Frequently Asked Questions


ARE AGE NORMS OR GRADE NORMS USED FOR ACADEMIC TESTS?

The two Woodcock tests use grade norms for their academic testing. The K-TEA test utilizes age norms for their standardized tests, as recommended by the author.

ARE BEHAVIORAL SUPPORT PLANS CREATED FOR EACH STUDENT?

Each educational facility has a school-wide behavior support program for all students, and careful review and explanation of the school expectations should be addressed with all students under the direction on an IEP. For the students with a history of behavior problems, an Individualized Behavior Support Plan should be developed, making sure to receive input from the whole IEP team.

ARE DIFFERENTIAL STANDARDS OR ACCOMMODATIONS UTILIZED?

Differential Standards for grading were once utilized, but recently the general consensus has been that while specific accommodations must certainly be made, in no way are the standards to be changed for students. So differentials in grading are no longer utilized. Instead of differential standards, the IEP team must continue to work to design accommodations related to each student's disabilities so that the odds are evened and students with disabilities have an equal opportunity for success.

ARE IEP PROGRESS REPORTS SENT OUT REGULARLY?

IEP progress reports are sent out showing progress made on various benchmarks and goals. The progress reports are send out corresponding with report cards being sent home.

CAN A SPECIAL EDUCATION STUDENT BE EXPELLED FROM SCHOOL?

A special education student can be expelled from school for the same reasons a general education student can be expelled. However, very careful consideration and strict adherence to due process procedures should be followed, if any of special education students be recommended for expulsion.

CAN A SPECIAL EDUCATION STUDENT BE SUSPENDED FROM SCHOOL?

A special education student can be suspended from school for the same reasons a general education student can be suspended. Some schools have alternatives to suspension in place to teach students expected behaviors. However if a special education student is suspended excessively, the IEP team must meet to determine most appropriate placement and course of action.

Can students be involved in developing their own IEPs?
Yes, they certainly can be!

HOW MANY ACADEMIC TESTS ARE USED FOR THE MDA? WHICH SPECIFIC TESTS ARE UTILIZED?

The uses of two standardized academic assessments are necessary for triennial MDAs, and 1 standardized assessment for annual reviews. The Woodcock- Johnson Revised and the K-TEA for triennials are utilized. The K- TEA or the Mini- Woodstock standardized academic assessments are used for annual reviews.

HOW OFTEN DO YOU MODIFY AN IEP WITH NEW GOALS AND OBJECTIVES?

The IEP is reviewed and new goals and objectives are written within one year. Some students necessitate that the IEP team meet more often to adjust the goals, add a service, change placement, etc. Every IEP is reviewed and modified yearly, or more frequently if the situation demands it.

IS AN INDIVIDUAL TRANSITION PLAN (ITP) FOR EACH STUDENT INCLUDED?

An Individual Transition Plan (ITP) is included as part of a student’s IEP when they are approaching 14 years of age.

WHAT ARE KEY PERFORMANCE INDICATORS?

Key Performance Indicators are specific areas that the state has identified as indicative of a quality program. Yes, we have a list of the top twelve. To view them click here.

WHAT DOES IEP STAND FOR? WHAT DOES DIS MEAN?

IEP is an acronym for Individualized Education Program, which is a unique document required by the government that aids the ability of a disabled student to receive a quality education. DIS is an acronym for Designated Instruction and Services, various services fall into this category, transportation counseling, speech/ language, adapted physical education, AB3632/ 882 services, etc.

WHAT IF PARENTS WRITE LETTERS OF WAIVER TO EXCLUDE THEIR CHILDREN FROM THE STATE ASSESSMENT ( SAT 9 )?

All students are expected to take the SAT-9. If a parent insists on a waiver, the best policy is to refer the parents to the school principal. The principal will explain the rights for parent waivers and accept a letter to exclude the student. The ultimate challenge is to prepare our students for the High School Exit Exam. All special education students must pass this exam in order to receive a diploma as of the 2002-2003 year.

WHAT IS INCLUDED IN A BEHAVIOR SUPPORT PLAN?

Identification of problem behavior(s), how this behavior impacts learning success in the classroom, the possible reason for the behavior(s), behavior goals, and strategies for teaching new behaviors.

WHAT IS MEANT BY FAPE?

FAPE is an acronym for Free Appropriate Public Education. The IEP development team decides the most appropriate education for each student.

WHAT IS THE ROLE OF THE ADMINISTRATOR?

The administrator acts as a chairman. The administrator will direct the flow of any meetings of the IEP development team and ensure that a specific agenda is followed. The administrator will review last year’s goals, as well as periodically view the current test results and present levels of the IEP’s goals for the student this school year. The review of proposed goals and benchmarks, will determine which services are needed, and also determine placement. It is the goal of the Administrator to keep the team focused on the student and ensure that all team members, especially the parents, are included in the decision making process. The Administrator is a valuable resource on the IEP development team, suggesting opportunities for general education programs and ensuring that needed accommodations are available on campus.

WHAT IS THE ROLE OF THE GENERAL EDUCATION TEACHER?

General Education Teacher will participate in the development of an IEP. For example, if a Language Arts teacher has a special needs student in his or her class, that teacher has valuable insight to offer. Perhaps before the meeting of the IEP development team the teacher may discuss the students present levels of performance for reading, writing, and social skills with the Resource Specialist. Through the direct input of the General Education Teacher it is determined that the student needs to be able to take his Language Arts tests with one on one assistance to enable better environment to focus for the student. The General Education Teacher may attend the meeting of the IEP team for a short time to discuss how the student is progressing in my class and answer any questions the parents or other team members may have.

WHAT IS THE ROLE OF THE TEACHING ASSISTANT IN STANDARDIZED TESTING?

A Teaching Assistant may at times assist with translating during a standardized test, provided he or she translates the proctor’s instructions verbatim. However a non-accredited or untrained teacher’s assistant should never proctor a standardized test alone.

What's in an IEP?
Each child's IEP must contain specific information, this includes (but is not limited to):

> The child's present levels of academic achievement and functional performance.
> Annual goals for the child
> The special education and related services to be provided to the child'
> How much of the school day the child will be educated separately from nondisabled children
> How (and if) the child is to participate in state and district-wide assessments
> When services and modifications will begin
> How will the child’s progress toward the annual goals be measured
> Plus many other sections

WHEN IS NEW MULTI- DISCIPLINARY ASSESSMENT (MDA) COMPLETED? WHAT SPECIFIC EVENTS DETERMINE THE NEED FOR A NEW MDA?

An MDA is completed when requested by SST or by parent. We do triennial MDAs every 3 years. A new MDA is required when a student changes programs, for example RSP to DC, or if there is a suspicion that a change in the handicapping condition has occurred. Also, when students are recommended for disciplinary action, a manifestation determination which includes updated testing, is needed.

When is the IEP developed?
An IEP meeting must be held within 30 calendar days after it is determined that a child has one of the disabilities

WHERE ARE LINGUISTICALLY APPROPRIATE GOALS AND OBJECTIVES INCLUDED IN THE IEP?

Specific goals and benchmarks for English Language Development are located in the academic and/or communication sections of the IEP document. Language instruction is also included in the instruction terms and other goals section.

WHERE ARE SPECIFIC RELATED TO THE STUDENTS DISABILITY LOCATED?

Specific goals, if appropriate, are located on the third page, at the beginning of the goals and benchmarks section. This section is used to consider the rationale for pulling a student out of the mainstream, and to set goals for facilitating his or her return to the general education program. Goals and benchmarks are also written in the specific sections affected by the disability. Also included are comments about the disability in present levels of performance.