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WHAT WORKS IN EDUCATION The George Lucas Educational Foundation

IEPs

58 Replies 1129 Views
One common thread in special education is the IEP. Are you happy with the ones you get for the students in your classes? How can IEPs be improved? How often do you refer to the IEP in a school year? How do you prepare your IEPs. In New York City almost all are still written by hand.

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Erika Saunders's picture
Erika Saunders
6th-8th Special Ed, LS & Mentally Gifted teacher

Our very large, urban district uses EasyIEP - a web-based product. The good news is that they are electronic (no more illegible hand written copies of copies!) and we have quick access to them via the Internet. One downside is that, in an attempt to have conformity with language (everyone was writing anything!) they have drop down menus for almost everything, including the goals and objectives. This sometimes takes the "individual" out of the IEP. You have the option to "customize" but they really discourage that. Again, the hope was to make the language uniform and in compliance.

I guess there are no "easy" answers. Even with all this uniformity, I still get IEPs that barely give you more information than the student's name! I try to write my IEPs with the idea that I'm not the audience reading it. I already know my student (hopefully); I'm writing the IEP for the person who DOESN'T know the student.

Deven Black's picture
Deven Black
Middle school teacher-librarian in the Bronx, NY

We still do handwritten IEPs and for many of the ones I read there is little or no relationship between the PLOP (Present Level of Performance) and the goals/objectives.

Do EasyIEP or the other program like that check for correspondence between the PLOP and the goals, or is it still possible to write a bad IEP using the software?

Erika Saunders's picture
Erika Saunders
6th-8th Special Ed, LS & Mentally Gifted teacher

[quote]We still do handwritten IEPs and for many of the ones I read there is little or no relationship between the PLOP (Present Level of Performance) and the goals/objectives.

Do EasyIEP or the other program like that check for correspondence between the PLOP and the goals, or is it still possible to write a bad IEP using the software?[/quote]

EasyIEP does have checks and balances. You have to complete certain criteria before it will let you "finish" the IEP. If you have Literacy in the PLOP, then you have to have a Literacy goal, etc. However, you call still write a bad/inappropriate goal.

Some fields are drop down, others are free hand. They are continually tweaking the system to help make the IEP better. (Recently, the adjusted an "open" field so that we were forced to write more than "N/A".)

In the end, there are still not great IEPs but its better than it used to be.

Deven Black's picture
Deven Black
Middle school teacher-librarian in the Bronx, NY

Thanks for the response and apologies for my late one. Anything would be better than how we do them now.

BethS's picture

I am in Texas. We have Special Education manager here.The software has all of the state curriculum requirements (TEKS) loaded as well as all of the pages required for the IEP meeting. We still have teachers writing awful IEPs either because there is NO mastery criteria or present level. The software company we are working with is trying to help us by putting in some kind of blocker that does not allow the iep to be submitted unless something is written on both of these lines.

We are also requiring all students who are in a modified curriculum to have a gap plan. Something written showing what additional and specialized materials that are being used to "close the gap."

LPS's picture
LPS
Cross Categorical/self-contained - Teacher

Our district uses TieNet, and they are continuing to improve it with prompts and a model for writing IEP's. We are able to access the state standards although the alternate standards are not included on this link. I have to open a separate document to find the atlternate standards. It sounds similar to the Texas system. I still spend about 3 hours for each student in writing IEP's and progress monitoring takes about 2 hours for each student. Also we have to do additional report cards that are based on grade level standards. I do most of it at home on my own time.

LPS's picture
LPS
Cross Categorical/self-contained - Teacher

Our district uses TieNet, and they are continuing to improve it with prompts and a model for writing IEP's. We are able to access the state standards although the alternate standards are not included on this link. I have to open a separate document to find the atlternate standards. It sounds similar to the Texas system. I still spend about 3 hours for each student in writing IEP's and progress monitoring takes about 2 hours for each student. Also we have to do additional report cards that are based on grade level standards. I do most of it at home on my own time.

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