Procedures for Identifying Students with Specific Learning Disabilities(34 CFR §300.307; USBE SER II.J.10.b.(1))
LEAs may use one of the following four methods to determine eligibility under the Specific Learning Disabilities category. Each LEA is responsible to identify the method for use in the LEA, obtain local School Board approval, and create guidance in the LEA’s policies and procedures manual.
A. Response to Intervention (RtI)
RtI is a process based on the student’s response to scientific, research-based intervention which shows the student does not make sufficient progress to meet age or State-approved grade-level standards in one or more of the areas identified on page three (the team must refer to the USBE Specific Learning Disability Eligibility Guidelines when using this method).
B. Combination of RtI and Discrepancy
The Combination of RtI and Discrepancy is a dual process based on the student’s response to scientific, research-based intervention AND the identification that the student’s scores demonstrate that a severe discrepancy exists between the student’s achievement and intellectual ability in one or more of the areas identified on page three.
C. Alternative Research-Based Method
The Alternate Method is a research-based procedure (i.e., Patterns of Strengths and Weaknesses [PSW]) approved by the LEA’s school board and submitted to the USBE that demonstrates the student does not make sufficient progress to meet State-approved age- or grade-level standards in one or more of the areas identified on page three (the team must refer to the USBE Specific Learning Disability Eligibility Guidelines when using this method).
A comprehensive evaluation and analysis of data is required for all SLD eligibility methods. Teams should describe and document multiple lines of evidence used in the determination of eligibility. All components of the evaluation process must be carefully considered, discussed with the parent(s) or adult student, and documented. The LEA’s chosen method for determining eligibility for SLD should be clearly defined and include a system of curriculum, instruction, intervention, and assessment that incorporates the required components for the chosen method.
Training needs are implemented at the LEA level based on the model the LEA has identified in its policies and procedures manual. LEAs should ensure that multi-disciplinary teams are adequately trained in the process identified for use in the LEA and should consider a system of training that includes the following components:
§ A system of ongoing supports and professional development that includes leadership, problem-solving teams, data management systems, coaching, and collaboration.
§ A system to monitor the fidelity of implementation of the process including instruction, intervention, referral, and eligibility determination.