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What is an Independent Educational Assessment (IEE)?

Are you a parent concerned about your child's educational needs?


Do you find yourself questioning the assessments provided by the school district?


Perhaps you're wondering if there's a more tailored approach to identifying and addressing your child's unique learning challenges.


Or maybe you're questioning who can perform these independent assessments, how much they'll cost, and if they can really make a difference.


If these questions resonate with you, read on to gain insights on the Independent Educational Assessment (IEE) and how it can serve as a powerful tool in shaping your child's educational future.


This article is specifically tailored to the California Education Code, offering a comprehensive guide on IEEs and their impact.


Please note: Consult with an education advocate or attorney in another state for guidelines specific to your locale. You can find an advocate by visiting our directory or visiting COPAA's directory.


What is an Independent Educational Assessment (IEE)?

An Independent Educational Assessment (IEE) is an evaluation of a child's educational needs conducted by a qualified professional who is not employed by the school district.


Often sought by parents who disagree with the school's own assessments, an IEE can assess learning disabilities, behavioral issues, or other special needs. The results may be used to formulate or revise an Individualized Education Plan (IEP).


Who can complete an IEE?

An IEE can be completed by qualified professionals not employed by the school district.


This often includes:

  • licensed psychologists

  • Educational diagnosticians

  • Other specialists with expertise in the area being assessed, such as speech therapists or occupational therapists.

Credentials and qualifications may vary by state.


Who pays for the IEE?

The school district may cover the cost of an IEE if parents disagree with the initial evaluation and request an independent assessment.


However, it's important to note that an IEE conducted by EFS would not be eligible for district funding due to California Education Code limitations.


Some districts also have specific conditions or funding limits for IEEs. In cases where district funding is not available or the request is denied, parents would need to cover the cost of the IEE themselves.


Why would I want to have an IEE completed?

You may want to pursue an IEE for several reasons.


First, an IEE provides a comprehensive evaluation of the student's educational needs. This serves as a solid foundation to argue for better or more specialized services from the school. It ensures that the focus remains on getting the student the specific help they need, rather than settling for what's readily available.


Second, the IEE may justify supplemental services if the school falls short. This is especially relevant because you can include educational support services in a student's budget, backed by the findings of the IEE. This adds another layer of targeted intervention, ensuring that the student's needs are adequately met.


Third, the IEE serves as crucial evidence for securing educational services for your student should the school district fall short.


In cases like this, you may want to explore utilizing regional center services to "fill in the gaps."


A detailed IEE may help in this regard and could expedite the process of approval for these additional services, especially when supported by a denial letter from the school.



How can EFS support my request for an IEE?

EF Specialists can provide significant support in your pursuit of an IEE.


Our in-house experts have extensive experience in conducting these assessments. We offer the option to review a redacted version of a recent assessment, allowing you to tailor it to specific needs.


After receiving your feedback, we'll provide an estimate for the cost of the assessment and outline the subsequent steps for completion.


This transparent and collaborative approach ensures the assessment is both relevant and financially feasible.


Opting for an assessment through EFS aligns with our shared vision of re-thinking how families can access specialized EF coaching services in California.


Will the district pay for an IEE done by EFS?

While EFS isn't eligible for publicly funded IEEs due to California Education Code restrictions, our assessments can still play a pivotal role in a student's educational planning.


The code requires schools to consider reports from any professionals, not just those specifically listed.


By opting for an EFS assessment, you gain valuable insights that can be introduced into discussions with the educational team.


These assessments can provide detailed recommendations for the student's needs, including the frequency of services required.


Although parents will bear the expense, the actionable insights can be invaluable in tailoring a more effective educational plan for the student.


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About the author

Sean G. McCormick is the founder of Executive Function Specialists, an online coaching business that guides middle, high school, and college students in overcoming procrastination, disorganization and anxiety by teaching time management, prioritization and communication skills so they feel motivated, prepared, and empowered.


He also founded the Executive Function Coaching Academy which trains special education teachers, school psychologists and other professionals to support students with AD/HD and executive function challenges.


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EFS started with one teacher deciding that kids with ADHD needed better access to quality executive function coaching services. Since then, we have grown to a team of specialists working both private students and public schools to enhance executive function skills for all students. 

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