Writing Your IEP
1. Youll need several sheets of clean paper, and a pencil or pen. (If you like using a computer, thats fine, too. So is a tape recorder! You can also have a friend take notes for you.)
2. Start by describing your disability.
What is your disability called?
? How does your disability affect you in school and at home? (For example, what things in school are harder because of your disability?)
? What do you think is important for others to know about your disability?
? If your arent sure what to say, think about what the students on the tape had to say. How did they describe their disabilities?
3. Look at your old IEP goal and objectives. Do you think you have met those goals and objectives? (This means you can do the things listed there.) Put a check next to the goals and objectives you have met.
4. What goals or objectives have you not met? Write these down on paper. They may be important to include in your new IEP.
5. What are your strengths and needs in each class or subject? Make a list. This can be hard to do. Here are some suggestions to help you:
? Start with clean sheets of paper. Title one sheet Strengths and another sheet Needs.
? Ask yourself the questions between the lines below (called Ask yourself). These can help you think about your Strengths and Needs. Write your ideas down on your Strengths and Needs worksheets.
Hints: If youre not sure how to answer a question, look at the examples given. Also, think about what the students on the tape had to say. How did they describe their strengths and needs? What accommodations did they ask for? What did they say they needed to work on in school?
6. Show your old IEP to your parents and your teachers. Do they think you have met these goals? What gals havent you met? Add their ideas to the list that you started in Step 4 above.
7. Ask your teacher what they believe your strengths and needs are in each class or subject. Write their ideas down.
8. Develop new goals and objectives for this year, using the list of strenghts and need you and your parents and teacher developed.
9. Describe the accommodations you may need in each class to meet these new goals and objectives. (See: the list of accommodations.)
10. Think about your plans for the future what youll do after youve finished high school. Talk with your parents and teacher about what you should be doing this year to get ready.
This is called transition planning.
11.Work with your parents and teachers to write a draft IEP document that includes all the information above. Make a copy for yourself to take to the IEP meeting. Make copies for everyone else who will be at the meeting
? What classes do you take? (Make a List)
? Which is your best class?
? What can you do well in this class?
These are your strengths. (Example: read, write, listen, work in-groups, works alone, draws, do your homework.)
? What helps you do well?
These can also be your strengths. (Examples: Your interest in the subject, your memory, patience, determination, effort, the help of others (what, specifically?), the way the teacher presents new information)
? What class is hardest for your?
? Whats the hardest part of this class for you?
These are the areas you need to work on during the school year. (Examples: Paying attention, reading the book, listening staying in the seat, remembering new information, doing homework, doing work in groups)
What accommodations would help you do better in this class?
Look at the list of accommodations presented below labeled List of Accommodations. Write down the ones you think would help you in this hard class.
? What do you need to work on in other classes?
Go class by class and make a list of what is hard for you in each one. Be specific-for example, in math class, you might find fractions, word problems or some other math skill very difficult.
? What accommodations would help you in each class?
For each class, list what accommodations, if any, would help you
Getting Ready for the IEP Meeting
1.Talk to your special education teacher about setting a time, date, and place for the IEP meeting. Make a list of who should be there.
2. Once the meeting is set, send everyone on your list an invitation like the example below.
Please come to my IEP meeting and share your ideas.
Date:Day, Month, date
Signed: Your name
p.s. If you cannot attend this meeting, please let me know when we can meet to talk about my IEP. Thank you
3. To get ready for you IEP meeting, its a good idea to think about what you want to say.
At the meeting, youll want to be able to:
? Describe your disability
? Talk about your strengths and needs
? Describe you learning style (how you learn best and what gets in the way of your learning)
? Tell team members the accommodations you need and why you need them
? Describe any medications you are taking or medical needs you have (if you wish to share this information)
? List your educational goals and objectives
? Talk about your transition plan for the future
4. Its also a good idea to practice what you want to say. Practice with your parents, a classmate, or a teacher. (Parents need to know what your goals are before the meeting, so they can support your decisions.)
5.One week before the IEP meeting, you may wish to send out reminders to the people who
be attending: your parents, teacher, counselor, principal, and others who have been
invited. The note can be simple, such as the example below.
Just to Remind You.
I am looking forward to seeing you
at my IEP meeting.
Wednesday, October 23rd
2:30 p.m., Conference Room
What is an IEP?
1. What is an IEP?
IEP stands for Individualized Education Program. The IEP is a written document that describes the educational plan for student with a disability. Your IEP talks about your disability, what skills you will need to learn what youll do in school this year, what services your school will provide, and where your learning will take place.
2.Why Do Students with Disabilities Need an IEP?
First its the law. The Individuals with Disabilities Ace (IDEA) requires each student with disabilities who receives special education services to have an IEP an educational program written just for him or her.
Second, the IEP helps the school; meet you special needs. It also helps you plan educational goals for yourself. That is why it is called an IEP because it is an INDIVIDUALIZED educational plan.
3.What is the Purpose of an IEP?
The purpose of an IEP is to make sure that everyone you, and your family, and school staff know what your educational program will be this year.
4.Where is the IEP Developed?
The IEP is developed during an IEP meeting where the people who are concerned with your education meet, discuss, and develop you IEP goals and objectives for the next your.
5.Who comes to the IEP Meeting?
Your meeting can be attended by:
? Your parents
? Your teacher
? Your therapist
? Your counselor
? Your principal
? Other you or your school thinks can help plan your program
6. How often is the IEP Meeting Held?
The law requires that your IEP is reviewed and revised at least once a year. This means attending at least one IEP meeting a year. However, you, your parent, or the school can ask for more IEP meeting, if you of you think that its necessary to take another look at your IEP.
7. How Long Does an IEP Meeting Last?
Approximately 30 minutes to a 1 hour.
8. Why Should I participate in the IEP Meeting?
It your educational program everyone will be discussing in the meeting. Your opinions are an important part of this discussion.
9. What should I do if I Want to Participate in Developing my IEP?
There are five basic steps:
? Talk to your parents and teachers.
? Review last years IEP.
? Think about your strengths and weaknesses in school.
? Write your goals for this school year.
? Practice what you want to say at the meeting.
How Do I Develop My IEP?
What to DO Before the IEP Meeting
1. Tell you family and your teachers that your are interested in participating in your next IEP meeting. It is important that you have the support if your parents and teachers, because they will play a major role in helping you.
2. Ask your parents or teachers when your next IEP is due to be revised. Write the date below.
Next IEP Date: ______________________________
3. Ask your parents or teachers for a copy of your current IEP.
4. Read your IEP carefully. The IEP has different sections. These sections are listed between the lines below (Labeled Sections of the IEP). Look at the information between the lines. Look at your IEP. Can you find the different sections of this information in your IEP?
5.Ask your parents or teachers to explain what is written in your IEP, section-by-section. Ask questions.Make sure you understand the sections and information in your IEP.
Sections of the IEP
By law, your IEP must include certain information about you. These sections are listed between the lines below. When you look at your currents IEP, you will probably see these sections or information. The new IEP your help to develop will also have these sections or information.
? Current levels of educational performance: This section includes precise information about how you are doing in school and sometimes in other aspects of your life.
? What special education and related services the school will provide to you.
? How much of your school day will be spent in regular education classrooms
? Goals for the year.
? Short-term objectives (the individual steps that make up the annual goals).
? When the school will start providing services to you and how long the services are expected to last.
? How the school will find out if you are accomplishing the goals and objectives set for you (called evaluation criteria).
? Assistance technology devices (such as a computer or communication board) the school will provide to help you
? Transition services you need to get ready for life after finishing high school.
Participating in the IEP Meeting
1. Make sure everyone knows each other.
2. Speak up and maintain good eye contact.
3. Talk about the things your practiced including:
The strengths and needs you have in each of your classes
Youre learning style
The accommodations you need and why you need them
Your goals and objectives for the next year.
Your transition plans for the future.
4. Ask for additional suggestions and comments on your IEP content. Be sure everyone has a chance to talk and share his or her ideas.
5. Listen to ideas and suggestions from the other IEP team members. If your do now understand something ask for an explanation.
6. Share your feeling about the goals and objectives the other team members suggest. Try to come to agreement about what goals and objectives are important to list in your IEP.
7. Write down everything that has been decided, so that a final IEP can be written
8. When the meeting is over, thank everyone for attending.
List of Accommodations
Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 is another important federal law for people with disabilities. This law states that reasonable accommodations must be made.
But what are reasonable accommodations?
Reasonable accommodations are things the school or your teacher can do to make it easier for you to learn adapting or adjusting what youre learning or how theyre teaching.
Some common accommodation schools make for students with disabilities are listed below.
? Use a tape recorder in the classroom
? Use another students notes
? Have a note taker in the class
? Use teachers notes
? Use a computer or typewriter
Test Taking Accommodations
? Extended time on test
? Take test in quiet area
? Have test read to you
? Take test orally
? Use textbooks on tape
? Have extra set of books for home and school
? Restroom us (medical accommodations)
? Use a calculator or dictionary in class
? Have additional time to get from class to class
? Have seating in the front of the class
? Have extended time to take PSAT or SAT
After the IEP Meeting
1. Ask for a copy of the final IEP document. Go over it to be sure you understand what it says.
2. Keep this copy of the IEP, so you can look over it whenever you need to.
3. Work to accomplish the goals and objectives in your IEP.
4. Review your IEP throughout the year. If anything needs to be changed for example, youve met goals in a class and want to write new goals, or you need more help with a subjectask your special education teacher to schedule another IEP meeting.
A Final word You have planned for your high school education and thought about your future. It begins today. Good Luck!
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