IEP-CSE Checklists (Illinois version)

IEP-CSE Checklists (Illinois law version)

  • Special Education Process
  • IEP Participant Checklist


IEP/CSE Process in a Nutshell (Illinois law version)

I. Referral for Initial Case Study Evaluation (“CSE”) Made

A. A referral for a Case Study Evaluation may be made for any child suspected of having a disability. Every school district must develop and make known to all concerned persons procedures by which an evaluation may be made.

B. A request may be made by a parent of a child, or by an employee of the school district, the Illinois State Board of Education, another State agency, or a community service agency.

C. Parent is defined as a natural, adoptive, or foster parent; A guardian (but not the State if the child is a ward of the State.); An individual acting in the place of a natural or adoptive parent (including a grandparent, stepparent, or other relative) with whom the child lives), or an individual who is legally responsible for the child’s welfare; or an individual assigned by the State Board of Education as a “surrogate” parent.

D. Parental safeguards notification should always be provided to parents upon initial referral.

II. District Decides Whether to Conduct CSE

A. The school district must decide whether or not to conduct the CSE. They may use screening data and conduct preliminary procedures to assist in making this determination. If they decide not to conduct a CSE, the district must notify the parents, in writing, and explain their reasoning. A parent may request a due process hearing to contest the district’s refusal to conduct the CSE.

B. Within 14 school days after receiving a request for an evaluation, the district shall determine whether an evaluation is warranted. The district shall ensure that notification of that determination is transmitted to the parents within the 14- school-day time frame.

C. Parental consent for initial CSE required prior to CSE. The date consent is signed starts the 60 school day timeline. If a parent refuses to provide consent to an initial CSE, the district may, but is not obligated to use the due process procedures to override lack of consent.

D. “Consent” is defined to acknowledge that parents can revoke consent, but such revocation is not retroactive. Revocation of consent can be done either verbally or in writing. If done verbally, the district must confirm the request in writing by letter to the parents within five days.

E. If a child is a ward of the State and is not residing with the child’s parent, the school district shall make “reasonable efforts” to obtain the informed consent from the parent of the child for an initial evaluation. However, the district is not required to obtain consent from the parent if the district cannot discover the parent’s whereabouts, following “reasonable efforts,” the parent’s rights have been terminated or “the parental right to make educational decisions has been subrogated by a judge and given to an individual appointed by the judge to represent the child.”

III. Initial Evaluations

A. The initial evaluation will be conducted within 60 school days of receiving parental consent.

B. The relevant time frame does not apply if the child transfers to another district prior to the completion of the evaluation. In such cases, the school district has to make sufficient progress to ensure a prompt completion of the evaluation and the parent and the new school district shall agree on a specific time the evaluation shall be completed. In addition, if the parent repeatedly fails to produce the child for the evaluation, the relevant time frame does not apply.

C. When a student is referred for an evaluation with less than 60 school days left in the school year, eligibility must be determined and, if necessary, an IEP developed prior to the first day of the next school year.

IV. CSE Conducted and Conference Held To Determine Eligibility

A. Group of qualified professionals and the parent of the child must determine whether the child is a child with a disability. A separate written statement may be provided by a team participant who wishes to be on record as disagreeing with the conclusions of the team.

B. The school district must provide a copy of the IEP report from the conference to determine eligibility at the conclusion of the team’s meeting.

C. In addition, the district shall provide to the parent within 10 school days[1] after the meeting, written notice as to the eligibility determination reached.

D. If the parent disagrees with the district’s evaluation, the parent may request an independent evaluation at public expense. If the district feels their evaluation was appropriate and they do not want to pay for an independent evaluation the district must file for due process to show its evaluation is appropriate. A parent is only entitled to one independent evaluation at public expense each time the school district conducts an evaluation with which the parent disagrees.

E. If an independent evaluation is conducted at public expense, the district shall send a notice convening the IEP team meeting within 10 days of receiving the report of the evaluation.

V. Initial Special Education Eligibility Determined

A. Eligibility is determined by a majority of team members. If a determination is made that a child has a disability and needs special education services, an Individualized Education Plan (“IEP”) must be developed for the child.

B. The existence of a Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (“DSM”) disability will not necessarily mean the child has a special education disability, unless the disability impacts the child’s education.

VI. Initial IEP Developed by IEP Team

A. If the child is eligible for special education service under a disability category, then an IEP is drafted. The IDEA requires that specific individuals be present at the IEP team including the parent, a regular education teacher, a special education teacher an individual from the school district capable of making decisions and committing district resources.

B. The State Regulations mandate that an IEP meeting must be held within “30 days” of the determination of eligibility.

C. As soon as possible following the development of the IEP, special education and related services should be made available to the child according to the child’s IEP.

VII. Initial Special Education Placement Decision Made

A. Placement is considered by the team, which includes the parents, and the placement decision must be based on IEP goals and objectives.

B. Placement must be made as soon as possible after the determination of eligibility and need for such placement, but in no case should placement occur later than the beginning of the next school semester.

C. The school district must wait 10 days before placement may occur, although parents may waive this waiting period.

D. The school district must obtain informed consent from the parent of a child before providing the initial provisions of special education and related services to the child. If the parent refuses to consent for services the district may not use mediation or due process procedures in order to obtain agreement or a ruling that services may be provided to the child.

VIII. Annual Review of IEP

A. A review of the IEP must be held at least annually to determine whether annual goals for the child are being achieved..

B. 10-day parental notification required for all IEP meetings, or a record of reasonable attempts to notify parent required by the district prior to any IEP meeting. Parents may waive 10-day notice.

C. A parent may request an IEP meeting at anytime (within reason) if desired. The district has 10 days after receipt of such a request to either agree to convene the meeting or notify the parents in writing of its refusal.

IX. Three-Year Reevaluation

A. A reevaluation of the student may be conducted at anytime, but must be conducted at least every three years.

B. A reevaluation may not occur more than once a year, however, unless both the parent and school district agree otherwise.

C. A reevaluation must occur at least every three years, unless the parent and school district agree that a reevaluation is unnecessary.

D. Parental consent must be obtained for any reevaluation. If the parent refuses to consent the school district, may, but is not required, to pursue the reevaluation through the mediation or due process procedures previously mentioned to override consent. If the district can demonstrate that it made reasonable efforts to obtain consent, but the child’s parent failed to respond, then informed parental consent is not required in order to conduct the reevaluation.

E. The domain determinations completed for initial evaluations must also be conducted for reevaluations.

X. Transfer Students

A. If a child with a disability transfers from a school district from within the same State, the new district must provide a free and appropriate public school district (“FAPE”), including services comparable to those described in the child’s IEP, until the district either adopts the previous district’s IEP or develops, Adopts AND implements a new IEP. If the child is from another district within the state, the receiving district may adopt the IEP developed by the prior school district without an IEP meeting if the parent indicates satisfaction with the IEP and the district feels the IEP is appropriate. If the district does not adopt the former IEP and seeks to develop a new IEP, then within 10 days after the date of enrollment the district must provide written notice to the parent including the proposed date of the IEP meeting. While the new IEP is under development, the district shall implement the services comparable to those described in the IEP from the former district.

B. If a child with a disability transfers from a school district from another State, the new district must provide a free and appropriate public school district (“FAPE”), including services comparable to those described in the child’s IEP, until the district conducts an evaluation pursuant to the applicable procedures and develops, adopts and implements a new IEP, if appropriate. In other words, if the child transfers from out of state, the district must conduct an evaluation of the child.

XI. Miscellaneous

A. The IDEA requires prior written notice to parents whenever a district proposes to change, or refuses to change, a child’s evaluation, identification, placement or the provision of the free and appropriate public education (“FAPE”) program.

B. Parents are entitled to request a due process hearing whenever they have a complaint regarding the evaluation, identification, placement, or the provision of FAPE of the child.

C. Parents must be notified of the student’s progress toward IEP goals as regularly as non-disabled students are notified of progress.

D. At any time after the annual IEP review, the parent and school district can agree not to convene an IEP meeting to make an amendment to the child’s IEP and instead may develop a written document to amend of modify the child’s current IEP.

E. The new IDEA establishes a two-year statute of limitations for filing a due process hearing following the date the parent or district knew or should have known of a violation.

Checklist of Required IEP Team Members

The following participants are required for a valid IEP team meeting:

  • The parents of a child with a disability (or guardian/surrogate);
  • At least one regular education teacher of such child (-if the child is, or may be, participating in the regular education environment);
  • At least one special education teacher, or where appropriate, at least one special education provider of such child;
  • A representative of the local educational agency who is qualified to provide, or supervise the provision of, specially designed instruction, is knowledgeable about the general education curriculum, and is knowledgeable about the availability of resources of the LEA;
  • An individual who can interpret the instructional implications of evaluation results who may be a member of the team described in the roles of other individuals;
  • At the discretion of the parent or agency, other individuals who have knowledge or special expertise regarding the child, including related services personnel as appropriate **; and
  • Where appropriate, the child with the disability (attendance of minor child totally within discretion of parent or guardian). If a purpose of the IEP meeting will be the consideration of post-secondary goals for the child and the transition services needed to assist the child to reach those goals, then the school district must invite the child.

** Please note: Related services (i.e.: Occupational Therapy, Physical Therapy, Counseling, Adapted Physical Education) personnel are not required to attend IEP meetings. However, if a child with a disability has an identified need for related services, it would be appropriate for the related services personnel to attend the meeting or otherwise be involved in developing the IEP.

[1] The Illinois regulations define the federal term, “reasonable time” as ten days. 23 IL ADM CODE 226.520.