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Evaluation Team Report: Components & Uses in Special Education

Instructor: Heather Turner

Heather has taught for 10 years as a lead special education teacher and Educational Diagnostician for a district. She has a doctorate in Curriculum Studies.

An evaluation team report contains many useful parts for special education teachers. This lesson will review the typical components and discuss ways to use the information.

Sections of an Evaluation Report and the Uses

Mrs. Curl is a special education teacher who is attending her first eligibility meeting. In this meeting, the school psychologist reviewed an evaluation report for Robert, a student who is qualifying for special education services. While listening to the report, Mrs. Curl realized she can use most of the sections to help her write an Individualized Education Plan (IEP) and plan for Robert's instruction.

Background Information/Case History

The first section of the report covered background information on Robert. Robert's parents completed a survey, which provided information covering his birth and health records as a child. Robert had a healthy delivery and was born at 39 weeks. No major complications occurred, and he has had optimal health since birth. He currently lives with his mother and father and has one younger sister.

The next part of the background information, or case history, tells more information regarding Robert's school history. Information such as noted academic and behavioral difficulties and current interventions are listed. For example, Robert is in the second grade and repeated Kindergarten. The school and parents decided to retain Robert after he did not progress in identifying letters and producing corresponding sounds. Reading and writing are noted as his main areas of underachievement. As an intervention, Robert has received small group instruction using a researched-based reading program for developing letter and sound knowledge three times a week.

Uses for Background Information

Mrs. Curl plans to take the information gained from this section of the report and use it to determine the services and instructional strategies to use for Robert. Since he is significantly behind his peers and had small group instruction for his low reading performance, she will use this as evidence to support small group services with a special education teacher. Furthermore, the instructional program that Robert is using depends on visuals and movement. Therefore, Mrs. Curl plans to use similar types of instructional strategies for his reading.

Testing Results

The next section of the evaluation report explains Robert's testing results. The school psychologist conducted different types of exams to analyze Robert's cognitive, processing, and social-emotional abilities. Cognitive tests look at thinking and reasoning ability. These are typically reported as Intelligence Quotient (IQ) scores. Processing assessments are those that analyze how a student learns information. These tests will determine if a student has a strength or weakness in areas such as: short-term memory, long-term memory, working memory, phonological awareness, processing speed, visual, auditory, and executive functioning. Academic tests analyze how a student performs on academic tests compared to his or her peers. Social-emotional testing provides data on a child's social, emotional and behavioral state.

For Robert, the testing revealed that he has average intelligence with processing weakness in short-term and visual memory. He demonstrates a process strength in auditory skills. His academic tests show a significant discrepancy between his reading and math ability. He performs in the average or above average range for math calculation and math reasoning; however, Robert was in the below average range for reading areas.

Uses for Testing Results

Mrs. Curl uses the testing results to select instructional strategies and accommodations. For example, since Robert struggles with visual and short-term memory but has a strength in auditory skills, she plans to use a reading program that has music associated with the letter names and sounds. In addition, she plans on using movement and song for learning sight words. She records that Robert needs information presented orally as a part of his instructional accommodations.

Summary

The conclusion of the report contains a summary of all the testing information. It is a great place to look for the most important data revealed during the testing session. Often, this section will specify if the student has a medical diagnosis, processing deficit, and/or an academic deficit.

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