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Understanding The Three Prongs of Eligibility 

by | Jan 8, 2024 | Eligibility | 0 comments

Understanding the intricacies of eligibility criteria is important for school psychs. In a recent live episode, I discussed the three prongs of eligibility, emphasizing the need for a student to have a disability adversely impacting their education and requiring special education. As we navigate through these prongs further, it becomes apparent that the impact of COVID on evaluations adds a layer of complexity to the process. Let’s explore three main takeaways from my most recent live episode, shedding light on how to interpret data, identify themes, and make informed decisions regarding special education eligibility. If you want to watch a replay of the live recording where I discuss this topic, please click here.

Ensuring Eligibility Across Varied State Regulations

The first prong of eligibility involves understanding the specific language laid out in state regulations. While the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) provides a foundation, each state may have slight variations. Whether school psychs are assessing for any disability,  it’s essential to align with your state’s regulations. Emphasize the importance of meeting eligibility criteria and assessing the adverse impact on the student’s educational performance. This ensures a standardized approach while accounting for state-specific nuances.

Navigating the Impact of COVID on Evaluations

The second prong highlights the adverse impact on a student’s educational performance, a facet that has become even more significant in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. With many schools grappling with less-than-ideal instruction during periods of distance learning, the effects of those times are still evident in reevaluations today. An increased number of referrals in special education prompts a closer look at the lingering impact of COVID-19 on academic, behavioral, and social-emotional concerns. As school psychologists, it’s crucial to recognize and address these challenges to make informed decisions about special education eligibility.

Interpreting and Leveraging Referral Data

The third prong focuses on the requirement for special education, necessitating a deep dive into referral data. As we start a new year, it’s time to reflect on emerging themes. What does the data reveal about learning issues, be it in reading or math? Are there noticeable trends across grade levels? By contextualizing this information and sharing it with administrators and other special education specialists, school psychs can advocate for necessary interventions and support. This proactive approach ensures that discussions about eligibility extend beyond assessment teams, involving decision-makers capable of implementing impactful changes.

Ready to enhance your expertise in assessment and special education? Join me in our upcoming LIVE trainings where we delve into crucial topics essential for assessment professionals, educators, and specialists. Gain insights, strategies, and practical knowledge to navigate the complexities of eligibility criteria, evaluation challenges post-COVID, and more. This is a great opportunity to grow together as a team and elevate your impact in supporting struggling students. Reserve your spot now and empower your assessment practices!

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