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Meaningful, Measurable, Compliant IEPs Adena Miller Senior Consultant Colorado Department of Education | Exceptional Student Leadership Unit |

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Presentation on theme: "Meaningful, Measurable, Compliant IEPs Adena Miller Senior Consultant Colorado Department of Education | Exceptional Student Leadership Unit |"— Presentation transcript:

1 Meaningful, Measurable, Compliant IEPs Adena Miller Senior Consultant Colorado Department of Education | Exceptional Student Leadership Unit | |

2 Agenda » Special Education Evaluation: Integrated Report Writing » Writing Meaningful, Measurable IEP Goals » Understanding Prior Written Notice

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4 Special Education Evaluation Integrated Report Writing

5 Why Write an Integrated Report » Evaluation fosters a holistic of review of a child’s strengths and needs in all areas …rather than a piecemeal approach with each discipline independently assessed

6 Suggested Steps » Regularly Scheduled Team Meetings to be able to discuss: Existing data Evaluation Planning Post-Evaluation Conversation Report-Writing

7 Questions for Planning and Interpretation Meetings 1. What are the presenting concerns, and who has them? 2. How does each concern affect academic progress? 3. What evidence (description of behavior in different contexts and likely cause) do we have for each concern? 4. What evidence do we need to collect? 5. How best can we collect the evidence? Interview/Observation Checklist, survey, protocol, rating scale, behavior sampling Focused assessment 6. Who will collect the data and when? 7. How well does the data support the presenting concerns? 8. What other areas of concern were uncovered during the evaluation?

8 Post-Evaluation Conversation » Identify Strengths: Supporting Data Tool? Context? Who collected? When? » Identify Concerns/weaknesses: Supporting Data Tool? Context? Who collected? When? » Interpretation of Findings

9 Evaluation Report » Summary documenting: Sources of information Assessment methods used Results obtained Date(s) the assessment(s) was administered » Analysis of raw evaluation data » Identifies student's strengths, needs, and implications for instruction » Jargon free » Collaboratively developed » Emphasizes whole student across settings

10 Evaluation Report » Should directly and explicitly address the questions and concern of the MDT » Families should not have to search through findings to locate answers to questions raised » Findings portrayed in a way that provides clear, useful information on these concerns for the reader

11 Evaluation Report: Eligibility » Report should address interpretation of overall performance in relation to identified concerns, questions, & priorities » Report should identify characteristics student demonstrates that are/not consistent with criteria for eligibility for special education » Report should NOT state whether student is eligible for special education

12 Evaluation Report: Understandable & Useful Guidance » Evaluation must lead to improving outcomes for students » Evaluation should lead to suggestions that easily translate to accommodations and intervention whether or not student is found eligible for special education » Suggestions need to be realistic and workable within the everyday context

13 Evaluation Report: Coordination of Information Information can be very difficult to assimilate and retain, especially when the information is new or different from our expectations. Often, we explain well what the assessment findings mean, how families can help their children develop, and what programs and services might help. Seldom do we include the same rich description in the report itself. Having something explained once during a meeting is different from having the information in writing. Careful coordination of suggestions shared orally with those included in the written report eases understanding.

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15 Principles of a Collaborative Report » Emphasis on authentic performance » Focus on patterns or clusters of strength and concern/weakness » Use data to support all conclusions » Discuss data before writing report » After the report is written, allow the team to edit

16 A Strategy: How to Write a Collaborative Report » Team discusses results » Have a note-taker record conversation » Team members give data to a selected recorder (electronically so that it can be copied/pasted into final document) » Data from team members should include notes/summaries » Recorder (should be a rotating job) compiles all into a report » Report is sent to team members to edit & check for accuracy

17 Another Strategy: Collaborative Report Writing » All team members meet with data » One recorder writes the report during meeting with everyone’s input (projector could be very helpful)

18 Use an Outline for Report I.Conclusion/Summary of Findings II.Presenting concerns A.Parent B.Teacher III.Process of Assessment (brief) IV.Descriptive Assessment A.Student’s Strengths B.Student’s Weaknesses/Concerns V.Explanatory Analysis/Interpretation I.Explain weakness/concern II.Use assessments to interpret III.Include significant history VI.Conclusion/Summary

19 Windows & Mirrors » You are observing a MDT attempting to write an integrated evaluation report through a one-way window. » What do you SEE and HEAR

20 Windows & Mirrors » Now imagine you are in a room where you can see your own behavior reflected in mirrored walls. » What do you see yourself doing that makes a difference for this group?

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22 Writing Measurable, Meaningful IEP Goals

23 The IEP: Connecting the Dots Goals Interventions Present Level Goals Interventions Present Level Goals Interventions Present Level Year 1 IEP Year 2 IEP Year 3 IEP From IEP Goals that Make a Difference: An Administrator’s Guide to Improving the Process; Carol Kosnitsky, 2008

24 Review the IEP you brought with you. From IEP Goals that Make a Difference: An Administrator’s Guide to Improving the Process; Carol Kosnitsky, 2008

25 Using the Provided Template Answer the Following: 1.What evidence is there of change in the student’s present level of performance in identified areas of need between the first, second and third IEPs? 2.Are objective baseline data incorporated into the present level statement? 3.What evidence is there of change in the performance criteria in the goals between the first, second and third IEPs? 4.What evidence is there that appropriate changes were made based on progress-monitoring data? 5.Are the supports and services that are identified in the IEP calculated to aid progress toward meeting the goal? 6.What other data show the changes reported in the IEP porgress data? From IEP Goals that Make a Difference: An Administrator’s Guide to Improving the Process; Carol Kosnitsky, 2008

26 Review Your IEP » Is it helpful to have different ways of measuring goals from one IEP to the next? » What patterns do you see when going from grade to grade and building to building? From IEP Goals that Make a Difference: An Administrator’s Guide to Improving the Process; Carol Kosnitsky, 2008

27 How Do You Write a Measurable Goal? » Well written measurable goals are a reflection of the thoughtful analysis of what is currently known about the student and the outcome(s) the student will be expected to achieve in the upcoming IEP cycle. From IEP Goals that Make a Difference: An Administrator’s Guide to Improving the Process; Carol Kosnitsky, 2008

28 Required Components 1.By when. 2.Who (the student). 3.Will do what. 4.Under what conditions. 5.At what level of proficiency. 6.As measurable by… (unit of measurement) From IEP Goals that Make a Difference: An Administrator’s Guide to Improving the Process; Carol Kosnitsky, 2008

29 The Goal Writing Sequence 1.Establish present levels of performance A.Prioritize needs B.Describe what the student currently can do (related to needs) C.Describe impact of disability D.Define the skill or behavior that will change E.Collect baseline data 2.Consult local, district or national norms 3.Determine appropriate goal criterion (proficiency level) 4.Write the goal From IEP Goals that Make a Difference: An Administrator’s Guide to Improving the Process; Carol Kosnitsky, 2008

30 Prioritize the Needs of the Student » Many needs can & should be met through general education » A variety of student needs will be met through specialized instruction, but the team should limit those that will be developed into goals » Engage parents early regarding their vision for their child » Keep emphasizing that the IEP is for one year From IEP Goals that Make a Difference: An Administrator’s Guide to Improving the Process; Carol Kosnitsky, 2008

31 Prioritize the Needs of the Student » Factors to consider when establishing annual priorities: Student’s age and grade Student’s prior rate of progress and the services provided or changed Student’s interests and preferences Parent’s goals for upcoming year From IEP Goals that Make a Difference: An Administrator’s Guide to Improving the Process; Carol Kosnitsky, 2008

32 Prioritize the Needs of the Student » Factors to consider when establishing annual priorities: Balance between specialized instruction and accommodations Essential access skills Increased independence and self- determination » Bottom line: what will make the greatest difference for the student From IEP Goals that Make a Difference: An Administrator’s Guide to Improving the Process; Carol Kosnitsky, 2008

33 Describe What the Student Currently Can Do (related to needs) » Provide enough detail so that anyone working with the student will know where to start instruction » Reference to the past is relevant when it helps bring focus to what strategies have or have not been successful » Use positive, jargon-free language From IEP Goals that Make a Difference: An Administrator’s Guide to Improving the Process; Carol Kosnitsky, 2008

34 Example: Sally is able to add and subtract two digit numbers without regrouping. She has been introduced to regrouping and multiplying single- digit numbers. This needs to continue to be the focus of her instruction and eventually lead to… From IEP Goals that Make a Difference: An Administrator’s Guide to Improving the Process; Carol Kosnitsky, 2008

35 » Emphasize access to general education curriculum » What critical skills, knowledge or behaviors are represented by the standard? » To what extent does the disability impact the development of those skills, knowledge or behaviors? Describe the Impact of the Disability on Meeting Expectations in the General Ed Curriculum From IEP Goals that Make a Difference: An Administrator’s Guide to Improving the Process; Carol Kosnitsky, 2008

36 Example Sandra continues to have fine-motor difficulties that affect most of her writing activities. Her slow speed will interfere with note-taking during lectures—she quickly falls behind and misses critical information. A teacher-prepared outline requiring Sandra to fill in missing information has been successful in past years. Sandra can copy information, but her speed can impact her ability to get all written assignments from the board. Sandra is working at increasing her independence and has begun to compare her agenda book with peers to make sure she has correctly copied the assignment. From IEP Goals that Make a Difference: An Administrator’s Guide to Improving the Process; Carol Kosnitsky, 2008

37 Define the Skill or Behavior that will Change as a Result of Special Ed » Must be stated in measurable terms » Ask these questions: Can this skill or behavior be changed? Is it observable and measurable? From IEP Goals that Make a Difference: An Administrator’s Guide to Improving the Process; Carol Kosnitsky, 2008

38 Measurable » Myth If a goal/objective contains a it is measurable. » Example Student will control his behavior 80% of the time. » Better Example When teased by classmates, student will walk away and ignore teasing with 0 prompts from adult.

39 Examples Not Observable/MeasurableObservable/Measurable Sarah is below grade level in reading. Number of words Sarah read correctly in 1 minute. Tim is not responsible.Number of times Tim brings notebook, text book and pencil to class Carlos has low self esteem.Number of times Carlos turns his back toward peers when they speak to him. Elise is behaving inappropriately.Elise leaves her seat and wanders around the classroom while the teacher reads to the class. From IEP Goals that Make a Difference: An Administrator’s Guide to Improving the Process; Carol Kosnitsky, 2008

40 Collect Baseline Data » Select a progress monitoring tool or methodology » Consider: What dimensions of the defined skill or behavior will be changed? What tool or methodology can quantify that dimension? Can the tool or methodology be repeated throughout the IEP cycle to demonstrate if the student is making progress? From IEP Goals that Make a Difference: An Administrator’s Guide to Improving the Process; Carol Kosnitsky, 2008

41 Observational Data » Various counting methods » “Not everything that counts can be counted, and not everything that can be counted counts."  sign hanging in Albert Einstein’s office at Princeton » Measuring anecdotal/observable data Rubrics Checklists

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43 Collecting Observational Data » Counting each occurrence of behavior over time Example: Counting the number of times raising hand to ask a question during a class period » Counting presence or absence of behavior during a time interval Example: Staying in seat for__ minutes » Counting presence or absence of behavior at the end of a specified interval Example: Checking for on-task behavior at 30 second intervals » Measuring amount of time elapsed between stimulus and specified behavior Example: Follow instruction within 5 seconds of request

44 Collect Baseline Data Baseline data ultimately… » Helps team determine the unit of measurement (performance criteria) for the goal » Allows the team to monitor the student’s progress » Determine effectiveness of interventions From IEP Goals that Make a Difference: An Administrator’s Guide to Improving the Process; Carol Kosnitsky, 2008

45 Determining Baseline » For academic skills, typically 3 data points will provide the baseline » For social & behavior skills you may want more data over time Consider:  Behavior sampling  Using an existing source  Who will collect data  Can the data be collected in whole or part by the student? From IEP Goals that Make a Difference: An Administrator’s Guide to Improving the Process; Carol Kosnitsky, 2008

46 The Goal Writing Sequence 1.Establish present levels of performance A.Prioritize needs B.Describe what the student currently can do (related to needs) C.Describe impact of disability D.Define the skill or behavior that will change E.Collect baseline data 2.Consult local, district or national norms 3.Determine appropriate goal criterion (proficiency level) 4.Write the goal From IEP Goals that Make a Difference: An Administrator’s Guide to Improving the Process; Carol Kosnitsky, 2008

47 Consult Local, District or National Norms » Provides an aimline » Ensure that the performance criteria is realistic, challenging and assures “catch-up growth” » Consider norms for behavior such as: Homework completions Tardiness Interruptions in class From IEP Goals that Make a Difference: An Administrator’s Guide to Improving the Process; Carol Kosnitsky, 2008

48 The Goal Writing Sequence 1.Establish present levels of performance A.Prioritize needs B.Describe what the student currently can do (related to needs) C.Describe impact of disability D.Define the skill or behavior that will change E.Collect baseline data 2.Consult local, district or national norms 3.Determine appropriate goal criterion (proficiency level) 4.Write the goal From IEP Goals that Make a Difference: An Administrator’s Guide to Improving the Process; Carol Kosnitsky, 2008

49 Determine Appropriate Goal Criteria » Consider: Past progress Services required to reasonably help student achieve the goal (intensity and/or duration) From IEP Goals that Make a Difference: An Administrator’s Guide to Improving the Process; Carol Kosnitsky, 2008

50 The Goal Writing Sequence 1.Establish present levels of performance A.Prioritize needs B.Describe what the student currently can do (related to needs) C.Describe impact of disability D.Define the skill or behavior that will change E.Collect baseline data 2.Consult local, district or national norms 3.Determine appropriate goal criterion (proficiency level) 4.Write the goal From IEP Goals that Make a Difference: An Administrator’s Guide to Improving the Process; Carol Kosnitsky, 2008

51 Write the Goal 1.By when. 2.Who (the student). 3.Will do what. 4.Under what conditions. 5.At what level of proficiency. 6.As measurable by… (unit of measurement) From IEP Goals that Make a Difference: An Administrator’s Guide to Improving the Process; Carol Kosnitsky, 2008

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53 Remember, Goals Should be SMART S trategic/Specific M easurable A ttainable R esults-driven T ime-bound

54 Measurable Annual Goals - Example Need: Mario needs to fluently decode words with more than one syllables Goal: Mario will read a 5th grade text with 95% accuracy at a rate of 75 words per minute Baseline: Mario reads 3th grade texts with 97% accuracy at a rate of 68 words per minute

55 Measurable Annual Goals - Example Need: Elise needs to increase the range of phrases and frequency of use of the Big Mac to improve communication with adults and peers. Goal: Elise will use technology to select one of three appropriate phrases in 9 of 10 observed opportunities. Baseline: Elise uses one phrase in 5 of 10 observed opportunities.

56 Writing a measurable annual goal is like…. Because…

57 Develop a Plan to Measure Progress » Parents want to know: “is my child succeeding?” » Many IEPs are designed to report progress through the use of codes (1=Progress Made, goal to be met on time...) Based on a growing body of judicial and administrative rulings, it would appear that this subjective system meets neither the letter nor the spirit of the law (Etscheidt, 2006). From IEP Goals that Make a Difference: An Administrator’s Guide to Improving the Process; Carol Kosnitsky, 2008

58 Develop a Plan to Measure Progress » What kind of data will be collected » Who will collect the data » When will data be collected » Where will it be collected » Can you visually represent the data (graphs/charts) From IEP Goals that Make a Difference: An Administrator’s Guide to Improving the Process; Carol Kosnitsky, 2008

59 Objectives Many parents have come to rely on objectives as a lens into what their child will be working on. As a result, many parents fear that the elimination of objectives will limit their ability to know what is going on with their child’s program, as well as their ability to hold the school accountable. From IEP Goals that Make a Difference: An Administrator’s Guide to Improving the Process; Carol Kosnitsky, 2008

60 Responding to Parental Concerns » The child’s IEP will focus on outcomes and how progress to those outcomes will be measured and communicated with parents. » Communicate that you are not trying to withhold information, rather you are trying to measure the right information. » You may want to provide parents with a supplemental document that outlines the critical skills to be addressed in each goal. From IEP Goals that Make a Difference: An Administrator’s Guide to Improving the Process; Carol Kosnitsky, 2008

61 A Tool: » Use the provided tool to review the IEP you brought with you for the Present Levels & Annual Goals » If necessary, edit, re-write,change, tweak, adjust…

62 Prior Written Notice What? Why? When?

63 Prior Written Notice Notice must include: » Description of the action proposed » Explanation of why the action is proposed » Description of the information used as a basis for the action » Description of other options considered and why those were rejected » Description of other relevant factors » Statement about procedural safeguards » Sources for assistance to understand the procedural safeguards

64 Prior Written Notice » Why is it called “prior?” » How long to wait between Prior Written Notice and implementation of change?

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66 Matchbook Definition Matchbook Definition: succinct, brief, captures the essence of a concept » Craft a word definition of Prior Written Notice that captures the essence of this topic.

67 Thank you! Questions? Comments? Concerns?

68 The greatest danger for most of us is not that our aim is too high and we miss it, but that it is too low and we reach it. Michelangelo


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