In addition to the beginning of school, getting to know students and putting routines in place, Special Education teachers are beginning to plan and write Individual Education Plans. Here is what you can expect if your child is formally identified as an exceptional student or has an IEP for another reason.
IEP: Individual Education Plan
What is it? An IEP is an individualized written plan describing the program and/or services required by a student and usually based on a comprehensive assessment using standardized tools. It is an accountability tool used in conjunction with the Provincial Report Card and connected to the Ontario Curriculum.
Who gets an IEP?
All students who have been identified as exceptional at an IPRC (Identification, Placement, Review Committee) must have an IEP. However, there are situations where a student may not be formally identified, but has an IEP to address a particular area of need.
When is the IEP written?
Now!! The IEP must be completed within the first 30 days of school or 30 school days after a student is identified or placed in a special program.
Who writes an IEP?
It is the Special Education teacher’s responsibility to write the IEP, but it is always done in consultation with others (teachers, school staff, professionals and, if appropriate, the student). All parents whose child is receiving an IEP MUST be consulted in the process to provide information they feel is relevant to their child’s learning. “Principals are legally required to ensure that parents are consulted in the development of the IEP.” (The Individual Education Plan 2004)
What is included on the IEP?
• Strengths and needs
• Relevant medical/health information
• Assessment data
• Goals and specific expectations for the current term
• All staff who teach/support the student
• All subjects/courses to which the IEP applies and whether it is modified, accommodated or alternative (Program modifications are changes to the grade-level expectations while accommodations are supports and/or services that help a student access the curriculum and demonstrate learning at his/her grade level)
• Program description – the Special Education services that will be provided
• Transition Plan for students over the age of 14
Is the IEP good for the whole school year?
Because the IEP is a “working document” it must be reviewed regularly and learning expectations should be updated at the beginning of each reporting period. If there are modifications to grade level expectations or if a student is working on alternative expectations not represented in the Ontario curriculum, the IEP must be updated at least once during each reporting period.
Who gets a copy of the IEP?
A parent must sign the original copy of the IEP and return it to the school so copies can be made. The parent receives a copy as well as teachers who work with the student. The original is kept in the OSR (Ontario Student Record).
Until our next lesson,
Ann and Karen