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Free and Appropriate Public Education

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1 Free and Appropriate Public Education
FAPE Free and Appropriate Public Education

2 FAPE The major purpose of IDEA is to make a free, appropriate public education (FAPE) available to every child who has a disability. IDEA provides many benefits and protections to every eligible child who has a disability, and to his or her parents. The heart of IDEA is the IEP.

3 IEP The IEP is the “make or break” component in FAPE for every child under IDEA. The IEP MUST contain certain elements for all children- plus two additional elements for students 16 and older.

4 Student with disabilities making more progress
When IDEA was amended by the U.S. Congress in 2004, new emphasis was placed on: Student with disabilities making more progress Special educators accurately and objectively measuring student progress Progress being accurately and meaningfully reported to parents.

5 Three Key Parts of the IEP
The child’s present level of performance Measurable annual goals 3. A statement of needed special education and other services

6 Three Questions that Determine the Key Pieces of the IEP:
What are the child’s unique needs? What services will the school employ to address each need? What will the child be able to accomplish as a result of the services?

7 Present Levels of Performance Must Include
Statement of the child’s present levels of academic achievement and functional performance, in an area : May be ACADEMIC or FUNCTIONAL (Community participation, behavior, etc.) How the child’s disability affects their performance in the general education curriculum for a particular AREA of instruction. For preschoolers, how the child’s disability affects their participation in appropriate activities Includes both academic achievement and functional performance

8 How is PLOP Determined? The IEP team looks at standardized test scores, professional evaluations, and observations of parents and educators, work samples, progress monitoring, etc. What skills related to this area does the student have? What skills are weak? What is holding the student back? What helps the student learn? How does the student’s disability affect learning?

9 PLOP should be stated in a readily understandable way that is precise enough to understand what the student can do in relation to what the student should be able to do in that AREA of instruction There must be a direct relationship between the AREA, the PLOP and Goal/Benchmarks and Services.

10 Measurable Goals and Benchmarks
Measurable annual goals, including benchmarks or short-term objectives, are critical to the strategic planning process used to develop and implement the IEP of a child with a disability. Once the IEP team has developed measurable annual goals for a child, the team: Can develop strategies that will be most effective in realizing those goals Must develop either measurable, intermediate steps or milestones that will enable parents, students, and educators to monitor progress during the year.

11 The measurable annual goal must focus on:
the student’s individual needs resulting from their disability and how it affects their involvement and progress in the general education curriculum Describe what a student can reasonably be expected to accomplish within one school year. Goal must address the needs written in the PLOP

12 What Does Measurable Mean?
IDEA leaves no doubt that measurability is both mandated and absolutely essential.

13 Without measurability, progress cannot be monitored.
If a goal isn’t measurable, it cannot be measured. If a goal cannot be measured, it violates IDEA and may result a denial of FAPE

14 Definition of Measure: Definition of Measure:


16 Writing Goals and Benchmarks
Keeping Perspective: Students’ NEEDS must drive the IEP and the program Goals and benchmarks must address the SKILLS necessary to access the general curriculum

17 The general curriculum itself need not appear routinely in IEPs.
Every IEP does not have to have an academic goal. Examples of skills: Completing assignments independently Following directions Working cooperatively in small groups Reading grade level material

18 Goals should be limited to special education and to that which is individualized within the education program. Special education is legally defined as “specially designed instruction to meet the unique needs of the child Specially designed instruction includes: Adapted content: Modified or different curriculum Methodology: Sign language, Braille, etc. Delivery of service: One to one teaching, minimally distracting environment

19 Step One: List the child’s needs in plain, everyday language
Needs are one of two types: What the child needs to learn to do , or do better –Description of behavior to be performed Conditions the child needs (requires) in order to learn efficiently and effectively-- Conditions under which student will be expected to perform.

20 The first type requires a present level of performance from which the learning can measured. The second, the conditions the child needs, are to be addressed in the mandated services to be provided or under modifications an accommodations. (Ex. One to one teachers, highly structured class, quiet learning environment, etc.)

21 Second: Determine the unique needs of the child. Two ways to do this:
Examining all the assessment information about the student for performance deficits or weaknesses, Parent , teacher and student surveys, etc. One simple question to ask that can help identify needs is: “What are three or four things that the student doesn’t do now that we would we most like for him to be able TO DO or TO DO BETTER by the end of the school year?”

22 “What are three or four things that the students does now that we would like for him NOT TO DO by the end of the year?” The clearer the language, the better. 2-5 goals generally can address many children’s most important unique needs. The team should prioritize the goals and determine which goals require a PLOP

23 Step Three: Write the observable performance from which the identified need is chosen -- measureable present level of performance. This is the starting point from which the year’s progress is to be measured. Write what we want the student to do/learn by the end of the year in measurable terms. Use the best combination of experience, professional judgment, common sense among team members to determine the amount of expected growth. Benchmarks are measurable, intermediate steps toward accomplishing the annual goal.

24 Step Four Services: What are we going to do to meet this goal?
Must have a detailed statement of the specific special education services that will be provided. Programming should be based on peer-reviewed research. Services are mandated to be linked with the core curriculum and overall academic goals.

25 Question to ask yourself about services:
Can you prove that the services you provide make a difference for this student? Services and supports assist the student in advancing toward the annual goals and making progress in the general curriculum.

26 Step Five How will you know if the student is making progress toward the annual goal? Progress Monitoring toward Annual Goals/ Benchmarks is absolutely essential Method checked MUST be used and must be accurate Progress reports MUST reflect actual progress toward the annual goal Data MUST be gathered and kept in a DATA File.

27 Critical Mistakes to Avoid
Scheduling a meeting by phone and NOT sending a meeting notice home immediately Not having “Person’s Responsible” form signed BEFORE the student starts classes Not having the “Person’s Responsible” form signed after an amendment is made to the IEP Leaving the “Service Area” blank No documentation of progress monitoring toward annual goals in file Progress reports not sent home the SAME day as report cards

28 Not scheduling the general education teacher in the area of concern to attend the IEP meeting
Failing to schedule an IEP meeting when the student is not being successful or IEP isn’t appropriate Failing to monitor grades and discipline issues IEP NOT being followed and not being changed IEP written without input from teachers, parent and student ( when appropriate) Services determined before IEP meeting Failing to address social skills in students with inadequate social skills. ALL STUDENTS WITH AUTISM MUST HAVE GOALS IN SOCIAL SKILLS

29 Failing to address communication deficits in students with autism
Failing to address communication deficits in students with autism. Students with autism should receive instruction in communication skills and have individual goals to address this area. Failing to teach the standards-AAA students have standards of instruction that must be taught at some level of complexity Failing to begin the reevaluation process in plenty of time for additional assessments to be completed Writing IEPs that look the same for students on your case load/not individualizing

30 Tips for Planning and Implementing a Legally Defensible IEP
Gather all relevant data for the data file/assessments, grades, progress reports, work samples in area of difficulty, progress monitoring/teacher and parent surveys Review grade level standards and curriculum guide for appropriate skill planning. IEP goals should not be written more than two grade levels below the student’s current grade. Gather input for writing draft IEP from teachers Time spent writing an appropriate IEP can save hours and hours of stress in the future

31 The IEP is a legal document required under Federal law
The IEP is a legal document required under Federal law. Preparing this document is a serious responsibility that demands adequate time spent planning and preparing. Special education teachers have the responsibility of making sure the IEP is being implemented as written. Special education teachers are responsible for informing general education teachers of their responsibilities in implementing the IEP. Special education teachers should use research based programs and strategies with fidelity to meet goals

32 New Requirements Compliance check sheet will be completed for every process-starting with the initial referral Conference/Meeting notes must be kept for every IEP meeting and other relevant meetings/conferences A Data Folder will be kept for every student in addition to the IEP folder. Data collection for monitoring IEP goals and progress reports will be kept in the file by school year. Transition assessment s are mandatory beginning at age 14 and are to be kept in the Data File

33 Other Important Reminders
Teachers are responsible for filling in and completing all forms in SETS. Many IEP Meeting Notices are incomplete and open. If it’s not in SETS it does not exist—according to the ALSDE Student Records must also be completed for students on your case load Please keep meeting/conference notes for IEP meetings and other relevant conferences and meetings

34 Please have everyone introduce themselves at meetings
Best practice is to have a meeting agenda prepared to keep the meeting on track and on time/ask someone to be the timekeeper and note taker Best practice is to send home a draft copy of the IEP before the IEP meeting . Don’t hand parents the IEP to read over at the IEP meeting. Review the IEP in entirety with the team members.

35 Paraprofessionals: If you are the supervising teacher, you are responsible for scheduling how their time is used. Weekly meetings to review schedules/ assignments, etc. should be scheduled. Written schedules are highly recommended and should be posted in your classroom Paraprofessionals are paid from Federal funds and they can only work with students in special education (within reason) Paraprofessionals should be actively engaged with students at all times. Paraprofessionals can implement programs under your training and supervision.

36 Sample PLOPs and Goals Reading: Middle/High
PLOP: Given 3 paragraphs of expository reading material, Emily can decode fluently and accurately (at least 100 WPM with random error) but is unable to state or write the main ideas and two supporting details for each paragraph. Goal: Given 3 paragraphs of expository reading material which Emily can decode fluently and accurately (at least 100 WPM with random error), she will state or write the main idea and two supporting details for each paragraph. Benchmark: Given 3 paragraphs of expository reading material which Emily can decode fluently and accurately (at least 100 wpm with random error), she will state or write the topic sentence of each paragraph.

37 Questions and Answers Q: Should there be a relationship between the goals and objectives in the IEP and those that are in instructional plans of special education personnel? A: Yes. There should be a direct relationship between the IEP goals and objectives for a given students and the goals and objectives that are in the special education instructional plans for the child. However, the IEP is not intended to be detailed enough to be used as an instructional plan. The IEP, through its goals and objectives,( 1) sets the general direction to be taken by those who will implement the IEP, and (2) serves as the basis for developing a detailed instructional plan for the child.

38 Q: Does the IEP only include special education and related services or does it describe the total education of the child? A: The IEP is required to include ONLY those matters concerning the provision of special education and related services and the extend to which the child can participate in regular education programs. Areas of the general curriculum in which the child’s disability does not affect their involvement and progress are not required to be addressed in the IEP.

39 Q: What if a child with a disability only needs modifications or accommodations in order to progress in an area of the general curriculum? , A: The IEP does not need to include a goal for that area. However, the IEP would need to specify those modifications or accommodations. Q: Who makes the decision about Extended School Year services for a student with disabilities? A: The IEP team makes this decision based on data collection after breaks that indicate a loss of critical IEP skills that cannot be recouped within 6 to 8 weeks of instruction.

40 Q: How do we address grading issues in the lower grades
Q: How do we address grading issues in the lower grades? A: The IEP team should determine the most appropriate way to measure the student’s progress in regards to grades and document this in the accommodations section of the IEP. Q: How can a child that is three grade levels behind in reading stay in the general education classroom for reading? A: The IEP team can make the determination on what is the most appropriate way for the child to make progress and also participate in the general curriculum. The instruction can be differentiated to allow alternate ways of completing work, alternate assessment methods, etc. The special education teacher may consult with the general ed. Teacher to make suggestions .

41 Area: Expressive/Receptive Language
Preschool to age 5 PLOP: Emily promptly follows simple, one-step directions such as “Touch the block” or “sit down: fewer than 1 of 5 times. Goal: Given a three step direction, Emily will promptly follow all three steps, in the correct order, 9 out of 10 times. Benchmarks: Given a one-step direction, Emily will promptly follow the direction 9 out of 10 times

42 ‘ Area: Behavioral/Social Age: Elementary
PLOP: Gary completes and submits fewer than half of his homework assignments Goal: Given homework assignments within his academic capabilities, Gary will continue to complete and submit each assignment at a level judged as satisfactory by his teacher. Benchmark: Gary will submit at least 6 of 10 assignments Benchmark: Gary will submit at least 8 of 10 assignments

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