child has not been able to
exit special education, this would be strong evidence
that the child’s eligibility needs to be maintained.
- Federal Register, p. 46648 (from preamble to the
Regulations, response to comments)
Triennial Reevaluations: Important
Elements & Considerations
Parents participate as team members
communicated via PWN; consent to
evaluate obtained
Not necessary to reestablish disability –
presumption of disability unless data
indicate otherwise
Existing data reviewed to
additional data needed, if any
Triennial Reevaluations: Important
Elements & Considerations
Continued eligibility
knowledge of…
Evidence that child is still a child with a
disability (e.g., academic skill deficits and
insufficient progress)
Need for special education and related
services provided)
Documentation of “continued eligibility” (not
necessarily completion of eligibility form)
Focus is on…
Evidence of continued need for special
without specialized instruction and
supports )
Confirmation/identification of special
education needs
Determination of needed changes to
the IEP
Three Triennial Evaluation Scenarios
Reevaluation that includes the collection of
additional evaluation data (probably most
Agreement between the parent and the public
agency that a reevaluation is unnecessary
should be rare that no reevaluation occurs
(would seem important for some level of reevaluation in
order to
identify all the child’s special education and
related services needs, even if continued eligibility is
not being questioned)
any such agreement should be documented in
Triennial Evaluation Scenarios
Reevaluation with “no additional evaluation
data needed”
More common than determining that
reevaluation is unnecessary
Even without further assessment, consists of…
the review and interpretation of existing
student data and the
consideration/determination of continued
eligibility and/or determination of the special
education needs and services
Related Issue: documentation of evidence of
disability & accommodations needed for a
student who will be transitioning from high
school to college
[This does not mean that a school must administer
specific assessments or a full battery of assessments.]
Such documentation could be part of: (re)evaluation
report, present levels of academic achievement and
functional performance on the student’s final IEP, or
the Summary of Performance document required at
See resource document, “High School to College Transition for
Students with Specific Learning Disabilities: Best Practices
Documentation Guidelines for Secondary Educators,” available
(under heading: Postsecondary Education Resources)