In response to many questions we have received from private practitioners, we offer this information in the hope that we can be of assistance to you when providing valuable consultations and/or evaluations to your clients. If you have other questions not covered here, please feel free to call our offices at: 386-734-7190 (DeLand Administration, ask for School Psychological Services Office) or 386-255-6475 (East Volusia County area).
1. Which intellectual assessments are acceptable and most commonly used when determining eligibility for ESE services?
- Bayley Scales of Infant Development
- Cattell Infant Intelligence Scale
- Differential Ability Scales (DAS)
- Leiter International Performance Scale - Revised
- McCarthy Scales of Children's Abilities
- Stanford-Binet: 5th Edition
- Wechsler scales (WISC-IV, WPPSI-III, WAIS-III)
- Raven's Progressive Matrices - Revised
- Kaufman Assessment Battery for Children: Second Edition
2. Which achievement assessments* are acceptable and most commonly used when determining eligibility for ESE services?
- Bracken Basic Concept Scales
- Diagnostic Achievement Battery
- Gray Oral Reading Test-3 (GORT-3)
- Key Math - Revised
- Kaufman Survey of Early Academic and Language Skills (K-SEALS)
- Kaufman Test of Educational Achievement (K-TEA)
- Test of Written Language, II (TOWL-II)
- Wechsler Individual Achievement Test (WIAT)
- Woodcock-Johnson III: Tests of Achievement (Forms A & B)
- Woodcock Reading Mastery Test - Revised
3. Which behavioral assessments are acceptable and most commonly used when determining eligibility for ESE services?
- Behavior Assessment System for Children (BASC)
- Achenbach Child Behavior Checklist
- Devereux Scales of Mental Disorders (DSMD)
4. Which process tests are acceptable (process tests are not mandatory) when determining eligibility for ESE services?
- Comprehensive Test of Phonological Processing (CTOPP)
- Detroit Tests of Learning Aptitude-3
- Developmental Test of Visual-Motor Integration (VMI)
- Motor-Free Visual Perception Test
- Woodcock-Johnson III: Tests of Cognitive Ability (cluster scores)
- Test of Visual Perceptual Skills - Revised (TVPS)
- Test of Language Development (TOLD)
- Lindamood Auditory Conceptualization Test (LAC)
5. Which adaptive behavior ratings are acceptable and most commonly used when determining eligibility for ESE services?
- Adaptive Behavior Assessment System-Second Edition (ABAS-II)
- Scales of Independent Behavior
- Vineland Adaptive Behavior Scales, Second Edition (Vineland II)
- Comprehensive Test of Adaptive Behavior (CTAB)
6. What battery of tests is needed to consider eligibility for Learning Disabilities placement?
- Intelligence Test
- Achievement Test
7. What battery of tests is needed to consider eligibility for Emotional/Behavioral Disabilities placement?
- Intelligence Test
- Achievement Test
- Behavior Ratings (2)
8. What battery of tests is needed to consider eligibility for Intellectual Disability placement?
- Intelligence Test
- Achievement Test
- Adaptive Behavior Ratings
9. What battery of tests is needed to consider eligibility for Gifted** placement?
** For children evaluated privately, the school-based screening requirements will also have to be met (i.e., Parent Rating Scale, Teacher Rating Scale, Checklist of Creative Positives).
10. What instruments are unacceptable for eligibility purposes?
Screening instruments such as Bender-Gestalt, Wechsler Individual Achievement Test (Screener Composite), Wide Range Achievement Test, Kaufman Brief Intelligence Test (K-BIT), K-TEA Brief, Woodcock Mini-Battery of Achievement, Kaufman Functional Academic Skills Test (K-FAST), Otis-Lennon, etc. Behavior screeners such as the Burks' Behavior Rating Scales, Conner's Behavior Ratings, and Devereux Behavior Rating-School Form are unacceptable for initial placement in Emotional/Behavioral Disabilities.
11. Is there any additional information/data necessary when self-contained placement is being considered?
Yes. For Emotional/Behavioral Disabilities and Intellectual disabilities, a social history must be completed by a School Social Worker. If one has previously been completed by a private social worker or by a School Social Worker in another county or state, this report must be submitted to the Volusia County Schools Social Work Services office for approval.
12. Is it acceptable to administer short forms or to pro-rate tests?
We suggest that examiners adhere to the recommended assessment procedures described by the test publisher or author in the examiner's manual (i.e., administration of all subtests rather than partial batteries, administration of the recommended subtests vs. substituting supplemental subtests, etc.).
13. Should scores be based on age norms or grade norms?
14. Can children be placed into the Gifted program based on partial scores?
When the Wechsler scales are given, the Verbal or Performance score may be used for determining eligibility on the recommendation of the examining psychologist; however, this recommendation must be stated in the written report and accompanied by justification accepted by the Department of Education (i.e., the child's native language is not English; the child has had significant early or continued hearing loss; the child has had significant early or continued loss or severe impairment of sight; the child comes from a cultural background which may have caused one section of the test to be invalid, such as being brought up in a non-English speaking country; a physical disability, such as cerebral palsy, makes it impossible to perform properly on one section of the test; emotional factors may have caused the child not to perform adequately on the test). Partial scores may not be used with the Stanford-Binet or any other intelligence measure.
15. Can children be placed into Gifted by using the Standard Error of Measurement?
The Standard Error of Measurement may be applied to the Full Scale IQ of the Wechsler scales (but not to either the Verbal or Performance scores) or to the Mental Processing Composite standard score of the Stanford-Binet. The recommendation to apply the Standard Error of Measurement when considering eligibility must be stated in the written report of the examining psychologist.
16. Can the Standard Error of Measurement be applied to the IQ or to the cluster scores of achievement measures when determining eligibility for Learning Disabilities placement?
17. Should private practitioners make recommendations for special class placement?
No. We are bound by State Board of Education rules for determining eligibility for ESE placement.
18. What accommodations are made for children diagnosed as ADHD/ADD?
Students referred for possible attentional problems (through parents, teachers, physicians, or private clinicians) are handled through the Problem Solving Team at the child's school. Appropriate interventions and accommodation plans based on the individual student's needs are developed through these committees with parent input. School Psychologists do not make the diagnosis of ADHD/ADD.
19. What do Volusia County School Psychologists look for when reviewing private reports?
- Report is written on letterhead stationery
- Report is signed by the examiner
- Testing was completed within the past 3 years, when the data will be used to determine eligibility for ESE services
Subtest and cluster scores are included in the report
Testing was done by a licensed private practitioner or a state certified school system examiner (DOE certificate number or licensure data should be included)
- As of the Fall of 2004, evaluations not using the most recent normative data (i.e., WISC-IV, Stanford-Binet 5th Edition, WPPSI-III, etc.) will not be approved.
20. Where should reports done by private practitioners be submitted for approval?
Private reports may be submitted to any of the Psychological Services offices, to the School Counselor of the child's zone school, to the Problem Solving Team Chairperson of the child's zone school, or directly to the School Psychologist assigned to the child's zone school.
21. What is the procedure once the private report has been submitted for approval?
The approved report is distributed to the school, the School Psychologist assigned to the child's zone school, and the Placement Specialist assigned to the child's zone school. If the private practitioner has made a diagnosis that might indicate the need for ESE services, a Case Review may be held in order to determine whether any additional information needs to be gathered. In addition, the child's teacher should discuss the child's functioning at a Problem Solving Team meeting and provide research based interventions for an appropriate time period. If the interventions have not been successful, the Team may recommend that a referral be made to the Psychological Services office (if additional testing is necessary) or to the Placement Specialist (if no additional testing is needed).
Assessment Index: This index lists tests that are currently approved for use in Volusia County Public Schools to assist in determining eligibility for Exceptional Student Education services.