Week Four Instructor Guidance
Welcome to Week Four! In the first half of this class, you have learned about the requirements of Free Appropriate Public Education (FAPE), Least Restrictive Environment (LRE), the continuum of placements, and several pioneering cases that have contribute to today’s procedures related to placement, instructions, and service delivery for students with disabilities in the public school setting.
This week, as we move into the last half of the class, we focus on the Individualized Education Program (IEP) team meeting process in accordance with the requirements set forth by the IDEA. You will also have the opportunity to clarify the roles of each legally mandated attendee in the IEP team meeting.
There are series of informative videos in this week’s assignments where you will view a mock IEP team meeting in progress in order to gain an understanding to the real-world events. You will also see how the required IEP team members provide information and specialized input to the decision-making process.
IEP Team Members
The IEP team meeting is an important event in a family member’s life. It is a time where significant decisions are made that affect the educational experiences and preparation of their child and that these procedures are consistently followed. The procedural requirements of the IEP refer to aspects of the IDEA that require school districts to maintain the requirements of the law when developing an IEP (Cook &Tankersley, 2012). The IDEA is intentionally written to require that family members collaborate with educators to determine the appropriateness of all aspects of their child’s IEP.
Figure 1.Student’s IEP team members. Source: http://concordspedpac.org/TeamMembers.html
One example of this type of parental involvement is that students with disabilities cannot be evaluated or placed in a special education program without the family member’s consent. Similarly, the IDEA has stipulations as to the required IEP team members that are called upon to participate and parents must have the opportunity to meaningfully participate.
A multidisciplinary team is comprised of various experts who combine their knowledge, experiences, and commitments to design an educational program. Without a doubt, writing, and implementing and effective IEP requires strong communication skills, leadership and teamwork. Cook and Tankersley (2012) provide a list of required participants according to the IDEA (p. 274):
Contents of the IEP
According to the United States Department of Education, “”Archived: Guide to the Individualized Education Program,” n.d, para17) the IEP must include certain information about the child and the educational program designed to meet his or her unique needs. Briefly, this information is:
· Current performance. The IEP must state how the child is currently doing in school (known as present levels of educational performance). This information usually comes from the evaluation results such as classroom tests and assignments, individual tests given to decide eligibility for services or during reevaluation, and observations made by parents, teachers, related service providers, and other school staff. The statement about “current performance” includes how the child’s disability affects his or her involvement and progress in the general curriculum.
· Annual goals. These are goals that the child can reasonably accomplish in a year. The goals are broken down into short-term objectives or benchmarks. Goals may be academic, address social or behavioral needs, relate to physical needs, or address other educational needs. The goals must be measurable-meaning that it must be possible to measure whether the student has achieved the goals.
· Special education and related services. The IEP must list the special education and related services to be provided to the child or on behalf of the child. This includes supplementary aids and services that the child needs. It also includes modifications (changes) to the program or supports for school personnel-such as training or professional development-that will be provided to assist the child.
· Participation with nondisabled children. The IEP must explain the extent (if any) to which the child will not participate with nondisabled children in the regular class and other school activities.
· Participation in state and district-wide tests. Most states and districts give achievement tests to children in certain grades or age groups. The IEP must state what modifications in the administration of these tests the child will need. If a test is not appropriate for the child, the IEP must state why the test is not appropriate and how the child will be tested instead.
· Dates and places. The IEP must state when services will begin, how often they will be provided, where they will be provided, and how long they will last.
· Transition service needs. Beginning when the child is age 14 (or younger, if appropriate), the IEP must address (within the applicable parts of the IEP) the courses he or she needs to take to reach his or her post-school goals. A statement of transition services needs must also be included in each of the child’s subsequent IEPs.
· Needed transition services. Beginning when the child is age 16 (or younger, if appropriate), the IEP must state what transition services are needed to help the child prepare for leaving school.
· Age of majority. Beginning at least one year before the child reaches the age of majority, the IEP must include a statement that the student has been told of any rights that will transfer to him or her at the age of majority. (This statement would be needed only in states that transfer rights at the age of majority.)
· Measuring progress. The IEP must state how the child’s progress will be measured and how parents will be informed of that progress
Week Four Discussion Guidance
The first discussion for this week, Introducing…, you will create a 2-3 minute video providing an introduction of the required team members at Destini’s IEP meeting. You will post a link to your short video so that others can review and respond. In this situation, you are to assume the role of the special education teacher who is responsible for facilitating this meeting.
Your response will include your review of your classmate’s videos. You will develop three questions that you will ask one of the required team members in attendance. For those that comment to your video, be sure to respond to their questions by answering them, providing additional ideas or other resources to extend the conversation.
The second discussion,The Details are in the Writing,allows you the chance to again, assist Mr. Franklin, who expresses his confusion of the many topics discussed during Destini’s IEP team meeting. Your initial post will discuss three sections of the eight elements reviewed in your text. Your text on will be an important reference for this discussion as well as this Instructor Guidance.
In responding to at least two peers, you will provide responses, comments, and questions to posts that have been made.
Please review the discussion board rubric prior to your initial post to ensure you are fully meeting each of the set criteria to earn full credit. As per the rubric requirements your initial post should include relevant professional, personal, or other real-world experiences in a manner that is rich in thought and provides valuable insight into the topic.
Additionally, all elements of the discussion board prompt should be thoroughly addressed with strong and precise connections to previous and/or current course content, or to real-life situations. When substantively replying to your peers’ post, be sure to provide a thorough and constructive analysis relating the response to relevant course concepts that incorporates pertinent follow-up thoughts or questions about the topic, and demonstrates respect for the diverse opinions of fellow learners.
Finally, while it may difficult to do for all the responses to your posts, please make an effort to respond back to those who took the time to respond to your initial post. It is the courteous and gracious thing to do, and has the potential to make our classroom community discussions more interesting and thought-provoking. Answering questions posed by your peers invites continued learning, meaningful application, and relevant extension of the discussion.
Week Four Assignment Guidance
When the IEP Team Meets is the title of this week’s written assignment, which requires you to explain the required elements of the IEP team meeting process and to clarify the role of each legally mandated attendee as governed by the IDEA. Using support from an informative article linked in your class, you will follow the specific guidelines for this assignment.
There are specific guidelines for the written portion of this assignment as well as the content. In order to maximize your score, it is essentially that you follow these instructions closely.
Make sure to use the Grading Rubric as a self-checklist before submitting the final copy of your assignment to confirm you have met or exceeded each required expectation. The highest level of achievement on the rubric is “distinguished”, which is only earned through exceeding posted expectations at the proficiency level. Please remember you are in a masters-level program. Therefore, your writing, research, and content are held to graduate-level expectations.
Save this written assignment in your electronic portfolio (ePortfolio). As you recall, your ePortfolio serves as a collection of evidence to support the development and mastery of competencies as you progress through this program and you will re-visit it in ESE 699, your MASE program capstone course.
Archived: Guide to the Individualized Education Program (Links to an external site.)
. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www2.ed.gov/parents/needs/speced/iepguide/index.html#contents
Cook, B. G., & In Tankersley, M. (2012).Research-based practices in special education. Boston, MA: Pearson.
Osborne, A. G., & Russo, C. J. (2014).Special education and the law: A guide for practitioners (3rd ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press.
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