We’ve all heard that IEP goals should be “SMART” and this article from Understood explains that a key to keeping New Year’s Resolutions is to make them “SMART,” too. Happy New Year!
This Q&A, issued by the US Department of Education on December 7, 2017, is an important document to read and understand if your child is on an IEP. We suggest printing a copy and adding it to your student’s binder. We will also put a link on our website to it for future reference.
A few key points:
With the decision in Endrew, F., the Court clarified that for all students, including those performing at grade level and those unable to perform at grade level, a school must offer an IEP that is “reasonably calculated to enable a child to make progress appropriate in light of the child’s circumstances.” This standard is different from, and more demanding than, the “merely more than de minimis” test applied by the Tenth Circuit. As the Court stated, “[t]he goals may differ, but every child should have the chance to meet challenging objectives.”
What does “reasonably calculated” mean?
The “reasonably calculated” standard recognizes that developing an appropriate IEP requires a prospective judgment by the IEP Team. Generally, this means that school personnel will make decisions that are informed by their own expertise, the progress of the child, the child’s potential for growth, and the views of the child’s parents. IEP Team members should consider how special education and related services, if any, have been provided to the child in the past, including the effectiveness of specific instructional strategies and supports and services with the student.
What actions should IEP Teams take if a child is not making progress at the level the IEP Team expected?
If a child is not making progress at the level the IEP Team expected, despite receiving all the services and supports identified in the IEP, the IEP Team must meet to review and revise the IEP if necessary, to ensure the child is receiving appropriate interventions, special education and related services and supplementary aids and services, and to ensure the IEP’s goals are individualized and ambitious.
Excellent news out of the U.S.Supreme Court today – and a unanimous decision!!
“It cannot be right that the IDEA generally contemplates grade-level advancement for children with disabilities who are fully integrated in the regular classroom, but is satisfied with barely more than de minimis progress for children who are not,” read the opinion, signed by Chief Justice John Roberts.
Roberts went on:
When all is said and done, a student offered an educational program providing “merely more than de minimis” progress from year to year can hardly be said to have been offered an education at all. For children with disabilities, receiving instruction that aims so low would be tantamount to “sitting idly . . . awaiting the time when they were old enough to ‘drop out.’”
The Utah State Board of Education’s Evaluation Report of the Park City School District’s special education program was shared at the January 25th PCSD Board Meeting. Excellent information and recommendations within.
PC READS recommends that parents keep binders and we held a meeting on this topic earlier this year. Here is a good IEP Checklist from Understood.org to add to your binder!
Curious to learn more about ESY Services? Read this article.
Even in those districts that focus on regression after period of breaks and the extent of recoupment, it is critical to ask for the data.
Another excellent article on IEP goals from the DTI!
If the student has six needs in the areas of reading and spelling, they have six goals, period. While some of the areas of need can be taught simultaneously, they need to be measured separately. (And yes, spelling is a need).
A good checklist to use in conversations with teachers to learn more about the reading instruction offered at school.
Very important “Dear Colleague” letter out of Washington, clarifying that dyslexia, dyscalculia and dysgraphia may be written on IEPs and encouraging schools to use these terms so as to ensure effective and appropriate education of students with such disabilities.
This article, by Kyle Redford, includes specific suggestions teachers can put to use in their classroom.
“Most importantly, these strategies help me address the access gap between the haves and the have-nots with learning issues in my class. Since no one can claim that every student who deserves accommodations is receiving them, I want to know that I offer my students who don’t have formal evaluations whatever tools they need to succeed, particularly when I intuitively know they need something different. “
A short list of helpful accommodations in the classroom.
Information provided by the USOE on Section 504 of the ADA.
Information specific to Utah Special Education services may be found in this section of the USOE website.
Article published by the Utah Parent Center. Just one of several publications about 504 Plans and IEPs available on their website.
A list of common classroom accommodations with respect to reading, spelling, testing, homework and more.