School districts are required to develop and implement procedures to identify, locate and evaluate children in need of special education and related services Whenever a parent requests an evaluation or a district has reason to suspect a child has a disability that may entitle them to special education and/or related services, the district is obligated to conduct a full and individual evaluation [Iowa Rules of Special Education 281—411(1-3); 34 CFR 300.111]. The district must obtain written parent consent for evaluation and implement a variety of assessment tools and strategies to gather relevant functional, developmental and academic information within various performance domains.
The purpose of the full and individual evaluation is to determine whether the child is eligible for special education and identify the instructional interventions necessary to meet the child’s needs. The full and individual evaluation assesses the child’s rate of educational progress and the discrepancy between the child’s level of functioning and that of their peers or district expectations. It also considers whether the interventions a child needs to be successful can be provided without special education. If the child is deemed to have a skills deficit, a health or physical condition, a functional limitation or pattern of behavior that adversely affects his or her educational performance and the intervention(s) necessary to address these concerns exceeds the capacity of general education resources alone, the child is determined eligible for special education.