When a child has certain learning disabilities and begins struggling with their classes and tests, they may be in need of some additional services. Once these services are received, parents typically want to be assured that their child is seeing progress with their education. It is because of this that the Individualized Education Program (IEP) exists to monitor a child’s progress. When going through these situations and reviewing an IEP, it can be beneficial to have an experienced education law attorney look it over as well.
What is an IEP?
An IEP is a multiple page document that contains information regarding a child and the school’s plan to ensure they make “meaningful educational progress.” When parents review the information within this document, it is important to ensure the IEP team is specific with the details regarding their child’s educational progress in any impaired or below grade level areas. While this seems simple, an IEP can often be overwhelming to go through if there is too much, too little, or unrelated information within it.
What is Progress Monitoring?
In order to monitor a child’s progress, an assessment of skills is systematically administered. These assessments are important to student success, estimating student rates of improvement, and helping teachers determine what instructional decisions are more effective for students. Progress monitoring is used in regular education to identify any students that are in need of any intervention in early grades, specifically in reading and mathematics. This method of monitoring is also implemented by special education as an efficient way to measure student performance on important skills and determine progress towards the goals of their IEP. The most common tools that are used in progress monitoring are curriculum-based measurements. These are quick probes of specific skills to be individually administered.
How to Read an IEP
Parents can find information on their child’s progress with the general education curriculum and their grade-level standards under the section “Present Levels of Academic Achievement.” In this section, the information outlines a baseline for the IEP goals. For example, if the report shows that a child reads a certain amount of words per minute, this sets the baseline for progress to be measured. The IEP goal should be an education prediction of the progress the child can make within a year. Each year that an IEP is drafted, it can be compared to the year before to determine the child’s progress. It is important to bring a current IEP (from the previous year) to an IEP meeting in order to compare where the child began to where they are now.
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Anderson, Converse & Fennick is an experienced law firm in York County, Pennsylvania focusing on Education Law, Family Law, Estate Planning, and Civil Litigation matters. If you need a knowledgeable attorney that will effectively represent your interests, contact Anderson, Converse & Fennick today.