Clarification on triennial evaluations of students with disabilities

The federal IDEA and Maine’s special education regulations require a reevaluation of a child with a disability if the school administrative unit (SAU) determines that the educational or related service needs of the child, including those related to improved academic achievement and functional performance, warrant a reevaluation or if the child’s parent or teacher requests one. This general requirement is subject to two further requirements related to the frequency of reevaluations:

  1. They shall not be done more frequently than yearly, unless the parent and the SAU agree otherwise; and
  2. They shall be done at least every three years, unless the parent and the SAU agree that a reevaluation is unnecessary. [MUSER, Section V.1(B)(1) and (2)]

SAUs must not waive triennial evaluations as a routine practice; rather, the language of the regulations clearly points to the individualized nature of this decision by the parent and SAU. Absent this, SAUs should ensure that triennial evaluations are conducted in order that the most current assessments of the child’s strengths, needs and progress are available to the IEP team for their informed decision-making on appropriate programming for the child, in the least restrictive setting.

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3 thoughts on “Clarification on triennial evaluations of students with disabilities

  1. Clarification and transparency on this point was refreshing to read. Being reminded on this point was good for me as an advocate for my students. Although a standard point, perhaps not always followed to the letter within every district here in Maine?
    My school district does a good job with this already…

  2. Sometimes when we get questions from the field, or find something from monitoring that needs clarification, we release responses through a dispatch.

    Roberta Lucas
    Maine DOE Federal Program Coordinator

  3. What prompted the DOE to post this announcement? Re-evaluation requirements are standard operating procedure known to all special education directors.

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