Diagnostic & Evaluations
Referral, Diagnostic and Planning Processes
Berrien Springs Public Schools provides strong instructional programs to meet the needs of various students. If students are struggling, teachers make adjustments and provide more intensive opportunities, including specific research based interventions. Each building has a team of professionals who consider student concerns and recommend, monitor the progress of the student and evaluate the effectiveness of the interventions. The results of regular assessments before, during and after the interventions will be shared with the parents.
However, if it is clear that the interventions are not enough and that the student continues to struggle, it may be appropriate to convene a team to discuss and evaluation for special education eligibility, following the steps below.
- Indicate concern to the parents and discuss convening a team to discuss an evaluation. This discussion includes parents, possibly the student (depending on age), teachers, involved staff, administrators and the diagnostic team. Parents will receive a Parent Handbook and Procedural Safeguards. The meeting is called a Review of Existing Evaluation Data and Evaluation Plan. The parent has the opportunity to provide written consent to the decisions made at this meeting, which can range from determining eligibility for special education services, the continuation of interventions or an evaluation in specified area(s).
- Michigan Special Education Rules and Regulations and the federal law for Individuals with Disabilities Education Act are followed for all parts of the process from the time the concern is expressed until the IEP meeting determining whether the child is eligible for special education and what services, goal and objectives, modifications and accommodations may be warranted. This includes the guarantees that decisions for special education are not based on cultural, ethnic, or socio-economic differences of a lack of instruction. For determining the existence of a Specific Learning Disability (SLD) in Special Education, our district will use a process of analyzing a pattern of Strengths and Weaknesses. For more detailed information on this process, please consult the Berrien Regional Education Service Agency website. Forms on the RESA website are current and are the ones used by Berrien Springs Public Schools.
- If a student transfers into the district with an IEP that indicates he/she is eligible for and receiving special education services, that IEP is honored and the services are provided as written in the IEP, with parental consent. The information is reviewed by the district and the diagnostic staff. The district may request a new IEP within 30 days to continue or revise the IEP or they may determine to implement the IEP as written, without conducting a new IEP. A Temporary Placement form is filled out with the requisite information and the parent consent, determining which process will be used.
- If a student transfers into the district, with an initial referral in process, the district continues to process the referral as written, providing the prescribed evaluation and follow-up to an IEP.
- Progress of each student receiving special education is monitored and reported by the special education provider at the same reporting times as general education teachers report progress. Goals and objectives are based on general education curriculum expectations.