All special education
teachers know about the three-year reevaluation. Every three years, we are
required to take a look at our students’ progress, behavior, medical and family
information and any changes that may have occurred in their lives during this
time. As teachers, we complete assessments, complete observation forms and fill
in the data collected three years ago so it can easily be compared to new data.
General education teachers and parents also complete observation forms and
share any other relevant information.
What’s the point of all
this? We are determining whether or not the student continues to need special
education services and if the current services are meeting his or her
As a self-contained
teacher, my reevaluations are usually pretty straight forward. We document
behavioral progress and progress with academic and life skills, but there is
usually no question whether or not the student will continue to receive special
education services in my classroom. However, the last reevaluation I completed
was a different story.
I got my first
inclination that something was up when I began looking for past alternate
assessment scores; I could only find one year’s score in his file. This child
is in 6th grade and should’ve taken the assessment in grades 3-5. Then, I began
completing my assessment packet on this student. I already knew he had
significantly higher adaptive behavior skills and academic skills than my other
students, but actually seeing the discrepancy on paper was shocking. For
example, the computer-based math program I use in the classroom which advances
students through curriculum based on their mastery of skills gives progress
reports on the number of standards passed and grade levels advanced—my student
had advanced more than two grade levels since September!
The day of the meeting,
my student’s guardian attended. She informed me that my student’s previous living
situation had been unstable, causing him to change schools frequently and
explaining the missing assessment scores. I expressed my concerns about the
student not being in the least restrictive environment and the need for further
testing to determine the most appropriate placement for him. She was in full agreement,
and I scheduled an assessment with our school psychologist.
Three years ago my
student had an IQ that qualified him for alternate assessment and a self-contained
classroom for academic instruction. When he was retested, his IQ had jumped 20
points! This was definitely the last piece of information needed for some
changes to be considered.
I contacted the
assistant supervisor of special education, and we assembled a team for the
meeting to discuss what was best for my student: an assistant principal, the
6th grade counselor, a 6th grade science teacher, a resource teacher, my
student’s guardian, the assistant supervisor of special education and myself. The
meeting went exceptionally well!
The following day, my
student went to general education classes for science and social studies and a
resource special education class for math and reading. He continues to attend
related arts and is now going to lunch with the 6th graders from the pod he was
occurred a week ago. I expected there to be some challenges, and there have
been. My student became upset in social studies when told he could not use the
restroom during class. There has also been concern about his participation in
the general education courses due to his reading ability. The team is coming
together again this week to further collaborate on what will help this student
be successful in his new environment.
As much as I’ll miss
seeing my student, I could not be happier that he is now getting the special
education services he needs. One of my assistants saw him in the hall last week
and reported that he was “grinning from ear to ear.”
This situation has
definitely taught me the value of the three-year reevaluation and the
importance of taking the time to really look at a student’s situation when
determining if he or she is receiving the educational services he or she needs.
Have any of you experienced
similar eye-openers? Any advice on how I can best support my student’s new