The U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Special Education Programs (“OSEP”) recently issued a memorandum to state directors of special education regarding some school districts’ use of Response to Intervention (“RtI”) strategies to delay or deny initial evaluations for preschool students who are suspected of having a disability. OSEP states that school districts must timely comply with referrals for special education evaluations of pre-school students even if the RtI process has not been commenced or completed. The memorandum notes that referrals for evaluations may come from any source including public and private pre-school programs, and school districts must ensure that they are timely completing these evaluations without delay due to the implementation of RtI.
School districts often face difficult questions regarding RtI and its child find obligations. Please contact Michelle Todd or Jeremy Duffy with questions regarding the use of RtI and initial evaluations for students who are suspected of having disabilities at any age.