California Technical Assistance and Training

 

PRIORITY AREA: INDIVIDUALIZED EDUCATION PROGRAM

December 2015

Compiled by: Kevin Schaefer and Debra Herburger

Introduction:

Every child who qualifies in one or more thirteen disability categories and whose disability impacts their educational progress must have an individualized education program (IEP). As a federal legal requirement, an IEP team (which includes the parents/guardians) meets to discuss the student's assessment results, determine current needs and develop supports and services that result in progress over a year's time. The foundation and legal mandate of the IEP process is to provide every child with a free, appropriate public education (FAPE) in their least restrictive environment (LRE). A reasonably calculated IEP should provide educational benefit to each student such that they are college, career, and civic life ready by the time they graduate or turn 22 (whichever occurs first). Additionally, the effective implementation of an IEP includes:

Background:

The educational goal for all students is preparation for college, career, and civic life readiness, yet postsecondary outcomes for students with disabilities lag in comparison to their nondisabled peers. A standards-aligned reasonably calculated IEP that provides educational benefit across years is foundational for developing the academic, behavioral, and social/emotional skills necessary for post-secondary success. Of equal importance is high-quality accessible first instruction (see Priority Area: Universal Design for Learning [UDL]) within a well-defined Response to Instruction and Intervention model (see Priority Area: RtI2) that promotes collaborative inclusive practices (see Priority Area: Collaborative Practices). A proactive, aligned system of supports (see Priority Area: MTSS) is the context within which appropriate referrals to special education are made and implementation of reasonably calculated IEPs is realized.

This priority area message has been identified by experts in the field and supports trainings and technical assistance through the California Department of Education, Special Education Division (CDE SED) contract with California Services for Technical Assistance and Training (CalSTAT) project. To request training or technical assistance that reflect any or all of the priority areas, please visit the CalSTAT Web site at http://www.calstat.org/ta.html.

Key Aspects:

  1. Access to the General Education Curriculum

      All students have access to the general education curriculum to allow them the opportunity to learn content-based, grade-level standards that can increase their academic achievement.

      Access to the general education curriculum for students with IEPs means they:

    • Have individualized, strength-based, culturally, and linguistically appropriate goals
    • Engage in learning the content and skills that define the general education curriculum (this refers to the same curriculum that is taught to students without disabilities)
    • Receive access and achieve educational outcomes based on high standards, and have equal educational opportunities as their same age peers
    • Demonstrate academic growth on statewide assessments that are directly linked to California Common Core State Standards (CA CCSS)
    • Receive equal opportunity to participate in nonacademic and extracurricular activities
  2. Participation and Progress in the General Education Curriculum

      All students will participate and make progress in the general education curriculum, as appropriate, in order to improve their academic, behavioral, and social/emotional achievement. Participation and progress in the general education curriculum as determined by the IEP team means students with IEPs:

    • Receive appropriate educational services by the school staff that support student learners regardless of abilities or challenges
    • Receive instruction that is based on school personnel's high expectations that allows the students to reach the same academic achievement as nondisabled age peers
    • Receive ongoing and documented monitoring of progress toward meeting the IEP goals
    • Participate in state and districtwide assessments, with or without accommodations and/or modifications, as specified in the IEP
  3. Accommodations and Modifications

      All students with IEPs will be provided appropriate accommodations and modifications that allow access to the general education curriculum which means they:

    • Receive accommodations as determined by the IEP team that reflect changes in the way a student accesses learning without changing the actual standards a student is working toward
    • Receive modifications as determined by the IEP team that will reflect changes in the way a student accesses learning which changes the actual standards a student is working toward
    • Receive accommodations and modifications in instruction and assessments based on individual student need and documented in the IEP
  4. Supports and Services

      All students with IEPs will have access to IEP-identified supports and services that allow access to the general education curriculum which means they:

    • Participate in the Least Restrictive Environment (LRE) educated with nondisabled children in general education settings to the maximum extent appropriate
    • Participate in instruction with appropriate supplementary aids, services, and supports as designated on the IEP
    • Participate with school personnel who have been trained in specific supports and strategies that have been identified on the IEP

RESOURCES AND WEB SITES:
Individualized Education Program Resources

  1. Access to the General Education Curriculum

  2. Participation and Progress in the General Education Curriculum

    • CDE Core Component #3: Assessments and Data
      http://www.cde.ca.gov/ci/cr/ri/corecomp3.asp
      • The Web site selected provides resources needed to implement Response to Instruction and Intervention (RtI2) and Multi-Tiered System of Supports (MTSS) assessments, such as universal screening, diagnostics, progress monitoring, formative assessments, and to provide quality control feedback.
    • Center on Response to Intervention
      http://www.rti4success.org/essential-components-rti/progress-monitoring
      • Progress monitoring is used to assess students' academic performance, to quantify a student's rate of improvement or responsiveness to instruction, and to evaluate the effectiveness of instruction. Progress monitoring can be implemented with individual students or an entire class. In progress monitoring, attention should focus on fidelity of implementation and selection of evidence-based tools, with consideration for cultural and linguistic responsiveness, and recognition of student strengths.
    • Moving Your Numbers
      http://movingyournumbers.org/images/resources/78492-year-1.pdf
      • Five districts share how they used assessment and accountability to increase performance for students with disabilities as part of districtwide improvement.
  3. Accommodations and Modifications

    • CDE Student Assessment Accessibility Supports
      http://www.cde.ca.gov/ta/tg/ca/accesssupport.asp

      • The California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP) system provides a full range of assessment supports for all students, including those who are English learners and students with disabilities. These supports ensure that the assessments meet the needs of all students. Teachers are encouraged to review these supports early in the school year and provide opportunities for students to experience these supports throughout the year in classroom instruction and assessment
    • The Council of Chief State School Officers Accommodations Manual—How to Select, Administer, and Evaluate Use of Accommodations for Instruction and Assessment of Students with DisabilitiesM
      http://www.ccsso.org/Resources/Publications/Accommodations_Manual_-_How_to_Select_Administer_and_Evaluate_Use_of_Accommodations
      _for_Instruction_and_Assessment_of_students_with_Disabilities.html
      • The Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) Accommodations Manual presents a five-step process for Individualized Educational Program (IEP) teams, 504 plan committees, general and special education teachers, administrators, and district level assessment staff to use in the selection, administration, and evaluation of the effectiveness of the use of instructional and assessment accommodations by students with disabilities.
    • Understood (Parent Resource): Common Modifications and Accommodations
      https://www.understood.org/en/learning-attention-issues/treatments-approaches/educational-strategies/common-modifications-and-accommodations
      • Parents want the best for their children. We do, too. For the first time ever, 15 nonprofit organizations have joined forces to support parents of the one-in-five children with learning and attention issues throughout their journey.
    • National Center on Intensive Interventions
      http://www.intensiveintervention.org/
      • Our mission is to build district and school capacity to support implementation of data-based individualization in reading, mathematics, and behavior for students with severe and persistent learning, and/or behavioral needs.
    • IRIS Center Module on Accommodations
      http://iris.peabody.vanderbilt.edu/acc/chalcycle.htm
      • The IRIS Center is offering its latest STAR Legacy Module, Accommodations: Instructional and Testing Supports for Students with Disabilities.
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  5. Supports and Services

    • Instructional Materials in California: An Overview of Standards, Curriculum Frameworks, Instructional Materials Adoptions, and Funding
      http://www.cde.ca.gov/ci/cr/cf/imagen.asp
      • A brief introduction to standards, curriculum frameworks, instructional materials adoption, and funding.
    • California Curriculum Frameworks and Instructional Materials
      http://www.cde.ca.gov/ci/cr/cf/index.asp
      • Curriculum frameworks provide guidance for implementing the content standards adopted by the State Board of Education.
    • CA CCSS Resources for Special Education
      http://www.cde.ca.gov/sp/se/cc/
      • This site offers resources and guidelines on what the CCSS and the new tests will mean for California students in the special education community.
    • IRIS Center
      http://iris.peabody.vanderbilt.edu/index.html
      • The IRIS Center is a national center that aims to provide high-quality resources for college and university faculty and professional development providers about students with disabilities. IRIS seeks to obtain this goal by providing free, online, interactive training enhancements that translate research about the education of students with disabilities into practice.
      • A Web site that provides resources about access to the general education curriculum for students with disabilities.

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