IEP Question

Discussion in 'General Education' started by soleil00, Aug 20, 2011.

  1. soleil00

    soleil00 Comrade

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    Aug 20, 2011

    This is an extremely dumb question and I have had every teacher I've asked so far laugh like I'm joking and not answer me..


    How do you read/understand the IEP page that the teacher gets?


    I've never seen one before. Never. Not in college, not while student teaching, not in observations, never. Everyone thinks I'm joking apparently so I have yet to get an answer and this all looks like gibberish to me. I don't understand where to find the goals for this student or her progress...

    It's embarrassing that I don't know this already... :eek:
     
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  3. mopar

    mopar Multitudinous

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    It depends on what the special education teacher gave you. Our special education teachers do not give us the entire IEP (it is usually a multipage document). We get two pages: the accommodations and modifications page and the testing page. I am not usually give the goals but the special education teacher may share these with me to help her with data collection, etc.

    So what is the title of your pages?
     
  4. EdEd

    EdEd Aficionado

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    When you get an IEP, you'll probably understand some of it, but not all of it - may be helpful to ask about specific words/phrases/sections when you get it - either here or with other teachers at your school. They aren't too far out there :).
     
  5. soleil00

    soleil00 Comrade

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    I have a... 9 page document and the only title is "IEP Appendix A)" and each page has 2 standards and whether the standards are in progress, mastered, or discontinued.

    I don't even know if or for how long the child will be in my room.. I guess I'm going to have to go to school early and wait on the special ed teacher to get there.. =( I feel extremely stupid for not knowing this!
     
  6. mopar

    mopar Multitudinous

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    Don't feel stupid for not knowing this. The paperwork is different in every district, the wording is different by every teacher, IEPs are hard to read if you are not trained in using their forms.

    I would think that the standards that are in progress would be the child's goals, but as I said every document is different. Ask for an opportunity to sit down with the special education teacher (it may not be Monday if that's your first day of school) and go over the document and what is important for you to know/do in your classroom.
     
  7. soleil00

    soleil00 Comrade

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    Aug 20, 2011

    I have been going through the paperwork and there is no general ed teacher listed on it anywhere (this is last year's progress report I think) so it makes me wonder if this child was ever in a general ed room before.

    That is going to be interesting if they are trying to mainstream her now after being in a self-inclusion room all during Kindergarten.

    Thanks for trying to help mopar. I figured that the document was pretty much the same for everyone. I didn't know there were different forms!
     
  8. mopar

    mopar Multitudinous

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    There must be a general education teacher at the IEP meeting even if the student is in a self-inclusion classroom all day.
     
  9. soleil00

    soleil00 Comrade

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    I guess that is something else I need to find out. This makes me so nervous that I'm going to have her in my room without knowing a thing about her other than what this paper says, which seems to be nothing positive!

    It's nerve wracking to have this pushed at me last minute. I got it today and school starts Monday, so that's very last minute for someone like me!
     
  10. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    Spend some time getting to know her, even without understanding her IEP. Make some observations about her ability/skill level, her behaviour, her ability to follow instructions and routines and her relationships with peers and adults. I'm not saying that you shouldn't talk to the Special Ed teacher about your student, but that sometimes, it's nice to disregard the "paperwork" for a day or two and form your own picture. Then, when you sit down to talk to the Special Ed teacher, you have your own information to share.
     
  11. soleil00

    soleil00 Comrade

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    That's a good idea MrsC, it just makes me so nervous! I've never had really any experience with special ed kids before other than fleeting run-ins in the halls/cafeteria so it is kind of a completely new thing for me to know for a fact I will have one in my room a few times a week or whatever..
     
  12. Maryhf

    Maryhf Connoisseur

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    I totally agree. Do your own assessments and get to know the child and then in a few days, sit down with the IEP and take a more serious look.
     
  13. EdEd

    EdEd Aficionado

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    So, I definitely agree with conducting complimentary assessments, and getting to know the child, but there's been this myth/false best practice around in schools for a while now that says teachers should ignore cumulative folders, IEPs, previous teacher's comments/advice, etc. because somehow it disadvantages the student or teacher to hear about past challenges & successes with the student. We've developed a love the value of "fresh start" without considering all of the ramifications of that.

    By all means, read and do your best to understand the IEP - before the student gets to school. I also agree with the others about doing your own complimentary assessments and getting to know kids, but not at the sacrifice of the hard work that other teachers/educators have already put in building a foundation of academic & social support for the child.
     
  14. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    Remember, soleil00--she's just a little girl.
     
  15. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    EdEd, I don't recommend ignoring anyone's hard work, or the documented needs of the student. However, I do believe that all is not lost if the IEP is not completely understood before the first day of school (particularly with less than 48 hours to read and understand). Sometimes, knowing the child helps to make the IEP goals easier to understand.
     
  16. skittleroo

    skittleroo Connoisseur

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    ask the spec education teacher - she will understand. You've probably gotten that response from teachers because they probably don't understand it either....and it is critical - it's the law.
     
  17. mopar

    mopar Multitudinous

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    And you already know more about her that your other students. Remember you are just getting to know everyone.
     
  18. soleil00

    soleil00 Comrade

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    Thanks yall, it makes me feel better that I'm not completely out of the loop not understanding this right off the bat. The more I read it the more I think I understand, this paper is just goals and standards with her progress at the end of the year. No accommodations or modifications, so I'm wondering if my classroom will just be socialization time for her.
     
  19. EdEd

    EdEd Aficionado

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    That makes sense, and I agree with that - it's not mandatory to understand everything by the first day!
     
  20. EdEd

    EdEd Aficionado

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    It may not be just socialization time, but it may be very possible that most of the intervention work related to special education will be done outside the classroom. Sounds like you're making some good progress!
     
  21. callmebob

    callmebob Enthusiast

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    If the child spent that much time out of the regular classroom last year, there should be a great deal of information you received from talking to the sped teacher. I would be shocked if you were just handed the paperwork and told to figure it out.
     
  22. timsterino

    timsterino Comrade

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    Why wouldn't you get the goals also? Don't you need to track and collect data as well? Does your school follow RtI?
     
  23. timsterino

    timsterino Comrade

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    There are two major areas for a general education teacher to look at:

    1. Accomodations and modifications: these are things that you legally need to do in your classroom to help the child. Some can include extra time on assignments, tests, assignments given in small amounts, etc.

    2. Academic and/or Behavioral goals: these are goals that should be worked on during class time. They are specific, measurable goals that have a way to track and a time to track them in.

    It also would not hurt you to read the student's PLP (present level of performance) to get a snapshot of them after you have had them for a couple of days.

    However you must immediately look at and follow any accomodations and modifications to make sure you are following their IEP.
     
  24. soleil00

    soleil00 Comrade

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    That is why I HAVE to talk to the Sp. Ed teacher tomorrow after school. There are absolutely no accommodations or modifications listed on this paperwork at all. It's like the child is in my class, but... not in my class at the same time.
     
  25. callmebob

    callmebob Enthusiast

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    The first week of school it is not immediate, many places do not begin getting into the hardcore curriculum right those first few days. It is not necessary to stress so much over a couple days about this one student.
    The teacher can talk to the Sped department when they get a chance, and then hash it out.
     
  26. traveler

    traveler Comrade

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    At my school we often get the paper work first and then the Special Ed teacher will come around and tell us what to expect from the kids on IEP's. They definitely make the rounds before school starts. They will let you know hopefully. Good luck!
     
  27. timsterino

    timsterino Comrade

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    I disagree. Regardless, they should be looked at first. Not all accommodations have to do specifically with academics. Some are behaviorally based.
     
  28. soleil00

    soleil00 Comrade

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    Sp. Ed teacher emailed me today.. phew!

    The child isn't in my room at all, ever. The child will just accompany my class to our P.E. and special areas (art/music/library) and she MIGHT be in my room if we are doing something that is NOT a worksheet or group activity unless I invite her down.

    I'm just glad to know some definites....
     
  29. EdEd

    EdEd Aficionado

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    Good to hear you heard back!
     
  30. callmebob

    callmebob Enthusiast

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    You are right that not all accomodations are academic based, but at the same time I don't think it is something that needs to be worried about over the weekend. At the beginning of the school year there is so much going on, teachers need to get to know their students in general; including the sped kids. Accomodations don't have to be implemented day one.
     
  31. timsterino

    timsterino Comrade

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    Again, I disagree. Based on your responses, I am going to guess that you are not a Special Ed. teacher.
     
  32. bros

    bros Phenom

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    Accommodations DO need to be implemented day one, regardless of disability

    All throughout school for me, my case managers had the same mindset of "Oh, it's only the first week of school, the accommodations don't need to be sent out"

    every single year I would encounter an issue.

    Usually when the teacher would require us to fill out contact information.

    Which I cannot do.

    Or they would do a "fun" activity, which was incredibly difficult for me, but they didn't know
     
  33. Mellz Bellz

    Mellz Bellz Comrade

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    Aww... Don't fret! I am glad it worked out, but in the future I would grab a Special Ed teacher and just explain that you have no knowledge of IEP's and would like a tutorial. I know I would not be opposed at all if a gen ed teacher asked me to go over the parts of an IEP with you. This is my first year as inclusion, but I'm doing this year is just giving my teachers a copy of their IEP goals and any testing and/or classroom mods. I've also copied other essential info like Behavior Plans if necessary. I don't see it too important to give all my teachers an entire 10 page IEP, but if they wanted to see the complete IEP it is understood that they can come to my office to review the entire document. I do try to communicate important information on students to the classroom teachers and so far it is working out really well!
     
  34. soleil00

    soleil00 Comrade

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    I got it all figured out.. the child in question is NOT in my room, ever without an invite. She does no written work, therefore cannot be in my room for lessons that aren't verbal or reading a story. Pretty much all she does is go to PE and Art/Music/Library with my class.
     
  35. bros

    bros Phenom

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    So the child is essentially being mainstreamed for specials?

    Very good for social skills.
     
  36. callmebob

    callmebob Enthusiast

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    No I am not, I have sped students every year, but I am not a huge fan of the sped program.
     
  37. waterfall

    waterfall Maven

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    I'm doing this with my gen ed teachers this year as well. I have everything nicely typed on a single page, where I think they'll actually reference it rather than trying to go through an entire 10-15 page document that's probably really confusing to someone who doesn't normally work with them. I also figured it would save a lot of paper just handing them the one sheet rather than copying every single page of all of my IEP's for them. I'm just going to tell them that if they were interested in seeing/going over the entire IEP, they're welcome to come by my room anytime.

    OP, I'd be thrilled that someone was actually interested in learning about the iep components rather than just guessing or being irritated with the whole process. I REALLY appreciate the teachers that come to me with questions right away/keep an open line of communication rather than just trying to figure it out and then finally admitting 6 months later that they didn't know what to do the whole time. I wouldn't worry about asking your sped teacher questions at all- I'm sure he/she welcomes it!
     
  38. bros

    bros Phenom

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    Why? Do you believe it should be like the 50s or 60s and people with disabilities should be denied an education? Or do you believe that people with disabilities do not deserve to have relatively minor accommodations in the classroom so the playing field is leveled?
     
  39. callmebob

    callmebob Enthusiast

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    I believe that students deserve to have an equal amount of time, effort, and energy put into teaching/working with them. I believe that students in the middle quite often get the shaft because they aren't low and requiring extra accomodations and they aren't high and need alter assignments to push them farther. They are just there going about their business in the middle and quite often get less time, energy, and attention from their teachers.
    I also believe that some of the more minor disabilities should not be labeled as disibilities at all and instead of teachers going the extra mile for all of those kids, the students/parents need to learn how to deal with their childs differences so they can be successful in life instead of getting accomodations that they more than likely will not recieve when they go out into the real world.
    But I am very greatful for the sped program when there are students with extreme disabilities, academic and behavioral; those students need a lot of help and assistance and I know that I don't have all of the skills or patience to provide it.
     
  40. Special-t

    Special-t Enthusiast

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    callmebob, I hear your frustration, yet strongly believe in the need for IEPs and well-staffed sped programs. And, I do think that often, too much sped responsibility is dumped onto gen ed teachers due to lack of sped staff or poorly run sped departments.

    A good sped department should have the goal of teaching kids with minor (and all) disabilities how to use their strengths, work around their challenges. I always remind the kids I work with that they need to learn to advocate for themselves so they can learn to help themselves in and out of school. I won't always be there for them and I am concerned about them being too dependent upon me. But, these are high school students. Up through middle school it would be a developmental impossibility to expect kids to work on their own challenges and self-accommodate without the adult support they get from a special ed program. And, they need the legal protection of IEPs to make sure busy and overwhelmed adults give them the support they need.

    Believe me, my high school students want to be independent and many want to work their way out of needing an IEP. Most of them want the satisfaction of doing their work with the least amount of support possible.

    In my opinion, the problem of the kids in the middle getting the shaft is due to lack funds to properly staff schools so that all kids have the chance to get the attention they need. I know that sometimes gen ed teachers are overwhelmed by accommodations. Ideally, there should be a sped teacher on hand to co-teach or collaborate.
     
  41. EdEd

    EdEd Aficionado

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    This conversation has surfaced before, so without getting into it too much, callmebob - it's possible that the problem you're experiencing is very real, but not the fault of special education. I would say that you are right when you say that many students are left out - but is this the fault of a program created to serve a specific group of children, or the fault of the education system as a whole to respond to those other kids left out?
     

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