The teacher engages in ongoing professional learning and uses evidence to continually evaluate his/her practice, particularly the effects of his/her choices and actions on others (learners, families, other professionals, and the community), and adapts practice to meet the needs of each learner.

Vickie Collins-Libby

SPE 350

Artifact: Standard #9 Professional Learning and Ethical Practice

Maine Common Core Teaching Standard: #9

Artifact Description and Connection to Maine Common Core Teaching Standard:

During this Special Education Law assignment we had to research the Pre-referral and Referral Process for the Special Education Case Study 4.1 Jon. This engaged us as future teachers in an ongoing learning practice to meet the needs of learners. We developed research skills as we learned about the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. In this case we had to determine whether the LEA followed the law or not in their referral process, and whether it was legal for the school district to perform DIBELS without the parents consent.


This artifact taught us how to research for a special education case study by examining the laws of IDEA, and documenting specific applicable sections. We also learned about the process of this students evaluation for a learning disability, his IEP, parental consent, and eligibility determinations. This was a learning experience that I think was important to learn about because teachers are an important part of IEP team’s in schools and I could be part of one some day.

Chapter 4: Pre-referral and Referral Process

Case 4.1 Jon

IDEA, Part B website:

Answer the following questions:

Legal Issues:

  1. How does the Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act address eligibility for a learning disability?  Did the LEA follow the law in Jon’s case?  How do you know?
  • The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (2004) addresses eligibility for a learning disability in Subpart D Section 300.01, 300.304-300.306 and 300.308. Eligibility is determined through an appropriate evaluation process. There are two ways a person can be eligible for a learning disability:
  • Through the Traditional Discrepancy Model in which a learning disability has been determined through cognitive and academic testing.
  • Or through Response to Intervention (RTI) which only requires documentation that the student has been unable to respond to appropriate mainstream interventions that have been provided in the classroom and should be related to an underlying cognitive processing issue.

  • Yes, the LEA did follow the law in this case. The student was identified through the Response to Intervention process listed above. It is clear from the description in this case that the LEA used the RTL to identify Jon in the following ways:
  • First: The LEA performed an assessment (DIBELS) test.
  • Second: The LEA implemented a special program for Jon, met twice within 60 days and retested.
  • Third: The LEA then decided to refer Jon for an evaluation. 
  • Fourth: Jon’s mother met with the special education administrator for Jon’s school and signed the evaluation consent form.
  • Fifth: After the evaluation, the team agreed that Jon had a learning disability and drafted an IEP to be implemented in the 1st-grade classroom by the Special Education teacher at the next school year. The mother was pleased with the program.
  • Subpart D: Evaluations, Eligibility Determinations, Individualized Education Programs, and Educational Programs
    • Sec. 300.307 – Specific Learning Disabilities
  • At what point did the team refer Jon for a special education evaluation?  Should the district have requested parental consent before administering DIBELS?  Why or why not?
  • The team referred Jon for a special education evaluation after the RTI (16 weeks). 
  • No, according to IDEA Subpart D Section 300.302 the district was not required to have parental consent for DIBELS. The section explains this as: The screening of a student by a teacher or specialist to determine appropriate instructional strategies for curriculum implementation shall not be considered to be an evaluation for eligibility for special education and related services. DIBELS is an assessment screening not an evaluation. Therefore, the district did not need to seek parental consent prior to administering DIBELS.

Some ideas for helping you answer the question:


  • Subpart D: Evaluations, Eligibility Determinations, Individualized Education Programs, and Educational Programs
    • Sec. 300.307 – Specific Learning Disabilities
    • Sec. 300.300 – Parental Consent
    • Sec. 300.302 – Screening for instructional purposes is not evaluation