Requirements for a Referral to Special Education

The following items must be part of a referral in order to evaluate a child for special education when a specific learning disability is suspected. The following data should be collected as part of the school’s overall general education referral process:

  1. If reading is the main concern prompting the referral, data that demonstrates the child was provided appropriate instruction in the essential components of reading as defined by 20 USC §6368(3):
    • The term ‘essential components of reading instruction' means explicit and systematic instruction in —
      • phonemic awareness;
      • phonics;
      • vocabulary development;
      • reading fluency, including oral reading skills; and
      • reading comprehension strategies
  2. If mathematics is the main concern prompting the referral, data that demonstrates the child was provided appropriate instruction in mathematics,
  3. Data that demonstrates child was provided instruction by qualified personnel,
  4. Data that demonstrates child was considered for all support services available to all students, such as tutorial, remedial, compensatory, and other services†,
  5. Evidence the child was provided with interventions†,
  6. Data-based documentation of repeated assessments of achievement at reasonable intervals (an interval is considered reasonable if consistent with the assessment requirements of a student’s specific instructional program).
    • ‘Repeated assessments’ should reflect formal assessment of student progress during instruction
      • Assessments may include, but are not limited to, the following:
        • RTI progress monitoring results
        • In-class tests on grade-level curriculum
        • Other regularly administered assessments
  7. Evidence that the data-based documentation of repeated assessments of achievement was provided to the child’s parents‡
  8. Evidence that the child does not achieve adequately for the child’s age and/or meet state-approved grade-level standards using multiple measures in one or more of the following areas:
    • Oral expression
    • Listening comprehension
    • Written expression
    • Basic reading skill
    • Reading fluency skills
    • Reading comprehension
    • Mathematics calculation
      • Mathematics problem solving
      • Multiple measures include, but are not limited to, the following:
        • In-class tests
        • Grade average over time (e.g. six weeks, semester)
        • Norm- or criterion-referenced tests
        • Statewide assessments
        • RTI data
  9. An observation of the child in the child’s learning environment (including the regular classroom setting) to document the child’s academic performance and behavior in the areas of difficulty°

* Unless otherwise specified these items are required by Texas Administrative Code (TAC) §89.1040(c)(9)

† As required by Texas Administrative Code (TAC) §89.1011

‡ As required by 34 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) §300.309(b)(2)

°As required by 34 CFR §300.310(a)

Amy M. Strauch M.A., LSSP
Evaluation Specialist
(210) 370-5440
Contact Amy Strauch

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Parental Request for Evaluation Flowchart