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ADVOCACYDENVER. Special Education 101 Pamela Bisceglia Advocate for Children and Inclusive Policy Implementation August 31, 2011. Welcome. The purpose of this Webinar is to help parents (and guardians) gain a better understanding of: Individualized Education Program (IEP) process

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Special Education 101

Pamela Bisceglia

Advocate for Children and Inclusive Policy Implementation

August 31, 2011

  • The purpose of this Webinar is to help parents (and guardians) gain a better understanding of:
    • Individualized Education Program (IEP) process
      • Members of the IEP Team
      • Types of IEP meetings
      • Special education programming and services
      • Some of the terms commonly used by the IEP team
who are the members of the iep team
Who Are the Members of the IEP Team?
  • The Parent/Guardian
  • Whenever appropriate, your child
  • General education teacher
  • Special education teacher/provider
  • Special Education Director/Designee
  • An individual who can interpret the instructional implications of the evaluation
  • Other people invited by you or by the school
other possible members of the iep team
Other possible members of the IEP Team
  • If your child is transitioning from a birth to three program, with your permission, the birth to three (Part C) service coordinator or provider
  • If your child is 15 or older, with your permission, the representative of any outside agency that is likely to be responsible for providing or paying for transition services
who schedules the iep meeting
Who Schedules the IEP Meeting?
  • The school must notify you of the meeting early enough to ensure you have an opportunity to attend. The meeting notice must:
    • Identify the reason for the meeting
    • Propose a date, time and location of the meeting
    • Offer to reschedule the meeting at a mutually agreed upon time and place
    • Identify who the school has invited to the meeting
    • Offer you the opportunity to invite others with special knowledge or expertise regarding your child
  • You can waive your right to a timely notice of the meeting.
can i ask for an iep meeting
Can I ask for an IEP Meeting?
  • Yes!
  • Recommend you submit the request in writing
  • The school can either:
    • schedule the requested meeting; or
    • refuse your request for a meeting
what is an individualized education program iep
What is an Individualized Education Program (IEP)?
  • The IEP is a written statement of:
    • Your child’s present level of academic achievement and functional performance (PLAAF)
    • Measurable annual goals
    • Special education and related services and supplementary aids and services
    • Accommodations and Modifications
written statement of plaaf
Written statement of PLAAF
  • Present level of academic achievement and functional performance
    • Academic achievement: your child’s current performance in reading or language arts, math, science, and history
    • Functional performance. skills and activities of daily living
written statement of plaaf1
Written statement of PLAAF
  • Additionally, a statement of how the disability affects your child’s:
    • Involvement and progress in general education curriculum; or
    • Participation in appropriate activities (preschool)
  • Academic, Functional and/or Behavioral
  • Annual
  • Measurable
  • Report of Progress
    • How your child’s progress will be measured
    • When reports will be provided
as appropriate
As Appropriate
  • Description of benchmarks/short-term objectives:
    • for children who take an alternate assessment (CSAP A) that is aligned with alternate achievement standards.
special education services
Special Education Services
  • The IEP must include a statement of:
    • Special education and related services and supplementary aids and services; and
    • Program modifications or supports that will be provided to enable your child:
      • To achieve the IEP goals;
      • To be involved and make progress in the general education curriculum.
    • The extent, if any, to which your child will not participate with nondisabled children in the general education class.
least restrictive environment
Least Restrictive Environment
  • Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) provides that:

“To the maximum extent appropriate, children with disabilities will be educated with children who are not disabled, and special classes, separate schooling, or other removal of the children from the regular educational environment occurs only when the nature or severity of the disability is such that education in the regular classroom with the use of supplementary aids and services cannot be achieved satisfactorily”.

what are special education services
What are special education services?
  • Special education means specially designed instruction to meet the unique needs of your child.
what are related services
What are related services?
  • Related services may be identified to help your child benefit from special education by providing extra help and support in needed areas.
what are supplementary aids and services
What are supplementary aids and services?

Supplementary aids and services means aids, services, and other supports that are provided in regular education classes, other education-related settings, and in extracurricular and nonacademic settings, to enable children with disabilities to be educated with nondisabled children to the maximum extent appropriate…

National Dissemination Center for Children with Disabilities

what kinds of supplementary aids and services could be identified
What kinds of supplementary aids and services could be identified?
  • Supplementary aids and services must be based on your child’s individual needs; examples include:
    • Supports to address environmental needs
    • Levels of staff support
    • Planning time for collaboration needed by the staff
    • Child’s specialized equipment needs
    • Pacing of instruction
additional examples
Additional Examples:
  • Supplementary Aids and Services:
    • Presentation of subject matter
    • Materials
    • Assignment modifications
    • Self-management
    • Test adaptations
    • Social interaction support
    • Training needed for personnel

New Mexico Public Department of Education

accommodations and modifications
Accommodations and Modifications
  • Accommodations: provisions made in how a student accesses and demonstrates learning.
  • Modifications substantial changes in what a student is expected to learn and demonstrate.
what else is in the iep
What else is in the IEP?
  • Participation in district and state-wide assessment
  • Extended school year eligibility:
    • Regression and recoupment
    • Predictive factors
      • Child’s ability to maintain learned skills
      • Consideration of the child’s individual situation at home and in the child’s neighborhood and community
additional considerations
Additional Considerations
  • Assistive Technology
  • Transportation
  • Health Care Plan
  • Behavior Intervention Plan
as appropriate1
As appropriate…
  • For children age 4, planning for the child’s transition to kindergarten
  • For children age 15 and older, planning for life after school
types of iep meetings
Types of IEP meetings
  • Initial/eligibility
  • Annual
  • Triennial
  • Amendments (Special Request)
in addition
In addition…
  • Parent written permission:
    • Initial evaluation
    • Initial services
    • Reevaluation
    • Excuse member of the IEP team
  • Procedural safeguards/educational rights
after the iep meeting
After the IEP meeting
  • Copy of the IEP
  • Report of your child’s progress to reach the IEP goals
  • Other:
    • Prior Written Notice
how can i prepare for the iep meeting
How can I prepare for the IEP meeting?
  • Make a list of your child’s strengths and your concerns for your child’s learning
  • Prior to the meeting provide the school with a copy of private evaluations completed within the last year or relevant medical information
  • Ask the school to provide you with a copy of current assessments completed by the school and draft IEP information

The IEP is essentially a contract between the parent and the school district; as such, the district has a legal obligation to meet the terms of that contract.

questions raise your hand or use the chat feature to pose them
Questions? Raise your “hand” or use the chat feature to pose them!
  • If you have a personal question pertaining to your child please contact AdvocacyDenver for support (303.974.2530).  Advocates respond to all requests for assistance within 3-5 business days.
  • If you have questions for me regarding the webinar presentation feel free to contact me at
  • ALSO: The full webinar recording, power point presentation, and a transcribed version of the live webinar will be available by September 3, 2011 at