ECI Transition Timelines
Eval Q3: What if early childhood transition services and timelines have been affected due COVID 19 pandemic response related issues?
Eval A3: School closure dates are not applicable for Part C ECI to Part B IDEA evaluation timelines, and LEAs should make reasonable efforts to complete evaluations and develop an IEP by the child’s 3rd birthday. LEAs should make reasonable efforts to implement the IEP and provide special education services under Part B IDEA beginning at age 3, so as not to delay provision of services and FAPE if the student is determined eligible. If there are deviations from legally established timelines, LEAs should communicate with families, and document in the student’s folder all reasonable efforts made to follow timelines.
The link below is the 4.9.20 TEA COVID19 and SPED Q&A that provides the guidance above:
School closures do not change an LEA’s obligation to meet CFR 300.124(b) that sets forth the “by the third birthday” timeline.
If a parent opts out of the ECI (Part C) to LEA (Part B) transition and then changes their mind and would like an evaluation they move to a “45 school day timeline” if there are less than 90 calendar days prior to the child’s 3rd birthday.
The link below is the ECI to LEA TEA Flowchart that explains the “opt out” clause above: https://tea.texas.gov/sites/default/files/ECITransitionFlowchartRevisedSep2013.pdf
General Points to Consider from the COVID19 and Special Education in Texas FAQ:
“Above all, LEAs should prioritize health and safety of students, staff, and communities.”
“LEAs should provide proactive and ongoing communication with parents and families of students with disabilities. LEAs should identify communication channels to and from parents and families and ensure there are real-time opportunities for questions and concerns to be responded to and needs addressed.”
“If there are unavoidable deviations from legally established timelines, LEAs should document in the student’s folder all reasonable efforts made to follow timelines.”