Slippery slope!


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  • Review page 2-4 on when consent is required
  • Review pages 4-5
  • Review pages 13 - 15
  • Review pages 27 - 30
  • Review pages 49-52
  • Review page 61-63
  • Review pages 71-73
  • Review pages 83-88
  • Review pages 95-97
  • Review pages 103-106
  • Review pages 113-114
  • Review 119-122
  • Slippery slope!

    1. 1. Presentation Objectives  Recognize and avoid 12 of the most common IEP missteps  Target skills to build and maintain trust between schools and parents Adapted from Lake, S. (2010). Slippery slope! The IEP missteps every team must know – and how to avoid them. Danvers, MA: LRP.
    2. 2. IDEA 2004 In the words of a principal drafter of the original special education act, Robert T. Stafford (1978), “an individualized education program (IEP) is the central part of this act” The critical role of the IEP is to improve educational results for children with disabilities
    3. 3. What does IDEA promise?  Mandate to ensure a child with a disability receives access to a free appropriate public education (FAPE)  A written plan – the IEP
    4. 4. Meeting the Rowley Standard In 1982, the Supreme Court interpreted the lynchpin of FAPE is  a child’s access to educational opportunity,  not the specific achievement of educational results The two prong Rowley test for FAPE:  Has the LEA complied with procedural requirements of IDEA?  Is the IEP reasonably calculated to enable the child to receive educational Board of Education of Hendrick benefit? Hudson Cent. Sch. Dist. v. Rowley, 553 IDELR 656 (U.S. 1982)
    5. 5. Misstep 1:Failing to Obtain Informed ParentalConsent Purpose for notice of parental consent  Parent’s involvement in identification and response to a suspected disability is encouraged and facilitated  The school district must make an adequate response to parental concerns about children who may have disabilities Consent Requirements Document attempts to obtain Revocation of informed consent
    6. 6. Strategies for Compliance To ObtainInformed Parental Consent Provide relevant information  in written form and through documented discussion in the IEP meeting  in the parents’ native language or other mode of communication Document all efforts to obtain parental consent in writing Develop specific forms for documentation Fully describe disputed issues about informed consent in the IEP deliberations Make sure parents know they can revoke consent Follow verbal commitments with written informed consent If the student has reached age of majority and rights are transferred, make sure the student provides informed consent
    7. 7. Misstep 2: Failing to Ensure Parents’Meaningful Participating in the IEPProcess IDEA “imposes upon the school the duty to conduct a meaningful meeting with the appropriate parties” 18 IDELR 1019 (9th Cir. 1992) Parents role  Notify parents with sufficient time to ensure opportunity to attend  Schedule the meeting at a mutually agreed time and place IEP notice  Indicate purpose, time, and location  Identify all persons invited  Include required components
    8. 8. Strategies for Compliance to EnsureParents’ Meaningful Participating in theIEP Process Work to ensure amicable agreement about IEP scheduling If the school elects to meet and adopt an IEP for a student without the parents’ presence, then they need to have carefully documented attempts to ensure attendance Ensure meetings are scheduled and actually held at agreed to times Be able to readily show that the parent is an active and effective participant in the IEP development Attempt to resolve or mediate any communication problems Carefully evaluate and consider all parental requests Encourage school staff to personally contact parents early in the school year
    9. 9. Misstep 3:Predetermining IEP Services andPlacement An IDEA placement decision is a cooperative determination concerning the location where a school will implement the student’s IEP  The district is under no obligation to provide the placement requested by a parent, however must be willing to consider  Avoid predetermining prior to or outside of the IEP meeting
    10. 10. Strategies for Compliance to AvoidPredetermining IEP Services andPlacement Make sure the IEP meeting agenda refers to review a “draft” IEP and that the “draft” is marked or stamped as “draft” Caution district staff members to avoid making any statements that could be interpreted as predetermining services or placement Listen carefully to disagreements or concerns and allow enough time to discuss Examine relevant documents parents may bring to the meeting and document consideration in deliberations Make changes as appropriate to the “draft” Involve the parents at every stage of the meeting, providing them with all necessary information to make informed decisions Ensure the IEP team actually makes a formal, written offer of placement
    11. 11. Misstep 4:Improperly Excusing IEP Team Members Avoid the temptation to routinely or unilaterally excuse IEP team members – especially the general education teacher Be sure to meet prior notice and agreement requirements Review IDEA requirements
    12. 12. Strategies for Compliance to AvoidImproperly Excusing IEP Team Members Prepare standard forms for written input, consent, and agreement Comply with IDEA consent requirements Document district’s reasonable efforts to obtain parental consent Anticipate IEP issues Avoid routine use of excusal process Make sure parents understand they are consenting to excuse an IEP team member Obtain excused member’s written input in advance of the meeting Exercise caution if the parents change their mind about excusal
    13. 13. Misstep 5:Improper IEP Team Membership Ensure proper composition of the IEP team – mandatory and permitted
    14. 14. Strategies for Compliance to EnsureProper IEP Team Membership Notify parents early enough to allow a reasonable and fair opportunity to attend Ensure parental meeting notifications include the purpose, time, and location of the meeting To extent possible, schedule meetings at mutually agreed upon time and place Keep records of attempts to arrange a mutually agreed upon time and place Attempt to use methods other than face to face to ensure parent participation
    15. 15. Misstep 6: Failing to Address Transition toPostsecondary Activities and IndependentLiving IDEA requirements  Definition of transition services  Transition requirements  Child’s interests  Age for services  Postsecondary goals
    16. 16. Strategies for Compliance to Address Transitionto Postsecondary Activities and IndependentLiving Create a formal written transition plan Incorporate transition planning into the IEP Develop individual transition plans Ensure transition planning process starts and is documented at least by age 16 for each IDEA eligible child Involve parents and students as much and as early as possible Draft postsecondary goals that accurately reflect the goals that a child hopes to achieve Review IEPs to make sure they identify important skills needed for transition goals Avoid drafting generic transition plans
    17. 17. Misstep 7: Failing to Ensure Availability ofa Continuum of Alternative Placements Both the Daniel R.R. (1989) and the Oberti (1993) looked at whether a district complied with the Least Restrictive Environment (LRE) requirement and identified two prongs:  Whether the student can be educated in a regular classroom with the use of supplemental aids and services  Whether the district has mainstreamed the student to the maximum extent appropriate The continuum of alternative placements ranges from  least (general education classroom) to  most (residential placement) restrictive environments
    18. 18. Strategies for Compliance to EnsureAvailability of a Continuum of AlternativePlacements Make sure that space does not drive placement decisions Ensure general educators believe that students with disabilties can learn content-based curriculum Avoid predetermination of placement Conduct regular in-service training on LRE and continuum of alternative placement issues Avoid vague, generalized recommendations regarding LRE in the IEP
    19. 19. Misstep 8:Failing to Consider the 5 “Special Factors” IEP teams must evaluate and consider  Behavior  Limited English proficiency  Blind/visually impaired  Deaf/hearing impaired  Assistive technology
    20. 20. Strategies for Compliance to Considerthe 5 “Special Factors” Ensure the IEP team specifically reviews all of the 5 special factors as a part of the IEP team process, with parental participation and approval, each and every time an IEP is developed, reviewed, or revised Draft and review behavior intervention plans (BIPs) with input from an individual appropriately credentialed For a child who is blind or visually impaired, consider instruction in and use of Braille For deaf and hearing-impaired, consider the child’s language and communication needs
    21. 21. Misstep 9: Failing to Follow ProperProcedures for Publicly Placed PrivateSchool Students If the district is unable or unwilling to provide FAPE in the public school, that district shall assume the cost of educating the student in a private school
    22. 22. Strategies for Compliance to Follow ProperProcedures for Publicly Placed Private SchoolStudents Initiate and conduct a meeting to develop an IEP for a student placed in private schools Ensure that staff knows the district remains responsible for the education of the student who is publicly placed in private school Ensure a private school representative attends the IEP meeting
    23. 23. Misstep 10: Failing to FollowRequirements for Interstate and IntrastateTransfers IDEA requirements  IEPs  Transmittal of records
    24. 24. Strategies for Compliance to FollowRequirements for Interstate and IntrastateTransfers  Ensure the district consults with the parents and provides services comparable to those in the previous district  Be familiar with intrastate and interstate IDEA requirements  Request transmittal of records
    25. 25. Misstep 11: Failing to Address a Student’sBehavioral and Emotional Needs Address behaviors that impact the student’s education Consider strategies that include positive behavior interventions, as well as other supports to address behavior
    26. 26. Strategies for Compliance to Address aStudent’s Behavioral and EmotionalNeeds Obtain all the behavioral information the IEP team needs Determine if the student demonstrated behaviors that are unsafe and/or interfere with the learning environment Carefully review the student’s academic and behavioral history Determine if the student has been routinely removed from the general education classroom because of inappropriate behavior Conduct or update a functional behavior assessment (FBA) Develop a behavior intervention plan (BIP)
    27. 27. Misstep 12: Failing to Establish and ConsiderExisting Evaluation Data and Present Levels ofPerformance The IDEA has long required the IEP team, during initial evaluations and reevaluations to review existing data as well as present levels of academic achievement and functional performance
    28. 28. Strategies for Compliance to Establish andConsider Existing Evaluation Data and PresentLevels Ensure the IEP team fully considers all evaluation data Ask parents their concerns Document and discuss the implications of all results from assessments and evaluations conducted since the last IEP meeting Analyze precisely what the student knows and is able to do Ensure the IEP contains a summary or explanation of the data the IEP team considered, so that any reader can easily understand the IEP team’s interpretation of the data Have the IEP team discuss what the student should know or be able to do by the time of the annual review
    29. 29. Summary Comply with federal and state mandates Implement the IEP Once an error is discovered, the best practice is to admit the mistake, promptly notify parents, and take all reasonable steps to correct Offer compensatory education for an IEP error
    30. 30. ProfessionalDevelopment  Provide in-service training sessions to avoid mistakes or remedy issues  Work to build relationships with parents and include their input  Review policies, practices, and procedures to avoid IEP missteps
    31. 31. Contact Special Education Solutions Region 4 Education Service Center 7145 West Tidwell Houston, TX 77092 713.744.6365Linda De Zell Hall, PhD Jerry Klekotta 713.744.6399 713.744.6393