Before any action is taken with respect to the initial placement of an individual with exceptional needs in special education instruction, an individual assessment of the pupil's educational needs shall be conducted, by qualified persons, in accordance with requirements including, but not limited to, all of the following:
(a) Testing and assessment materials and procedures used for the purposes of assessment and placement of individuals with exceptional needs are selected and administered so as not to be racially, culturally, or sexually discriminatory. Pursuant to Section 1412(a)(6)(B) of Title 20 of the United States Code, the materials and procedures shall be provided in the pupil's native language or mode of communication, unless it is clearly not feasible to do so.
(b) Tests and other assessment materials meet all of the following requirements:
(1) Are provided and administered in the language and form most likely to yield accurate information on what the pupil knows and can do academically, developmentally, and functionally, unless it is not feasible to so provide or administer as required by Section 1414(b)(3)(A)(ii) of Title 20 of the United States Code.
(2) Are used for purposes for which the assessments or measures are valid and reliable.
(3) Are administered by trained and knowledgeable personnel and are administered in accordance with any instructions provided by the producer of the assessments, except that individually administered tests of intellectual or emotional functioning shall be administered by a credentialed school psychologist.
(c) Tests and other assessment materials include those tailored to assess specific areas of educational need and not merely those that are designed to provide a single general intelligence quotient.
(d) Tests are selected and administered to best ensure that when a test administered to a pupil with impaired sensory, manual, or speaking skills produces test results that accurately reflect the pupil's aptitude, achievement level, or any other factors the test purports to measure and not the pupil's impaired sensory, manual, or speaking skills unless those skills are the factors the test purports to measure.
(e) Pursuant to Section 1414(b)(2)(B) of Title 20 of the United States Code, no single measure or assessment is used as the sole criterion for determining whether a pupil is an individual with exceptional needs or determining an appropriate educational program for the pupil.
(f) The pupil is assessed in all areas related to the suspected disability including, if appropriate, health and development, vision, including low vision, hearing, motor abilities, language function, general intelligence, academic performance, communicative status, self-help, orientation and mobility skills, career and vocational abilities and interests, and social and emotional status. A developmental history shall be obtained, when appropriate. For pupils with residual vision, a low vision assessment shall be provided in accordance with guidelines established pursuant to Section 56136. In assessing each pupil under this article, the assessment shall be conducted in accordance with Sections 300.304 and 300.305 of Title 34 of the Code of Federal Regulations.
(g) The assessment of a pupil, including the assessment of a pupil with a suspected low incidence disability, shall be conducted by persons knowledgeable of that disability. Special attention shall be given to the unique educational needs, including, but not limited to, skills and the need for specialized services, materials, and equipment consistent with guidelines established pursuant to Section 56136.
(h) As part of an initial assessment, if appropriate, and as part of any reassessment under Part B of the federal Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (20 U.S.C. Sec. 1400 et seq.) and this part, the group that includes members of the individualized education program team, and other qualified professionals, as appropriate, shall follow the procedures specified in Section 1414(c) of Title 20 of the United States Code. The group may conduct its review without a meeting.
(i) Each local educational agency shall ensure that assessments of individuals with exceptional needs who transfer from one district to another district in the same academic year are coordinated with the individual's prior and subsequent schools, as necessary and as expeditiously as possible, in accordance with Section 1414(b)(3)(D) of Title 20 of the United States Code, to ensure prompt completion of the full assessment.
(Amended by Stats. 2007, Ch. 56, Sec. 38.)
Education Code 56136
34 CFR 300.304
34 CFR 300.305