The ARD Process

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
WHAT IS AN IEP (INDIVIDUAL EDUCATION PLAN)?
  • A map to your child's future
  • A written document of decisions made jointly by parents and school personnel
  • A commitment of resources necessary to enable your child to receive a Free (without cost to the parents) Appropriate (individualized program designed by a multidisciplinary team including parents and defined in an IEP that follows guidelines of the law) Public Education (FAPE).
  • A management tool used to ensure that your child is provided special education and related services appropriate to your child's special learning needs.
  • A monitoring document for parents, school personnel and government agencies to determine compliance.
  • An evaluation device to determine extent of progress toward projected outcomes.
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WHY IS AN IEP NECESSARY?
  • To implement the Federal Law IDEA (Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, P.L. 105-17).
  • To identify strengths and weaknesses.
  • To determine services and placement.
  • To provide an opportunity to resolve differences between parents and school.
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WHO BELONGS ON YOUR CHILD'S IEP TEAM?
  • One or both of the child's parents or guardians.
  • The child's teacher. This would include special education and regular education.
  • The school administrator, generally the counselor of the school your child is attending.
  • Evaluation personnel if this is the initial IEP.
  • The child, when appropriate.
  • Support staff, when appropriate (counselor, speech therapist, occupational therapist, social worker, etc.)
  • Other individuals at the discretion of parent or agencies; for example, parent advocates, or personal friends of the parent or child. Although not official team members, these people provide valuable support and advice.
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HOW OFTEN DOES THE TEAM MEET?
  • At least once a year, by law, to review development and revise goals. Remember, the IEP should be a flexible document, changing with your child's special situation. Parents or school personnel may request a team meeting at any time.
WHERE SHOULD THE TEAM MEET?
  • At a mutually agreed upon place and time that is convenient for all team members. Parents should not hesitate to request several dates to accommodate their schedule.
Sections of the IEP
PRESENT LEVELS OF ACADEMIC AND FUNCTIONAL PERFORMANCE

This says how your child is presently performing in specific areas. This present level statement is a joint determination of abilities seen at home and school. Parents should make a list of abilities as well as needs. The current level of performance will determine goals, short-terms objectives and services.

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ANNUAL GOALS OR LONG-TERM GOALS

This describes what your child can reasonably accomplish with in a twelve month period. There should be a direct relationship between the present levels of performance and the goals and objectives.

SHORT-TERM OBJECTIVES (BENCHMARKS)

This list measures intermediate steps to take in order to reach the long-term goal. Objectives are not required to be specific to special methods, activities or materials to be used.

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PARENTS' TIPS TO REMEMBER
  • IEP goals and objectives must be written before placement decisions are made.
  • Your educational agency is responsible for initiating and conducting the meetings for the purpose of developing, revising and review the IEP and any change constitutes a revision.
  • Your child's IEP must include all special education and related services needed.
  • Modifications such as supplementary aids and services must be written in your child's IEP, i.e., curriculum adaptations or oral testing.
  • Your child's IEP must specify amount of services to be provided. This demonstrates the agency's commitment of resources to parents and other IEP team members.
  • Remember, a high degree of communication between home and school translates into success for your child.
  • Address your child's Least Restrictive Environment (LRE).

Using these tips will help you be a more involved ARD participant.

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