In the IEP meetings you observed, what did you note about the discussion of the Special Education Service Delivery? Recall from your coursework that this refers to the Frequency, Duration, and Location. Specifically:
“The frequency is based on the needs of the child, and may not be influenced by administrative convenience, providers’ schedules, or the master schedule of the school.” Did this appear to be true? Give evidence supporting your reasoning.
“Duration refers to the amount of time per service session. The session length must be specific and is typically written in terms of minutes or percent of the school day. This determination must also be made with the child’s needs in mind, and not influenced by administrative convenience, providers’ schedules, or the master schedule of the school.” Did this appear to be true? Give evidence supporting your reasoning.
“Location refers to the physical setting in which the service will be delivered. The discussion and determination of location by the IEP Team is critical as it ultimately determines the continuum of educational placement. This too must be based solely on the needs of the child. The key to the location of services, as it relates to the continuum of educational placement, is the composition of the student group in that location.” Do you believe the child in the least restrictive environment? Do all members of the IEP team agree with the location?
What type of data was collected prior to the IEP meeting? Do school staff seem to understand the needs of the child? Are they specific when addressing skill development? Cite specific evidence that leads you to your conclusions.
Given the data presented do the IEP goals appear to be clear and appropriate for the student? Cite specific evidence that supports this conclusion.
Are parents treated as partners? If it is an initial IEP meeting, they may have many questions. These should be addressed and any jargon (IEP, PLAAFP, BIP, etc) explained. Note whether parents offer suggestions and if these suggestions are accepted or rejected.
If the child is included in the meeting, note his or her level of participation. What issues did he or she raise? What did he or she contribute? If the child is not included, be sure to note that.
Is the child discussed in a positive manner? This doesn’t mean that skill or behavioral issues are ignored, but that the IEP team looks for the positive and plans for success.
What key elements did you take away from these observations? What positive aspects do you want to be sure to include in your own IEP meeting? What would you want to do better?