Can services on an IEP be modified due to inadequate academic progress on state testing?
Participation in state and district-wide tests:
Most states and districts give achievement tests to children in certain grades or age groups. The IEP must state what modifications in the administration of these tests the child will need. If a test is not appropriate for the child, the IEP must state why the test is not appropriate and how the child will be tested instead.
Special education and related services:
The IEP must list the special education and related services to be provided to the child or on behalf of the child. This includes supplementary aids and services that the child needs. It also includes modifications (changes) to the program or supports for school personnel-such as training or professional development-that will be provided to assist the child.
The IEP team must review the child’s IEP at least once a year. One purpose of this review is to see whether the child is achieving his or her annual goals. The team must revise the child’s individualized education program, if necessary, to address:
~the child’s progress or lack of expected progress toward the annual goals and in the general curriculum;
~information gathered through any reevaluation of the child;
~information about the child that the parents share;
~information about the child that the school shares (for example, insights from the teacher based on his or her observation of the child or the child’s classwork);
~the child’s anticipated needs; or
Although the IDEA requires this IEP review at least once a year, in fact the team may review and revise the IEP more often. Either the parents or the school can ask to hold an IEP meeting to revise the child’s IEP. For example, the child may not be making progress toward his or her IEP goals, and his or her teacher or parents may become concerned. On the other hand, the child may have met most or all of the goals in the IEP, and new ones need to be written. In either case, the IEP team would meet to revise the IEP.
When the IEP team is meeting to conduct a review of the child’s IEP and, as necessary, to revise it, members must again consider all of the factors:
~the child’s strengths,
~the parents’ ideas for enhancing their child’s education,
~the results of recent evaluations or reevaluations, and
~how the child has done on state and district-wide tests.
Depending on the needs of the child, the IEP team needs to consider what the law calls special factors as well. One of these special factors include the IEP team must always consider the child’s need for assistive technology devices or services.
If you do not agree with the school or the IEP:
There are times when parents may not agree with the school’s recommendations about their child’s education. Under the law, parents have the right to challenge decisions about their child’s eligibility, evaluation, placement, and the services that the school provides to the child. If parents disagree with the school’s actions-or refusal to take action-in these matters, they have the right to pursue a number of options. They may do the following:
~Try to reach an agreement. Parents can talk with school officials about their concerns and try to reach an agreement. Sometimes the agreement can be temporary. For example, the parents and school can agree to try a plan of instruction or a placement for a certain period of time and see how the student does.
~Ask for mediation. During mediation, the parents and school sit down with someone who is not involved in the disagreement and try to reach an agreement. The school may offer mediation, if it is available as an option for resolving disputes prior to due process.
~Ask for due process. During a due process hearing, the parents and school personnel appear before an impartial hearing officer and present their sides of the story. The hearing officer decides how to solve the problem. (Note: Mediation must be available at least at the time a due process hearing is requested.)
~File a complaint with the state education agency. To file a complaint, generally parents write directly to the SEA and say what part of IDEA they believe the school has violated. The agency must resolve the complaint within 60 calendar days. An extension of that time limit is permitted only if exceptional circumstances exist with respect to the complaint.
The school decides curriculum, not the IEP committee. Instead, ask for an assertive technology trial to see if that can become a part of his new IEP. There will have to be a writing goal so that they can say that there is educational relevance. This takes around six weeks, so I would call an IEP as soon as possible.
If the Assertive Technology trial is successful, in other words your son uses the computer educationally, the IEP committee will write computer use into the IEP. You can discuss available computer programs from your school’s curriculum specialist.
You can have accomodations that are not goals, accomodations can be made to help the child reach the goals.
Also, try to find an advocate that can help you!
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