For those who missed our February 20 meeting, we asked Jenna Kade a local Orton Gillingham tutor to “run interference” and to provide answers to top themes raised from our January meeting. We wanted to get help quickly to those who needed it.
Jenna provided an extensive amount of fact-checking and background work on this so many thanks to her for all her hard work in sifting through that. In fact, she was kind enough to provide a written rundown of what she covered. Here goes.
- The words, ” I suspect my child has a learning disability and I am requesting the school perform a comprehensive multi-factored evaluation” or if you have a professional diagnosis, ” my child has been diagnosed with the following disability…. and I am requesting the school perform a comprehensive, multi-factored evaluation.” You should attach the diagnosis/test results to your letter.
- Adverse effects you are seeing at home that are caused by the disability. Some examples: crying/aggression during homework or when faced with having to go to school, not being able to finish homework, homework taking way longer than it should, an inability to complete homework independently, having to work all week to memorize the spelling words and then having no recall of those words as soon as the test is taken.
- You must state that this letter is your consent for the school to do the MFE.
- No Child Left Behind can be mentioned as it gives parents the right to identify their child as learning disabled.
- You can also attach the memorandum found on OSEP’s website with the subject: A Response to Intervention (RTI) Process Cannot Be Used to Delay~Deny an Evaluation for Eligibility under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) from Melody Musgrove, Ed.D.
MFE Timeline & Definitions
- The day the school receives your letter requesting a comprehensive MFE is referred to as the RECEIPT DATE. The RECEIPT DATE starts the 30 day time period the school has to respond to your request. All timelines are based on calendar days, therefore weekends and days off count.
- During those 30 days these things should take place: parent calls to verify the letter was received (1-3 days after the letter was sent) and the school schedules a meeting with the parents within those first 2-3 weeks to discuss the MFE process/plan and to have the parents sign a consent form. This meeting will be considered the REFERRAL DATE, the referral date is the day the school agrees to do the MFE, it has NO bearing on the timeline.
- The school then has an additional 30 days to complete the MFE, compile the results, and set-up an ETR (Evaluation Team Report) Meeting. Therefore the school is allotted 60 calendar days to complete the MFE process.
Additional actions that can be taken if the school responds with a Prior Written Notice stating that it does not feel an MFE is needed at this time.
- The parent’s original request letter can be re-sent to the school’s Head of Pupil Services and/or to the Ohio Department of Education
- Parents can choose to have one or two components of the MFE performed privately and then provide the school with those results. Of course, parents can choose to have the entire MFE performed privately but the process costs around $2000.00.
- Parents can contact OSEP (Office of Special Education Programs) for assistance.
- Finally, if all other attempts have failed the law does provide parents the right to have their child privately assessed at the school district’s expense.