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If It Isn’t Written Down, It Didn’t Happen

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Presentation on theme: "If It Isn’t Written Down, It Didn’t Happen"— Presentation transcript:

1 If It Isn’t Written Down, It Didn’t Happen
Kathleen Whelan-Gioia M.S., M.Ed. Education Specialist California Department of Education Diagnostic Center, South Diagnostic Center, Southern California

2 Who am I?

3 Diagnostic Centers California Department of Education
Diagnostic Center, South 4339 State University Drive Los Angeles, CA (323)

4 Diagnostic Centers Department of Education Special Schools Division
Locations Northern, Central & Southern California Cost No cost to families or LEA’s Services Center-based Transdisciplinary Assessment Field-based Assessment Training & Consultation

5 Let’s Begin How many of you are content at your job?
How many would rather be doing something else? How many of you would rather be doing something else, for less money, as long as it gave you a greater sense of satisfaction?

6 Why is job satisfaction important?
Approximately 4,587 new Special Education teachers were hired in California during Over 30% will leave the profession within five years, for reasons other than retirement. Why? Center for Teacher Quality, April 2010 Diagnostic Center, Southern California

7 Is it a Simmer, or a Slow Burn?
Some issues are: Too little time for planning and collaboration IEPs and related paperwork Lack of understanding from general education colleagues Lack of support from district office Unsupportive principal Center for Teacher Quality, April 2009

8 Basically… Professionals who feel in control of work demands and their environments are more likely to experience self efficacy.


10 Documentation

11 A Funny Thing About Documentation…
Diagnostic Center, Southern California

Diagnostic Center, Southern California


14 Documentation for IDEA
Purpose: To show that you have met legal requirements, including timelines, regulations, and the you have included parents in the decision-making process. Typical Documents Consent Forms Parents Rights Assessment Reports Individualized Education Program (IEP) Data Collection, work samples

15 Documentation of NCLB Purpose: to ensure the academic achievement of all students, including students with disabilities, English Learners, and students from low socio-economic homes and minority students. Typical Documents Testing Results Progress Reports Benchmarks Work Samples

16 Components-Documentation
Regular, consistent documentation of skill acquisition for IEP goals and objectives Programming decisions are based on skill acquisition data Teacher communicates with parent as per IEP regarding skill acquisition Staff are trained in data collection systems

17 Professional Responsibility
Your services are mandated by federal and state laws and regulations. Documentation and recordkeeping is mandated by law. Maintaining data supports Team Efficiency and Student Progress. Diagnostic Center, Southern California 17

18 Professional Responsibility
When service providers/educators sign their contract, they are in essence agreeing to abide by specific procedures, practices and protocols dictated by the school administration. This is in addition to complying to the ethics of the profession and best practice standards established for the teaching profession. It is when these professionals choose not to follow these guidelines that personal liability may enter into the conversation.

19 Why should we monitor progress?
California Education Code (56362) says that parents of special education students are to receive progress reports on IEP goals at least as often as parents of general education students receive progress reports/report cards. Monitoring progress and analyzing data supports collaboration among the IEP Team. Diagnostic Center, Southern California

20 Why else should we monitor and document progress?
According to IDEA, educators must: assess and ensure the effectiveness of efforts to educate children with disabilities. Doing so substantiates that you are working on IEP goals as per the law. If you ever need to demonstrate that you are teaching to master IEP goals – you have documentation.

21 Progress Monitoring Is repeated practice to measure a student’s academic performance and in turn evaluate the effectiveness of instruction . Is conducted to (a) estimate rates of improvement, (b) identify students who are not demonstrating adequate progress and/or (c) compare the efficacy of different forms of instruction to design more effective, individualized instruction.

22 Record Keeping and Documentation
Document everything….conversations with team members, parents, administrators, advocates, phone calls, strategies, and interventions. Lack of documentation is lethal; poor documentation is worse.

23 Let’s Set the Stage IEP (Educational Benefit) IEP monitoring
Collaboration with Gen Ed teachers Parent communication Progress documentation Diagnostic Center, Southern California

24 Free Appropriate Public Education
“Ensures access of the child to the general curriculum, so the child can meet the educational standards within the jurisdiction of the public agency that apply to children” sec (b)(3)(ii)

25 Least Restrictive Environment
To the maximum extent appropriate, children with disabilities are educated with children who are not disabled. Therefore… Must consider general education classroom as the first placement option with use of supplemental aids and services before exploring other options.

26 LRE + FAPE = Educational Benefit
Students with disabilities have: A right to a free and appropriate public education (FAPE), In the least restrictive environment (LRE), As described in the IEP to provide “Educational Benefit.”

27 Educational Benefit The student’s program should be “reasonably calculated” to result in Educational Benefit. Basically the IEP will become the road map which will enable the student to have passing grades, advance from grade to grade, make progress toward meeting goals

28 Recording Student Progress
Failure to make progress can be seen as a denial of FAPE Record and account for any lack of student progress If a student is not making progress, reconvene an IEP to address this issue Don’t let student progress go undocumented.

29 Bottom line… Districts are responsible for:
Developing programs designed to provide FAPE for every child. Providing programs that offer Educational Benefit. Court opinion have held that school districts are the education experts.

30 Let’s Talk What types of data are you seeing in your classroom?
What are you currently doing with your data?

31 Data can be used to show trends and growth over time.
Data interpretation and analysis Instructional supports and strategies collection Data

32 What is an effective “Data Driven” approach?
data collection An effective and that consists of efficient practice a THREE TIER system Portfolio record sheet Daily notices parent Periodic Diagnostic Center, Southern California

33 Who, What, and When Who – you, aides, classroom volunteers, or the students can self monitor. What – portfolio, student file, check off list, various low tech to high tech systems. When – minimum-weekly Diagnostic Center, Southern California

34 Necessary Outcomes Baseline or progress data can be tracked over time.
Results can be compare to specific criteria. Progress and hurdles can be shared with parents, students, and IEP team members. Data can dictate necessary modifications and supports. Data results can craft new IEP goals. Diagnostic Center, Southern California

35 It Is the Process, not the Forms
So…. The following forms can be changed, modified and amended to your specific use. Customize as you wish. Share them with colleagues.

36 Let’s Look at Forms There are three categories:
Teacher/DIS generated to record data. Gen Ed, DIS collaboration School/Home Communication Diagnostic Center, Southern California

37 Teacher/DIS/Related Services Forms


39 Coding Teachers often use different methods and idiosyncratic symbols to collect data. This can make interpreting the results difficult to follow, unless you are aware of the symbols.

40 Coding Whatever codes you choose to use to record, they must be universal to your team in the meaning, use and interpretation The objective is to recreate the dynamics of the instructional environment and /or lesson delivery on paper.

41 Additional Suggestions
P – physical prompt PP – partial physical prompts P+V – physical and verbal prompt G – gestural NI – not introduced U – unable * – unwilling / – worked on with assistance X – able to do independently

42 Some Suggestions P/I, P/O – push in/pull out
Sm grp-3 – small group with 3 students Ind – Individual Goal #1,3 DUR 20 – duration 20 mins By whom – colored pens Const. – consultation Mon – monitor

43 Speech and Language Codes
GSM – General story mechanics TT – turn taking Rt – story retell SS-Int – social skills lesson on initiating Con – conversation

44 Example Sm gp-3, TT, Goal 1,3 30 mins, speech room, KWG
One example of effective coding may look like this: Sm gp-3, TT, Goal 1,3 30 mins, speech room, KWG

45 You will need the data from the past to record growth and to write future goals.
Attendance Log DIS – Time Log Student Roster Log Book NOT GOOD ENOUGH

46 Be sure to only record observable behaviors.

47 Behavior Forms Positive Environments, Network of Trainers (PENT)

48 Forms to document behaviors

49 The Power of Observation
We are constantly relying on our skill to observe. Layer that skill with the demands of remembering. Add to that the details that can be naturally lost from the first observation to the time we actually record the information.

50 Test the Power

51 Goal Tracking Directly related to the skills being taught (goals and standards). Multiple parallel forms offer different ways to assess the skill. Sensitive to small increments of growth.

52 Diagnostic Center, Southern California

53 Diagnostic Center, Southern California




57 What About Meeting Goal Criteria?
Think “CDE”

58 Mastery = C D E C onsistently over time D emonstrated across all
environments and performed E asily and with confidence

59 Charting Data


61 Collaboration

62 Diagnostic Center, Southern California

63 Dictated by the IEP Document
Service delivery Who you team with daily/monthly? Expectations among the team

64 Collaboration Checklists
Create form to support your efforts and responsibilities




68 Consultation

69 Dictated by Best Practices
Consultation efforts supports program effectiveness by ensuring the services are appropriate to the needs of the student. Consultation includes:  dialog  report  discuss  advise  inform  tell And it is documented in writing.

70 Therefore.. In addition to maintaining accurate records that demonstrate “Proof of Practice,” professionals must also: Follow district procedure. Ask – when in doubt inquire about a process, a problem or a practice.

71 School - Home Communication
Diagnostic Center, Southern California


73 Personal Notes Once a personal note is shared, it becomes an educational record.



76 Form created on The Writing Center by The Learning Company

77 Upper Grades and Beyond
Middle and high school student may want to create a monthly flyer, newsletter or video of the current happenings at school. This could be a easy extension of a literature class, or writing assignment.



80 E-Mail Savvy If you must: Use the e-mail from your business address.
Guide your contact to discuss issues in person. Always maintain a professional style in your writing and CC your immediate supervisor. Are subject to subpoena

81 So.. What can you document?

82 In addition to Academics Goals..
The efforts /procedures used to monitor growth are the same that are used to: track behavior, record IEP team communication/collaboration, as well as documenting parent concerns and correspondence.

83 What do I do first? Get a binder for each student.

84 How can I remember all of the steps?
Think: GINA’S Binder

85 Let’s take Reading, First
G oal tracking sheet I EP goal description that relates to Reading N otice given to other service providers regarding supports A ccommodations/ modifications referred to in the IEP S amples of work that demonstrate efforts at approaching mastery. Diagnostic Center, Southern California

86 Your New Mnemonic B inder divided into sections
I nsert tangible work products N eat and organized D ate your data E ducate staff to record R eview progress to draft new goals Diagnostic Center, Southern California

87 What is in the Appendix? Original notices sent to the IEP members are kept in the appendix of the binder: Gen Ed/DIS Collaboration Forms Home/School Notices Diagnostic Center, Southern California

88 It’s a Beautiful Thing! Basically, data creation, collection, and consideration tell the story of how our students progress, grow, and learn. ~Whelan-Gioia 2006

89 When Does It End? Never! It is ongoing and constant.
Therefore put a system together that is easy, accurate and reliable. Diagnostic Center, Southern California

90 How Long Is Never? Classification of Records
Both Title 5 and Ed Code refer specifically to classification of records. Best Practice dictates the records be held for 2 to 3 years after their usefulness ends. Given that the statute of limitations on a complaint is two years, some districts are maintaining records for 3 years after usefulness. This could be interpreted as three years after the student has left the district.   One district (Hueneme School District) has shared that their records are being stored on disc, to save space, time, ease of recovery.

91 Something Else to Remember
In addition to maintaining accurate records that demonstrate “Proof of Practice”, satisfying Educational Benefit and FAPE, teachers must also Follow district procedure Act on information given to you regarding a student Ask – when in doubt inquire about a process, a problem or a practice.

92 A Must for the Educators in the Industry…
Sign up to receive updates from these websites:

93 If You Can Keep Your Head…
How do you keep your meeting running efficiently?

94 Agenda Suggestions Introductions: record start time, list attendees
Parent Rights and Responsibilities: given, reviewed, acknowledged Purpose: annual, initial, tri, amendment or request etc. Parent Concerns: recorded General Educators, DIS, and Sped staff report goal progress - highlights are recorded New goals are introduced by each member Eligibility: reviewed and acknowledged by the team

95 Agenda (cont) State testing accommodations reviewed by team
Accommodation and modifications are discussed, reviewed and recorded Service page is reviewed Notes are read to IEP team Signatures taken – attendance/ agreement Adjournment: record time

96 Also.. Some districts… allow parents to review draft goals ahead of time present a time line with the agenda offer parents a worksheet to write questions/concerns before the meeting What else is used to support the process?

97 Narratives Notes are required when they:
document compliance of procedures attempt to clarify, elaborate on a service/placement add content/details that cannot be included in the preprinted form.

98 Also Scribes state which topics were discussed and if consensus was met by the team. Document parent’s refusal to consent and why.

99 Ground Rules One person speaks at a time. Get agreement on the agenda.
Keep the meeting focused on the child. Listen carefully to the ideas of others. If you do not understand what someone is saying, please ask for an explanation. Be polite and respectful.

100 Top Ten Ways to Avoid the Shark Pool
10. Dates and Timelines Invitations, assessments, follow-up meetings 9. Present Level Portfolio Demonstrate level via work samples. Record and chart growth over time. 8. Goals Are measurable, including benchmarks, or short term objectives an are aligned to standards. Student efforts are monitored and recorded by the responsible party as noted on the IEP.

101 Top Ten Ways to Avoid the Shark Pool
7. Steps toward Mastery Work samples, observations, pre/post test – whatever you use – tie it to a goal, use it often, & date it 6. Core IEP Team members Present – 1 Sped +I Gen Ed ,multiple teachers may mean multiple attendees. If a teacher has unique knowledge or is the best source, not having that teacher present could be viewed as a denial of FAPE 5. Location, Duration and Frequency Note the location sited on the IEP, and keep to it. (speech room, classroom) Note and record when meetings and services begin and end Track the frequency of services and record

102 Top Ten Ways to Avoid the Shark Pool
4. Always keep parents informed. 3. Document the training of staff to support, record, guide, teach and instruct – continuously. 2. When possible and definitely when the student turns 15, invite the student to the IEP. 1. Case managers – manage the case.

103 Key Points 1. Plan smart, work efficiently and protect your name and career. 2. Remember: Report /record observable behaviors and work product. date every work sample, correspondence, note. 3. Set up your system so you have three resources that verify both your efforts and your students. Diagnostic Center, Southern California

104 Documentation at the IEP Table
Documentation on all areas of need (e.g., goals) Work samples related to goals/standards Portfolio of student progress Data that shows growth over time Reports/feedback from all adults working with the student

105 Now what happens? Take the strategies that we reviewed today back to your classroom. See how many you can implement The goal is to create a flow in your room that supports your students and you as a professional. Diagnostic Center, Southern California

106 Teachers must… if it’s not written down, it didn’t happen.
Think on their feet. Use their heads. Always know what the other hand is doing. Read between the lines. Wait for the second shoe to drop. Take it on the chin. And still, at times, they get kicked in the end. but if it’s not written down, it didn’t happen. Diagnostic Center, Southern California

107 Kathleen Whelan-Gioia Thank you for your attendance
Thank you for your attendance in this training. Diagnostic Center, Southern California

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