Monday, May 28, 2012

Special Learning Series: What’s the Plan?

Brought to you by the letters I.E.P!
(Part I of II)

By: Brooke Beverly Conway

Related Teachers Pay Teachers Storefront: Brooke Beverly

Meet the Team:
Stew Dent (the child with educational needs)
Ida Know (Stew Dent’s mother)
Paige Turner (Teacher)
Justine Thyme (Special education teacher)
Frank Lee Speakin (School Psychologist)
Justin Case (Educational Advocate)
Anita Answer (Team Chairperson)

Part I:
Stew Dent: Mom, school’s so hard! I try, and try and I just can’t get it.

Ida Know: Oh, Stew Dent. I love you, and we are working hard to get you some extra help in school. I have a meeting today with the staff at your school.

Stew Dent: Is that why I had to meet with those teachers and do all that extra testing?

Ida Know: Those teachers are part of a team at your school who are trying to figure out how you learn. I am proud of you for giving your best effort.

(Three hours later…at the I.E.P. meeting)

Anita Answer: Hello Ms. Know. Welcome to Learning Elementary School. I would like to introduce the team to you. I am Anita Answer, the team chairperson. You probably have met Paige Turner, Stew Dent’s third grade teacher at conferences. Here is Justine Thyme, the special education teacher, Frank Lee Speakin, the school psychologist, and Justin Case, the educational advocate you have invited to attend this meeting with us. We have conducted educational and psychological testing on your son, Stew Dent based on your request. We have sent home some paperwork for your review, including your parental rights. We are here today to see if Stew Dent meet to determine if Stew Dent meets the eligibility criteria for an I.E.P. 

Justin Case: Ms. Know, to clarify, an I.E.P. stands for an individualized education plan. To qualify for an I.E.P., a child first must meet the criteria for an Educational Disability: autism, developmental delay, intellectual Impairment, sensory impairment (hearing or vision, deaf/blind), neurological impairment, emotional impairment, communication impairment, physical impairment, health impairment such as ADHD, or a specific learning disability. Remember that an outside diagnosis does not equal educational disability. In addition, we evaluate if the child is not making effective progress (measurable gains). And if the child is not making effective progress, is the lack of progress due to the disability, and if so, does the child require Specialized Instruction to access the general curriculum? 

Paige Turner: Ms. Know, we have discussed my concerns regarding Stew Dent’s impulsivity and inability to attend to a task in class. Frank Lee Speakin did ask you and I to fill out checklists to determine if Stew Dent exhibited characteristics of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. He has spoken with you, and we know you have discussed these results with your pediatrician. In Stew Dent’s case, we do feel that he meets the criteria for an educational disability, specifically health impairment, because his physiological capacity to function is significantly impaired resulting in limited alertness with respect to the educational environment and the disability is adversely affecting his educational performance, and he requires specialized instruction to access the general curriculum. Do you agree? Were you satisfied with the school’s evaluations? 

Justine Thyme: This ends the eligibility portion of Team Meeting. We would like to work with you to propose an individual educational plan to help meet Stew Dent’s learning needs. We have outlined Stew Dent’s strengths and weaknesses. 

Anita Answer: The first part of the IEP we would like to know concern(s) you want to see addressed to enhance Stew Dent’s education and as a Team, create a vision for Stew Dent is for the next one to five years.  

Ida Know: I would love for Stew Dent to develop strategies to help him focus on his learning. He is having a hard time reading. I would like him to gain better word attack, fluency and comprehension skills. 

Justine Thyme: We agree with you Ms. Know. 

Anita Answer: We would like to go over how Stew Dent’s disability impacts his progress, accommodations, content, method and delivery of services, performance criteria, and other educational needs, goals and objectives, schedule modification, state testing accommodations and additional information. We would like to review with you Stew Dent’s present level of performance and his recent educational testing results with you. Here we are addressing his academic and social and behavioral skills and how they are affecting Stew Dent’s ability to learn. Districts use formal assessments, such as the Woodcock Johnson, or WIAT tests to determine his functioning and get a baseline of his performance. We have also used some anecdotal information collected by Mrs. Turner, psychological education testing conducted by Mr. Speakin and additional observational data collected by Ms. Thyme. Do you agree with our findings? 

Ida Know: Yes, the reports and testing has been very thorough.  

Paige Turner: You will see how we have listed Stew Dent’s strengths and weaknesses. Stew Dent is an eager, energetic and enthusiastic third grade student. He has a solid understanding of grade level math concepts, and he is fluent in his addition and subtraction facts. We are continuing to work towards a mastery of his multiplication facts. He is currently on Rocket Math Level F, with a modified goal of 32 facts in a minute. He loves hands on experiments in science, and he is fascinated about learning about the history of our state. Stew Dent in the area of language arts, he currently reads 64 words, with 4 errors in a minute (curriculum based measurement fluency assessment January 2012), and that places him in the “at-risk” category. His elementary spelling inventory score was a 47, which placed him in the long vowel patterns category. His current A-Z reading benchmark placed him at level J. His interests involve building and creating structures out of blocks or tinker toys. He talks about playing soccer in the fall and basketball in the winter. He says he wants to be a firefighter when he gets older.  

Frank Lee Speakin: Stew Dent is a friendly and outgoing boy. In the classroom, he seeks attention from his peers and teachers, but he tries to please. He requires consistent cues to focus, both in large and small group settings and across all curriculum areas. He performs much better with structure, clear rules and consequences and routine. He is immature socially in comparison to his peers and requires supervision during unstructured situations such as recess or lunch. He often acts / reacts impulsively and inappropriately. However, with social stories, role modeling and small groups, he will learn to be more appropriate with his words and help him think before he acts. 

Read Part II of What's the Plan? on next Monday's blog post...

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1 comment:

  1. I love this post! Very creative and sheds light on a really tough part of teaching/learning.


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