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How to be an IEP (Informed Effective Parent) Team Member

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Presentation on theme: "How to be an IEP (Informed Effective Parent) Team Member"— Presentation transcript:

1 How to be an IEP (Informed Effective Parent) Team Member
Partners For Success Resource Center Anne Arundel County Public Schools

2 Outcomes Parents will be able to understand the Special Education Process. Parents will be able to interact with school personnel and other service providers in an assertive, non-aggressive manner. Parents will be able to advocate for their child within the IEP Process.

3 Partnership Partnership is a relationship between two people in which each has equal status and certain independence but also some obligation to each other. Equal in value and status. Partnerships require sharing knowledge for the good of the child. Independence in regard to each partner’s ability to bring viewpoints and contributions for cooperative decision making. Obligation or responsibility to work together for the child’s education.

4 Teamwork Teamwork is the concept of people working together cooperatively. Coming together, sharing together, working together, succeeding together Unknown

5 Special Education Process

6 Special Education Process
Screening Annual Review Evaluation Eligibility Instruction IEP Development

7 Screening Screening Requested
When parents or teachers notice that a child is having difficulty learning and a disability is suspected, they should give that information in writing to the school principal. Screening Completed by the IEP Team A team of people from the school will gather available information about the child. The team will consider whether the child has responded to scientific, research-based intervention as part of the process of determining whether a disability may exist. Then together with the parents, the team will conclude if an evaluation is needed or appropriate. Written permission is obtained from the parents to conduct the evaluation process.

8 Evaluation An evaluation is a careful look by a team of teachers and specialists at a child’s abilities, strengths and weaknesses. It provides information about the child’s educational needs based upon a multi-disciplinary battery of standardized assessments through individualized testing of the child.

9 Eligibility The IEP team, which includes the parents, meets to review the evaluation results and determines if the student is eligible for special education services under federal guidelines. An IEP must be developed as soon as possible once the student has been identified with a disability and in need of special education services. If the disability suspected is not confirmed, alternative intervention strategies will be designed to address the presenting problem.

10 IEP Development The IEP team meets to determine what special education instruction and supports are required to meet the child’s educational needs. An IEP is then developed which may require related services (e.g. speech/language therapy, occupational therapy, physical therapy, etc.) in addition to specialized instruction. The IEP is written and approved and will be implemented as soon as possible.

11 Instruction After the IEP is written, the child receives special education instruction, which focuses on the goals and objectives outlined on the IEP. This instruction will be directed toward teaching the skills necessary to become a successful and independent learner.

12 Annual Review At least once a year, parents and teachers meet to review the child’s IEP and the progress the child has made. During that meeting, the team will evaluate goals and objectives, identify current levels of educational performance and revise goals, objectives, accommodations and services as needed.

13 Re-Evaluation Every three years, or sooner if needed, each child is eligible for a new comprehensive evaluation and a determination will then be made regarding whether the child continues to need special education services.

14 Special Education Timeline at Glance
Up to 90 Calendar Days ASAP IEP is implemented as soon as possible 30 Calendar Days 1 Year 3 Years Special Education Timeline at Glance Parent or member of school staff requests an evaluation in writing. Process begins. IEP Team meets to review existing data (collects additional data, if necessary) If a disability is suspected, parent consents to an evaluation (The IEP Team has up to 60 calendar days to complete evaluation without going over the 90 calendar days from receipt of written request) Evaluation is completed and results are shared If student is eligible, an IEP is written by the team and parent/guardian must consent to implementation for services to begin Annual Review (within one year) Reevaluation (within three years)

15 IEP Individualized Education Program

16 Who is Eligible? Children Ages 0 to 21 with: Autism Deaf-Blindness
Developmental Delay Emotional Disability Hearing Impairment Intellectual Disability Multiple Disabilities Orthopedic Impairment Other Health Impaired Specific Learning Disability Speech/Language Impairment Traumatic Brain Injury Visual Impairment

17 Definition of IEP The Individualized Education Program (IEP) is the central component of the special education law: the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, referred to as IDEA. The IEP is both a process and a document: … the process includes the planning steps taken by a multidisciplinary team, including the parent, to assess the child, determine eligibility, and to design an appropriate educational program. …the IEP is a dynamic working document describing the special education and related services specifically designed to ensure that every student with disabilities receives an appropriate education.

18 Purpose of IEP …mutual agreement, shared ownership, an opportunity for creative collaboration …communication between parents and school personnel, as a joint agreement …management tool to make sure that the program is carried out by all members of the team …monitoring instrument to check whether the student’s special needs are being met by the IEP …evaluation measure to determine whether the student is progressing toward stated goals The IEP is not a contract, but a tool. It is to be changed as the needs of the student change, or if adequate progress is not being made.

19 IEP Content Present Levels of Academic Achievement and Functional Performance Measurable annual goals Statements of special education and related services with accommodations and modifications as needed Dates, frequency, location, and duration of services and accommodations which meet the child’s LRE (least restrictive environment) based on his/her needs Statement of participation in statewide and local assessments By age 14, transition statements focusing on course of study, and by age 16, transition goals including interagency involvement. (AACPS)

20 Learning in the Least Restrictive Environment (LRE)
It means that children with disabilities are educated with their typically developing peers to the maximum extent appropriate The child's placement is determined at least annually based on the IEP as close as possible to the child’s home The child is educated in the school that he or she would attend if non-disabled unless the IEP requires some other arrangement Placement decisions are based upon the unique needs of the child and made by the IEP team

21 Anne Arundel County Public Schools Division of Special Education Continuum of Services
Regular Education without supplementary aids and services TEAM Teaching classroom Anchor Room Separate class in regular school (MINC, ED) Separate school-public Separate school-private Regular Education with supplementary aids and services FULL INCLUSION Student remains in the classroom, receiving supports from the special educator and/or instructional assistant. ANCHOR ROOM (Elementary) Students move in and out of the classroom as warranted. The teacher teaches Math and Language Arts to various groups of children throughout the first two-thirds of the day, and usually then goes into the regular classrooms to co-teach Science and Social Studies. MODIFIED SELF-CONTAINED Many students in this classroom require the structured, small environment for the majority of the day including Science and Social Studies. The teacher is available in this classroom throughout the day. Students remain in the special education setting for all content areas. In some cases, they may remain in small, structured settings for Specials, lunch and recess. TEAM-TEACHING Student remains in the regular classroom, while the special educator and general educator share the responsibilities for instruction and follow-up activities.

22 Reporting on Student Progress
Progress is to be reported on IEP goals and objectives at least quarterly. These reports are included with report cards each marking period.

23 Advocacy

24 What is Advocacy? Speaking on behalf of another individual or group to bring about change. Type of problem solving.

25 Advocacy Is... Building self confidence. Organizing for change.
Investigating situations. Understanding and using the law. Knowing where to go for help. Locating the person who has the power to make decisions. Analyzing and resolving problems. Settling valid complaints informally/ formally.

26 Why Partnership and Advocacy Are So Important
Parent involvement is more important to student success, at every grade level, than family income or education. IDEA promotes and is based upon the concept that “teams” make decisions for the student, and that parents are partners on the team.

27 It’s All About Your Child
Learn all you can about your child's special needs Remember your child's strengths Use the knowledge and skills you already have Keep current on state and federal laws Remember as a parent you know your child best and bring this knowledge to the team!!!

28 Bridges and Barriers to Communication
Communication bridges are positive exchanges between parents and teachers.

29 Bridges that Improve Communication
Understanding each other’s roles and responsibilities and who to communicate to Respecting each other’s time and responsibilities Setting boundaries of how and when to exchange information, and maintain contact via phone, notes, s and meetings Exchanging information in a positive way A mutual desire to inform, discuss, and solve problems - all focused upon the student’s growth and development

30 Barriers that Hinder Communication
Failure to understand the importance of open, honest communication Either parents or school personnel not fully understanding each other’s perspective Different cultural expectations of parents and teachers Negative memories of their own school or less than perfect past experiences Defensiveness Hesitancy of team members to communicate too often

31 Supporting the Partnership through Effective Communication
Bring a positive attitude Build mutual trust Realize your value Commit to the process A willingness to listen, even when the information is contrary to what you believe. A commitment to the knowledge that a partnership is a process.

32 Before the IEP Team Meeting
Communicate regularly with the teachers. Maintain close contact with anyone responsible for coordinating your child’s program. Offer assistance to the teachers. Review the draft IEP and assessments and compile a list of questions to bring to the meeting. Discuss IEP draft with the child, if appropriate.

33 At the IEP Team Meeting You have the right to invite anyone you wish.
Be prompt. Bring the child into the meeting with you if appropriate. Be specific as possible about child’s abilities and needs. Stick with the issue at hand - your child’s education.

34 At The IEP Team Meeting Remain as friendly as possible, separate people from problems. Remember that understanding is different from agreement. Ask questions!!! Ask questions!!! Compromise is always encouraged. Keep an open mind to all proposals. It may not be possible to finish all the business at hand in one session.

35 After the IEP Team Meeting
If you think teachers or other team members are doing a good job, tell them! On going communication with school regarding goals and objectives. Ask for an IEP meeting if you think it is necessary.

36 Keep a Paper Trail Keep records in chronological order:
Medical and developmental history. Your own notes about your child. Assessment reports. IEPs. Transition Plan. Notes of phone calls and conferences Include dates, person contacted, purpose, results. Letters sent and received. Any other relevant information.

37 If you have concerns… If you have concerns about the IEP process or document…speak up! First, start by talking to your child’s teacher or the case manager, then the school administrator Contact your school-based resource teacher for special education Follow your parental rights/procedural safeguards regarding resolving disagreements Facilitated IEP’s are available upon request by contacting the Anne Arundel Conflict Resolution Center at

38 A child’s Individualized Education Program (IEP) is the cornerstone of his or her special education program. As an IEP (Informed Effective Parent) team member, parents, along with administrators, teachers and school staff, have the opportunity to combine their special areas of expertise and jointly craft an appropriate educational plan for the student. Continuous partnership and teamwork among parents, administrators, teachers and related service providers can help guarantee student success!

39 Resources and Partners
 Infants & Toddlers /Early Childhood Services AACPS, Partners For Success Resource Center, AACPS  Family Support Services Family Support Network, Preschool Partners, Partners for Success Centers  Parents Place of Maryland

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