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Standards-Based IEPs. Aligning the IEP and Academic Content Standards to Improve Academic Achievement. Standards-Based IEPs. What is a Standards-based IEP?

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Standards-Based IEPs

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    1. Standards-Based IEPs Aligning the IEP and Academic Content Standards to Improve Academic Achievement.

    2. Standards-Based IEPs • What is a Standards-based IEP? Historically IEPs have focused on a student’s acquisition of basic academic or functional skills and have had little if any relationship to a specific academic area or grade-level expectations. In contrast, the process used to develop a standards-based IEP is directly tied to the state’s content standards. Both the student’s present level of performance (often referred to as “PLOP”) and the annual IEP goals are aligned with the state’s grade-level standards, creating a plan that is aimed at getting the student to a proficient level on all state standards.

    3. The Background for Standards-Based IEPs When did this get started, IDEA 1997 or 2004? The 1997 amendments added requirements related to access to the general curriculum. Access to the general curriculum became a MANDATED consideration in all aspects of evaluation and programming. How does NCLB fit into this? NoChild Left Behind Act of 2001 further tied the assessment of students with disabilities to state accountability systems.

    4. Requirements of Federal Education Laws: IDEA 2004 The student’s IEP must contain: • A statement of the student’s present levels of academic achievement and functional performance including how the student’s disability affects the student’s involvement and progress in the general education curriculum. • A statement of measurable annual goals (academic and functional). These goals should be designed to enable the student to be involved in and make progress in the general education curriculum. • A statement of the special education and related services and supplementary aids and services that will be provided to enable the student to advance toward attaining the annual goals and to be involved in and make progress in the general education curriculum.

    5. The Process to Creating Standards-based IEPs • Recommendation: “Prior to developing IEPs, all IEP team members, including parents, need to be familiar with the general education curriculum, including the state’s academic content standards and state assessments.”

    6. Steps to Creating a Standards-Based IEP • Step 1: Consider the grade-level content standards for the grade in which the student is enrolled or would be enrolled based on age. Since academic content standards are the foundation of the general education curriculum, it is necessary for the IEP team to consider how the student is performing in relation to the state’s grade-level content standards. • What is the intent of the content standard? • What is the content standard saying that the student must know and be able to do?

    7. Standards-Based IEP • Step 2: Examine classroom and student data to determine where the student is functioning in relation to the grade-level standards. • Has the student been taught content aligned with the grade-level standards? • Has the student been provided appropriate instructional scaffolding to attain grade-level expectations? • Were the lessons and teaching materials used to teach the student aligned with grade-level standards? • Was the instruction evidence-based

    8. Standards-Based IEP • Step 3: Develop the present level of academic achievement and functional performance. • What do we know about the student’s response to academic instruction (e.g. progress monitoring data) • What programs, accommodations, and interventions have been successful with the student? • What have we learned from previous IEPs and student data that can inform decision making? • Are there assessment data (i.e., state, district, and/or classroom) that can provide useful information for making decisions about the student’s strengths and needs (e.g., patterns in the data)?

    9. Step 3, continued • Consider the factors related to the student’s disability and how they affect how the students learns and demonstrates what he or she knows. • How does the student’s disability affect participation and progress in the general curriculum? • What supports does the student need to learn the knowledge and attain the skills to progress in the general curriculum? • Is the student on track to achieve grade-level proficiency within the year?

    10. Purposes of Present Levels • Provides a summary of baseline academic achievement data indicating what the student is currently able to perform. • Identifies current functional performance. • Provides a description of how the disability affects the student’s involvement/progress in the general curriculum. Focus on the impact of the student’s disability on achievement of the standards.

    11. Present Levels Should Include • Student strengths • Student needs • How skill deficits affect involvement/progress in the general education curriculum • Assessment data • Status of prior IEP goal (i.e., Final Progress Report) • Input from Teachers/Parents/Students • Transition needs (as appropriate

    12. Present Levels should be derived from measures that are: • Curriculum based • Descriptive • Actual content to be learned • Lead to skill development • Include information related to standards

    13. Present Levels: Instructional Level and Grade Level • It is critical that assessment, present levels, goals, and progress monitoring include both the instructional AND grade levels. Why? • Instructional level alone does not meet the criteria of the general education curriculum. • Grade level alone does not meet the criteria of an IEP based on identified skill deficits, and grade-level as a statement without other information is not meaningful

    14. Present Levels: Instructional and Grade Levels • The two levels together (instructional and grade) allow the student to make progress in the general education curriculum, while also addressing skill deficits. • It is necessary to use grade level- (particularly for outcome measures) in order to determine if what is in the IEP is working. • Remember: Do not reduce the student to a grade-level. • Good: “The Student is performing below-basic on Algebra and Number Operations as measured by 3rd grade Discovery Education” • Bad: “The student is performing at the 3rd grade level.”

    15. Characteristics of Present Levels • Present Levels are aligned to the general curriculum standards • Present Levels are data driven • Present Levels are understandable • Present Levels are measurable • Present Levels are meaningful

    16. Present Level of Academic Achievement and functional performance: Example 1 • Anthony: Grade 4 (Reading) A review of brief classroom assessments indicates that Anthony needs to improve reading for fluency, which will increase his reading comprehension. Anthony can read 80 words per minute of connected text with 100% accuracy, which is within the range of words per minute for typical peers in the 2nd grade. Anthony is working toward automaticity by reading passages at the second grade level for which he has achieved a high level of accuracy in oral reading fluency. Determining the meaning of unknown words by reading words in context and applying word structures (prefix, base words, and suffix) are relative strengths for Anthony in the area of reading.

    17. Example 2: PLOP • Karen: Grade 8 (Math) Karen’s state and classroom assessment data indicate computational fluency with addition, subtraction, and multiplication of integers. She can solve one- and two-step algebraic expressions on worksheets and classroom assessments. Generalizing what she has learned in mathematics, however, to real-world situations is an area of need for Karen. She can do the computations if the problems are written as numerals and presented as math problems. It is difficult for Karen to apply what she knows about mathematics to situations that occur in daily life. Karen needs to learn a process for applying what she knows about the operations of math to problem situations in other disciplines.

    18. Present Levels: The End Result Instructional Level and Grade Level • The information then translates into content for goals and specially designed instruction in order for the student to work toward mastery in the general education curriculum.

    19. You are now on the road to developing a defensible IEP • You have shown that you have knowledge of the general curriculum standards, and you have carefully considered those standards. • You have spent an adequate amount of time gathering and analyzing information used to outline the Present Levels of Performance. • Now you have a strong foundation for developing goals.

    20. Standards Aligned Goals • Goals should be from the actual wording of the standards, or • Should be directly related to the standards and everyone should be aware of that relationship, and • Should clearly correspond to the identified skill deficit obtained from the present levels.

    21. Standard Aligned Goals Every goal must relate to a need identified in the PLOP. • Annual goals are written only in areas that directly affect involvement and progress in the general education curriculum resulting from the student’s disability. • Therefore, science and social studies should no longer be separate areas of need under goals & objectives, since those areas do not directly relate to a need identified in the PLOP. • In many cases, if needed, a science or social studies objective would be directly tied to the specific skill deficits (i.e., reading or mathematics) that impact mastery of a standard. Example: Annual goal (Reading Comprehension): Karen will use active comprehension strategies to analyze text for fact and opinion, cause-effect, inferences, and conclusions. Objective (Science): Given evidence from a dataset, Karen will determine cause and effect relationships that explain a phenomenon with 80% accuracy on 8 out of 10 scenarios as measured by standard tests, teacher tests, and observations.

    22. Steps to Standards Aligned Goals • Review Present Levels of Performance. • Identify student’s needs (academic and functional). • Prioritize the student’s needs. • Determine the standard that correlates with each prioritized need. • Write the goal with the condition, behavior, and performance criteria.

    23. Prioritizing Needs What prerequisite skills/knowledge does the student need to close the gap between his present levels of academic achievement and the grade-level standards?

    24. Step 4: Develop measurable annual goals aligned with grade-level academic content standards. • What are the student’s needs as identified in the present level of performance? • What can the student reasonably be expected to accomplish in one school year? • Are the conditions for meeting the goal addressed? • How will the outcome of the goal be measured?

    25. Step 4, continued Sample Annual Goals/Objectives • Anthony will know and apply the steps of the writing process: prewriting, drafting, and editing. • Given a paragraph, Anthony will select a topic sentence for that paragraph with 80% accuracy on 4 out of 5 trials as measured by standard tests and writing samples. • Given a topic sentence, Anthony will select details that support that topic sentence with 80% accuracy on 4 out of 5 trials as measured by standard test and writing samples.

    26. Goals and Objectives *Remember, regardless of whether the annual goal addresses an academic deficit or some other skill that requires improvement, such as organizational skills or behavior, objectives must be written in a manner that are strategic, measurable, and attainable and must contain these 5 critical elements: • The student (who) • Will do what (behavior) • To what level or degree (criterion) • Under what conditions (conditions) • In what length of time (timeframe- begin date)

    27. Step 5: Progress Monitoring Step 5: Assess and report the student’s progress throughout the year • How does the student demonstrate what he/she knows on classroom, district, and state assessments? • Are a variety of assessments used to measure progress? • How will progress be reported to parents?

    28. Step 6: Identify Accommodations Step 6: Identify specially designed instruction including accommodations and/or modifications needed to access and progress in the general education curriculum. Remember your goal is to accelerate progress. You are carefully analyzing present levels of performance, pinpointing strengths and weaknesses, prioritizing needs, establishing appropriate goals and measures, and designing special instruction geared toward accelerating progress and closing the gap.

    29. Step 6 continued • What accommodations are needed to enable the student to access the knowledge in the general education curriculum? • What accommodations have been used with the student and were they effective? • Has the complexity of the materials been changed in such a way that the content has been modified?

    30. Benefits of a Standards-Based IEP Approach Properly implemented, a standards-based approach to developing IEPs blends the best of special education and standards-based education. Aligning a student’s special education program with the learning expectations for all students helps ensure that students with disabilities will benefit from school accountability and improvement activities just as all other students.

    31. Tips for Educators • Be familiar with the standards for the grade level you are teaching. • Carefully consider the entire standard and decide if the student needs to master all of a particular standard or only part(s) of the standard. • Analyze test results to determine the student’s present level of performance relative to the standards for his enrolled grade. • Include the priorities and concerns of the student and the student’s parents. • Define the student in terms that translate directly into instructional intervention. • Document all data sources used to develop the student’s present level of performance.