The Illinois State Board of Education (“ISBE”) will remove language from Form 34-57B that requires Districts to wait 10 school days to initiate an initial evaluation/reevaluation for a student unless a parent waives the 10 school days in writing. In May 2019, ISBE amended Form 34-57B entitled “Parent/Guardian Consent for Initial Evaluation.”  The amendment adds language to the Form that states that an initial evaluation could not be initiated by a school district until 10 school days after consent was obtained.  The amendment allows the guardian or parent waive this 10 school day interval requirement. Prior to the language being added to the Form in May 2019, HLERK learned I-Star and other private providers added this language to districts’ initial evaluation consent forms. We have been advised by ISBE that it intends to remove this new language from Form 34-57B.

The principal concern regarding the amendment of Form 34-57B was that the new language provided a parent or guardian the right to bar the initiation of the evaluation process for 10 school days.  Thus, districts would have a reduced time to complete the evaluation process for a student.  No such restriction exists under Illinois or federal law for evaluations.  After speaking with ISBE in an effort to determine the origin and basis of the 10 school day waiver, ISBE determined that the language was mistakenly being applied to evaluations. Rather, the 10 school day waiver is only required if the District initiates a change in the student’s placement or programming.

Per ISBE advice, school districts may remove the same language from their own consent forms at this time. This is good news for districts as it protects their ability to utilize all of the 60 school days permitted by law to complete the evaluation process for potentially eligible students.