Describing the Individualized Education Program Meeting
Individualized education program (IEP) meetings are significant events when it comes to special education and providing service to children with disabilities. The given paper will present the overview of an IEP meeting for a third-grade male student of Chinese origin. To begin with, one should explain that an annual IEP meeting is under consideration. According to Bryant et al. (2017), the purpose of such meetings is to review whether students meet the stipulated goals and show academic progress. It denotes that at least one IEP meeting should have been held before to set these goals and objectives. This purpose suggests that the given review is a challenging task, meaning that many specialists should be involved.
Every IEP meeting should involve particular professionals, and the one under analysis is not an exception. According to the meeting notes, the participants are Sherry Burton (special education teacher), Beth James (speech teacher), Mary Cunch (occupational therapist), Brimstone (the principal), the student’s mom, and a Chinese interpreter. These individuals’ presence is of importance because collaborative efforts are required to assess the student’s performance and success comprehensively. Bryant et al. (2017) explain that an effective IEP team should be determined individually based on the student’s specific needs. That is why it is possible to mention that the groups under consideration comprises all the necessary professionals to conduct an effective meeting.
It is also reasonable to present detailed information on the student. As has been mentioned above, he is a third-grade student of Chinese origin. In addition to specific needs regarding learning English as a foreign language, the boy has other health conditions. They include amblyopia and congenital exotropia that result in some learning disabilities. It refers to the fact that the student has problems with visual motor and visual perception. As a result, it is challenging for the boy to deal with copying and other tasks that involve processing the visual information. That is why it is evident that this child required special education services, and the given IEP meeting is conducted to check whether the actions taken have been sufficient in addressing the student’s needs.
The Provision of Services, Placement, and Instruction
In the beginning, it is necessary to comment on ethical obligations for teaching English learners as well as all diverse learners ensuring an appropriate and safe environment for all students. It refers to the fact that all children with disabilities should be offered access to the general education curriculum (Teachings in Education, 2019). This phenomenon is also known as the inclusion movement, meaning that learning disabilities should not result in the fact that individuals are separated or even segregated from society. Consequently, there are both ethical and legal obligations to include children with disabilities in general education settings and ensure that this environment is safe and productive for all the students.
Based on the information above, the given section is going to discuss the provision for services, placement, and instruction of students with disabilities. Firstly, it is necessary to admit that the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) stipulates that disabled students should be provided with a continuum of services (Bryant et al., 2017). This claim relates to the fact that a child’s IEP should offer various services, including special and general education services, based on the student’s needs.
For example, if a child has a reading disability, the continuum of services ensures that this student will obtain special education services outside of the general classroom to master the skill (Bryant et al., 2017). After this, the student is encouraged to become a member of this classroom. This information denotes that children with disabilities should receive flexible education services, depending on their performance and academic progress.
However, one should admit that the provision of the continuum above should not harm the education inclusiveness. Kirby (2017) states that learning in general classrooms is an advantage for children with disabilities since this environment positively impacts the students’ physiological traits. It is so because disabled children cooperate with their healthy peers, which motivates them to develop and meet the stipulated requirements. Furthermore, the inclusion movement addresses disabilities from a social perspective, meaning that they can be addressed if it is possible to make “classroom environments a place where all students can learn, regardless of their need” (Kirby, 2017, p. 177).
This information stipulates that children with disabilities should be given educational opportunities that meet the balance between the continuum of services that include both special and general education opportunities.
Secondly, when it comes to educating children with disabilities, it is rational to comment on their placement. The information above has revealed that it is necessary to include disabled children in general education classrooms as much as possible. Simultaneously, Kurth et al. (2019) refer to the IDEA and add that students with disabilities may only be removed from general education if their needs cannot be satisfied in this environment irrespective of possible supports. They refer to a wide range of actions, including “supports for physical accessibility; instructional supports; social, behavioral, communication needs; and collaborative supports” (Kurth et al., 2019, p. 4). It denotes that educators should ensure that the inclusion of such children in general education classrooms is harmful to them and their peers to choose special education settings.
It is reasonable to consider particular examples to understand how placement works in special education. On the one hand, children with major behavioral issues can sometimes be removed from general educational placements (Bryant et al., 2017). It is so because these individuals can undermine a learning process or even endanger the health and life of their teachers and peers. On the other hand, if a child has limited proficiency in English, it is not rational to change their placement. In this case, a suitable option is to apply the available supports to improve the student’s skills and knowledge. It is a typical situation that these measures are sufficient for students to address their deficit in learning. Thus, the inclusion principle is preferred since a disabled child obtains support not to be removed from the general education environment.
Thirdly, students with disabilities also face specific instruction, which is explained by their educational needs. Riccomini et al. (2017) stipulate that educators may make adaptations to the content and delivery of instruction if these steps are necessary for children to improve their academic performance. For example, a disabled child may meet a part of the requirements that are offered to students without disabilities.
In this situation, it is also necessary to discuss high-leverage practices (HLPs) as they help educators offer instruction more effectively. For example, HLPs include collaborating with other professionals, establishing a respectful learning environment, identifying long- and short-term learning goals, adapting curriculum, and many others (Riccomini et al., 2017). All the HLPs ensure that children with disabilities receive adequate service and guidelines to follow and achieve academic success.
Summarizing the Student’s Assessment Report
The student under analysis has significant learning disabilities, including amblyopia, congenital exotropia, and having Chinese as his native language. These health conditions result in the fact that the child’s brain has difficulties with adjusting images correctly, which contributes to challenges in grasping visual information. This situation denotes that the child has the leading issues in the area of written expression. That is why it is not surprising that the boy’s education process requires attention. It has already been mentioned that the annual IEP meeting is under consideration, meaning that another meeting preceded it.
The initial session stipulated the goals and objectives that the student would need to achieve in a year, while the current one demonstrates actual progress. Thus, the comparison of measurable goals from these two meetings is a suitable strategy to summarize the assessment report.
Firstly, it is reasonable to present the initial objectives for the student. They state that the child should use a set of three or more pictures to tell the sequence of events with 70% accuracy, answer general wh-questions with 70% accuracy, and others. Now, the analysis of the current IEP meeting is necessary to assess the student. Thus, the boy tells the sequence of events from pictures with 85% accuracy, makes significant progress with three-sound words, and correctly identifies features of the sentence in 75% of cases. These data demonstrate that the student has met the stipulated goals. However, his reading and mathematical skills are on the first-grade level, meaning that there is room for improvement.
Secondly, the student’s placement also deserves attention when it comes to commenting on the IEP meeting. When possible changes in placements are considered, the student’s parents and professionals should jointly discuss this issue (Bryant et al., 2017).
The IEP meeting demonstrates how it works when the student’s mother requests additional time for speech classes. The occupational therapist and the speech teacher have explained that there is no need for such an option because it would be the least restrictive environment for the child. Furthermore, additional time for speech classes is not needed because the student also has other goals to follow. Consequently, this information denotes that the family and professionals collaborate to ensure that the student’s needs and desires are addressed, which should contribute to his academic growth.
Finally, it is rational to offer an analysis of the report as it relates to the overall plan for the student. The information above has demonstrated that the boy is making significant progress in dealing with three-sound words, identifying sentence features, and others. It denotes that the IEP manages to meet his educational needs. However, it has already been presented that the student’s reading and mathematical skills are underrepresented, meaning that professionals should draw more attention to address them. The IEP meeting report stipulates that the next meeting will take place in December 2021.
Consequently, educators have sufficient time to adjust the IEP for the student and ensure that he will manage to meet the requirements regarding the reading and mathematical skills irrespective of the existing challenges. In conclusion, the analysis reveals that the student’s special educational needs are adequately addressed, but additional efforts are needed to minimize their impact on the child’s academic performance.
Bryant, D. P., Bryant, B. R., & Smith, D. D. (2017). Teaching students with special needs in inclusive classrooms. Sage Publications.
Kirby, M. (2017). Implicit assumptions in special education policy: Promoting full inclusion for students with learning disabilities. Child Youth Care Forum, 46, 175-191. Web.
Kurth, J. A., Ruppar, A. L., Toews, S. G., McCabe, K. M., McQueston, J. A., & Johnston, R. (2019). Considerations in placement decisions for students with extensive support needs: An analysis of LRE statements. Research and Practice for Persons with Severe Disabilities, 44(1), 3-19. Web.
Riccomini, P. J., Morano, S., & Hughes, C. A. (2017). Big ideas in special education: Specially designed instruction, high-leverage practices, explicit instruction, and intensive instruction. TEACHING Exceptional Children, 50(1), 20-27. Web.
Teachings in Education. (2019). The history special education [Video]. YouTube. Web.