Evaluation Manager, Middle School/High School
I am a special education evaluation manager for the Stewartville School District. The Evaluation Manager is the facilitator of the evaluation process for special education. I believe it is the Evaluation Manager's role to assist in building a multi-disciplinary evaluation team that will complete an assessment, and make decisions together which will be included in a comprehensive evaluation report. In order for the process to move smoothly the Evaluation Manager is responsible for beginning and maintaining open communication between team members while collecting data to develop a picture of a child's strengths and concerns.
Prior to starting a special education evaluation, the teachers and staff are required to implement interventions to see if adding additional supports or services will help the student become more successful. This is a process that involves the Problem Solving Team which consists of educators in various grades and subject areas along with administration. This group of people review the data on the interventions that have been completed and determine if the interventions have been successful or not. If the interventions have not been successful the Problem Solving Team will refer the student on to the Child Study Team. The Child Study Team consists of special education staff in all disability areas, administration, and teachers in specialty areas. The Child Study Team then reviews the data and determines if a referral for a special education evaluation should be made. If this referral is made that is where I start the process by contacting the parent/guardian to set up a meeting with the referring teacher and other staff that works with the student. At this initial evaluation planning meeting the team reviews the intervention data and discusses all areas of concern. Based on this information an Evaluation Plan is created and presented to the parents. If the parent signs permission to start the evaluation then the school will conduct a comprehensive special education evaluation. Once the evaluation plan is signed the school district has 30 school days to complete the evaluation. The evaluation will be sent to the parent by the 30th school day and then the district has 30 days to schedule and Individual Education Plan (IEP) if the student qualifies for services.
Parents also have the right to request a special education evaluation at any time. If a parent requests an evaluation, I will still set up a meeting to discuss all areas of concern. The team will review the criteria for the areas of concern and determine if there is enough data to conduct the evaluation or if there are some interventions that could be implemented before we start the evaluation.
Our goal is to help students be successful in the least restrictive environment.
This is my third year in the role of special education evaluation manager, and my ninth year in the Stewartville School District. I have a degree from Augburg College in Social Studies education and Sociology, an M.Ed. from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in Special Education, and an Director of Special Education license from Hamline University. I have taught in the Stewartville district, as well as several other districts in and outside of Minnesota through the years.