Evaluation Process

Pre-Referral Process (RtI /before consideration of a Special Education Evaluation) 
Cedar Springs Public Schools offers a continuum of interventions and services for students who are having difficulty with learning or behavior. Education Management Teams (EMT) are in place in each building throughout CSPS. The EMT assists with intervention planning for students who are not making expected progress. Interventions are implemented and data is collected around the student’s response to those interventions. When a student does not respond adequately to additional interventions, the student may be referred to the Child Study/Diagnostic Team for a special education evaluation. Referrals typically are made by the Educational Management Team.
When a special education referral has been made, CSPS has a full diagnostic staff that conducts evaluations to determine if students meet eligibility for special education services. Parents may also request in writing, an evaluation be completed if there is suspicion their student may have a disability. For school or parent initiated referrals, a signed parental permission is necessary, and an Individualized Education Program (IEP) is conducted within 30 days of the initial consent from parent(s). When a student qualifies for special education support, a wide variety of programs and services are available, based upon the individual needs of the student.

Procedures for Determination of a Specific Learning Disability (SLD)Top of Page

This notice is designed to comply with the current State of Michigan requirement that each local school district publish its procedure for determining whether a student has, or continues to have, a specific learning disability. A specific learning disability (SLD) is defined in law as a disorder in one or more of the basic psychological processes involved in understanding or in using language, spoken or written, that may manifest itself in the imperfect ability to listen, think, speak read, write, spell or do mathematical calculations, including conditions such as perceptual disabilities, brain injury, minimal brain dysfunction, dyslexia, and developmental aphasia that adversely affects a student’s educational performance. A SLD does not include learning problems that are primarily the result of visual, hearing, or motor disabilities; mental retardation; emotional disturbance; or of environmental, cultural, or economic disadvantage.
Cedar Springs Public Schools will use a Pattern of Strengths and Weaknesses model to determine whether a student exhibits a SLD in the areas of oral expression, listening comprehension, written expression, basic reading skill, reading fluency skills, reading comprehension, mathematics calculation, and mathematics problem solving. The determination of a SLD will be based upon multiple sources of information which including parent input; classroom teacher input; intervention plans, individually administered tests of academic achievement and intellectual development; classroom observation; student performance on State-approved grade-level standards; and other sources of information required by law or deemed pertinent by the evaluation team. A multidisciplinary evaluation team (MET) consisting of a certified teacher, a certified school psychologist, and possibly other members determined to be critical to the process, will prepare a written report documenting its analysis of the data gathered and its recommendation regarding SLD certification. That recommendation shall be based on whether the student exhibits a pattern of strengths and weaknesses in performance, achievement, or both, relative to age, State-approved grad-level standards, or intellectual development that is determined by the MET to be indicative of a SLD. The procedures outlined in this notice will be implemented in a manner consistent with all applicable Federal regulations and State rules regarding the evaluation and identification of specific learning disabilities.