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Wednesday, April 4, 2012

IEPs, 504s, & Goals

There are many ways to help children with special needs. We generally think of only IEPs or 504s but I believe that every child is unique and should be treated as such. Each month I have my students create goals in their Brainy Matters Book.

We also talk about how keeping our goals in a visible location helps reminds us of what we are working on. If my students choose too, they make make a poster of their goals to take home with them and hang on a wall. I do not like to hang goals in the classroom as they are private. If we decided to set classroom goals (usually for behavior) then I will post those.

You can find a free copy of this goal poster in my TpT store.

Speaking of IEPs and 504s - I never dreamed that the process to identify and test a student would take so long! For a minimum of six months, students are being served only by the general education teacher while this process is being completed.

You have a teacher with no training in special education wondering if there is a problem. She/he shares their concerns, tries an intervention strategy for 3 weeks, it doesn't work, he/she goes back to the committee and shares the results of the intervention only to be given another strategy to try for another three weeks. And when that doesn't work another strategy for another 3 weeks and when that doesn't work they have 30 days to set a meeting to get permission to test from the parents. 60 days to test then a meeting to share the results. If the tests prove the teacher is correct and needs help, there is 30 days to write and sign the IEP.  If not, the student usually ends up with a 504.

What a lot of red tape for one little guy! As a parent I am frustrated with the process. As a teacher I am frustrated with the process. And I know for certain all my child or student wants is to be able to please me by doing what I request just like everyone else. But they can't.

Sigh... I wish there was another way! I think knowing this will make me a better teacher as this process only reinforces to me the need for monthly goals for every student.

I laughed so hard when I read this poem from Extra Special Teaching and just has to share it with all of you!

Why is it so funny? Well at the time my grad class was all about special education. Each week we studied a different disorder and then began writing IEPs for our invisible "students." One-Three IEPs a week and then we would meet with our "IEP team" to discuss each one. Then we would start all over again... and again... and again...

As soon as I read it, I sent off an email to all my classmates telling them they just had to see this. Only Dr. Seuss can make an IEP funny and make me want to write another one.

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At April 4, 2012 at 6:05 AM , Blogger FirstGradeBlueSkies (Jennifer) said...

So true!
First Grade Blue Skies

At April 4, 2012 at 6:09 AM , Blogger Erin Franklin said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

At April 4, 2012 at 6:11 AM , Blogger Erin Franklin said...

With RtI in full force now, it is nearly impossible for a student to qualify for special education. Luckily, we have an awesome primary special education teacher and a great reading recovery teacher. They are lifesavers and wonderful about giving advice and lending a helping hand if we have a really tough kiddo. I <3 my school!
First with Franklin

At April 4, 2012 at 9:42 AM , Blogger Amy said...

That poem is hilarious!! I also tagged you :)

The Crazy Adventures of a University Graduate
The Crazy Adventures of Two Quilters

At April 4, 2012 at 1:10 PM , Blogger Kim said...

Hi Misty:

First, I agree with everything you said above!
IEPS, 504s, mainstreaming, inclusion... these have always been a part of my teaching life...

After almost 30 years, I have had some big time struggles, but I have also had many delightful, successful experiences--even with kids with pretty significant special needs. Though never easy, it can be done well--forever changing the lives of all students the involved, as well as me, the teacher--for the better.

Just wanted to be the voice of (many) happy experiences.
I have never been sorry to have included kids with special needs.
: )

I hope you will come and check out the kids-for-kids Empathy link on my site... and link on to Maria's site as well.

Sending you a CyberHug,

Finding JOY in 6th Grade


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