The Special Education Process

An overview of the process to obtain Special Education Services for a child:

Activity Timeline
Initial Referral or Request for Assessment sent to the school by the parent, school staff or community members. Can be done at anytime.
Assessment Plan given to parent by the school. Within 15 days of initial referral.
Parent signs and returns Assessment Plan to the school. Within 15 days of receiving the plan
The school does the assessment. Within 60 days of receiving the Assessment Plan signed by the Parent.
The IEP Meeting is held and the plan is developed. The meeting place and time should be mutually agreed too. Within the same 60 days for the assessment by the school.
The IEP Plan begins. As soon as possible.
IEP annual review. One year from the date of the first IEP meeting.
Three year IEP review. This review includes a new assessment prior to the IEP meeting. Three years from the date of the first IEP meeting.
Request for review of IEP. Either the parent or the school can make the request. At anytime.
IEP review meeting is held. No change to the IEP plan, in most cases, can be made without holding a review IEP meeting. Within 30 days of the written request.


All references to “days” mean calendar days.

Days between school terms (summer vacation), school years, and days of vacation, which are longer than 5 days are not included in the time limits.

All notices, referrals and requests must be in writing. Parents should keep copies of all such items.