OSEP Memo – Timely Evaluations in the RTI World

The Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services (OSERS), has recently published a memo regarding RTI and timely evaluations.  We have highlighted some of the important aspects of the memo below.

What’s in the memo?
The intent of this memo is to provide information clarifying the relationship between RTI and evaluations pursuant to the IDEA.  It addresses the issue of districts using Response to Intervention strategies to delay a timely initial evaluation.

Why is the memo important?
It provides good reminders to districts regarding time lines for evaluation and the provision of prior written notice before testing or when the district denies a request for evaluation.

Take some time to review the procedures and practices in your district to ensure that your districts implementation of RTI strategies is appropriate, and “is not delaying or denying a timely initial evaluation of children suspected of having a disability.”

Quick Link:  RTI Memo

If you have any other questions or concerns regarding the topic above, please contact the ESC Region XIII compliance team at 512-919-5177.

Facilitated IEPs

Are you keeping up with the latest?

Are you familiar with a Facilitated IEP (FIEP)?

If a parent asks, how will you respond?

Facilitated IEP (FIEP) refers to the national trend of having a neutral facilitator for ARD meetings. A neutral facilitator is used most frequently when school and parent relationships are strained. However, the use of facilitation skills by ALL ARD members, in any meeting,  increases the likelihood of productive discussions and quality outcomes.

Region XIII offers training on facilitation skills, meeting management, interests-based problem solving, negotiation, mediation and consensus building. Check out our website.


It’s that time of year……the TAKS season is upon us.  Students will begin testing soon.  How can you be sure that each student will be taking the appropriate test?  ARD committees may need some helpful guidance.  Attached is a tool for examining the alignment of TAKS decisions based on student need and state requirements.  To utilize this tool click on the appropriate grade level below.

Lone Star Legal Institute

This is a great opportunity for anyone interested in an update on  legal  issues that affect special education.   The Lone Star Legal Institute for Educators is a one-day institute featuring national, state and regional speakers addressing critical and timely issues for campus/district leaders in providing quality special education services.    Click here for more information regarding the Lone Star Legal Institue for Educators.

If you are interested in registering for this workshop use the code  earlybird by January 21st  for a 20% discount.

Which test should they take?

Choosing the best statewide assessment for a student with a disability is a critical decision for every IEP team. Many different factors influence and support the choice of one statewide assessment over another, especially when the student may need to take an alternate assessment.  In some situations, the  federal 1% and 2% proficiency cap rule has been used as a decisive factor in assessment choice, rather than individualized student needs.

The Quick-Tip video below addresses why the 1% and 2% proficiency cap rule should never be used as a defining factor when choosing an alternate assessment for a student with a disability.  Instead, we need to use our knowledge of how the student is interacting and accessing their enrolled grade level content.

You can find further and more detailed information from TEA on assessment choice by following the links below.
TAKS Assessment Comparison Chart
TAKS-M Participation Requirements
TAKS-ALT Participation Requirements