EWS follows the guidelines established by the College Board and ACT for what an evaluation should include. An educational evaluation should include the following components:
A diagnosed disability using the current Diagnostic and Statistical Manual 5th Ed. (DSM-V) or using the IDEA educational disability categories (school based assessment)
The evaluator’s credentials
The student’s educational, developmental, and medical history
Comprehensive testing that includes standard scores and subtest scores
A complete measure of aptitude (e.g., the Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children) and a complete measure of achievement (e.g., The Woodcock-Johnson Tests of Achievement)
An assessment of information processing
Any recommendations for specific accommodations must include a rationale and a description of functional limitations
Documentation of any prior accommodations
Clear evidence of clinically significant impairment across multiple settings, including the academic setting
An analysis of teacher information, either via formal rating scales, a teacher form, and/or an interview; an analysis of report cards and standardized testing scores is also beneficial
Feedback from at least TWO classroom teachers
An assessment of vision, hearing, and sleep patterns
To be considered “current,” an evaluation should be no more than three years old
A doctor's note is not a substitute for a complete evaluation
Note to parents: As far as pursuing an evaluation locally, the Learning Specialist for your child's division can provide you with contact information for practitioners who have evaluated other students at Emery. It can take several months to schedule and complete an evaluation. The evaluator, as a component of the evaluation, will ask you to have teachers complete questionnaires; please forward any such forms to the Learning Specialist for your child’s division. The Learning Specialist will distribute the forms to the grade level team members and return them directly to the evaluator. In the event the evaluation will take place over the summer months, we suggest you request forms early, so teachers can provide feedback before they leave for the summer. Any forms to be completed must be submitted no later than three weeks prior to the close of the school year.
If a student has approved testing on file and is eligible for educational accommodations in the classroom, the Learning Support Specialist will, with the help of teacher input, monitor the use of those accommodations. If a student voluntarily and regularly declines the use of accommodations in the classroom, then he or she will become ineligible for their use. Whether or not a student takes advantage of the classroom accommodations is a significant indicator of the student’s educational need. Accommodations will be formally reviewed annually or, as needed, semi-annually.
Generally, testing for educational accommodations expires after a three-year period. In order to continue to be eligible for accommodations after the expiration date, the student must be tested again. HISD offers testing free of charge.
After you have received feedback from the evaluator performing the psycho-educational evaluation, please share the full evaluation with the Learning Specialist for your child’s division.
Accommodations are determined on an individual basis, based on the findings of the evaluation and supported by identified deficits. The Learning Specialist will review the evaluation to determine which accommodations EWS can reasonably provide. An evaluator’s recommendation that a student should receive specific accommodations does not guarantee they will be granted.
If a student’s request for academic accommodations is approved by the Learning Support Specialist, he or she may be eligible for one or more accommodations. Each accommodation is based on a particular educational need, which must be demonstrated by professional outside testing and school performance. Some common accommodations include:
Extended Time: student will be entitled to extra time (time + ½) on timed, graded assessments. Generally, this accommodation will be subject specific, dependent upon the student’s need.
Laptop: student will be allowed to use a laptop for note-taking, in-class written assignments, quizzes, and exams with extended writing segments. Using the laptop should facilitate the writing process for the student and help him or her edit and spell-check the work. Misuse of laptop may result in forfeit of this accommodation.
Note-taking: a copy of class notes will be made available to the student in order to supplement his or her own class notes; the student is still asked to take notes of his or her own. The notes will either be taken by an assigned classmate, from a copy of the teacher’s own notes, or the teacher may post the presentation or document to Blackbaud.
Preferential Seating: student is entitled to sit in an area of the classroom closest to where the teacher presents class material or in a location where he or she is most likely to stay focused on the material that is being taught.
Other: Additional accommodations will be considered based on student need. For example, a student may be permitted to utilize graph paper for organizing his or her writing (he or she will need to provide his or her own graph paper) or students who present compelling educational need might be eligible for modified spelling expectations or allowed to forego the use of scantron sheets in exchange for writing in their answers directly on tests, etc.
A student with a disability may be eligible to take the College Board and ACT tests with special accommodations. To be granted extended time on the PSAT given in October of freshman, sophomore, and junior year, students must begin the application process by August 10th of that year; a consent form for release of information is required.
For ACT, the application process to submit for accommodations requires the student to be registered for a specific test date. After you register for the test at www.act.org, please forward the confirmation email to the upper school learning specialist along with your child’s ACT ID# and the consent form. Please allow approximately two weeks for the request for accommodation to be completed. Following that, it may take up to four weeks for a decision from ACT. Our College Counseling Department recommends that students take the ACT during the spring semester of junior year.
Having been granted extended time or other accommodations at EWS in no way guarantees that the student will meet the qualifications of these independent agencies. If an application for accommodations is denied by the College Board or ACT, any appeal of that decision is the responsibility of the parent/guardian.