Palo Alto Unified School District (PAUSD) provides special education assessments for preschool-age children who are residents within the District boundaries. The assessment process is in place to help the school District determine children‘s potential eligibility for district-provided special education services. PAUSD has a dynamic assessment team of professionals dedicated to serving the needs of young children with disabilities. The team will guide your family through the District assessment, Individualized Education Program (IEP) process, and services provided by PAUSD.

Program services include, but are not limited to the following:

  • Screening and assessment
  • Consultation with parents and preschool teachers
  • Education and in-service training
  • Family support and information on available resources
  • Direct therapy/intervention in both individual and small groups
  • Multiservice referrals
  • Transdisciplinary team planning
  • Transportation

Starting the assessment process

Student must reside in the Palo Alto Unified attendance area.

Complete a registration form and provide proof of residency to the Central Attendance Office in the District Office, located at 25 Churchill Ave. Once that is completed you may Contact Keri Bates(650.856.0833 x3854), school psychologist for the Preschool Program. Keri will work with you to begin determining your child’s educational needs.

Complete an intake packet provided to you from the preschool program. Return completed intake packet to Keri Bates.  The provided information helps to assemble the appropriate team members to work with your family.

The team will typically contact you within 10 business days after receiving the completed packet to make appointments to meet with a speech therapist and/or set-up an observation at your child’s preschool.

If there is a determination that formal testing is warranted, an assessment plan will be provided and upon your signature of approval, further appointments will be scheduled with our team.

Please let us know if you have any questions or need further assistance.  The assessment team is available to support you through the process.

Additionally children are referred for services by speech therapists, psychologists, teachers, parents, physicians, caregivers, public service agencies, or other interested persons.

Through the referral process, you and a Specialist will identify any areas of concern for further assessment. Based on areas of concern, a multidisciplinary evaluation is conducted by a team of professionals, which could include a school psychologist, speech language pathologist, special education teacher, occupational therapist, district nurse, adaptive physical education teacher and physical therapist.

Together, the Education Specialists can provide a thorough understanding of your child’s strengths and present functional, developmental and academic skills in one or more of the following areas:

  • Cognition
  • Speech and Language
  • Motor Skills
  • Social/Emotional
  • Academic Abilities
  • Health and Development
  • Sensory Processing


A qualified specialist reviews appropriate developmental, medical, and environmental information. Then determination of eligibility is made by the individualized educational program team, which includes the child’s parents or legal guardian.

The Multidisciplinary Team Assessment consists of the following:

  • Formal and informal assessments
  • Interviews conducted with you, teacher, and/or any service providers
  • Observations of your child in his/her natural setting, during the formal evaluations and/or during a current service provider’s therapy session
  • Thorough review of all medical and educational records

Upon completion of the assessment process, an Individual Education Plan (IEP) is held with you and the Multidisciplinary Team Specialists. At this meeting the IEP team will:

  • Review all evaluation outcomes with you
  • Determine areas of unique educational needs for your child
  • Establish eligibility for special education services
  • Propose goals and objectives for targeted areas of growth
  • Recommend program and services to address your child’s individualized needs

Children can be found eligible under the following established categories:

  • Autism
  • Deaf
  • Deaf-Blind
  • Emotionally Disturbed
  • Hard of Hearing
  • Intellectual Disability
  • Multiple Handicapped
  • Orthopedically Impaired
  • Other Health Impaired
  • Specific Learning Disability
  • Speech-Language Impaired
  • Traumatic Brain Injury
  • Visually Impaired

Contact Information:
Keri Bates, School Psychologist
4120 Middlefield Rd.
Palo Alto, CA 94306
650.856.0833 x3854
650.493.8371 (fax)