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SERC Scoop

November 2018 SERC Scoop

  • What is SERC?
  • What Belongs in an IEP?
  • NEW! Working Together Series for Families and Educators
  • Update Your Knowledge with Special Education Guidance!
  • IEP CHALLENGE: Will this goal allow the student to improve her ability to follow directions?
  • IEP CHALLENGE: Will this goal allow the student to improve his turn-taking skills?
  • Upcoming Opportunities in Oklahoma

Special Education Resolution Center logoWhat is SERC?

The Special Education Resolution Center of OSU (SERC) has been collaborating with the Oklahoma State Department of Education for over 10 years to help families and school district resolve conflicts at the earliest stage possible. SERC provides services for children from birth to 3 in SoonerStart and for students 3 through 21 in public schools.

What does SERC provide to schools, SoonerStart sites, and families at no cost?


Oklahoma State Department of Education logo

What Belongs in an IEP?

To understand the content requirements of an Individual Education Plan under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), refer to the federal regulation of 34 CFR 300.320. There are no specific requirements regarding length or format as long as certain items are included in the IEP.

An IEP must include a statement of the child's present levels of academic achievement.

  1. A statement of measurable annual goals, including academic and functional goals.
  2. A description of how the child's progress toward meeting the annual goals will be measured.
  3. A statement of the special education and related services and supplementary aids and services to be provided to the child.
  4. An explanation of the extent, if any, to which the child will not participate with non-disabled children in the regular class and in the extracurricular or other nonacademic activities.
  5. A statement of any individual appropriate accommodations that are necessary to measure the academic achievement and functional performance of the child on state­and district-wide assessments.
  6. The projected date for the beginning of the services and modifications along with the anticipated frequency, location, and duration of those services and modifications.
  7. Appropriate, measurable postsecondary goals and the services needed to reach those goals.
  8. Not later than one year before the child reaches the age of majority under state law, a statement that the child has been informed of the child's rights under the IDEA with regard to the rights of the child in reaching the age of majority.
  9. Not later than one year before the child reaches the age of majority under state law, a statement that the child has been informed of the child's rights under the IDEA with regard to the rights of the child in reaching the age of majority.

These requirements may seem pretty straightforward, but they are actually a bit more complicated than they may seem. The IEP is not just a form - it is documentation of a thoughtful process. Careful consideration of each requirement is necessary to build upon the next requirement. For instance, the statement of the child's present levels of academic achievement should be sufficiently written so that anyone reading that section has an idea of how the student is performing. The statement of the child's present levels of academic achievement and functional performance helps to describe the problems that interfere with the child's education so that annual goals can be developed. The needs must be written in the IEP so that everyone working with the child knows the level at which the child is functioning. The written levels also help the IEP team develop a document that will provide the child with an appropriate education. The statement of present levels of academic performance essentially creates a baseline for designing educational programming and measuring future progress.

Every child should have the chance to meeting challenging objectives. Meeting that standard hinges on how effectively the IEP team gathers and interprets information about the child's current performance. In determining an appropriate and challenging level of progress, each IEP team must consider the child's present levels of performance and other factors such as the child's previous rate of progress and any information provided by the parent. To meet the Endrew F. standard set by the U.S. Supreme Court, districts must implement policies, procedures and practices related to: 1) identifying present levels of academic achievement and functional performance; 2) the setting of measurable annual goals, including academic and functional goals; and 3) how a child's progress toward meeting annual goals, including academic and functional goals; and 3 how a child's progress toward meeting annual goals will be measured and reported. Questions and answers on Endrew F. v Douglas County School District. Re-1, 71 IDELR 68 (EDU 2017).


SERC - From the Field of Dispute ResolutionNEW!
Working Together Series for Families and Educators

The Working Together Series includes five interactive self-directed courses. This foundational series for family members and educators includes the following courses:parent and teacher meeting in classroom

  • Course 1: Introduction to the Working Together Series 
  • Course 2: IEP Meetings and Beyond 
  • Course 3: Listening and Responding Skills 
  • Course 4: Managing and Responding to Emotions 
  • Course 5: Focusing on Interests to Reach Agreement 

To access the series, visit: https://cadre-workingtogether.inquisiqr4.com/

These courses provide families and educators with a number of strategies for working together and through conflict. Anyone supporting children or youth with disabilities may benefit from this series, however, the setting in which collaborative problem solving and conflict resolution takes place within this series is typically the school or IEP meeting.

A facilitator guide and other materials will go along with each course to offer additional learning opportunities. Courses and materials will be posted as they are developed. Coming soon in Spanish.


SERC - Office of Special Education hdr

Update Your Knowledge with Special Education Guidance

The Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) is dedicated to improving results for infants, toddlers, children, and youth with disabilities ages birth through 21 by providing leadership and financial support to assist states and local districts.

The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act of 2004 (IDEA) authorizes formula grants to states and discretionary grants to institutions of higher education and other non-profit organizations to support research, demonstrations, technical assistance and dissemination, technology and personnel development and parent-training and information centers.

OSEP Policy Letters (Including OSEP Memos and Dear Colleague Letters)
OSEP Policy Letters provide information, guidance, and clarification regarding the implementation of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) through two types of issuances: OSEP Memos and Dear Colleague Letters.

Policy letters online and a listing of the last 11 guidance documents issues and one on dispute resolution. http://www2.ed.gov/policy/speced/guid/idea/memosdcltrs/index.html


Individualized Education Program (IEP)

IEP CHALLENGE: Will this goal allow this student to improve her ability to follow direction?

Alyssa is a 3-year-old with autism who is transitioning out of early intervention services into an inclusive preschool.

Alyssa loves going to the zoo and responds well to being offered animal stickers and stuffed critters as reinforcers when she is learning a new skill. She has no siblings, so she is not used to the distraction of being around several other children. She has demonstrated difficulty in the past with lining up and transitioning to a new activity when others are around. She has pushed her way past peers and bumped into them in line.

Alyssa's IEP team discusses her present levels of academic achievement and functional performance, including input from her family and her providers of early intervention services. The team believes she can learn to better follow directions, including those to line up with her peers, in the coming school year.

The team writes this goal regarding Alyssa's ability to follow directions:

GOAL: By the end of the year, Alyssa will follow an adult's two-step directions 3 out of 5 times within familiar routines or events, such as lining up to transition to the next activity. Alyssa's teachers will share her progress with her parents once a month.

Is this goal sufficient?

While it comes close because it is measurable, the goal is insufficient because it fails to mention how Alyssa's progress will be measured. An IEP goal must include a description of how a child's progress toward meeting her annual goals will be measured. 34 CFR 300.320 (a)(3).

A more appropriate goal in this hypothetical situation might be: By the end of the year, Alyssa will follow an adult's two-step directions 3 out of 5 times within familiar routines or events, such as lining up to transition to the next activity, as measured by teacher observation and recorded on a chart using a rubric. Alyssa's teachers will share her progress with her parents once a month. This goal is better suited to enable the team to properly record Alyssa's progress.

Cara Nissman covers autism, school psychology, and IEP team issues for LRP Publications. October 25, 2018 Copyright 2018© LRP Publications


Individualized Education Program (IEP)

IEP CHALLENGE: Will this goal allow this student to improve his turn-taking skills?

James is a 7-year-old boy with autism in second grade. He enjoys watching team sports and group games but has trouble taking turns when he participates in activities at recess and in the classroom. James sometimes grabs the ball out of a classmate's hands and runs away to play with it even though it's the other student's turn to kick it. He also sometimes makes a move in a classroom activity when it isn't his turn.

The team discusses James' present levels of academic achievement and functional performance. He can take turns with peers for five minutes with an adult prompt in two out of five opportunities. Accounting for this and other data, the team believes he can improve his skills in the coming school year.

The team writes this goal regarding James' turn-taking skills:

GOAL: James will increase his turn-taking skills by the end of the year as measured by teacher observation. The teacher will share James' progress with his parents once a month.

Is this goal sufficient?

The IDEA requires each IEP to include a statement of measurable annual goals designed to meet the child's disability-related needs. 34 CFR 300.320.

The goal mentioned above for James fails to specify how long he will interact with a peer or peers while he is expected to take turns and in how many opportunities he will be expected to pay attention to his peers and wait until it is time to take his turns.

A more appropriate goal in this hypothetical situation might be: During unstructured play, such as during recess, James will take turns with one to three peers for eight minutes with no more than one adult prompt in 3 out of 5 opportunities as measured by teacher observation. The teacher will share James' progress with his parents once a month. This goal ensures the team can measure the progress James is making taking turns with peers.

Cara Nissman covers autism, school psychology, and IEP team issues for LRP Publications. October 25, 2018 Copyright 2018© LRP Publications


Upcoming Events and Special Topics

Upcoming Opportunities in Oklahoma

 

2019 Assistive Technology Team Workshops

  • Designed for the novice to expert educators
  • Provides standards-based training and handouts

  • Hands-on practice and implementation     

AT Assessment Part 1  - January 17th - Consideration 
AT Assessment Part 2 - February 14, 2019 - Gathering Information and Trialing Devices
AT Assessment Part 3 - March 14th - AT in the IEP and Implementation

Sign your group up today   

Learn more about how Oklahoma Special Education Resolution Center (SERC) can help your school.

Watch this recorded webinar produced by Oklahoma ABLE Tech. Program manager Jo Anne Blades explains how to access training, mediation services, and more. 
 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=joa2IG9vEsI&t=5s