Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Procedural Compliance Tips for Schools and IEP teams

Good afternoon Joseph,
Thank you and your staff for providing the necessary files to review for Self-Assessment/Verification Process.  As I mentioned during our phone conversation, Medford School District met the requirements and is in compliance.  The school district will receive a more formal letter, closing the verification process for this year.
As I said, Medford was in compliance, however there were a few points that came to my attention which I thought you might like to share with your staff, in terms of best practice.
IEP- 4 The IEP contains a statement of the student’s present levels of academic achievement and functional performance.
For the most part, the files reviewed provided a clear picture of both present levels of academic achievement AND functional performance, however there were a few files in which functional performance was not explicitly addressed.
IEP- 5 The IEP includes how the student’s disability affects his or her involvement and progress in the general curriculum or for an early childhood (3-5) student in age-appropriate activities.
Please provide explicitly statements describing HOW the disability affects student involvement and progress in the general curriculum. 
IEP- 6 The IEP teams must, in the case of a student whose behavior impeded his or her learning, or that of others, consider the use of positive behavior interventions and supports and other strategies to address that behavior.     
ISS (In-school suspension) is not a positive behavioral intervention and should be avoided in this section of the IEP.  The standards and directions state: An IEP that includes only negative measures, such as seclusion or restraint, suspension, or dentition does not meet the standard. Describe what POSITIVE strategies are in place to address student behavior.
IEP- 13  Following the development or revision of the individualized revision of the IEP and prior to its implementation, the student’s parent(s) were provided a notice of placement.
Parents must receive written notice, including a copy of their students IEP, in a reasonable time prior to its implementation.  Reasonable time will depend on how notice is being delivered, but we recommend at least 3 days if sent by mail.
A side note:
Students with disabilities should have access to the general curriculum and federal non-regulatory guidance states that alternate assessments should be clearly related to grade-level content, although it may be restricted in scope or complexity or take the form of introductory or prerequisite skills (U.S. Department of Education, 2005, p. 26).  If we are assessing students using grade-level content, then instruction should also be grade-level.  We understand that for some students the content will need to be scaffolded, modified, adapted and accommodations will need to be provided- however, students should still have access to grade-level content. 
Thank you again for all your work on this!
Please let me know if you have additional questions.
Erin Faasuamalie
Education Consultant
Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction
Special Education

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