California Special Education Law

Advocacy Resources, Hearing & Appeal Decisions, Statistics and More for Parents

Obligation to Assess

Does the district have the obligation to assess my child once it is on notice that my child might need special education services?

Yes. In one California case, a child with ADHD was not receiving any special education services. The fact that this ADHD student had poor and failing grades, and that the student’s mother expressed her concern regarding his performance to the district, put the district on notice that the student needed to be assessed. The district, however, waited until the following year to conduct its assessment. According to the court, this constituted a violation of the district’s child find obligations. This means that when a district is put on notice that a child needs special education services, it must not delay in conducting the appropriate assessments or it will be in violation of its obligations to find and identify special education students.

Compton Unified Sch. Dist. v. Addison 598 F. 3d 1181 (9th Cir. 2010