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If you have any questions about asking your child’s school for a reevaluation, contact one of our attorneys at (203) 221-3100.

Triennial Reevaluation

If you have experience with the special education eligibility process, you may be aware that according to the IDEA, your school district must assess your child at least once every three years subsequent to the initial evaluation that establishes eligibility for special education and related services. This process, known as the triennial reevaluation or sometimes referred to as a student’s “triennial review,” aims to reassess the student’s eligibility for an individualized education plan (IEP) and update their levels of functioning and educational requirements. However, there are instances where an evaluation may be necessary even if your child’s triennial review is not yet due:

Your child is facing challenges in a previously unexamined or inadequately assessed area.

Sometimes, an Individualized Education Program (IEP) may need to be in effect for some time before fully understanding all of a student’s educational needs. The educational team must assess the student comprehensively across all areas where there may be a disability suspicion. However, if a student with specific learning disabilities begins showing classroom behavior that hinders learning, additional assessments of their behavior and social-emotional development may be necessary. Similarly, a student might require further evaluation if new needs arise that were not fully addressed during the initial assessment or the last triennial review. For instance, the speech-language pathologist may have initially evaluated the student’s general language abilities but did not assess social and pragmatic language skills. In such cases, a new communication evaluation that includes appropriate measures of the student’s social skills may be required.

The student is showing minimal to no advancement towards achieving their IEP goals and objectives.

Whether through quarterly progress reports or ongoing data collection and analysis, monitoring your child’s advancement towards their IEP goals and objectives should demonstrate that they are making steady progress towards mastering each goal within a year. The purpose of regularly assessing progress is to ensure the effectiveness of the goals and objectives, and to make any necessary adjustments throughout the school year. However, sometimes simply collecting data and reviewing periodically isn’t sufficient to adjust the path for a student who appears unlikely to achieve their IEP goals within the designated timeframe. It is crucial to request a reevaluation when your child is facing challenges and the team is uncertain about how to modify the IEP to better suit their needs. Similarly, if the most recent evaluations are being cited to support the appropriateness of the current IEP, you may need to advocate for a new assessment to demonstrate changes in your child’s needs and the necessity for program adjustments.

You previously received a denial of eligibility for your child, and now you wish to reconsider that decision.

Navigating this situation can be complex. If the initial assessment was conducted recently, you might want to consider requesting an independent educational evaluation (IEE) instead. Under the IDEA, parents have the right to ask for a private evaluation at public expense if they disagree with the evaluation conducted by the school district. The district must either agree to this request or initiate a due process hearing to justify why an independent evaluation isn’t necessary.

However, there are instances where it may be more appropriate to ask the school to conduct new evaluations to reassess your child’s eligibility for special education. Over time, changes in your child’s needs and abilities may warrant a fresh round of assessments. It’s advisable to seek guidance from an educational advocate or attorney if you’re uncertain about the best course of action to take.

Maya Murphy P.C. has proudly been included in the 2024 Edition of Best Law Firms®, ranked among the top firms in the nation. In addition, Managing Partner Joseph C. Maya has been selected to The Best Lawyers in America® 2024 for his work in Employment Law and Education Law in Connecticut. Recognition in Best Lawyers® is awarded to firms and attorneys who demonstrate excellence in the industry and is widely regarded by both clients and legal professionals as a significant honor.

Our firm in Westport, Connecticut serves clients with legal assistance all over the state, including the towns of Ansonia, Beacon Falls, Bethany, Bethel, Branford, Bridgeport, Brookfield, Cheshire, Danbury, Darien, Derby, East Haven, Easton, Fairfield, Greenwich, Guilford, Hamden, Madison, Meriden, Middlebury, Milford, Monroe, Naugatuck, New Canaan, New Fairfield, New Haven, Newton, North Branford, North Haven, Norwalk, Orange, Oxford, Prospect, Redding, Ridgefield, Seymour, Shelton, Sherman, Southbury, Stamford, Stratford, Trumbull, Wallingford, Waterbury, West Haven, Weston, Westport, Wilton, and Woodbridge. In addition to assisting clients in Connecticut, our firm handles education law matters in New York as well.

If you have any questions or would like to speak to an attorney about a legal matter, please contact Joseph C. Maya and the other experienced attorneys at Maya Murphy, P.C. at (203) 221-3100 or JMaya@Mayalaw.com to schedule a free initial consultation today.