School-age (Age 3 through 12th grade)

If you’re concerned about your school-age child’s educational progress and believe they may have a disability, you may use any of the following methods to refer your child for a special education evaluation:

DIGITAL FORM: Complete this online referral.
PAPER FORM: Pick up a referral form from your school’s office, complete it, and return it to the building principal.
WRITTEN REQUEST: Referral forms are helpful to school staff but are not required. Any written request for evaluation is valid.
Your child does not need to be enrolled in public school to be referred. Youth up to age 21 who have not graduated from high school may also be referred.

Students age 3 through 5 who are not yet enrolled in school may also participate in the Child Find screenings provided in each school district.

Once received, the district will have 25 school days to review information about the student, including school and medical records and information from parents, and decide whether to evaluate the student for special education eligibility. You will receive written notification of the district’s decision.

Contact your school or our office at 360-748-3384 if you need more information about referring your child or the special education process.

What to Expect:

  1. An adult identifies a child for referral: Anyone who knows a child who may need service can alert the school in writing. This person can be a parent, teacher, from a public agency, or anyone else who has an interest in the child.
  2. The child's parents or guardians will be notified: Working together, the child's parent/guardian and school district will decide if an evaluation is necessary.
  3. Parent/guardian written consent is required for an evaluation: If the family and school district decide to conduct an evaluation, the child's parent/guardian will receive a written notice. They must sign a written consent for their child to be evaluated.
  4. The school district has 35 school days to complete the evaluation: Parents may be asked for information and to bring the child in for evaluation.
  5. Qualified staff will complete assessments or gather information in areas of concern.
  6. Professionals meet with parent/guardians: Together they will determine if the child is eligible for special education.
  7. If the child qualifies for special education services: The professionals and parents/guardians will develop an Individualized Education Program (IEP). This may happen at the evaluation meeting or at a later date.

Timelines for Referral, Initial Evaluation, and Initial Individualized Education Program (IEP)

Referral for special education evaluation, 25 school days to decide whether to evaluate & send written notice regarding decision, written parental consent for evaluation, 35 school days to complete evaluation and determine eligibility. If student deemed eligible, 30 calendar days to develop IEP, parent consent for services, As soon as possible, services begin.