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1Present Levels of Academic Achievement and Functional Performance (PLAAFP) Training Dillard Research Associates and Alaska Education & Early DevelopmentJanuary 22, 2015
2Objectives of Training To understand the components of a PLAAFP page for Alaska IEPsTo practice writing PLAAFPs that are aligned to the Essential Elements (and/or nodes, as appropriate)DLM has resources on their website regarding the tested EE’s (which provide the nodes at five different levels of complexity): 1) initial precursor, 2) distal precursor, 3) proximal precursor, 4) target node, 5) successor node.Educator Resource page has all of the tested EEs
3What is a PLAAFP?A comprehensive statement describing the student’s current performance in relation to the enrolled grade-level content standards.Presents a clear picture of a student’s strengths and needs, as determined through evaluation.Identifies how the student’s disability affects the student’s involvement and progress in the general education curriculum.Is based on student data which reflect current academic achievement and functional performance.
6PLAAFP in the IEPPRESENT LEVELS OF ACADEMIC ACHIEVEMENT AND FUNCTIONAL PERFORMANCE (PLAAFP)– Address all identified educational needs from the ESER and Include results of most recent state/district-wide assessments. For students turning 16 or older, include a statement of current secondary transition progress.STATEMENT OF EFFECT – Describe how the disability affects the student’s involvement and progress in the general education curriculum or for a preschool student, participation in appropriate activities.
7Academic AchievementAcademic achievement generally refers to a child’s performance in academic areas (e.g. reading, language arts, math, etc.); orFor preschool children, age-appropriate developmental levels.
8Functional Performance Functional performance generally refers to skills or activities that may not be considered academic or related to a child’s academic achievement.Functional is often used in the context of routine activities of everyday living and are varied depending on the individual needs of the child.Functional performance can impact educational achievement.
9What does a PLAAFP Do? Serves as a foundation for an IEP Is the basis for determining:Measurable annual goalsAccommodationsSupplementary aids and servicesProgram supports
10Process of Developing Standards-based IEP Goals PLAAFPCollect DataIdentify StrengthsIdentify NeedsDevelop Impact StatementConduct Data AnalysisReview of PLAAFPReview Grade Level StandardsDetermine the gapWhere student is and where we need to goWriting Measurable Annual GoalsThe highlighting area in yellow is the first step in developing standards-based IEP goals.
11Developing the PLAAFPThe IEP team must include specific information addressing:The present level of academic performance.The student’s most recent performance on State or district-wide assessments.The present level of developmental and functional performanceHow the student’s disability affects involvement and progress in the general education curriculum.The student’s preferences, needs, interests, and the results of age-appropriate transition assessments.As you develop the present levels of achievement and functional performance, remember that the IEP team is drawing comparisons between the expectations set by grade-level content standards and where the student is currently performing.The PLAAFP is the first step in the standards-based IEP process. It is the step upon which all the other steps are built. The PLAAFP should be data-based and specific enough to serve as a baseline for developing standards-based IEP goals.
12Data Sources to Develop PLAAFP Results from Alaska Alternate Assessment(s)Formative assessments or progress monitoring results such as formative, district, or school assessmentsClassroom assessments and work samplesBehavior dataParent and student inputAT devices and related services information (including Speech, OT, PT, etc.)You need to collect data from various sources in order to determine a student’s current skills and knowledge.Included on this slide are various sources you could use to determine a student’s current skills and knowledge. This list is not an exhaustive list since there may be other data sources you may need to consider.
13Present Levels Must be: Measurable – use terms that are observable, specific, and based on evidence.Understandable – use clear language that can be understood by all members of the IEP teamGeneral statements based on opinion do not present a clear picture of where the student is functioning. For example, statements like, “Sammy’s performance in math is greatly improved” do not provide sufficient information for members of the IEP team. The term “improved” can mean different things to different people and it does not inform the reader as to how much the student’s performance has improved or in what way the performance has improved.
14Components of PLAAFP Strengths Needs Impact statement The development of a comprehensive present level is essential to developing meaningful and measurable annual goal. Each present level should have these three components.Let’s examine each of the three parts of the present levels of academic achievement and functional performance.
15Component 1 - StrengthsStrengths must be specific to the knowledge/skills that are needed to learn the grade level standards.Strengths may include:Skills related to the standard(s)Student’s response to learning strategiesSuccessful interventions or accommodationsStrengths should be specific and related to the standard(s) of the student’s enrolled grade.Remember that strengths clearly describe what the student can do. If the IEP team is setting the stage for a reading comprehension goal, for example, the strengths should state if the student is currently able to comprehend before, during or after reading a passage.
16Component 2 - NeedsNeeds should focus on the skill sets the student requires to access and make progress in the general education curriculum.The student’s needs will inform the IEP team which measurable annual goals to develop as well as the supports, services, and accommodations.If the strength is well defined in the present levels, it will define the need and form the basis for the measurable annual goal.Needs focus on any weaknesses a student may have. In other words, what skills are missing in order for the student to be able to achieve the grade-level standard? The need(s), as stated in the present level, is a clear statement of what the student needs to learn in order to close the gap between his/her knowledge/skills and enrolled grade-level expectations.
17Component 2 - NeedsNeeds should focus on the skill sets the student requires to access and make progress in the general education curriculum.The student’s needs will inform the IEP team which measurable annual goals to develop as well as the supports, services, and accommodations.If the strength is well defined in the present levels, it will define the need and form the basis for the measurable annual goal.This statement is KEY to developing a clear understanding of what a child CAN do, so that the team can co-develop the child’s “next steps” as Goals and Objectives.
18Component 2 - NeedsThe DLM Student Progress Report is a good starting point when considering the next step in a child’s instruction. The green box indicates a skill the child has mastered, and the yellow box is a recommended next step.
19Component 2 - NeedsUnofficial Student Reports from previous years’ AKAA testing also describe what a child CAN do, and help to determine the next instructional focus.
20Component 3 – Impact Statement Impact Statement: Answer the question of how the child’s disability affects (impacts) his/her involvement and progress in the general curriculum.Discuss learner characteristics and examine how the characteristics affect student learning.Do not use student’s exceptionality to explain how the disability affects involvement/progress in the general curriculum.It may be helpful for the IEP team to discuss the student’s learner characteristics and examine how these characteristics affect learning.During the meeting the IEP team members can discuss the student’s disability characteristics and use that information to develop the impact statement.One Example of What not to write isMarcus’s learning disability affects his progress in the general curriculum.What to writeMarcus’s weakness in applying strategies, such as making inferences and making complex predictions, affect his progress in comprehending sixth grade literary materials.
21Sample Impact Statement Ann’s disability in the area of auditory processing and auditory memory causes her to have difficulty processing problems and remembering information presented orally. This impacts her ability to follow multi-step directions, comprehension, and recalling complex concepts. This also impacts her academic success in all instructional settings with oral presentations, reading, written language, and math, and to a lesser degree, science and social studies. What areas are affected due to the disability? How does the student’s disability impact the student’s involvement in the general education curriculum? What academic areas are impacted due to the disability?If we color code the impact statement, we can clearly see the questions that are answered in this statement.The areas in red describe the area affected by the disability.The green area details the impact of the disability and the gray describes the academic areas that are affected by the disability.Another example of the red font, or the areas affected due to the disability, could be the following for a lower functioning student: Joe’s disability in the area of cognitive processing and comprehending of written text, oral presentations, and following directions, cause him to have difficulty reading and writing.Let’s look at some examples of acceptable and unacceptable impact statements.
22Sample Impact Statements Eli’s tendency to reverse numbers will impact his ability to accurately write numbers and will also impact computation/problem solving in mathematics.Samantha’s difficulties with reasoning skills affect drawing inferences from literary and informational passages and impact all other academic areas.Facilitators could consider using another method instead of color coding to separate the components of an impact statement. Participant could use shapes, animations etc. to identify the 2 areas of an impact statement.Let’s look at some additional examples of acceptable impact statements.
23Unacceptable Impact Statements What is missing?Lisa has difficulty organizing her materials and beginning assignments because she has an attention deficit disorder.Ethan’s learning disability impacts his phonemic awareness.Do not use just the type of disability as the answer to the question, “How does the disability impact learning the content standard”?Acceptable impact statements answer the question, “How?”
24Review: Steps to Develop PLAAFP Review the AK Standards and Essential Elements for English language arts and mathematics.Review various data sources to determine the student’s strengths and needs.Determine what the priorities are for the student in relation to the grade level standards.After the strengths and priorities needs have been identified, now you can write the Present Levels statement for each relevant area.Background:Strengths can be gathered or identified using the student’s enrolled grade level standards. It is important that during the process of developing PLAAFP statements the statements are connected to the enrolled grade level standards for that student. The present level should describe what that student can do (with data sources to support) in relation to the enrolled grade level standards. Sometimes, strengths are identified that have no impact or are not related to the enrolled grade level such as “can walk, ambulate around school”, we want teachers or IEP teams to identify strengths related to enrolled grade level standards. This process also ensures that teachers become more familiar with what is expected at particular grade levels.The best source of identifying strengths or what the student can do is to use the State Standards. Having them available to review while looking a data will guide Present Level Strengths statement.This process would be the same for all subject areas.Move to a later slide:If this is a review or revision of the student’s current IEP, the present level of performance should include a description of the student’s progress toward meeting the annual goals of the current IEP. The present level of academic achievement and functional performance should be developed in relation to the curricular expectations for the grade level. The present level of academic achievement and functional performance should provide information about the student’s performance and the typical grade-level expectations for the academic content area. The comparison of the two enables the IEP team to set measurable annual goals. Remember to develop the present level based on how the student is performing compared to grade-level content standards.
25Alaska State Standards – Reading This is a screen shot to reference the Alaska State Standards that can be distributed to participants as the next slide is reviewed and discussed.The EED has published the AKSS at: The document is 204 pages; we recommend directing participants to access the document online and downloading to their laptop. The electronic version is searchable.
26Sample 4th Grade Reading PLAAFP Strengths Sally can identify 1-2 details from text read to her. She can identify the main idea from content-area passages. She can verbally explain events in chronological order. She can compare and contrast events from text using a Venn diagram Needs However, Sally is unable to write a complete summary and will often add her opinion. She has difficulty identifying author’s evidence or purpose in text read, she only states what she likes in the text. In addition, Sally can not determine the cause or effect of a situation Impact Statement Sally’s inability to understand key components of reading literature affects her progress in the 4th grade general education curriculum.
27PLAAFP Phrase Examples Vague Verb PhrasesSpecific Verb PhrasesReceived a math score of 90Can count to 25Knows his lettersCan verbally identify 23/26 lettersCan addUsing a calculator, solves double-digit addition problemsExpressive language is at 27Communicates wants and needs in 2- 3 word sentencesCan readCan locate 2 -3 details in a reading selectionKnows fractionsCan reduce equivalent fractionsCan measureCan use various types of measurement tools such as rulers, weights, and volume (liters)Keep in mind the PLAAFP phrase examples must be in relation to the student’s enrolled grade level, however, in many cases a student’s grade level will span over 2 grade levels.States should provide participants with additional guidance for their State. Below are 3 options States could consider when providing guidance to their IEP teams.Option 1: If a student is in the 3rd grade and the annual IEP date is December than you should technically have a PLAAFP and Annual Goals for the student from December until the end of the school year for 3rd grade and a new PLAAFP and annual goals for 4th grade (start of school year) until December.Option 2: Develop PLAAFP and annual goals for the 3rd grade student from December until end of school year. Reconvene the IEP team and create new PLAAFP and annual goals for 4th grade at the start of school until December.Option 3: The IEP team could write IEP goals which cover the student’s current enrolled grade and next enrolled grade.
28How can you improve this PLAAFP Statement? Rosie has improved in math since last year. She can add and subtract and identify most money. She has limited budgeting experience. She can estimate two-digit numbers but not more than that.Facilitator will present this PLAAFP statement and ask the participants to improve this statement.
29One way…Rosie met her previous IEP goals. Rosie can add and subtract single digit numbers with 90% accuracy. Rosie can add double digit numbers with 50% accuracy and is unable to subtract double digit numbers that require regrouping. She can identify coins and small bills (penny, nickel, dime, quarter, one, and five dollar bills) but she cannot make change. Rosie can estimate two-digit numbers but not more than that. The fourth grade benchmark for math requires the following computation: Add, subtract, multiply (three-digit by two-digit factors), and divide (two-digit dividends by one-digit divisors) to solve problems.
30Present Levels: Instructional and Grade Levels It is critical that the PLAAFP and annual goals include both the instructional AND grade levels. Why?Instructional level alone does not meet the criteria of the general education curriculum.Grade level alone does not meet the criteria of an IEP based on identified skill deficits.Remember this from the instructions in the IEP for developing the PLAAFP: The Present Levels statement(s) must identify how the student’s disability affects the student’s involvement and progress in the general education curriculum, defined as the curriculum that is the same as for nondisabled students.
31Present Levels: Instructional and Grade Levels The two levels together (instructional and grade) allow the student to make progress in the general education curriculum, while also addressing skill deficits (needs).It is necessary to use grade level – (particularly for outcome measures) in order to determine if IEP content is appropriate.
32Present Levels: The End Result Instructional Level and Grade Level The information then translates into content for goals and specially designed instruction in order for the student to work toward mastery in the general education curriculum. The Essential Elements (and nodes where available) help bridge the gap between instructional level and grade level, demonstrating the linkage between the two.
33Questions to Consider After Writing Your PLAAFP Are your current PLAAFP statements related to the desired outcome for this student?Do the PLAAFP statements reflect what the student knows in relation to the curriculum or standards expectations?Are the PLAAFP statements stated in measurable terms?Facilitator may reword these questions to reflect a more self reflection process of thinking.
34Example of PLAAFP – Performance on the AKAA (Unofficial Report) On the Alternate Assessment (AKAA) Reading 4th grade, Jacob scored 70% (74 of 91 points) on the Reading assessment. On the Math AKAA, he scored 83% (40/48 points). On the Writing AKAA, he scored 78% (78/100 points). Do you know what Jacob’s instructional goals should be from this report? See “DRA_IEP_PLAAFP_USR.pdf” (yellow)
35PLAAFP Example if Detailed Info is not Available on AKAA Results On the th grade AKAA STUDENT received the following results: Reading - Proficient, Math - Proficient, Writing – Below Proficient (add classroom data regarding skills instructed and current performance). See “DRA_IEP_PLAAFP_ISR.pdf” (green)
36PLAAFP Example Reading & Math Reading - Currently, given a 4th grade reading passage, Jacob reads 24 words correctly with 12 errors in 1 minute.Math - Currently, given two-digit whole numbers, Jacob adds 4 number problems correctly in one minute.
37Example of a Complete PLAAFP – 10th Grade See “DRA_IEP_PLAAFP_Sample.pdf” (buff color)Need to add student strengths, needs, and impact statement.
38PLAAFP Example Writing Writing - Currently, when given a pencil and paper, Holly is not able to write her name. Using a Tablet (iPad) and a text application, she is able to write 3 of the 10 letters in her name correctly in 5 minutes.
39Review and Reflect: Writing PLAAFP Statements Accurately describe performance in academic areas related to the student’s enrolled grade level state standards.Include a direct relationship between evaluation/assessment data and PLAAFP statements.Use objective, measurable terms.Ensure scores (if used) are self-explanatory or include an explanation of the score.
40Process of Developing Standards-based IEP Goals PLAAFPCollect DataIdentify StrengthsIdentify NeedsDevelop Impact StatementConduct Data/Gap AnalysisReview of PLAAFPReview Grade Level StandardsDetermine the gap-Where student is and where we need to goWriting Measurable Annual GoalsThe next step in the development towards IEP goals is to conduct a data analyses.
41Data/Gap AnalysisAfter you review the State content standards, the next step is to “unpack” those standards by identifying essential concepts and skills.
42What is a Gap Analysis?A gap analysis is used to measure the difference between the student’s current levels of performance and grade-level content standard expectations.In order to develop IEP goals and objectives that will help students progress from their present levels of performance toward proficiency in grade-level English Language Arts and/or mathematics standards, the IEP team will need to conduct a gap analysis. To help you conduct a gap analysis to support IEP team decision making, let’s review some questions.
43Balancing Exposure with Instruction Instructional- Level ContentAccommodations & Specialized InstructionPresent LevelsEnrolled Grade-Level ContentInstructional LevelStandards-based goalsGrade-Level StandardsOne question frequently posed by educators when told about the standards-based IEP process is, “what will this look like when students are performing well below their grade level in reading, mathematics, or both?” In such cases, teachers will be feeling the pressures of teaching at the student’s instructional level, while still helping the student access and make progress toward grade-level standards. This is a complex process that could look different for each student depending on the student’s needs that result from their disability.
44What is Data Analysis? Data analysis is the process of: Gathering data about the studentMaking comparisons against baseline performanceThe goal is to highlight useful:InformationSuggestions and conclusionsSupporting decision makingIEP teams will need to make a determination of how the student’s gap will be bridged between their current performance and the grade level standards.Data are used to drive decisions about student progress and to determine the appropriate instructional plan necessary for a student to achieve grade-level success with the content standards.As the IEP team considers the data, look for patterns that occur in more than one type of data. If the results from assessments, for example, are reinforced by input from parents and teachers, the IEP will be more evidence based and therefore, more targeted at meeting the student’s needs.
45Examine Student Data Compile and review a variety of data. Those on the IEP team who are most familiar with the data and its meaning for the student should present to others.Examination includes an analysis of:Why the data are indicative of student performance.What the data indicate about student learning.How the data can be utilized to determine future needs.
46Questions to ConsiderHas the student been taught content linked to the grade-level standards?Has the student been provided appropriate instructional scaffolding aimed toward grade-level expectations?Was assistive technology considered?For a student with print disabilities: Was the student provided core and supplemental materials in an accessible format?
47Develop Goals and Objectives Identify the gap between the student’s PLAAFP and the Essential Elements and/or Nodes, or Alaska State StandardsWe will tie this idea together with developing clear Goals and Objectives after the next training.
48Review and ReflectPLAAFP –the cornerstone or foundation for developing measurable annual goals and have components:Developed by identifying student’s strengths in relation to enrolled grade level standards.Identify student’s area(s) of need to be the springboard for developing measurable annual goals.Impact statement which addresses the student’s disability and access to the general education curriculum.
49Reflect and Plan Identify One new concept you learned One concept you will use in writing IEPsOne concept you will share with a colleagueOn an index card or notes, have participantsWrite:1 thing new1 thing will use in classI thing will tell colleague
50ContactsPlease submit any additional questions or comments to one of us at the following addresses. Thank you for your attention today!Kim Sherman, Dillard Research AssociatesDan Farley, Dillard Research AssociatesSevrina Tindal, Dillard Research Associates HelpDesk