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Harper Assessment Center

The Harper Assessment Center is dedicated to providing comprehensive assessments for preschool children using current evidenced based practices.  Our goal is the identification of each child's unique educational needs in the determination of eligibility for special education services.  We are committed to working collaboratively with families to help all preschool children reach their highest potential.

The Harper Assessment Center provides multidisciplinary evaluations to respond to your concerns regarding the growth and development of your child, and to determine if he or she has a disability that requires specialized interventions.

Children ages 3 to 5 who have a disability defined by Individuals with Disability Education Act (IDEA) - Part B and CA State Education Code are provided specialized instruction and related services by Newport-Mesa Unified School District (NMUSD).

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
  • 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:

  • Speech Language Impairment
  • Autism
  • Intellectual Disability
  • Other Health Impairment
  • Orthopedic Impairment
  • Hearing or Visual Impairment
  • Specific Learning Disability
  • Emotional Disturbance
  • Established Medical Disability
  • Traumatic Brain Injury
  • Multiple Disabilities

NMUSD offers an array of services to address the unique learning styles and educational needs of all children found eligible for special education. Recommended educational programs could consist of a specialized classroom placement, direct related services of collaboration and consultation among your child’s service providers.  

Information found below are the necessary steps in obtaining a referral for a preschool assessment for your child who is between the ages of 3-5 years within the Newport Mesa Unified School District:

  1. The parent/guardian or Regional Center of Orange County (RCOC) initiates  the referral for a special education assessment by placing their concerns in writing and submitting a letter to the Harper Assessment Center.
  2. The parent/guardian follows the District procedures for Address Verification.  Address Verification Office is located  at the
    BESST Center - Administration Building 
    2045 Meyer Place
    Costa Mesa, CA
    Public Service Hours:  Monday - Friday 7:30-11:30 am
    949-515-6743
    Documents required at the time of verifying the residency address are outlined here:  Address Verification
  3. The parent/guardian brings the Assessment Center the Address Verification Ticket, verification of child's date of birth (Birth Certificate) and verification of immunization records. 
  4. Your child is scheduled for a developmental screening or intake.
  5. If assessment is determined necessary, the parent/guardian is provided with an initial referral packet, which includes educational, behavioral, developmental and medical questionnaires.  Parents will complete on-line registration through the District Website.  Follow the link here:  Pre-Enrollment Registration.     If you require computer access for registration, computers are available at the Assessment Center or BESST Center.
  6. All forms are to be completed in full and returned to the Harper Assessment Center along with a copy of the completed registration.  
  7. Upon receipt of completed developmental questionnaires and registration, Harper Assessment Center will develop an assessment plan within 15 days.  The assessment plan will indicate the areas that the District is proposing for evaluation for your son/daughter and who will be completing the evaluation.  
  8. The parent/guardian will review the proposed assessment plan and indicate consent for the assessment by signing the consent section of the document and returning this form to the Harper Assessment Center.  Upon receipt of written consent for the assessments, the District has 60 days to complete all the assessments and hold an Individualized Education Program (IEP) meeting with you to discuss eligibility.  The 60 day timeline is a federal and state regulation, and this timeline does stop when school is not in session for more than five days (Winter Break and Summer Recess). 
  9. During the assessment process, evaluations and observations will be scheduled with you and your child so the specialists can obtain sufficient information for determining your child's present levels of functioning and eligibility for special education services.

The Harper Preschool Assessment Center is dedicated to providing a comprehensive assessment for preschool children.  Our goal is to identify unique individual needs and determine each child's eligibility for special education services under the California Education Code and the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, 2004.  We are committed to working collaboratively with you so your child can reach his/her highest potential.  We look forward to meeting you and your child.

Contact Us

Harper Assessment Center
425 E. 18th St., Bldg. A, Rm 18
Costa Mesa, CA 92627
Phone: (949) 515-6631
Fax: (949) 515-6633