If a student is at an RTI Tier 2 level of instruction and the parent requests an evaluation, what is the next step?
If the parent requests an evaluation in writing, you, by law, have to have a team meeting. You have to consider the request. As a team, including the parent, is an evaluation needed? You can use the RTI data. If you have been keeping biweekly data, you can see how the student is doing. We have told parents no to an evaluation request. The parents will say they want an evaluation and sometimes we have to say, "No, the data shows that your child is progressing. The teacher says your student is doing great." It is okay to pull the team together and say no to parents, but you have to have the data to support the reason and to be in compliance with the law, and help the parents understand where their child is performing compared to their peers. I am against the idea of making the parents the enemy. I am against looking at parents in in a negative way because even the most demanding parents are just looking for what is best for their child and they are worried. We need to address that fear in a positive way and do some education. I have never had a parent be aggressive towards me if I bring my research, evidence and rationale to educate the parents.
Jennifer Preschern holds a dual masters degree in Speech Language Pathology and Learning Disabilities from Northwestern University. She also holds a school administration certification from Loyola University. Her professional expertise is putting language/literacy research into practical application for linguistically and socioeconomically diverse public school settings.