Teachers, the time is here! Those 30 day IEPs can get really overwhelming, especially when you are in those crucial changing grades like 3rd, 6th and 9th. Follow this guide to help you get through this trying time.
Steps to a Successful 30-Day IEP Season:
Review that IEP! Check out the goals, present levels and accommodations. Think about what you might already know about the student, then plan to interview them about their experiences.
Interview the student. Ask them what they already know about having an IEP. Ask them questions about their experiences in the grade before. Review their goals and accommodations with them and ask them if there is anything they would like to change. For students under grade 5, it’s suggested you reach out to parents before engaging in this interview to determine their level of comfort with this.
Review the Present Levels in depth. See if there are any assessment results you can review. There may be beginning of the year assessments that have been given by teachers within in the first 30 days. Compare those results to determine if anything needs to be changed, added or deleted.
Gather information from the current teachers. Ask them if there is anything additional they’d like to see the student accomplish or work on. Review the accommodations with them to be sure they understand what is needed on their part to help the student be successful and ask them what types of behaviors or academic trends they’ve seen from the student. Ask them if any additional accommodations need to be added to the student’s IEP.
Reach out to the parents. Introduce yourself as their child’s new Special Education teacher and ask them if they have any feedback about the current IEP. If you have changes you’d like to make, discuss them with the parent first and get their thoughts on the matter. Share the data you collected during your interview with the student.
Draft the changes to the IEP (or accept it as is). Reach out to the parents again and send the draft IEP. Decide when to hold the meeting and be sure to invite the parents and student to the meeting.
Breathe! This is a challenging time in the school year. You are just getting to know your students and need to determine if the IEP they came to you with is appropriate for this school year. It’s important to put things into perspective.
Take time for yourself. Do something for yourself each day you find yourself buried in paperwork. Make a home cooked meal, grab a smoothie, get a manicure, buy something small. Reward yourself for this hard work, but remain in budget!
Take time to spend time with your students - away from the paperwork. You became a teacher to spend time with your students, so make sure you do that! it heals the soul and is a powerful way to build relationships with your students.
Reach out to IEP&Me if you have specific questions or would like help with your IEPs! We are always happy to be a resource. Email [email protected] for help!