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Once a request for an evaluation is received by the school district, the school district has 15 days to

  • Get your written consent for the evaluation to begin, or
  • If they choose to recommend a screening, or refuse to evaluate, they must provide you with your Procedural Safeguards and explain your rights.


Either decision should be made in writing. 


A screening is a brief assessment of your child’s development.  The testing procedures are different from those of the Full and Individual Initial Evaluation (FIE). 

A screening is often part of the school’s initial evaluation process.  The school will complete a screening if/when they need more information to support that a child may have a disability and a need for special education services.  It is also often used to decide whether an FIE is actually needed.

Be advised,  a screening can not decide ongoing eligibility for special education and or needed related services.  

Only an evaluation can decide whether a child has a disability and/or is eligible for special education and/or related services.  

If you have requested an evaluation for your child in writing, and the school proposes to provide more intensive instruction before doing the evaluation, the school must provide you with Prior Written Notice regarding their decision (see procedural safeguards).


If the school decides not to evaluate:

If the school decides not to evaluate, the school must inform you in writing of the school’s refusal.  This is called prior written notice.  Parents must also be informed in writing when/if the school:

  • decides to do a screening or
  • proposes to provide more intensive instruction instead of an evaluation. 

If the school decides not to evaluate your child and you do not agree with that decision, you have due process rights.  Filing a complaint with the Texas Education Agency (TEA) or requesting mediation are some of those rights.  For information on your options, please see “Dispute Resolution”.   


What parents need to remember:

  • Always keep copies of ALL written documents for your records.
  • You should be part of the Review of Existing Evaluation Data (REED) as part of an initial evaluation.
  • You have the right to ask what examinations or tests will be used and how they will be used to develop the individualized education program (IEP).
  • The school must send you a written notice when they recommend AND decline a Full Initial and Individual Evaluation (FIE)  or suggest a screening instead of a FIE.
  • The school must have your written consent before completing any evaluation.
  • You have due process rights in every step of the special education process.



Screening chart