Presentation on theme: "Co-Presented by: Mary Samples, Assistant Superintendent"— Presentation transcript:
1 “Taking Charge” of IEP Meetings- for new School Principals And Other IEP Team Leads Co-Presented by:Mary Samples, Assistant Superintendentand Fran Arner-Costello,Director of Programs and Services,Ventura County SELPAMARY
2 The Dream vs the Reality The IEP Meeting….A collaborative, creative brainstorming team on behalf of students-or-Accusatory and adversarialFraught with legal challengesBoringComplicatedReview that the original law is a wonderful vision. That parents and educators work together in good faith to help kids. And quite often this is the case. However, sometimes the meetings are not that way, and may have angry, defensive, or upset people, and may cause legal damages to the district.
3 Who Should Run the Meeting? Best if not an active participantNot emotionally involvedGood leadership skillsOften the school psychologist or administrator
4 The Role of the IEP Team Lead Run the agendaFollow all stepsMake sure parents are heardMake sure professionals are heard,and are not attackedAssist the team in coming to consensusThe team lead is in a powerful position, and must be willing to take responsibility for running the meeting. They must give the meeting their full attention, making sure that the agenda and process are followed. They must make sure that all team members are treated with courtesy and respect (parents and professionals). It is their job to assist the team in making decisions.
5 The IEP Process Clarify meeting purpose Make introductions Review all reports and progressEstablish current performance (“Present Levels”)Determine eligibility (if appropriate)Develop transition to adult life plansReview the process.
6 Select Special Education services to address goals Decide ELD services 7. Set goals for yearDecide accommodations or modifications needed and participation in state assessmentsSelect Special Education services to address goalsDecide ELD servicesOverall description of program- offer of FAPEComplete required documentation and signaturesWe will go over each of these steps one by one.
7 This is the agenda – it’s a best practice to have a copy at the meeting.
8 Meeting PurposeInitial/ Triennial- Must establish eligibility and needAnnual review- Review progress and set new goals, change services if neededOther:New assessment or FAAManifestation Determination ReviewParent RequestThese are the various reasons to meet. It is important that the principal be aware of the reason before the meeting, because there will be different things to be done depending on the purpose. Also, the reason should be clearly articulated to the parents and the rest of the team, in the interest of keeping the agenda within the allotted timeframe.
9 Required Members at all IEPs (or it’s not legal) Representative of the districtParentsSpecial Education Teacher or SpecialistGeneral Education TeacherAnyone who has conducted assessmentThe student if over 15Can use an ExcusalThese people must be there. If not, use the Excusal, get parent permission, and place in file. Do not hold a meeting without the required members.
10 This Excusal must be used even if someone leaves early.
11 Representative of the District must be . . . Qualified to provide or supervise the provision of special educationKnowledgeable about the general education curriculumAble to commit the resources of the districtREFER TO THE HANDOUT OF VARIOUS ROLES. (HO-1)
12 Introductions Sets tone for the meeting Parents must know who everyone is and their roleSit parents next to someone who is trusted (often the Case Manager)Establishes that you are in charge of keeping the meeting on track, and observing professional courtesyDemonstrates your interest in supporting the studentThe way introductions are done can set the tone for the meeting. Gets people on the same page, is courteous, parent feels more confident, etc. If the parent is not at ease, seat someone who knows them well next to them, to listen to them, make sure they are understanding, etc. Offer coffee, water?
13 Review all Reports Reports must be reviewed by qualified person Everyone should have a copy of the report as it is being reviewedAllow people to ask questions and express concernsMake sure the specialist clarifies any “jargon”The report can be modified if all agreeMake sure that each assessor shares their report. Use words and terms that are understandable to everyone. Ask clarifying questions if the person is not being clear. Make sure there are enough copies of the report for everyone, including parent. If the assessor agrees to modify the report based on input given by a team member, make sure parents get a copy of the revised report.
14 Reports Prior to the Meeting Assessor can review with parents prior to the meetingParents can have copies of reports prior to the meeting (if completed)If parents want to review report at the meeting and then reschedule they can.
15 Review of ProgressReview all the existing Annual Goals note “Met” or “Not met”Staff should have data supporting each of the goalsAllow parents to respond to progress reportsThe goals are the signposts along the way to educational benefit. If students are making progress, then the program is right! If there is any disagreement about goals, make sure your staff have “backup” data to support their findings. The data doesn’t have to be fancy (although fancy is nice), as long as they are functional- checklists, grade books, student work, prompting sheets, behavior contracts, etc.
16 Present Levels of Performance Start with parent input (considers their concerns)Review all areasCelebrate areas in which student is doing well!Performance expressed in terms of what the student can and can’t do- scores don’t belong hereFRAN:Make sure it’s a complete picture of the child- don’t put just “age appropriate,” indicate what the child can and cannot do. Be sure to find good things to say!!!
17 Present Levels, continued Easy place to add comments parents make (note “parent reports” if not all agree)Be sure to put in the latest statewide test scores and EL levelsNote any areas in which goals are neededPutting in parent comments help make this a collaborative document.
18 Impact of DisabilityThis phrase should be the one that interprets for all other educators how the disability impacts progress in core curriculum. The team should not decide placement and services, but what challenges the student faces, or how the disability makes learning difficult.This is the cornerstone of the IEP. It lets general ed, parents, and others see what the disability actually causes for the child, versus the disability label.
19 Make sure parent is ok with everything. If not, note their comments.
20 Determine Eligibility For initials and triennials onlyEstablish presence of a disability (13 categories)Establish need for Special Education servicesFor Specific Learning Disability, there is a formFor annuals and other reviews, the child is assumed to continue to be eligible, and there does not have to be a discussion about eligibility. Eligibility is two prong- presence of disability and need for services.
21 Transition to Adult Life Required for all Special Education students 15 and olderCase Manager should have done lots of preliminary workStudent should speak if ableSets the tone for the whole rest of the IEP, in terms of what student wants to doShould have done career interest and career skill assessments. There are lots of forms that can be used for the student to give input. S/he should express their interests and dreams. A plan for addressing those dreams (even a teensy first step!) should be made, regardless of whether the adults think it is a good idea.
22 Must have a career and education/training outcome.
23 Note any adult agencies to be invited next year.
24 Annual GoalsIn all areas in which there are concerns/student is behindGet input from parents“Guideposts” to outcomesMust be measurable and quantifiableMust have baselineMust be clear who will work onHelps confirm “Educational Benefit”Annual Goals are the “proof in the pudding” of whether the child is making reasonable progress. Parents should not be able to say the program is not adequate if the child is making progress. All members of the IEP team must be clear on what the current (baseline) performance is, and what it is agreed the student should accomplish in one year. Let’s look at the elements of goals, and then some samples. (Mention the 2 types of goals pages.)Case Managers should call the parents before the meeting to share ideas about goals.
25 Description (including baseline) Required elements:Progress on last year’s goal/reason for goal- This explains why we have a goal in this areaBaselineDescription of behavior or skill- this is the skill we will measure in the goalCurrent accuracy, consistency, and how measuredBaseline is always stated in terms of,“Currently, student can…”The skill that is described here needs to be the same as the skill that will be measured for the goal. (This is the “point A” from which “point B” stems). There needs to be data supporting the baseline, including a measurement tool. For some skills, one observation is adequate to establish baseline, and sometimes a different tool will be used to establish baseline vs measuring the goal. But the way the skill is measured must be the same as the goal: Number correct, number of prompts, etc. etc. Let’s look at some good examples. (Jesus, Johnny and Yvonne.) (HO-2)
26 Annual Goal By (date) Student name Setting/conditions Skill or behavior (same as baseline)Accuracy (how well)Consistency (over how much time/trials)How measuredThe setting and conditions are the factors that will be in place when this skill is measured. Just putting “in the educational setting” may not be indicative if what you really mean is, when prompted, or when asked to do math, or in the speech or counseling office. The skill or behavior must be the same as baseline. The accuracy should be in the same terms as baseline, but of course with an increase or improvement. (Number of prompts, number of opportunities, number correct, etc). The consistency is the amount of times that the student will be expected to demonstrate that skill at the accuracy given to be considered “met.” For some skills, doing it twice is plenty, for others, there needs to be a maintenance over time. As measured is always hard copy, which can be brought to IEPs and hearings to back up assertions made about progress. Look at Jesus, Johnny and Yvonne as good examples. LOOK AT SAMPLES 1 & 2 – WHICH IS GOOD, WHICH IS BAD?
27 Accommodations and Modifications Allowances the student needs across the school dayState AssessmentsAccommodations: Do not substantially alter the construct of test/assignment/courseModifications: Do substantially alter the constructThe team decides- general education teachers must helpThe team needs to think about the student’s disability, and in which subjects/settings s/he will need extra allowances. Once documented, they must be provided – teachers can’t choose. Review Classroom Accommodations Menus (HO-4). The general education teacher needs to describe the requirements of the course, and whether or not proposed allowances would or would not substantially alter what students are responsible for learning.
29 Special Education Services Necessary to meet goalsConsider all adults available in the educational settingMultidisciplinaryFrequency, duration and locationProviderEligibility ≠ Services!These are the Special Education services that make the child’s program unique. Be clear as to how much, and where the services will be provided. Do not put ranges, but ok to put “per month” for some services. As an administrator, it is your responsibility to ensure that these are provided. Require your specialists to keep logs of services, in case there are any disputes. Mary tell Hueneme story.
31 Offer of FAPEBefore the meeting ends, you must have in writing what you are proposing to offer.The representative of the district makes the final decision on behalf of the district“Overall Description of Program” describes the student’s school day, the services s/he will receive, where and by whom.Put this in writing even if you anticipate that parents will disagree.Include supports for school sponsored extracurriculars.Put in any detail that is important to describe what the student will get. This is the offer that you are willing to defend if the parent initiates due process. If you have nothing, you will automatically lose any case. You can change this offer if you get new information and meet again, or you can change it with a Prior Written Notice letter.
33 Required Documentation Make sure everyone who attended signsParents must sign that they were in attendance.If parents don’t want to sign in agreement, let them think about it for a few days, but set limits.Get parents to indicate everything they are in agreement withIf you can isolate the areas of disagreement, you can implement those in agreement and work on solutions to the area of disagreement.
35 If Parents DisagreeOK to try to compromise within reason during the meetingIf not willing to change something, put it in writing and let parent indicate disagreementMake a plan to meet again as soon as possible to discuss that areaCheck with Special Ed. Administration for advice on how to proceed.Follow up with “Prior Written Notice to Parents of Action”Prior Written Notice should be given to clarify your position in the IEP, if there is something that the parent has requested that you are refusing, or if there is something that you are offering that the parent is refusing.
37 Solving Disagreement Request further assessments Bring in other expertsConsult with district office Special Education DepartmentTry to come up with a “win-win” solutionAgree to a “short term” trial (either your idea or parents’)Ask the parent to clarify WHY they are asking for something, or refusing something. With that reason in mind, try to come up with solutions that meet that same need.
38 If Team Members are Inappropriate If your staff is inappropriate:- Ask for a break- Speak to them outside the meetingIf it’s the parents or an outside party:- Ask for professional courtesy- Refer back to agenda- Ask for a break- Stop the meeting and plan to reconveneDon’t allow people to be abused verbally. Stop anything that is inappropriate. Be strong if you feel that any members of the team are being treated disrespectfully. Work with your own staff before the meeting to anticipate any pitfalls or areas where they feel scared or vulnerable.
39 Parent Action CDE Complaints OCR Complaints Due Process Resolution SessionMediationHearingMARY
40 If Parents Request Due Process Assist them in accessing the required paperwork (on SELPA website)Let your district Special Education office know asapResolution Session will be the next step- many things will be resolved at this levelThis is not the end of the world. It just establishes that they are not in agreement with something, and that they are willing to pursue it. Your district can decide if they want to hold the line on the issue or resolve it in resolution. Does not necessarily allege wrongdoing, and is an administrative process for resolving differences.FRAN - SHOW SELPA WEBSITE – DUE PROCESS FORMS – SIRAS User’s Manual & Instructions.
42 In Summary…..98% of all IEPs will be collaborative, productive meetingsParents will appreciate your caring and involvementStaff will appreciate your leadership and protectionBe prepared for the ones that are challenging, and get help if needed!Keep informed of changes in special education informationAlthough we would not want to have DO staff in attendance at every IEP team meeting, we certainly need to use them for problematic sitruations which might cause harm to the district farther down the road.