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The LEA Rep’s Roles and Responsibilities

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1 The LEA Rep’s Roles and Responsibilities

2 Policy, auditing, & monitoring team main phone: 858-1660

3 AGENDA LEA Rep: Roles and Responsibilities Compliance Errors

4 LEA Representative The Local Education Agency Representative
In Wake County – the LEA represents the student’s unique needs and the school system’s interests at IEP meetings

5 Defined in the federal register (300.321) IEP team
(4) A representative of the public agency who - Is qualified to provide or supervise the provision of specially designed instruction to meet the unique needs of children with disabilities; Is knowledgeable about general ed. curriculum Is knowledgeable about allocating (availability of) district resources

6 Who can serve? The Principal Assistant Principals
Principal’s designee; responsibility for decisions made by the designee, ultimately rest with the principal. Careful selection and training of the designee is essential.

7 LEA Rep: Who cannot serve?
Beginning special ed. teachers Administrative interns School Psychologists (unless they also have administrative or special ed. credentials) S/L Pathologists (unless the child is S/L primary and they are not the therapist) Guidance Counselors Social Workers

8 LEA Representative- A Unique IEP Team Member
Ensures an Efficient IEP Meeting Scheduled appropriately (i.e. parent’s provided proper written notice, etc.) Follows process according to type of IEP meeting (i.e., initial placement, reevaluation, MDR, etc.) – refer to At a Glance Starts on time/ends on time – use an agenda Stays the entire time Facilitates the decision making process

9 LEA Rep. ensures that parents are informed of rights …
Using the Procedural Safeguards: Handbook on Parents’ Rights All procedural safeguards i.e. participation in IEP meetings and parent involvement in placement decisions Explains dispute resolution options (facilitation, mediation, state complaint and due process) when parents disagree with the school’s proposal for services

10 LEA Rep. ensures that school resources are available…
When the DEC 5 is finalized, the LEA Rep commits the school’s resources – At the bottom of the DEC 5 the final statement reads: This is the final action (decision) of the local education agency. If you disagree, you, as the parent or adult student, are entitled to the due process rights that are described in your Handbook on Parents’ Rights ( The deadline for filing a request for a due process hearing is 365 days from the receipt of this notice. The LEA Representative should be aware of all topics prior to the IEP Meeting that will be discussed. If there is a question or need for additional district resources such as: a teacher, teacher assistant, or specific school placement, the LEA should consult with SES prior to the IEP meeting. If topics are presented at the IEP Meeting that would require the commitment of district resources the LEA may stop the IEP meeting to discuss with SES and reconvene the IEP meeting for further discussion. The LEA should be careful not to commit resources that are not required or appropriate to provide the student FAPE.

11 LEA Rep ensures that the Iep is implemented…
Legal responsibility for the appropriateness of the IEP – At a Glance and Policies Governing Services for Children with Disabilities are important documents to have on hand and be familiar with Ensures team discussions and decisions are data driven Ensures documentation is compliant – does it meet state and local requirements Ensures that service delivery plan matches student’s needs

12 Core IEP Team Members LEA Representative
One regular education teacher of the child One Special Education Teacher of the child An individual who can interpret instructional implications of testing, when applicable

13 Definition of Parent A biological or adoptive parent (Always make a reasonable attempt to locate natural parent before allowing another person to serve as parent.) An individual acting in the place of a parent (such as grandparent, stepparent, or other relative) with whom child lives A foster parent (A foster parent no longer has to be named as a surrogate) A surrogate parent A legal guardian (but not the State if the child is a ward of the State) Therapeutic foster parents continue to be ineligible to serve as parent

14 Surrogate Parents Required if child is a ward of the state— parental rights have been terminated Submit request for Approval of Surrogate to Special Education Services If parental rights have not been terminated, the IEP team must document good faith efforts to involve them Unaccompanied Homeless Youth need one Surrogate Parent PowerPoint Training is online

15 Procedural Requirements
Compliance and What to Look For

NC DPI Compliance Monitoring: Audit of Southern Region – February 2012 Corrective Action for compliance errors: 1. Correct all errors (completed) 2. Provide Training for areas where compliance was <80% (in progress)

Required Components (78%) INITIAL EVALUATION/RE-EVALUATION Review Of Existing Data (78%) IEP: PLAAFP (69%) Annual Goals (72%) Alternate Testing (50%) LRE Justification (71%) Transition: Postsecondary Goals (70%) DEC 5/PRIOR WRITTEN NOTICE Why Actions Were Proposed/Refused (72%)

18 A word about technology and ethics
Prior to a meeting, teams may only draft documents, not finalize them. A DEC 5 (Prior Written Notice), however, should not be drafted beforehand. Documents should NOT be finalized or altered outside of a meeting. This may appear fraudulent. Questions? Call us for advice.

19 Eligibility criteria (77.7% compliance)
IEP Team should select evaluations for all areas of need (DEC 1 or DEC 7) If IEP Team determines during the evaluation process that other evaluations are needed, another DEC 2/Consent must be signed. Before determining eligibility, all required components must be completed. (Use the “cheat sheet”.) All evaluation areas on DEC 3 worksheet must be filled in (initial placement only)

20 Eligibility criteria If adding a secondary area of eligibility or changing the primary area, all required components must be obtained. Most commonly omitted components: Speech Language Screening Research-Based Interventions Summary of conferences with parents

21 Review of existing data (78% compliance)
DEC 7/Reevaluation: ALL areas must be addressed RECORD REVIEW & SUMMARY OF PREVIOUS ASSESSMENTS must be thorough Should be DRAFTed ahead of meeting Record Review: attendance, grades, state & district assessments, health info., discipline reports, progress on IEP goals, etc. Summary of previous assessments: psychological, educational, adaptive behavior, speech/language, motor, medical, etc.

22 Individualized education program: plaafp (69% compliance)
Present Level of Academic Achievement & Functional Performance How the disability affects the student’s involvement and progress in the general curriculum For preschool children, how the disability affects the child’s participation in appropriate activities

23 Major Components Data based, student specific information related to current academic achievement and functional performance Strengths of the student - what has the student mastered Needs resulting from the disability – skills/behaviors critical for the student to learn, addressed through goals, supports, services and/or accommodations Effects of the disability on involvement and progress in the general curriculum – Unique challenges or barriers, describe current level of independence, adverse educational impact (examples: not meeting benchmarks, requires adult assistance to complete tasks) TIP: Think of this component as a concluding sentence to the PLAAFP. Data based – should be comprehensive for each skill area or domain (academic or functional) Strengths – specific skills or behaviors the student has mastered Needs – skills/behaviors that are critical for the student to learn to be able to participate in gen ed. - addressed through goals, supports, services and/or accommodations Effects – unique challenges or barriers that exist for a student as a result of the disability - describes current level of independence and the need for assistance - adverse educational impact - Examples: not meeting standards or benchmarks, failing, below grade level,

24 PLAAFP, The Bottom line …
The PLAAFP is the cornerstone of the IEP and drives what comes next in the IEP. A well written PLAAFP, including student specific strengths and needs, allows for easier development of goals and objectives.

REQUIRED COMPONENTS: A GIVEN/CONDITON if needed (when…,with…, where…, what) SKILL/DOMAIN AREA (Academic, Functional, Behavioral) OBSERVABLE LEARNER PERFORMANCE (Action) MEASURABLE CRITERIA which specify the level at which the student’s performance will be acceptable (frequency, accuracy, speed)

26 A Measurable Annual Goal…
Is a statement that links directly to the areas of need identified in the present levels of academic achievement and functional performance. Therefore, if 4 areas of need are identified in the present level then 4 annual goals should be written. Also, all goals should be preceded by a description in the PLAAFP.

27 EXAMPLE: Based on work samples, Sam is able to add and subtract 2 and 3 digit problems without regrouping. Sam skip counts by 2’s, 5’s, and 10’s and has mastered his 2’s, 5’s, and 10’s multiplication tables as evidenced by multiplication timed quizzes. On Blue Diamond tests Sam can solve 1 step story problems with addition and subtraction, but gets confused with multi-step word problems. He can tell time to the minute, but needs to work on solving problems involving elapsed time. Sam is beginning to understand fractions by using manipulatives to create fractions such as ¼, ½ and ¾. Sam needs to continue to develop his understanding of fractions. Sam’s math needs impact his success on meeting grade level benchmarks. Sam will add 2 and 3 digit numbers with regrouping with 80% accuracy. Sam will subtract 2 and 3 digit numbers with regrouping with 75% accuracy. Sam will solve multiplication problems including facts 3,4,6, 7 and 8 with 100% accuracy. Sam will draw and state the name of fractions 1/8 – 7/8 with 85% accuracy. When given a multi-step story problem, Sam will solve the problem with 80% accuracy. Sam will independently solve problems involving elapsed time with 75% accuracy.

28 ANOTHER EXAMPLE A review of informal checklist of social/emotional skills indicates that Isabel is very social and participates in several after school clubs with her peers. Isabel is talkative, which causes problems during the school day as evidenced by office referrals, detentions and declining grades. Her point sheets indicate that she is prompted an average of times per period to be quiet and refrain from talking. The continuous prompting & redirecting aggravates Isabel and she talks back to the teacher at least once per class period. Isabel's outbursts cause her to be removed from the classroom, which inhibits her progress in the general curriculum. Isabel will follow staff redirections without arguing 4 out of 5 times. When redirected, Isabel will use strategies to control her outbursts 100% of the time. Isabel will use self monitoring to identify frustration and anger feelings 100% of the time. When frustrated, Isabel will use the count down strategy on 4 out of 5 occasions. When angry, Isabel will use one of her identified anger management techniques to reduce the anger on 4 out of 5 occasions.

29 IEP: NC Testing program (50% compliance)
If the student is participating in any alternate assessment(s), you must explain why the regular testing program, with or without accommodations, is not appropriate and why the selected assessment is appropriate. Example: Kara is working towards achievement on the Common Core, but due to her specific learning disabilities she is three years below grade level in reading, math, and all academic areas as demonstrated on both formal and informal assessments. Kara needs shorter reading selections and fewer test items with fewer response choices when assessed on grade level content. Therefore, the NC Extend 2 is the most appropriate state assessment for Kara.

30 IEP: NC Testing Program reminder
In order for a student with disabilities to be eligible to receive testing accommodations, it must be documented in his/her IEP and it must be used routinely during instruction and similar classroom assessments at least 30 days prior to testing (DPI October 2006)

31 IEP: LRE Justification Statement (71% compliance)
The MOST common error found in audits throughout the ages! If the student will be removed from nondisabled peers for any part of the day (general education classroom, nonacademic services and activities), explain why the services cannot be delivered with nondisabled peers with the use of supplemental aids and services

32 Least Restrictive Environment Justification Statement
Must be addressed for every student If student is removed from nondisabled peers, be specific and state why (what are the student’s needs) the student is removed for specially designed instruction Do not restate the services and classes If student is not removed from nondisabled peers, mark “N/A”

33 IEP: LRE Justification statement
Which of the following are compliant? Aaron needs resource language arts and math due to his learning disability. (No, this only restates services.) Due to Jessie’s high distractibility and difficulty with organization, he will be removed from non-disabled peers for direct instruction in study skills and organization. (Yes, states WHY he is removed.) Abby must be removed from nondisabled peers in order to work on her social and behavior skills. (No, doesn’t say why she has to be removed.) Jessica is significantly below grade level in reading, writing, and math. She struggles to comprehend grade level concepts and cannot complete assignments without maximum teacher assistance. She will be removed from her nondisabled peers to receive remediation for her deficits in order to access the common core curriculum. (Yes, states WHY she is removed.)

34 Transition component Transition Planning (for students 14 & over)–
To assure that the IEP incorporates academic, life and career skills and goals. To provide a balanced program geared toward the achievement of post-school goals. To prepare students to become productive members of society.

35 TRANSITION COMPONENT Post-Secondary Goals (70% compliance)
For students 16 & over Measurable statement based on age- appropriate transition assessments that articulate what the student would like to achieve after high school taking into account the student’s strengths, preferences and interests.

36 Post-Secondary Goals Areas must cover: Education/training = required
Employment = required Independent living = if appropriate And, must be outcomes that will occur AFTER high school And, must be MEASURABLE. (Example: “Student will …”)

37 Post-Secondary Goals examples
Employment Bill will obtain a job in his chosen area of sports and/or entertainment. Through a supported employment program, Kara will be employed. Education/Training After graduation, Jamari will attend a 4 year college. John will attend a job-training facility after high school. Independent Living Maya will live with assistance in an accessible dorm room. Jose will live at home until he is able to afford his own place. Ethan will live in a group home with other adults.

38 Prior Written Notice DEC 5 (72% Compliance)
Documents team decision(s) made at current meeting Gives parents written notice of their rights Used when team makes decisions about identification, evaluation, or placement or refuses to change the child’s IEP. Refusal and Disciplinary Change in Placement

39 Prior Written Notice DEC 5
Attorneys say that Leaving out required elements of the notice and/or not clearly articulating what your district proposes or refuses are top errors. Such mistakes can lead to procedural violations under the IDEA and misunderstandings among parents. Retrieved from LRP’s Special Ed Connection website for educational purposes only.

40 Prior written notice Example
Change in the Provision of FAPE Annual Review of Susie Smith's IEP on Wednesday October 27, 2010 Use the Wh questions + How to assist with composing PWNs: Who? What? Where? When? Why? How? Next 8 slides taken from DPI training 11/10

41 Prior Written Notice DEC 5: The lea proposes
Changing the content of Susie’s reading goal from a concentration on reading fluency to focusing on reading comprehension without the use of the read everything aloud accommodation. Changing Susie’s read everything aloud accommodation for class, district-wide, and statewide tests to read unfamiliar words aloud upon student request. What? Who? What?

42 Prior written notice dec 5: Reason(s) for the Proposal(s)
Susie’s fluency rate is now even with that of her nondisabled peers. When passages are read aloud, her average score for comprehension is 90%. She needs to work toward becoming an independent reader; therefore, we propose removing the accommodation of read everything aloud and using read unfamiliar words aloud upon student request for tests. Why?

43 Prior written notice dec 5: other option(s) considered
Who? (IEP Team) What? We considered developing an annual goal to address reading fluency, and removing the read aloud accommodation for class, district- wide, and statewide tests.

44 Prior written notice dec 5: why other option(s) were rejected
Increasing the rate of reading fluency is a goal for all students. Now that Susie is at the appropriate level, we will continue with instruction, but not at the intensive level she had with the special education teacher. The general education teacher will closely monitor Susie’s comprehension of grade-level texts and class work that she reads by herself in the general education classroom....

45 Prior written notice dec 5: why other option(s) were rejected
...If she does not make progress at a satisfactory rate, the IEP Team will meet to review the IEP. Completely removing any read aloud accommodation was rejected because Susie has used this accommodation for several years and needs an adjustment period. Why?

46 Prior written notice dec 5: A description of each evaluation procedure, assessment, record, or report the lea uses as a basis for the proposed or refused action We used Susie’s scores on two educational tests that measure reading fluency, one was an oral test and the other one involved Susie reading silently. We compared Susie’s scores and class work with that of her peers. What?

47 Prior written notice dec 5: A description of other factors that are relevant to the lea’s proposal or refusal What? Susie’s cooperation and strong work ethic were considered relevant to this proposal. This proposal(s) will be implemented beginning Monday, November 1, 2010. Notice given/sent: October 27, 2010 Method of Delivery: Hand-delivered When? When? How?

48 Resources (valuable) At a Glance Easy IEP Tips and Tricks
Easy Quick Reference Card for Administrators NC Policy and Procedure

49 We can’t do it without you!
Special Education… We can’t do it without you!

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