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Are school evaluations kept on file? how long?


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I mentioned in a previous thread that I had a school evaluation for language delay as a child, and it didn't go well.


But when I was laying in bed last night, it occurred to me that maybe my raw test results are still on file somewhere in the bowels of the school district. I'd be interested in seeing it, and since it's my own results, wouldn't I have a right to ask for it (if it exists)?


The test took place when I was in preschool, so that's over 25 years ago. And after that year my mother decided to homeschool, so I never enrolled in the district (until high school) and nothing was ever done with the results. I was diagnosed as "strong-willed" anyways...


Does anyone know if this is possible, or have BTDT advice?


It's a small suburban district, so I was thinking of just calling the BoE. And I live nearby (for now) so I could go to the office and then run around town to track down where the files are kept.


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I don't think it can hurt to ask.  I have no idea how long they keep things like that.


There is also a part of me that wonders if you had a "screening" and not an "eval."  If you only went once, you really might have only had a screening, the screening didn't go well, and then you didn't go back for an eval.


If you just had a screening, I doubt there would be a record.  It could have just been a conversation with your mother, and the person saying "she is just strong-willed, she doesn't need an eval."  


That is just me guessing.  I don't know how much your mother remembers.  But if it was like -- you went once, then had a conversation..... then I don't think you got an eval.  I think you got a screening.  


As a parent -- it seems like the same thing, you take your child in, your child is seen by the speech therapist (or whatever) ----- but if it is a screening, they are not giving tests with raw scores.  They are deciding whether or not to give those tests.  A lot of kids go for a screening and then the result of the screening is "no need for an eval."  I think that is what the "just strong-willed" comment comes across as to me.  Maybe, as a guess or an impression.  It doesn't sound like the person had a score report and went over scores with your mother, and then said "she is just strong-willed," it sounds more like what someone would say when they say "no need to do an eval."    


But it can't hurt to call! Just see what they say.  They keep high school graduation records forever, who knows what else they keep?  

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I am going to add, my cousin is my age (late 30s) and my aunt and uncle were always blown off by school when he was in school.  There was no IDEA.  The idea of "kids grow out of everything" and "parents worry over nothing" were very popular.  Well, after being blown off and having everything minimized, all through school, my cousin was diagnosed with Aspergers when he was in his early 20s.  It would have been nice to know earlier!  But it was new.  A lot of stuff is new since people my age were in school.  A lot of kids who were blown off when we were young, would be getting help at school now.  


My aunt and uncle were not totally blown off, my cousin was in OT-type activities for a while, and some little things. 


But for the most part -- it was just something where people would not have any idea what was going on, and just act like no problem was there, or something.


I don't really even know.  


But b/c of this, I have this opinion/impression like 30 years ago, a lot of kids/parents just got blown off, if they did not have a certain type of really obvious problem.  It is just how it was.  


So -- sharing my context.  I have this image of some guy acting really patronizing to your mom and telling her "there is no problem."  Oh, or if there is a problem, the problem is my aunt thinks there is a problem!  So she is somehow causing him to have a problem!  It is a weird way to think, but with this thought process, if you told a parent "there is no problem," then the parent would relax and this would cause the child to relax and then the problem would go away.


I mean, it is not the craziest idea, I think there is some truth there.  But it is mostly just -- they didn't know what they didn't know.  

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Hmm....maybe it was a screening. I remember being in a darkened room (I remember it being strange, what happened to the lights!?). I remember getting headphones and indicating whether I heard sounds in each ear (by raising one hand or the other). The big issue was when the lady gave me a page with different pictures on it, and I was supposed to tell her what each animal was. I remember her pointing at the picture of a whale and asking "what animal is this?" and I was thinking "my mother took me to talk to an idiot who needs me to tell her what a whale is!" and I refused to say anything. That made the lady frustrated, and she just kept pointing at the pictures and repeating the question, which I thought was confusing and proved she was a moron and didn't name any of the animals on the page. If there was more done that day, I don't remember. I vaguely remember playing with some objects on a table, but I'm not completely certain. When we left I clearly remember the lady telling my mother "she hears fine, she's just strong-willed." Which led my mother to get Dobson's book by that title and the rest, so to speak, is history.


So there's nothing filed for a screening? If anything was filed would there be anything more than the conclusion "simply refuses to speak"?


I could start making some calls. Just trying to figure out what I should be asking for.



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I think it would depend on your district but I would doubt it.  Especially with so much going digital.  Even my dc's early medical records no longer exist (which really makes me angry).

 When my dd had early childhood testing (full eval) I was told they would keep them for 7 years and then they would be shredded.I asked in case I wanted more testing in the future or to get part time services, which we did do.  Now they do not even keep any email communication or notes from meetings from year to year.

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This is just my opinion!


Okay, it could have been either a screening (or other semi-official thing) or an eval, from what you say.


However, you do not sound like you would be getting accurate scores.


My younger son had pre-school testing where he did not comply with the testing.  He got zeros on multiple sections.  Well, it was not a bust, b/c they wrote narrative descriptions of what they saw during testing, and things they observed him do.  He just could not be scored correct if he did not do it just like the test required, so he could not get a normed score.  Or something like that.. He got multiple observations and they observed him do some things that he never did in testing.  He was like "I will throw the blocks on the ground" during testing, but they could say they observed him stack so many blocks while he played. 


They also wrote things they observed that didn't have to do with a test, but that would be helpful information. 


So I guess I am saying -- it is doubtful you got narratives, b/c it was a big process for us when we got that.  Or, not necessarily narratives, but some helpful information for a child who did not comply with the testing requirements, in whatever form.  Parent questionnaire, etc, whatever. 


And, if the scores are not accurate, maybe they are not so helpful. 


I am just throwing that out there. 

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I re-read.... it sounds like you might be describing a hearing screening.  I am (again) just throwing this out there, but do you think there was concern you might have a hearing problem and need a hearing screening?  


If you had a hearing screening and passed it -- then I doubt there would be any record.  


I have taken my kids for early intervention screening, and (locally, in recent years) they screen for all areas, unless you decline certain areas, even if you only have one area of concern.  


For the woman to say "her hearing is fine" makes it sound like maybe your mom was advised to rule out a hearing problem, and then that is what happened.  

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Schools are designed, so that the room that School Records are kept in, also has a lot of plumbing pipes.

They use a special type of plumbing pipe, that can be guaranteed to burst within 10 years.

So you might find that your files were lost in the flood?

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Where I live, if you go to a screening like that, and you "pass" the screening,  I do not believe they keep a record.  B/c I would carry the papers around that people put check-marks on... if at the end you passed everything, then it seemed like no record would be kept, you would just walk out. 


If a screening was not passed, you would schedule a follow-up of some kind. 


At the follow-up, then maybe you have an eval where they are actually scoring the kids to see if they will actually qualify for services of some kind. 


So then that is the "eval."  Or maybe you just start going to speech therapy and then they do the stuff there.  This might be, not an eval like we talk about, but just a 15-minute thing that can give a score, and that they can use to track progress and qualify kids for the services.  Or it might be a big, fancy eval. 


To me -- it sounds like you had the screening, the woman told your mom you passed it, and then nothing further was scheduled.  Here, there would be no record.  That is my guess.  If you had failed a screening, then that is where they might have scheduled you for a follow-up appointment. 


When I took my kids for early intervention screening, again this is locally, and I know there are places where they do more with a screening.... but for ours, I have a piece of paper with categories on it like "hearing, vision, cognitive, gross motor, fine motor," etc. (about 7 categories?), and next to each category there are two check-boxes, one for the tester to initial "pass" and one to initial "not a pass" (they use some word besides fail).  If you get all "pass" check-marks, you do have a chance to talk to people about your child, and if they were a close pass, they can tell you if you should come back in 3 months or 6 months (if your child is kind-of delayed, but not delayed enough to fail, but if they stayed the same for 6 months, and you brought them back then, then you would not pass and get a follow-up appointment). 


But I walked out with the paper with all the check-marks and the brochures I was given.  I just also had follow-ups of some kind that I scheduled. 


It did not seem like they kept any record... they just did or didn't schedule a follow-up appointment. 


I am mentioning this, b/c maybe it would jog your mom's memory in some way.  If she does not remember scheduling anything really specific, just calling and taking you in, it does sound like a screening.




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