Since my son has been out West in therapeutic boarding schools, our travel budget has gone through the roof. Unfortunately, we hadn't budgeted for his triennial reevaluation in this either...
Triennial Reevaluation (Three-Year Review)
The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) requires schools to reevaluate kids with IEPs at least once every three years. This is known as a triennial reevaluation or review.
The purpose of the triennial is to see if your child’s needs have changed. It’s also to see if your child still qualifies for special education services.
Parents and schools may agree not to do a triennial reevaluation, but they must do so in writing. For example, after reviewing your child’s records and progress, the IEP teammight decide there’s already enough data to support continued services and set goals. In that case, a reevaluation may not be needed.
Keep in mind, though, that three years is a long time. Even if it’s clear your child is still eligible for services, his needs and abilities may have changed. A reevaluation can give the IEP team more information about what to include in his IEP.
Sometimes, parents don’t want triennial testing because they worry it may be used to take away a child’s IEP. That’s a real concern. However, if you’re worried about this, it’s important to know your child can’t lose services without data to back up that he no longer needs them. You also have the right to disagree with a decision to remove services.
The school can’t reevaluate your child if you state in writing that you don’t want him reevaluated. But the school can request a due process hearing if it thinks testing is necessary. The hearing officer would then decide how to proceed.
Unlike with an initial evaluation, you shouldn't have to specifically request a triennial evaluation. That’s because it’s required by law to happen. But it’s possible that your school won’t initiate a triennial evaluation on its own.
A goal of the triennial reevaluation is to see if your child’s needs have changed.
You or your child’s teachers may want to request a reevaluation before the three-year mark for various reasons, including if your child is headed to college.
Having a good relationship with your child’s IEP team can help ensure your child is reevaluated when the need arises.