by Jamie Farniok -
This is my busiest time of the school year getting testing completed and all of the students with Individual Educational Plans (IEPs) have to have annual review meetings. I attend every one of those meetings. When students have IEPs we carefully monitor their areas of weakness and address those weaknesses with goals. To be able to determine where the weaknesses lie, either I do testing or the teachers are doing curriculum based measures in the classroom. We use that data to determine what progress the students are making and how we can continue to improve their progress.
When students reach the age of 14 ½ we are required by federal law to write a transition plan which takes into consideration what the student wants to do after they leave high school. We write goals in the IEP that help the students reach their goal. So, many times their goals are to explore career and training options, but sometimes students have a good idea of what they would like to do after high school and we can gear their class schedule toward classes that will aid them in reaching their goal. Many IEP students go on to higher education and in those cases we gear the accommodations written in the IEP so that they can help in college. Colleges do not conduct IEP meetings, but they do give accommodations for students who are truly disabled.
Putting accommodations into an IEP can be a daunting task because while we want to aid students in completing assignments and taking tests, we also want to help them function as independently as possible.