IDENTIFICATION OF SPECIFIC LEARNING DISABILITIES - Regulations

5. Specify documentation required for the eligibility determination.

For a child suspected of having a specific learning disability, the documentation of the determination of eligibility, as required in 34 CFR 300.306(a)(2), must contain a statement of:
  • Whether the child has a specific learning disability;
  • The basis for making the determination, including an assurance that the determination has been made in accordance with 34 CFR 300.306(c)(1);
  • The relevant behavior, if any, noted during the observation of the child and the relationship of that behavior to the child’s academic functioning;
  • The educationally relevant medical findings, if any;
  • Whether the child does not achieve adequately for the child’s age or to meet State-approved grade-level standards consistent with 34 CFR 300.309(a)(1); and the child does not make sufficient progress to meet age or State-approved grade-level standards consistent with 34 CFR 300.309(a)(2)(i); or the child exhibits a pattern of strengths and weaknesses in performance, achievement, or both, relative to age, State-approved grade level standards or intellectual development consistent with 34 CFR 300.309(a)(2)(i); or the child exhibits a pattern of strengths and weaknesses in performance, achievement, or both, relative to age, State-approved grade-level standards or intellectual development consistent with 34 CFR 300.309(a)(2)(ii);
  • The determination of the group concerning the effects of a visual, hearing, or motor disability; mental retardation; emotional disturbance; cultural factors; environmental or economic disadvantage; or limited English proficiency on the child’s achievement level; and
  • If the child has participated in a process that assesses the child’s response to scientific, research-based intervention:
    • The instructional strategies used and the student-centered data collected; and
    • The documentation that the child’s parents were notified about: (1) the State’s policies regarding the amount and nature of student performance data that would be collected and the general education services that would be provided; (2) strategies for increasing the child’s rate of learning; and (3) the parents’ right to request an evaluation.
Each group member must certify in writing whether the report reflects the member’s conclusion. If it does not reflect the member’s conclusion, the group member must submit a separate statement presenting the member’s conclusions.
[34 CFR 300.311] [20 U.S.C. 1221e-3; 1401(30); 1414(b)(6)]

Dialogue Starter - Cross-stakeholder

Reaction Questions

  1. From your perspective, does this new provision for measuring achievement in relation to the child’s age or to meet State-approved grade-level standards mean doing more or working differently in schools?


  2. From your perspective, how will education evaluations within an RTI framework compare with those currently provided through special education eligibility determination?


  3. When you think of current programs and services, can you provide some examples of documentation which now exist at the various grade levels (e.g., early elementary, intermediate, middle, high school) that may be used as data for SLD decision-making?


Application Questions

  1. What new knowledge and skills will be needed to ensure consistent and accurate documentation of monitoring of student progress?


  2. Do you know what process, methods, and measures are in place that can be used by the district/school to identify students’ achievement levels and the need for scientific research-based interventions?
    • Is there a need to create processes and procedures?
    • If so, what might be involved in creating a functional process?


  3. How will a process be set in place to collect and report the data required? What personnel development will be required to accomplish this?

    These questions were developed by the following stakeholders working together:
    Role: Policymaker
    Location: Arizona

    Role: Special Education Administrator
    Location: California

    Role: Educational Consultant
    Location: Florida

    Role: General Education Administrator
    Location: Illinois

    Role: Family Member
    Location: Indiana

    Role: Higher Education
    Location: Indiana

    Role: Service Provider
    Location: Kentucky

    Role: Related Service Provider
    Location: Maryland *

    Role: Family Member
    Location: North Carolina

    Role: TA Provider
    Location: California