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IEP Training Course Content

This course consists of six units which correspond to the required sections of an IEP. The required sections are:

Each unit of this IEP Training Course will familiarize you with the purpose of one of these IEP sections. You will also learn about the required content for the specific section. The course will allow you to read the specific portion of IDEA laws which detail the contents of the IEP section.

To proceed directly through the IEP Training Course, without missing any units, you can use the “Next” option in the upper right-hand corner of this column. If you decide to leave the course, you’ll want to bookmark the page you are viewing so you can resume where you left the course.

If you decide to skip any unit, you can use the drop-down navigation menu at the top of the screen to go directly to a unit which interests you. This flexibility in navigation lets you access areas of training that are of immediate need, if you do not have the desire to complete the course in its entirety.

The course will take you one to two hours to complete, depending upon your reading speed. If you engage in other suggested activities, you will learn a great deal about IEPs which will be helpful to you in future meetings and doing so will require additional time. You can put forth as much time as you wish and your learning will directly relate to the time you spend. Action items will be maroon in color. Be certain to have a notebook ready for notes and to make a list of “action items”, if you do not complete them concurrently with this course.

I hope you find this course of great benefit and it helps you advocate for your child.

For a lasting reference, download this great “Guide to the Individualized Education Program”. The overall process from identification through education is discussed. This document was created and paid for by your tax dollars and is an excellent resource. Download the IEP Guide here.

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Aug 032013

How to Write an IEP Training User Agreement

This How to Write an IEP Training course is designed to familiarize you with the contents of an IEP.

I am not a lawyer. No aspect of this course should ever be considered as legal advice. If you need legal assistance, please contact a qualified Special Education Attorney or Advocate in your state.

By using this site, you agree that the owner of this site is in no way responsible for the outcome of any IEP meeting or for related activities of any kind. Your actions and activities are your sole responsibility.

By remaining on this Website, You agree to indemnify and hold harmless the owner of this website in every way whatsoever in regard to any matter whatsoever.

The opinions expressed in comments are the opinion of the poster. They do not reflect the opinions of the owner of the website. All posts within this website, or linked to by this site, are to be considered as an opinion, not as fact. You alone are responsible for researching and validating information prior to using it. You accept all responsibility for the usage of any information you may have gleaned from this site.

All that being said, entering into the world of Special Education can be scary. Your self-education about How to Write an IEP will go a long way in helping you be a valuable and active participant in your child’s education. Your child’s education is your responsibility. Plus, NO ONE knows your child as well as you do.

A great resource for gaining direct assistance with specific issues is COPAA (Council of Parent Attorneys and Advocates). Belonging to COPAA, even for a short period of time, and using their internal message boards can be eye-opening. This organization can provide a wealth of information that may relate directly to your specific circumstances.

This free How to Write an IEP Training is intended to help you feel less intimidated at your child’s IEP meetings. If you understand How to Write an IEP and what goes in it, you’ll at least understand what’s happening in the meeting better!

Best Wishes,

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IEP Training Course Goals

The MAIN goal of this IEP Training course is to teach you how to write an IEP that is serves your child well.  

You’ll learn how to develop an IEP that has great, measurable goals, and which will comply with IDEA.

At the end of this IEP Training course, you will be able to:

  1. Name the required sections of an IEP.
  2. Write an appropriate Present Levels of Performance (PLOP) statement.
  3. Develop measurable, objective IEP goals for your child.
  4. State the difference between modifications and accommodations.
  5. List different types of supports or services your child may receive.
  6. Give 2 or more examples of appropriate measures of progress.
  7. Name the primary, or first choice, placement expected by IDEA for every child.

This IEP Training course is relatively short and covers the basics that parents need to know. This course is not comprehensive in regard to how the full special education process works. The course assumes your child has already had a comprehensive educational evaluation and is eligible for special education services. You may want to grab a copy of Wrightslaw: All About IEPs if you’d like the fullest understanding possible.

You will get out of this IEP Training course what you put into it. The main purpose of the course is to learn how to support your child by understanding the components of an appropriate IEP.

I am excited you are proceeding with this course and your child will benefit from your increased familiarity with IEPs. Many parents spend years in the dark regarding their child’s education, so your presence here is truly exciting! YOU ROCK!

As you proceed through the IEP Training course, engaging in the interactive activities will strengthen your understanding. They will also make your learning more fun. As with any course, you will get out of this IEP Training course what you put in to it!

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What is an IEP? Training Course Description

This course is designed to familiarize parents with Individual Education Plans (IEPs).

This “What is an IEP?” training will answer questions like:

What information is supposed to be included in an IEP?
What requirements are there for each section of an IEP?
How do you write each section properly?

In order to have your child’s needs met, each section of an IEP is important for defining your child’s abilities, learning needs, and the expected educational outcome.

What is an IEP?

IEPs are like a contract with the school defining required aspects of your child’s education. As such, it is important that IEPs be carefully written.

All IEP team members should remain mindful that they are planning your child’s “Path to Success” and lowering expectations only harms your child’s future.

IEP sections covered in this course are Present Levels of Performance, Goals & Objectives, Supports & Services, Accomodations & Modifications, Measures of Progress, and Placement. Each of these sections is required to share specific information which will help teachers provide your individual child with an appropriate education.

It is equally important that expectations and measurements of success are not watered down to minimize the school’s responsibility for your child’s education.

Beyond this course explaining, “What is an IEP?” you’ll want to check out the FREE, online Special Education Guidebook for Educationally Involved Parents of Children with LDs for parents. The guidebook will equip you with the information you need to properly advocate for your child.

Special education can be great or horrible, depending upon your school administrations mindset towards kids with learning disabilities.

If you’re wondering, “What is an IEP?” you might find it interesting to visit the Government’s IDEA website. You can also search for examples of IEP forms for different states on Google images.

There is a wide variety of forms and formats, but all required components should be evident in each IEP.

If you complete this course by navigating forward to the end, you will know what those required components are and how they are supposed to document your child’s needs.

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IEP Placement Decisions – The Least Restrictive Environment:

Unit Objectives for IEP Placement Decisions.

By the end of this unit, you will be able to:

– Define “Least Restrictive Environment” (LRE) for IEP Placement Decisions;

– State the primary IEP placement choice expected in IDEA;

– Explain when it is acceptable to remove a child from the regular education classroom;

– Explain what placement choices must be considered by the school for each child;

– State the primary goal of IDEA for placement of children with disabilities.

IEP Placement Decisions can, perhaps, have the most significant, lifelong affect on your child’s life.

Children need to be “included” rather than excluded. “Inclusion” has been repeatedly documented as being the best placement for children with disabilities, and IDEA supports placement of children in the regular education classroom above all other placements.

The Inclusion Bill Of Rights For Parents is an excellent document by LD Online. It clarifies why you should strive for your child’s inclusion in the regular education classroom. Children with disabilities have been separated, either partially or totally, from their peers. IDEA specifies children are to be included in the regular classroom whenever possible and as much as possible.

IEP Placement Decisions and the Least Restrictive Environment

special education placement and iep advocacy

Least Restrictive environment applies to children even when behavior difficulties are significant. IDEA Appendix A, Question #39 is required reading if your child is a child with behavioral issues. In part, question #39 says, “If the child can appropriately function in the regular classroom with appropriate behavioral supports, strategies or interventions, placement in a more restrictive environment would be inconsistent with the least restrictive environment provisions of the IDEA.”

Consider what it means to be included: “[v] add as part of something else; put in as part of a set, group, or category; [v] consider as part of something; [v] allow participation in or the right to be part of; permit to exercise the rights, functions, and responsibilities of; Synonyms: admit, let in” (WordNet Dictionary @

Write a descriptive paragraph stating how your child will feel if he is separated from his peers. Consider how IEP Placement Decisions will affect your child educationally, emotionally, and socially. Seek the best placement for your child.

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Aug 032013

Writing Proper, Measurable Goals for Your IEP Progress Report

Writing IEP goals or “Measures of Progress” that let you know for certain if your child is progressing. Measurable goals will help you determine if your child is catching up to peers or regressing and falling further behind when you receive your child’s IEP progress report.

Characteristics of a Readable IEP progress report

Your child’s academic skill mastery should be able to be presented as graphical data. It doesn’t have to be, but being presentable as a graph leans towards characteristics of measurable data. If the data can be presented in a graph, then you can easily SEE if your child is making adequate yearly progress in the IEP progress report.

When your school admins say your child is making progress, you can ask, “What data do you base your opinion upon?” There should be actual data, like standardized test scores, that can answer questions. Almost any data that you can plot on a graph can be considered “measurable”.

In order to make a graph of progress, your child’s IEP needs measurable goals. To be sure the data can be viewed for progress at any point you can write goals using data points. For example:

– For the reading fluency goal: Y.C. Will improve from 60 words per minute in reading speed to 100 words per minute when reading a typical classroom literature selection he has not read previously.

When writing your child’s measurable IEP goals, ask these questions about the measurement:

– Is the desired outcome something that can be measured by me or someone else?

– Is the measurement based upon quantifiable data that can be plotted on a graph?

– Can the measurement criteria be understood by anyone, at any time?

– Will anyone be able to easily determine if progress is being made in an IEP progress report?

IDEA 300.347 also says parents should be notified of …(B) “The extent to which that progress is sufficient to enable the child to achieve the goals by the end of the year.” You should get an IEP progress report that lets you KNOW whether your child is on track to meet his goals by the end of the year. If your child’s goals are measurable, then you’ll be able to track your child’s progress.

Continue FORWARD in this IEP training to learn more about HOW to write measurable goals.

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IDEA requires IDEA Progress Monitoring IEP Goals

With proper IEP Measures of Progress you can know for certain if your child is making educational progress.

Let’s look at what IDEA says about Progress Monitoring IEP Goals:

IDEA §300.347(a) “Content of IEP” states that IEPs must contain: (7) A statement of –

(i) How the child’s progress toward the annual goals described in paragraph (a)(2) of this section will be measured; and

(ii) How the child’s parents will be regularly informed (through such means as periodic report cards), at least as often as parents are informed of their non-disabled children’s progress, of –

(A) Their child’s progress toward the annual goals; and

(B) The extent to which that progress is sufficient to enable the child to achieve the goals by the end of the year.

“§300.347(a)(1)(2) requires that each child’s IEP include: A statement of measurable annual goals, including benchmarks or short-term objectives related to—(i) Meeting the child’s needs that result from the child’s disability to enable the child to be involved in and progress in the general curriculum; and (ii) meeting each of the child’s other educational needs that result from the child’s disability.”

Any measure of progress should be measurable by someone other than the teacher who is teaching your child. If a teacher is responsible for measuring her own success in teaching your child, there is no accountability when evidence to the contrary surfaces.

Additionally, sometimes teacher have to leave partway through the year. Then your child’s progress may need to be measured by someone else. If his teacher moves, you move, your child transfers to a private school, or obtain private services, then someone else needs to be able to determine if your child has made educational progress.

Therefore, your child’s IEP goals should not be based upon subjective data. For proper progress monitoring IEP Goals, the measures must be data-driven.

Quiz Question (think back to writing goals):

For well-written, objective goals, which of these ways are objective measures of progress?

Data collection and analysis.

Teacher observation.

Standardized testing.

A percentage of improvement.

Options A and C are objective measures for progress monitoring IEP goals.

Move Forward through this FREE IEP training to learn more about writing measureable goals.

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Annual Yearly Progress Monitoring on your child’s IEP is CRITICAL if you and school personnel are going to know if your child is making adequate annual yearly progress.

Annual Yearly Progress : IEP Progress Monitoring Tutorial Section Objectives

By the end of this lesson about annual yearly progress, you will know:

– What types of data can be used for objective IEP Progress Monitoring.

– Why Annual Yearly Progress measurements must be objective.

– The main purpose of objective goals for IEP Progress monitoring.

– How to identify good annual yearly progress measures and poorly written IEP progress measures.

Objective measures of annual yearly progress can mean the difference between you being able to determine if your child has actually progressed, or not.

If your child has objective IEP Progress measures, anyone — at any time — can determine if your child is on target for meeting his goals.

Some school districts, like ours, routinely use goals that are vague and unmeasurable. When your chld’s annual yearly progress comes under scrutiny, measures which are not data-driven can lead to debates over IEP progress. Schools will say progress is being made, but the parents are pretty certain there is no progress. Without DATA, you can’t prove your child isn’t making annual yearly progress.

IEP Progress Monitoring : How Debates Happen Over Annual Yearly Progress

Here’s a situation similar to one we’ve encountered. Please consider this scenario:

J.C.’s goal specifies: “J.C. will read fluently and will increase reading speed by 70%.”

At first glance, it looks like a decent goal for IEP progress monitoring. Many children have annual yearly progress goals just like this.

Is the 70% adequate as a data measure? 70% of what? What is the starting point?

When the time for IEP progress monitoring and review rolls around, you know your child still reads laboriously, slowly, and with no fluency whatsoever.

The school says, “J.C. is doing wonderfully and has met this goal.”

You are perplexed and say it’s not possible.

The school explains that each time J.C. rereads a text three or more times, he is very fluent and this is a great improvement over last year!

This is not at all what you expected for your child’s annual yearly progress. Issues of debate over what kind of IEP progress was SUPPOSED to occur DOES happen, especially when goals are not SPECIFIC and measurable. It is essential that your child’s IEP progress measurements are objective.

Are standardized tests an objective measure of annual yearly progress?

They can be. At the very least, you’ll want to track and compare your child’s standardized test scores from each school year to the next. By comparing results over time, you can figure out if your child is making ACTUAL annual yearly progress.

To learn more about HOW to write measurable goals, and the requirement that your child makes ADEQUATE Yearly Progress, use the Forward button below to learn about this critical aspect of your child’s IEP progress monitoring.

As a side note, you might find it interesting to read about NCLB’s modified standards for annual yearly progress for students with disabilities.

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