Individual Education Plans (IEPs)
An IEP is a legal document that is developed for a student where there is enough assessment information gathered over time to determine that they require specific learning strategies, accommodations and/or modifications to the curriculum, and possibly special education services, in order to be successful at school.
Should a student be experiencing ongoing challenges in learning, in spite of overall effective classroom programming, then the classroom teacher should consult with the Special Education Resource Teacher (SERT) and notify the parents/guardians. The teacher should attempt further differentiation of the program to best meet the student’s need. If these changes do not help the student experience success and realize their potential, the principal and SERT will seek programming assistance from the Special Education Department staff, such as Special Education Instructional Leadership Consultants, Psychological Services staff, School Board Counsellors, Speech and Language Pathologists, Itinerant Teachers for Blind/Low Vision or Deaf/Hard of Hearing, Applied Behavioural Analysis Coordinators, and/or Behaviour Support Assistants. Based on relevant assessments, this team may determine that an IEP should be developed and make suggestions for accommodations, curriculum modifications, or alternate programming based on the student's needs.
The IEP must be developed in consultation with parents/guardians. It must include:
- Statements of the student’s strengths and needs
- Specific curriculum expectations, accommodations and/or alternative programming
- An outline of the special education program and services that will be provided
- For students 14 years of age and older (except those as identified as solely on the basis of giftedness), a plan for transition to appropriate post-secondary school activities, such as work, further education and community living.
For students on the Autism Spectrum or other students with significant transition skills and/or social skills needs, a program page for each of these areas will be created.
The IEP must be completed within 30 school days of the start of a new placement, no matter when this placement occurs in the school year (such as a new grade in a new school, or a placement in a program such as Learning and Life Skills), and sent home for consultation during that time.
The IEP must be sent home for consultation at the beginning of each reporting period, so within the first 30 days of Term 1/Semester 1, and then at the beginning of Term 2/Semester 2, at a minimum. If assessments indicate a need to revise the IEP between these times, then it should be sent home again, for consultation with the revisions.
In the Kawartha Pine Ridge District School Board an identification through an IPRC meeting is not required in order for a student to have an IEP developed or to receive Special Education services. Students will have an IEP developed for them when there is enough ongoing assessment information to determine that it is needed in order to experience success.
IEP Transition Planning
In school, transitions happen at various stages and levels for students. Some transitions occur on a regular basis between activities and settings within the routines of the school day. Other transitions, such as class excursions, occur less frequently. Significant transitions such as entry to school, between grades and divisions, from elementary to secondary school, and from secondary school to the post-secondary destination happen periodically, are more complex, and include significant changes to many aspects of a student’s routines.
Planning for transitions provides the foundations for successful transition experiences that help a student learn to cope with change, develop skills, and adapt to a variety of settings. Transitions cannot be avoided but helping a student to be prepared for and adjust to change and transition can help to reduce or avoid some of the anxiety and unusual or inappropriate behaviours that they may cause.
Transition planning should begin well in advance of the expected change for the student. The planning can be complex and requires communication and coordination between those who will be involved in the transition process. Effective planning for significant transitions usually includes parent(s)/guardian(s) and staff from the school, school board, and community agencies who are and who will be involved with the student. It should also provide an opportunity for those within the new setting to become familiar with and prepare for the student.
Parent(s)/Guardian(s) should be involved in the sharing of information, collaboration, planning, and process that may be required to ease or facilitate significant transitions for a student. Parent(s)/Guardian(s) can help to identify changes to routines or settings that may be difficult for the student. They can also help to support successful transitions by assisting in determining an effective transition process for an individual student or building skills and/or routines to familiarize the student with different expectations in the new setting.
The purpose of transition planning on the IEP is to determine the considerations, goals, and actions that will be required to support the student in making a positive transition to the new setting and experiences.
For more information on IEPs, see Standard 4 – IEPs of the Special Education Plan at the link provided.