QUESTION: What can I do to make sure my child’s Individualized Education Program (IEP) is being implemented?
ANSWER: Trust, with Verification.
That was President Ronald Reagan’s approach to working with the Soviet Union prior to the end of the Cold War: he was willing to trust that the Soviets would do what they said they would do, but he wanted to verify it just the same.
A similar approach can be effective in ensuring that your child’s IEP is being implemented. The key is to request that your child’s IEP Evaluation Procedure be the use of Pre- and Post- Baseline Data. With this in place, here is a brief overview of the steps you can take to do so.
1) Send a written request to school for the baseline data from September on all of your child’s goals and objectives in the IEP. Along with this, you want to request the progress monitoring data for November . With both sets of numbers, you will be able to compare the data to assess if your child is making progress.
2) Make a written request to school for a copy of your child’s daily schedule. Ask that this include the following information regarding the delivery of services: a) what the time of day they were delivered, and the length of service time; b) who delivered the services; c) how were services delivered (1- to-1, small or large group); and d) where were the services delivered (classroom, or resource room, etc.). With this information, you can now compare it to Page 11 of your child’s IEP to make sure it matches the amount and delivery criteria for his/her services.
3) Check Page 8 of your child’s IEP for the list of Accommodations and Modifications. Make a simple bullet list of the ones your child is supposed to be receiving and review the list with your child. You want to do two things: 1) Make sure they are aware of the ones they are supposed to be getting; 2) Have them show you proof that they are receiving that accommodation (i.e. if your child is supposed to get copies of class notes from the teacher, have them show you what they are getting). If you find they are not getting one or more of the Accommodations & Modifications listed in the IEP, you may want to schedule a Team Meeting, or individual teacher meetings to discuss and resolve.
4) Work with your child’s team to design a Daily Log of your child’s program. Components should include a column listing the academic and related services; another for what was the focus that day; another for follow-up that should be done at home. Place these sheets in a binder that can be sent between school and home. These Daily Logs facilitate information sharing and communication with your child what happened in their day.
It does take some work on your part to make sure the school is doing what it is supposed to do, but the result should be that your child will have the opportunity to make the progress the IEP is supposed to make possible.