SDI Getting Started

If you suspect your child has a disability that is affecting his/her education, write a signed and dated letter to the school requesting an evaluation and mail it or hand deliver it to the school (or scan the signed letter and email it). Keep a copy for your records. Then contact the help below to assist you in getting started.

1.  You'll need the IDEA information found on the website:

2.  Help is available:

a) FCPS Parent Resource Center - with connections to advocates & free information
b) Advocates - many specialize with certain disabilities & different approaches (tough vs. very polite)

c) PTO SDI representative - Carol Stiller, 703/278-1023 or  for a list of resources

d) Virginia special education home page - bottom of page lists outside resources

3. Read the Virginia "Parental Safeguards Notice".   The school is required to provide you with assistance - such as if want to go over it with them, you have questions, or need/request additional "assistance."  Each state department of education creates their own and the Virginia version is available online at:

4. The VA Department of Education (VA DOE) has some good information that you may eventually want to look at:

a.)  Regulations (look on the right - list of documents)

b.)  Outside resources (at the bottom of the home page)

c.)  Frequently asked questions


IEP: Individualized Education Plan, a plan developed for a child with a recognized disability so that s/he can have a Free and Appropriate Public Education (FAPE)

IEE: Independent Education Evaluation (at public expense)

“Evaluation” does not equal “ASSESSMENT”

DO and get everything in writing,  all requests should be in a letter format with original signature