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at 515-281-8661 or nicole.proesch@iowa.gov.
BOOK: 18 
DECISION: 034 
MONTH-YEAR: November - 1999
IN RE: In re Toni B.
APPELLANT: Winterset Community School District
APPELLEE: Ray and Barbara B.
KEYWORDS: Special Education/Evaluation
FULL TEXT: Not available on website 
DETAILS: Tony B was a second grade student in the Winterset Community School District.  His enrollment apparently occurred following a letter sent by the school principal to the parents. Tony was enrolled in kindergarten at age 7. Tonys kindergarten teacher indicated that he could benefit from additional help outside the classroom with regard to speech development and his skills in the areas of math and language readiness. Tonys mother refused reading services for the 1998-99 school year. Tony was enrolled in regular education classes, but there were numerous contacts made during this school year trying to get permission to provide additional assistance. Despite the numerous attempts to assist Tony, his parents refused them all and withdrew him from the elementary attendance center on October 15, 1999.
  The key issue in these proceedings is whether the LEA and AEA should be allowed to proceed with a comprehensive evaluation of Tony without the consent of his parents.  Such an evaluation does not mean that student will automatically be determined to require special education. The primary question was the extent to which the Appellants have demonstrated adequately that Tony was struggling in his school program to such an extent that he was likely to face failure in critical areas unless the school explored other supports needed to help with his needs.
  The parents were not present nor were they represented at this hearing. They had been properly notified. A second element delaying this matter is the weighing of the consequences versus the extent to which the situation warranted an evaluation. The conducting of an evaluation does not in any way mean that Tony would be "placed" into special education.
  In relation to Tonys homeschooling status, the following should be noted.  While it would be inappropriate to deny the option of homeschooling to Tony and his parents, this change of location and circumstances of instatuciton does not negate the relevance of the question being posed. The information gained in a comprehensive evaluation of Tonys needs were potentially critical in planning to meet his needs whether this was done at a local attendance center or in his home.
  Appellants prevailed in this matter.  Winterset Community School District and AEA 11 were ordered to proceed with a comprehensive evaluation.  Every effort should be made to actively engage his parents in the process.
OUTCOMES: N/A