Sunday, April 17, 2016

IEP Blog Post #4

I have spent the last last three blog posts primarily discussing evaluations and the referral process to special education. In this post I am going to discuss IEPs. IEP stands for Individualized Education Program. I spent the last few blog posts discussing evaluations, because the evaluation drives the IEP. A child should have a minimum of one IEP meeting done per calendar year and a re-evaluation meeting should occur once every three years. A child must have a complete evaluation before an IEP is developed. The IEP team must include: General education teacher, special education teacher, district representative, and the parent. A meeting can move forward without a parent if the parent had been attempted to be contacted at least three times. It is important to note that an IEP meeting can be called at any time. If you are not happy with certain components of your child's IEP you can call a meeting. You can also request for your child to be re-evaluated at any time. The three year rule in regards to evaluations is what the district is bound to do in Washington state, but as a parent, you can request that your child gets reevaluated before the three year date.  An IEP contains many parts. Some of the major components of an IEP include: present levels, adverse impact statement, written goals, accommodations, and state testing information. Present levels should include where your child is currently performing at in each qualifying area. Present levels are extremely important. Present levels should drive the goals in the IEP. When I write present levels, I try to create a clear picture of what a child is excelling at and also areas that they need to improve in. The areas of deficit are then used to create goals within the IEP. Progress monitoring should be done on a regular basis. The IEP will dictate how often this should be done. As a special education teacher, I typically complete progress monitoring on a quarterly basis. Progress monitoring is done so that a teacher can measure a child's progress in regards to how the child is doing in their goal areas that were written into the IEP. The information gained from progress monitoring should then be put into a progress report and sent home to the child's guardians. Another large component of the IEP is the accommodation section. I have spent countless hours attempting to make sure that my child's teacher is honoring the accommodations in his IEP. Accommodations are a huge piece of the IEP process, and for that reason I am going to dedicate my next blog post to accommodations and modifications. IEPs are extremely complex, and I even get overwhelmed thinking about going into one of my son's IEP meetings. I always go in armed with my binder and ready to share what I think needs to be addressed in his IEP. Always remember that you are a key player in the IEP process.

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