1SPECIAL EDUCATION AND THE IEP PROCESS: Everything You Need to Know and More Presented by: Diana Davis, M.Ed., L.D.T.C.South Bergen Jointure CommissionIn conjunction with NGO#07-FC01-H03
2Step 1: Referral Referrals come from a variety of sources: Parents Social WorkersTeachersDoctorsPublic Health NursesStudents Themselves
3Step 1: Referral I & R S Committee To Whom: Intervention and Referral Service Committee ( I&RS)I &RS collaborative planning team includes:General education teachersSpecial education teachersAdministratorsSupport PersonnelParents are often invited to participate in I & RS meetings.
4I & R S Referral Pre-referral prior to referral to Special Services What is the role of the committee?Offer suggestions to the general education teacherTeachers and parents work together to try to resolve difficulties (academic, behavioral, social, or personal)
5I & R S ReferralCommittee offers suggestions to teachers such as accommodations or different teaching approaches.Parents must be given written documentation of the interventions that the teachers are trying in the classroom.If the problem still exists after the pre-referral strategies, then a referral is made to Special Services.
6Step 1: Referral Child Study Team To Whom: Child Study TeamMulti-disciplinary team of professionals:Learning Disabilities Teacher Consultant, Psychologist, School Social Worker, Speech Therapist (or Teacher for children 3-5 who have speech and language delays) Additionally, the school nurse must review and summarize health and medical information regarding the student being referred and present the findings to the CST
7Child Study Team Referral For children already in school, most referrals are made by general education teachers.Students whose academic performance is not up to par or those with severe behavioral problems are candidates for referral.
8Child Study Team Referral The committee invites the parents to a meeting to decide whether the student’s problems warrant a formal assessment.The committee reviews all of the information collected in the pre-referral period.The district must meet with the parents of a child who has been referred within 20 days of the referral.
9Child Study Team Referral In this meeting it is decided whether or not a formal evaluation will be done.Parents must give their permission for the IEP process to continue. They must sign a consent form before the initial evaluation and all future evaluations.
10Step 2: EvaluationWho: Child Study Team prepares written reports based on their assessments.This step determines whether or not a student has a disability, whether special education is necessary, and what additional services, if any, are needed.
11EvaluationThe initial evaluation must include assessment in at least two of the following areas:SocialPsychologicalEducationalEvaluations from other specialists may be necessary(i.e., neurologist, if the child is thought to be neurologically impaired; or psychiatrist, if the child is thought to be emotionally disturbed).
12EvaluationStandardized tests are often used during the evaluation process. They often determine whether a student has difficulties in areas such as: reading, writing, mathematics, and language.In New Jersey, the Learning Disabilities Teacher Consultant (LDTC) gives these tests to look for an indication of a learning disability.
13EvaluationPsychological tests may also be given. These are three types:1. IQ tests: measures for potential intellectualfunctioning2. Psychometer Tests: visual perception3. Projective Tests: identifies personalitydisturbances
14EvaluationThe school social worker meets with the parent(s) and asks questions about the child’s and parents’ history – health, education, family relationships,
15EvaluationFunctional assessments must also be used to assess the skills and needs of the student.A functional assessment consists primarily of classroom observations and interview with the student’s parent(s), other pertinent people, and if applicable, even an interview with the teacher referring the student.
16EvaluationFunctional assessments can also include, but are not limited to, the following:1. surveys and inventories2. student’s work samples3. curriculum-based assessments4. informal rating scales
17Step 3: Determination of Eligibility Who: Child Study team and Parent(s)After the initial meeting is completed, the Child Study Team meets with the parent(s).In this meeting it is determined whether or not the child is eligible for special education and related services.
18Determination of Eligibility 14 CategoriesAuditorily ImpairedAutisticCognitively ImpairedCommunication ImpairedEmotionally DisturbedMultiply DisabledDeaf/blindness
19Determination of Eligibility 14 Categories (continued)Orthopedically ImpairedOther Health ImpairedPreschool Child with a DisabilitySpecific Learning DisabilitySocial MaladjustmentTraumatic Brain InjuryVisually Impaired
20Determination of Eligibility The parent(s) and referring staff member must be given a written account of all decisions and recommendations whether or not the student is eligible for special services. This document must be signed by the Child Study Team.
21Step 4: Development of the Individualized Education Plan Who: IEP TeamThe IEP Team must include:at least one general education teacher,at least one special educator or related service providera representative of the school districtan individual who can interpret the instructional implicationparent(s)the student (if appropriate)anyone else the parent(s) or school invites.
22Individualized Education Plan The IEP must be developed within 30 calendar days from the determination of eligibility.There are five required components of the IEP.Statement of EligibilityCurrent Educational StatusAnnual GoalsObjectivesDescription of Student’s Educational Program
23Individualized Education Plan Information found under #5 Description of Student’s Educational Program includes the following:Description of special education and related servicesModifications of curriculum proficiencies and state assessmentsStrategies related to the area of disabilityGraduation requirementsTransition needs and services, IF APPROPRIATEBehavior plan (if necessary)
24Individualized Education Plan Goals and Objectives:When developing goals and objectives the following should be kept in mind:New Jersey Core Curriculum Content StandardsStudent preference(multiple intelligences, learning styles, and relative strengths and weaknessesChronological age appropriateApplying skills in new placesPhysical enhancementSocial contactIncreasing the number of environmentsFunctionality
25Individualized Education Plan After the IEP Team has established goals and objectives, they make recommendations regarding services, supports, accommodations, and modifications.Placement in the Least Restrictive Environment (LRE) should be determined only after IEP goals and services have been constructed.
26Step 5: Implementation of the IEP This must be done within 90 days from the date that parents sign the evaluation consent form.Once the IEP is developed, special services for the student begin immediately.The IEP Team’s responsibilities carry through the year.
27Implementation of the IEP Monitoring is a vital part of the implementation step.Monitoring responsibilities are written in the IEP.The CST and teacher(s) must monitor the student’s progress.Parent(s) need(s) to take an active role in making sure that the plan is implemented as it was written.
28Implementation of the IEP Many monitoring and evaluation techniques are used.These techniques match the goals and objectives set forth in the IEP.The parent(s) must be given progress reports throughout the year.
29Step 6: Annual ReviewWho: Case Manager and Child Study Team, parent(s), general and special education teacher(s), and student, if appropriate, as well as other individuals that the parent(s) or board of education invites.
30Annual ReviewThis is a yearly meeting to review and/or revise a student’s IEP. It can be reviewed at any time during the year but most IEP’s in New Jersey are reviewed in the spring.At the meeting, the IEP is reviewed, revised, and recommendations are made for the following year’s program based on whether goals and objectives set forth in the current IEP are being met.
31Three Year Evaluation Who: Parent(s) and Child Study Team A reevaluation must be conducted at least every three years or sooner if necessary.This reevaluation determines whether the student needs continued special education services
32Three Year Evaluation The parent(s) and CST form an evaluation plan. The IEP Team reviews the existing data and determines what, if any, evaluations are warranted.If no further evaluations are necessary, the parents are notified in writing and the Team is not required to conduct assessments.Parents can waive additional testing at this time if the parent provides written consent to waive testing to the child study team AND the child study team agrees that it is not warranted.
33Parental Rights and Procedural Safeguards IDEA guarantees parents the right to be active and equal participants in their child’s education.Schools must inform parents of their legal rights including due process procedures and free voluntary mediation.Parents are entitled to FAPE – a free and appropriate education for their child in the least restrictive environment (LRE).
34Parental Rights and Procedural Safeguards The law encourages parents to participate in all steps of the IEP process.Parents can request evaluations and reevaluations once in a calendar year.Parents must be notified of evaluations.
35Parental Rights and Procedural Safeguards Parents are entitled to informed consent of the IEP teaching plan.Parents must be kept informed about the child’s progressParents are entitled to review all of their child’s records.
36Parental Rights and Procedural Safeguards There are a few procedural safeguards:Parents must consent in writing to the following:The initial evaluationThe initial IEPThe three year re-evaluation
37Parental Rights and Procedural Safeguards The school district must put all of their decisions in writing.Written notice shall include the following:A description of the proposed or denied action.An explanation of why.A description of the procedures, records, or reports used in determining decision and factors.A description of procedural safeguards.
38Parental Rights and Procedural Safeguards Written notice must be given within 15 days after a decision.Proposed action can be implemented after 15 days unless parents request mediation.In the case of a student with behavioral problems, written notice must be given of any disciplinary action taken against the student in question.
39Parental Rights and Procedural Safeguards If a parent requests to initiate or change the referral, identification, classification, evaluation, or educational placement, the school MUST MEET WITH THE PARENT within 20 days of the request.
40ASSESSMENT OF YOUNG CHILDREN WITH DISABILITIES Four Stages of AssessmentCHILD FIND: Locate and IdentifyOne of the six principles of IDEA is Child Find. Each state is required to implement a program that locates un-served children and to inform parents of available programs. Public service announcements, billboards, articles in the newspaper, and signs are all ways that Child Find advertises.
41ASSESSMENT OF YOUNG CHILDREN WITH DISABILITIES SCREENING: Evaluation and AssessmentThe child’s vision, hearing, speech, language, motor skills, self-help skills, social and/or emotional development, and cognitive development are assessed.
42ASSESSMENT OF YOUNG CHILDREN WITH DISABILITIES DIAGNOSING: Eligibility DeterminationAny child that has a developmental delay of 33% in one area or 25% in two or more areas is eligible for special services.An intervention plan must then be designed.
43ASSESSMENT OF YOUNG CHILDREN WITH DISABILITIES From birth-3 years the state is responsible for early intervention services.An Individual Family Service Plan (IFSP or ISP) is written for children in this age group.The IFSP is written by the family, service coordinator, and evaluation team. It must be reviewed and updated every six months.
44ASSESSMENT OF YOUNG CHILDREN WITH DISABILITIES The IFSP must include a statement based on the evaluation and assessment of the following:child’s present levels of physical development (gross/fine motor)cognitive developmentcommunication developmentsocial and/or emotional developmentand adaptive development (self-help/feeding)
45ASSESSMENT OF YOUNG CHILDREN WITH DISABILITIES The strengths and needs of the child, based on information obtained from evaluation and assessment procedures and interviews with the family, must be recorded.Information can be recorded in narrative or list form, and is used as the basis for determining outcomes, as well as, methods and activities to achieve outcomes.
46ASSESSMENT OF YOUNG CHILDREN WITH DISABILITIES EVALUATING Measuring Progress : Developing a Plan for TransitionOn the child’s 3rd birthday, he/she is no longer entitled to state early intervention services.The child’s progress is measured and it is determined whether or not the child is still entitled to special education services.
47ASSESSMENT OF YOUNG CHILDREN WITH DISABILITIES A transition is made to Special Services of the local school district.Once the child reaches his/her 5th birthday, another plan for transition must be made.The child must again be reevaluated and determined eligible in order for special education services to continue.