So, now that you know what to expect in a case conference, you may be wondering what an IEP entails. Aside from general information about your child (grade, diagnosis, parent/guardian, etc.), you will also find names and titles of those present in the case conference. Knowing these educators is important for proper communication to ensure your child’s success. The rest of the document, of course, lays out your child’s education plan, placing them in the least restrictive environment their course of study allows.
- Evaluation Information and Student Data: This is where your child is now. His/her strengths and weaknesses, behaviors and skills will all be included in this section. This helps to identify needs of the student which will direct the rest of the IEP.
- Concerns of the Parent: This is where you as a parent can express your concerns and have them documented within the IEP. Your input is very valuable to the development of your child’s IEP and education.
- Participation in Testing Programs: This section will identify what type of testing your child will participate in that is appropriate based on their grade level and skill level. Some examples would by NWEA, IREAD and/or ISTEP.
- Goals: In this section, achievable academic and functional skills goals will be described with clear objectives. Be sure SMART goals are used (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, Time-Bound).
- Progress Reporting: Documentation will entail exactly how you will be updated on your child’s progress throughout the year.
- Services & Accommodations: Here you will find all services your child will receive in the year, including location, description and frequency. This could also include an extended school year (depending on the needs of your child) and transition planning. The accommodations outlined in this section are needed by your child to mitigate the effects of their disability but cannot provide your child with an advantage over other students.
- Participation: This is where you will see how involved your child will be in general education classes and activities.
As stated in last month’s segment, you do have a say in your child’s goals. It is important that both parents/guardians and educators are on the same page, so keeping open communication through this process is key. If you would like to have a more in-depth explanation of the IEP, you may find a guide here.