At school age, each school district is responsible for establishing procedures, including timelines to document the evaluation of students enrolled in the district and transfers from out of state. In addition, school districts establish a team responsible for processing referral requests for learners suspected of having a disability. If any person, including parents or caregivers, interacting with a child suspects a disability, that person may request an evaluation by contacting the special education administrator. Eligibility is determined through a multi-factored evaluation (MFE) process. Screening is part of the identification process at any age. When a learner is determined eligible for special education and related services, an individualized education program (IEP) is developed.
According to the Ohio Department of Education's Best Practices for Parent Involvement in Schools, research confirms that the involvement of parents and families in their child’s education is critical to students’ academic success. Parents can provide information on their child’s strengths, weaknesses, interests, learning styles, and preferences and, thereby, provide insights that are invaluable in the decision-making process.