Yes the school must request in writing your consent to assess and evaluate your child. This request must state what particular test will be used to evaluate your child and any other informal or formal assessment tools may be used. If you consent to the testing, the school will provide in writing when the testing will be done and by who.
The assessment will evaluate several areas of your child's cognitive and physical development and abilities. Assessments are based on formal and informal evaluations and observations by School Psychologists, Speech and Language Pathologist, Occupational Therapist, Education Diagnostician, Teachers and Parents. Formal assessments must be delivered in the students official first language and measure what the specialist is testing for.
Information gathered from the tests conducted on your child will determine if your child is eligible for services and if so what areas of learning will be affected by the identified disability. This information is then used to develop the IEP (Individual Education Program). Records are kept on file while your child is enrolled in our school system. Five years after exiting special education or graduating high school, the records are destroyed. You may request your child's records after they exit the program if you do not want the records destroyed.
First and most important is to talk to your child's teacher. Express your concerns and get the teachers opinion on your child's learning needs. Request in writing to have your child assessed. The results of the assessment will determine if your child is eligible for services.
The school must provide a fair and appropriate program for your child. If you disagree do not sign the IEP and continue to work out a mutual compromise that will quickly and effectively provide a suitable program for your child. It is crucial that a program be in place for a student with special learning needs as quickly as possible. The longer it takes to develop, the longer it will take to deliver.
As a parent it is very important to maintain positive communication with your child's school and teachers. Keep your child's teacher informed and up to date on any changes in day to day activity and lifestyles that may affect their learning (changes in medications, specialized medical equipment, etc). Try to maintain similar expectations at home and school.