Policy Details Page

2161R - Regulation Special Education and Related Services for Eligible Students

The purpose of the district’s special education program regulations is to address program areas where state and federal regulations require specific local regulations or permit local discretionary choices.

The state regulations governing the implementation of special education services pursuant to the Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act (IDEA) of 2004 are addressed in Chapter 392-172A WAC. These procedures do not address all of the requirements established in the regulations. District personnel who are not familiar with the regulations need to contact an administrator in the District student services department if there are questions regarding special education. These procedures describe how the District implements its special education program.

Free Appropriate Public Education (FAPE)

The District will apply annually for federal Part B and state special education funding to assist in the provision of special education and any necessary related services. This funding is in addition to students’ basic education funding and state special education funding.  The funding will be applied for by the Director of Student Services or the Superintendent’s designee contracted during the month of June.

The superintendent, in consultation with building staff, shall annually determine whether to use Early Intervening Services (EIS) funding for students who have not been identified as needing special education or related services, but who need additional academic and behavioral support to succeed in a general education environment.  EIS may also be required by OSPI determination level and the special education director or Superintendent’s designee will work to appropriately communicate the requirement of 15% of the budget.

The District shall annually report to the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) the number of students receiving EIS; and the number of students who received EIS and subsequently received special education and related services under Part B of IDEA during the preceding two-year period.

Services to eligible special education students, age three to 21, will be provided without charge to the student. This does not include incidental fees that are normally charged to all students. Special education services will include preschool, elementary and secondary education and are provided in conformance with the student’s Individual Education Program (IEP).

The District provides a continuum of services for students, regardless of the funding source. Where the District is unable to provide all or part of the special education or necessary related services, it will make arrangements through contracts with other public or non-public sources, inter-District agreements or interagency coordination.

Students Covered by Public or Private Insurance

The District may use Medicaid or other public insurance benefits programs in which a student participates to provide or pay for services required to provide a FAPE, as permitted by the public insurance program. However, the District shall not:

  1. Require guardians to sign up for or enroll in public benefits or insurance programs in order for their student to receive FAPE under Part B of the IDEA;
  2. Require guardians to incur an out-of-pocket expense such as the payment of a deductible or copay amount incurred in filing a claim; 
  3. Use a guardian or student’s benefits under a public insurance program if that use would:

a)       Decrease available lifetime coverage or any other insured benefit;

b)      Result in the guardian paying for services required after school hours that would otherwise be covered by the public                insurance program;

c)       Increase premiums or result in discontinuation of insurance; or

d)      Risk loss of eligibility for home and community-based waivers, based on aggregate health-related expenditures

The District may access a guardian’s private insurance proceeds to provide FAPE to an eligible student only if the guardian provides informed consent to the District (per WAC 392-172A-01040). Whenever the District proposes to access the guardian’s private insurance proceeds, the District shall:

  1. Obtain guardian consent in accordance with Chapter 392-172A-01040 WAC each time the District wishes to access benefits for a new procedure; and
  2. Inform the guardians that their refusal to permit the District to access their insurance does not relieve the District of its responsibility to ensure that all required services are provided at no cost to the guardians.

Before first accessing a guardian’s or student’s public benefits, for the first time and annually after the first notification, the District will provide written notification using the prior written notice provisions under WAC 392-172A-0510(3) that includes:

  1. A statement of the guardian consent provisions;
  2. A statement of the “no-cost” provisions;
  3. A statement that the guardians may withdraw their consent to disclose personally identifiable information to the agency responsible for administering the state’s public benefits or insurance, and
  4. A statement that a guardian’s withdrawal or refusal to consent does not relieve the school District of its responsibility to ensure that all required services are provided at no cost to the guardians.

After providing the required notification, the District will obtain consent pursuant to WAC 392-172A-05225 from the guardian allowing the District to disclose information from the student’s educational records to the agency responsible for administering the state’s public benefits or insurance programs. The consent will specify:

  1. The personally identifiable information that may be disclosed, such as records or information about the services that may be provided to the student;
  2. The purpose of the disclosure;
  3. The agency to which the disclosure will be made; and
  4. That the guardian understands and agrees that the public agency may access the guardian or student’s public benefits or insurance to pay for services under the act.

To avoid the financial cost to guardians who would otherwise consent to use private insurance or public benefits if the guardian would incur a cost such as a deductible or co-pay, the District may use its Part B funds to pay the cost the guardians would incur.

Case managers responsible for providing the required notices and requests for consent to guardians under this section.  The notice provided and consent obtained is captured in the student special education record.

Guardian Participation in Meetings

The District encourages guardian involvement and sharing of information between District and guardians to support the provision of appropriate services to its students. As used in these procedures, the term “parent” includes those listed in WAC 392-172A- 01125.

Guardians (and as appropriate, students) will be provided the opportunity to participate in any meetings with respect to the identification, evaluation, educational placement and provision of a (FAPE), including IEP team meetings, school discipline, and truancy meetings.

When a meeting is scheduled families will be:

  1. Notified of the meeting early enough that they will have an opportunity to participate.
  2. Notified of the availability of interpretation and translation services at no cost to the guardian;
  3. Notified of the purpose, time, and location of the meeting and who will be in attendance.
  4. The guardian will be notified that the District or the guardian may invite others who have knowledge or special expertise of the student; and
  5. The meetings will be scheduled at a mutually agreeable time and place.

The District shall take whatever action is necessary to ensure that the guardian understands the proceedings of the IEP team meeting, including arranging for an interpreter for guardians who are deaf or hard of hearing or whose native language is other than English. The District will maintain documentation of the language in which families prefer to communicate and whether a qualified interpreter for the student’s guardian was provided.

The Case Manager will keep documentation of the information provided and the methods used to notify the guardians of the meeting. The District may proceed with the IEP or placement meeting if the District is not able to convince the guardian to attend. In this case, the District will document its attempts to arrange the meeting. This documentation will include records of telephone calls and the results, copies of correspondence sent to the guardian and/or other means used to contact the guardian.

This documentation will be kept in the student’s special education file.

If the guardian cannot attend the IEP or placement meeting but wishes to participate, the District will arrange for other means to participate. This can include individual or conference phone calls, video or other means of conferencing.

A meeting does not include informal or unscheduled conversations involving District personnel; conversations on issues such as teaching methodology, lesson plans, coordination of service provisions; or preparatory activities that District personnel engage in to develop a proposal or a response to a guardian proposal to be discussed at a later meeting.

Identification and Referral (Child find)

The purpose of child find is to locate, evaluate and identify children with suspected disabilities in need of special education services including those who are not currently receiving special education and related services and who may be eligible for those services.

Activities are to reach:

  1. Children residing in the school District boundaries including preschool-aged children;
  2. Children attending approved, nonprofit private elementary and secondary schools located within the District boundaries.
  3. Highly mobile children (such as homeless, foster care and migrant children);
  4. Children who have a disability and may need special education services even though they are advancing from grade to grade; and
  5. Children at home or homeschooled.

The District will consult with guardians and representatives of approved, nonprofit private school students to ensure its child find activities are comparable in approved, nonprofit private schools located within District boundaries. These consultations will occur annually in person.

The District reaches students who may be eligible for special education services through:

1. Notification to guardians of child find activities in its annual informational packet;

2. Notification to guardians district-wide through local papers or other media;

3. Information regarding child find on the district’s Web site;

4. Notification to private schools located in the district’s boundaries;

5. District informational mailings;

6. Posted notices regarding screening and referral in schools and public locations;

7. Notification and coordination with the designated Part C lead agencies;

8. Early childhood screenings conducted by the district;

9. Coordination with other public and private agencies and practitioners;

10. Written information provided to District staff on referral procedures;

11. Training teachers and administrators on referral/evaluation/identification procedures; and

12. Review of student behavior, discipline and absentee information and information gathered from district-wide assessment activities.

When District staff have concerns that a student may have a suspected disability which could result in eligibility for special education services, they will notify the student referral team in the building where the student is enrolled.

The District special education Child Find team conducts early childhood screenings for three to five years of age. These occur monthly at a designated school site. Screenings are scheduled by calling 253-571-2610. If there are concerns about a child’s development and they are birth to three years of age a referral can be initiated for a Tacoma School District Family Resource Coordinator (FRC) to complete an intake. Birth to three-year-old early intervention referrals can be initiated by calling 253-571-2636.

The screening process involves the following:​​​​​

  1. Guardians are asked to provide information regarding their child’s developmental and health history;
  2. Children are screened in the areas of hearing, vision, cognitive, communication, physical (fine and gross motor), social-emotional and adaptive development. Guardians receive a copy of the screening results at the end of screening appointment. If a child passed all areas of the screening no further screening or assessment is initiated and the guardians are provided information about Tacoma preschool options.  If the screening supports evaluation, the Child Find team will include consent forms with the written notice notifying the guardians of the results.  If the screening results indicate that the child does not need an evaluation, written notice will be sent to the guardians explaining the basis for the district’s decision not to evaluate. Evaluation occurs in accordance with evaluation procedures. 

A student, whether or not enrolled in school, may be referred for a special education evaluation by guardians, District staff or other persons knowledgeable about the student. Each building principal will designate a person responsible for ensuring that District staff understands the referral process and maintain the availability of an optional referral form. Referrals are required to be in writing unless the person referring is unable to write and/or communicate orally.  A person who makes a referral orally should be asked to either make the referral in writing or go to the main office of the building for assistance in making the referral.

When a referral is made, the District must act within a 25 school-day timeline to make a decision about whether or not the student will receive an evaluation for eligibility for special education services.

All certificated employees will document referrals immediately upon a referral being made to or by them. All other staff receiving a referral from another person shall notify the principal and/or school psychologist. The school psychologist:(a) records the referral; (b) provides written notice of the referral to the guardian, and (c) advises the school psychologist to collect and review District data and information provided by the guardian to determine whether an evaluation is warranted.

During the referral period, the special education District staff will collect and review existing information from all sources, including guardians. Examples may include:

1. Child’s history, including developmental milestones;

2. Report cards and progress reports;

3. Individual teacher’s or other provider’s information regarding the child including observations;

4. Assessment data;

5. Medical information, if provided; and

6. Other information that may be relevant to assist in determining whether the child should be evaluated.

If the review of data occurs at a meeting, the guardian will be invited. The school psychologist provides written notice to the guardians of the decision regarding evaluation, whether or not the guardians attend the meeting.

Recommendations regarding evaluation are forwarded to the student services liaison.

After the evaluation team reviews the request for evaluation and supporting data and does not suspect that the child has a disability, the District may deny the request. In this case written notice, including the reason for the denial and the information used as the basis for the denial, must be given to the guardian.

If the determination is that the child should be evaluated, the reviewers will include information about the recommended areas of evaluation, including the need for further medical evaluation of the student. This information will assist the District in providing guardians prior written notice and will assist the District in selecting appropriate evaluation group members. The evaluation team is responsible for notifying guardians of the results using prior written notice. When the determination is that the child will be evaluated, guardian consent for evaluation and consent for release of appropriate records will be sent with the notice.

The school psychologist or evaluator will seek guardian consent to conduct the evaluation. The school District is not required to obtain consent from the biological guardian if:

1. The student is a ward of the state and does not reside with a guardian;

2. The guardian cannot be located, or their rights have been terminated; or

3. Consent for an evaluation is given by an individual appointed to represent the student.

When the guardian provides consent, the District shall select an evaluation group. The evaluation group is to complete the evaluation within 35 school days after the district’s receipt of guardian consent, unless:

1. The guardians and District agree in writing to extending the timeline;

2. The guardian fails or refuses to make the student available for the evaluation; or

3. The student enrolls in another school District after the evaluation is begun but before completion and the guardian and new District have an agreement for completion of the evaluation.

If a guardian does not provide written, informed consent for the evaluation, notify the student services department. District staff will make a determination as to whether it wishes to use mediation to seek agreement to evaluate or file a due process hearing to override the guardian’s refusal to consent. The District may not use mediation or due process to override a guardian’s refusal to consent to an evaluation if the student is homeschooled or is unilaterally placed in a private school. If the guardian does not provide written informed consent and the District does not use mediation or due process, the school psychologist will provide the guardian with prior written notice informing the guardian that the District cannot proceed with the evaluation to determine eligibility and is not responsible for providing special education and related services without an initial evaluation to determine eligibility.

Evaluation and Reevaluation

Evaluation of Students moving from Part C to Part B and Participation in Transition Planning Conferences:

The District will participate in transition planning conferences, arranged by the local lead agency as designee of the Part C lead agency for each student who may be eligible for preschool services. Transition plans will be designed to promote uninterrupted provision of appropriate services to the child.

  1. The Early Childhood Special Education Coordinator will serve as the point of contact with the family resource coordinator for timely execution of transition planning conferences that are arranged at least 90 days before the students’ third birthday by the designee of the Part C agency;
  2. Within 25 school days following the transition planning conference, a determination whether or not to evaluate the student for Part B services will be made; and
  3. The District will follow the procedures for obtaining consent and conducting an initial evaluation, and provide prior written notice of the decision, if it determines that the student will be evaluated to determine eligibility for Part B services.

Evaluation Requirements

The purpose of the evaluation is to collect information about a student’s functional, developmental and academic skills and achievements from a variety of sources, to determine whether a student qualifies for special education and related services, and to develop an IEP. This includes information provided by the guardian. All information gathered in this process is reviewed by the IEP team or other groups of qualified professionals.

The evaluation must be an individual assessment designed to determine:

  1. Whether the student is eligible for special education and any necessary related services; and,
  2. The nature and extent of special education and related services needed by the student, including information related to enabling the child to be involved in and progress in the general education curriculum.

Members of the district’s evaluation team must be knowledgeable about the student and the areas of suspected disabilities. Qualifications of a group member include having the appropriate professional license or certification and may include outside practitioners when necessary. When assessing for specific learning disabilities, the guardian and a group of qualified professionals must be part of the group. If the student requires a medical evaluation in order to determine eligibility, the District will coordinate with the guardians to arrange for the evaluation at District expense or through the use of public or private insurance if the guardian consents to allow the District to use the insurance.

There are many legal requirements for conducting evaluations. Evaluation procedures or materials must be free of racial, cultural or sexual/gender bias and they must be used for the purpose for which they are valid and reliable. Tests must be appropriate for the student’s age and stage of developmental level. Tests should be administered in the native language of the student or conducted in the mode of communication most familiar to the student. If it appears to be clearly not feasible to conduct a procedure or test in the mode of communication most frequently used by the student, the IEP team will contact a special education administrator to develop an individualized strategy for valid evaluation of the student’s skills. The inclusion of guardians in this collaboration is desirable and strongly encouraged.

Specific areas to be included in the evaluation are determined by the Evaluation Team and other qualified professionals, as appropriate, as part of a review of existing data concerning the student. The evaluation does not rely on one source or procedure as the sole criterion for determination and should include:

  1. Review of existing data, including corresponding response to intervention (RTI) documentation;
  2. Relevant functional and developmental information;
  3. Information from guardians;
  4. Information from other providers;
  5. Information related to enabling access to and progress within the general education curriculum and assisting in determining whether there is a disability and the content of the IEP;
  6. Current classroom-based evaluations, using criterion-referenced and curriculum-based methods, anecdotal records and observations;
  7. Teacher and related service providers’ observations; and
  8. Testing and other evaluation materials, which may include medical or other evaluations when necessary.

All current evaluation data, as well as data previously reviewed by the team, must be considered. Professional members of the evaluation group need to be familiar with qualifying disability definitions and criteria in federal and state rules.

This review of existing data may be in the form of a meeting of IEP team members or may be conducted without a meeting. It includes data provided by guardians, data gathered in the general education classroom or from state and District level assessments. The data may provide information about the student’s physical condition, social or cultural background and adaptive behavior.

When additional assessments are necessary, the group members have the responsibility of selecting, administering, interpreting and making judgments about evaluation methods and results, and ensuring that the tests and assessments are administered by qualified personnel in accordance with the instructions of the test producer. The gathering of additional data in combination with existing data must be sufficiently comprehensive to address all areas of the suspected disability and any special education needs, whether linked to the disability category or not. If the IEP team determines that no additional data are needed, the IEP team will notify the student’s guardian of that determination and the reasons for it, and inform them of their right to request additional assessments. The District will complete the evaluation using existing data.

Guardians and District staff are encouraged to work towards consensus, but the school District has the ultimate responsibility to determine whether the student has a disability or not. The evaluation case manager will provide the guardian with prior written notice of the eligibility decision, as well as a copy of the evaluation report. If the guardian disagrees with the eligibility decision they will be informed of their dispute resolution options described in the procedural safeguards.

Specific Learning Disability (SLD)

The District continues to use the severe discrepancy approach for identifying students with an SLD.

Evaluation of Transfer Students

If a student transfers into the school District while an evaluation process is pending from the other district, the school psychologist is responsible for determining the status of evaluations conducted to date and making a determination as to whether the evaluation can be completed within the 35 school day timeline from the date the guardian provided consent. If the determination is that additional time will be needed, the school psychologist will notify the guardian and obtain the guardian’s agreement to establish a new timeline.


The evaluation group and the guardian will determine whether or not the student is a special education student.

  1. A student is not eligible if the determinant factor is lack of appropriate instruction in reading or math, based upon the state’s grade-level expectations or limited English proficiency, and
  2. Eligibility may be determined by documented professional judgment when:

a)       Properly validated tests are unavailable; or

b)      Corroborating evidence indicates that results were influenced due to measuring a disability.

The guardian will be provided with a copy of the evaluation report and the documentation of determination of eligibility.

Guardians will also be provided with prior written notice of the eligibility decision within ten school days of the decision. The evaluation case manager is responsible for sending the notice.

Students remain eligible for special education services until one of three events occur:

  1. The student is determined through a reevaluation to no longer be eligible for special education;
  2. The student has met the district’s high school graduation requirements;
  3. The student has reached age 21. A special education student whose 21st birthday occurs after August 31, shall continue to be eligible for special education and any necessary related services for the remainder of the school year; or
  4. The student no longer receives special education services based upon a guardian’s written revocation of services.

When a special education student is expected to graduate prior to age 21, or when graduation is part of the transition plan, the IEP team will document a student’s progress towards achieving course credits towards graduation on the transition portion of the IEP. The District will provide prior written notice to guardians and adult students that the student is expected to graduate and will no longer be eligible for special education services. The District will also provide the guardians and students with a summary of academic achievement and functional performance and recommendations to assist the student with postsecondary goals.

The District will follow the Graduation Requirements outlined in Policies and Regulation 2410 and 2410R for the Tacoma Public Schools.

Evaluation Report

Each person conducting an assessment of the student will specify the procedures and instruments used and their results and the significance of findings related to the student’s instructional program, including a specification of the factors interfering with performance and the special education and related services needed.

The evaluation group will determine who is most appropriate to develop the evaluation report reflecting the evaluation information. This will be completed before the conclusion of the evaluation period and will, at a minimum:

1. Identify the disability which requires special education and related services, if a disability exists;

2. Discuss assessments and review data supporting conclusions regarding eligibility;

3. Include the additional information required for the specific learning disability eligibility category;

4. Describe how the disability or disabilities affect the student’s involvement and progress in the general curriculum;

5. Make recommendations to the IEP team with respect to special education and related services needed, materials or equipment, instructional and curricular practices, student management strategies, the need for extended school year services beyond 180 school days and location of services;

6. Include other information, as determined through the evaluation process and guardian input;

7. Include the additional information required for the specific learning disability eligibility category;

8. Provide any necessary professional judgments and the facts or reasons in support of the judgments; and

9. Be signed and dated by the evaluation group members certifying their agreement. Any group member who disagrees with the conclusions will prepare a separate statement representing their own conclusion.  The school psychologist is responsible for notifying guardians of the date, time and location of evaluation meetings by following the procedures in the guardian participation section for inviting guardians to meetings. Contacts may be made by phone, letter or email.

A reevaluation of a student receiving special education or related services is conducted if academic achievement and functional performance has improved to warrant a reevaluation if the IEP team suspects that the student may no longer be a student with a disability or if the child’s guardian or teacher requests a reevaluation. A reevaluation does not occur more than once per year unless the guardian and school agree otherwise. A reevaluation must occur at least once every three years unless guardian and school staff agrees that a reevaluation is unnecessary. An agreement that an evaluation is unnecessary shall be confirmed in writing to the guardian. The school psychologist will schedule a review of this determination and notify the special education department.

Students who turn six who met the eligibility requirements for the disability category of “Developmentally Delayed” (DD) under the criteria for ages three to six years need not be reevaluated at age six under the criteria for six to nine years until three years after their initial evaluation was completed.

Students who were previously eligible under the category “Developmentally Delayed” must be reevaluated before age nine to determine eligibility within another category.

As part of any reevaluation, the IEP team members and other professionals the District determines appropriate will review existing data that includes:

1. Evaluations and information provided by the guardians;

2. Observations by other teachers and related services providers data.

Based on this review the team will determine whether any additional data is necessary to determine:

  1. Whether the student continues to be eligible for special education and any necessary related services;
  2. The present levels of performance and educational needs; and
  3. Whether any additions or modifications to the student’s program are needed. This review can occur with or without a meeting or through individual review. If the IEP team members and any other persons reviewing the data determine that no further testing is necessary, the District will notify the guardians of this determination, using written prior notice and will inform guardians that they have the right to request assessments if they disagree with the determination that additional testing is not necessary. Guardian consent is not required if the reevaluation does not require additional testing:

a)       If additional testing is needed, the evaluation case manager will request written guardian consent for reevaluation and provide prior written notice identifying the areas of assessment;

b)      If the guardians do not return the signed consent form, the District shall send another letter explaining the need for reevaluation and guardian consent and will enclose another consent form and a copy of the prior written notice. In addition, the District will document its reasonable attempts to obtain consent such as telephone calls, emails, personal contact with other efforts to obtain consent;

c)       If the guardians do not respond to the request for consent, and the District has documented its reasonable attempts to obtain consent, the District can proceed with the reevaluation; and

d)      If the guardians refuse to consent to the reevaluation, the evaluation group will notify the District student services department so that the District can determine whether it will seek mediation in order to obtain consent or request a due process hearing to ask an administrative judge to override the guardian’s refusal to consent.

After the reevaluation is completed, the evaluation case manager will both invite guardians to the eligibility meeting and will provide prior written notice after the meeting of the results of reevaluation to guardians in their primary language, indicating one or more of the following:

1. Whether the student continues to be eligible and in need of special education;

2. Present levels of performance and educational needs of the student; and

3. Whether any additions or modifications to the special education and related services are needed to enable the student to meet IEP annual goals and to participate, as appropriate, in the general curriculum.

This notice will occur within ten school days of the eligibility decision. The evaluation case manager is responsible for sending the notice.

Reevaluation and Graduation

No reevaluation is required when special education eligibility terminates due to graduation from high school with a regular diploma or due to reaching the end of the school year during which the student turned 21. Instead, the District will provide prior written notice to the student and the guardian within one month before the student’s anticipated last day of school and the IEP team will provide the student with a summary of academic achievement and functional performance including recommendations on how to assist the student in meeting post-secondary goals.  The IEP case manager is responsible for assuring that the IEP team completes the summary of academic achievement and functional performance.

Independent Educational Evaluations (IEE)

Guardians of students eligible for special education, students referred for special education and determined to not be eligible or students determined not to need an evaluation have a right to obtain an IEE at public expense, each time the District conducts an evaluation of the student.

When guardians request an IEE, the District must decide within 15 calendar days whether or not it agrees to provide it. Any guardian request for an independent evaluation should be immediately referred to the District special education department. A special education administrator shall review the request and determine whether or not the request is warranted. If the District agrees to provide an IEE, arrangements will be made promptly. If the District denies the request to pay for an IEE, it must file for a due process hearing within 15 calendar days of the guardian’s request. The District may request mediation as an option after filing the due process hearing. If the guardians withdraw their request for an IEE, the due process hearing can be dismissed.

When a guardian requests an IEE, the District must provide guardians a list of District criteria and evaluators. If the school District initiates a hearing and a decision is made that the district’s evaluation is appropriate, the guardian still has the right to an IEE but not at public expense. A guardian is only entitled to one IEE at public expense each time the District conducts an evaluation with which the guardian disagrees.

If the guardian obtains an IEE at either public or private expense, any results of the IEE must be considered by the District if providing FAPE. The IEE may also be presented as evidence at a hearing regarding the student.

The following criteria are established for the selection of an individual to conduct an IEE at public expense. These criteria are established in order to identify the knowledge, experience, and qualifications of individuals selected to conduct the evaluations. Any individual selected to conduct either a District evaluation or an IEE must be:

  1. Licensed, credentialed or otherwise qualified within the state of Washington or state of residence/practice to perform an evaluation in the specific professional discipline for which an independent evaluation is sought;
  2. Knowledgeable and experienced in evaluating children with similar disabilities;
  3. Geographically located within the state of Washington; and
  4. Available to the District at a maximum fee which does not exceed by more than 25% the prevailing average for similar evaluations within the state of Washington.

Exceptions to the criteria will be granted only when it can be shown that the unique circumstances of the child or the disability:

  1. Make it impossible to identify anyone within the state of Washington who holds the appropriate credentials or experience necessary to conduct the evaluation; or
  2. Require a specialized evaluator whose fee exceeds the prevailing average by more than 25%; or
  3. Include factors which would warrant an exception in order to obtain an appropriate evaluation.
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