Individual Education Plans


Standards for Development, Program Planning, and Implementation 2000


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Contents:

Introduction

What Is an Individual Education Plan?

Standards for Development and Program Planning

  1. Reason for Developing an IEP
  2. Student Profile
  3. The Student's Strengths and Needs
  4. The Special Education Program
  5. Special Education Strategies, Accommodations, and Resources
  6. Assessment, Evaluation, and Reporting
  7. Provincial Assessments
  8. The Transition Plan
  9. Parent/Student Consultation
  10. Staff Involvement in the Development of the IEP
  11. Information Sources
  12. Date of Completion of the IEP

Standards for Implementation and Review

  1. Implementation and Monitoring
  2. Review and Updating


INTRODUCTION

This document describes new, province-wide standards that school boards(1) must meet when developing, implementing, and monitoring Individual Education Plans (IEPs) for exceptional students, in accordance with Regulation 181/98 of the Education Act, and for students not identified as exceptional who are receiving a special education program and services.

The 2000–2001 school year will be a year of transition, as boards move from developing IEPs without reference to common standards to compliance with the provincial standards set out in this document. During that year, the ministry will conduct a review of IEPs from randomly selected school boards to assess compliance with these standards and to provide boards with appropriate feedback. In subsequent years, the ministry will conduct reviews of selected boards' IEPs on an annual basis to assess compliance with the standards. Where the ministry determines that a board has not complied fully with the standards, the ministry will require the board to amend its practices as necessary.

Each section of this document identifies for school boards and principals the purpose of the standard described in the section, the requirements to be met in achieving the standard, and the criteria according to which compliance with the standard will be assessed by the Ministry of Education.

Although school boards will continue to find the ministry's Individual Education Plan Resource Guide, 1998 useful as a manual for developing effective IEPs, the policy set out in the current document will take precedence over information given in the resource guide wherever there is a perceived difference between the two.

What Is an Individual Education Plan?

An IEP is a written plan describing the special education program and/or services required by a particular student. It identifies learning expectations that are modified from or alternative to the expectations given in the curriculum policy document for the appropriate grade and subject or course, and/or any accommodations and special education services needed to assist the student in achieving his or her learning expectations. (For information on modified and alternative expectations, see section 4.1. The IEPs of students who have no modified or alternative expectations will focus only on accommodations and services.) The IEP is not a daily lesson plan itemizing every detail of the student's education.

The IEP also helps teachers monitor the student's progress and provides a framework for communicating information about the student's progress to parents(2) and to the student. The IEP is updated periodically to record any changes in the student's special education program and services that are found to be necessary as a result of continuous assessment and evaluation of the student's achievement of annual goals and learning expectations.

The IEP reflects the school board's and the principal's commitment to provide the special education program and services, within the resources available to the school board, needed to meet the identified strengths and needs of the student. The principal is responsible for ensuring compliance with all of the requirements described in this document for the development and implementation of students' IEPs.

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STANDARDS FOR DEVELOPMENT AND PROGRAM PLANNING

1. Reason for Developing an IEP

Purpose of the Standard
To identify clearly for parents, school staff, and the Ministry of Education the reason for developing an IEP for the particular student

Requirements of the Standard
An IEP will be developed for one of the following reasons:

  • An IEP must be developed for every student who has been identified as an "exceptional pupil" by an Identification, Placement, and Review Committee (IPRC), in accordance with Regulation 181/98.
  • An IEP may be developed for a student who has not been formally identified as exceptional, but who has been deemed by the board to require special education programs or services in order to attend school or to achieve curriculum expectations and/or whose learning expectations are modified from or alternative to the expectations set out for a particular grade level or course in a provincial curriculum policy document.
  • An IEP must be developed, as supporting documentation, if an Intensive Support Amount (ISA) funding claim is submitted by a school board on behalf of a student who has not been identified as exceptional by an IPRC, but who is receiving a special education program and services.

The applicable reason for developing the student's IEP must be indicated in the IEP.

The standards in this document will apply to IEPs developed for any of the reasons given above.

Compliance With the Standard
The IEP will be reviewed to ensure that the appropriate reason for developing the plan has been indicated.

2. Student Profile

Purpose of the Standard
To provide essential information about the student that was used to support the decision to provide the special education program and services

Requirements of the Standard
In preparation for developing a student's IEP, information must be gathered from a variety of sources to establish a basic profile of the student for whom a special education program and services are being put in place. (The kinds of sources to be used and requirements associated with the gathering of information are outlined in section 11, Information Sources.) The IEP must provide such essential information. The following information must be included in the IEP:

  • Student's full name
  • Gender
  • Date of birth
  • Student identification number (if applicable)
  • Current school year
  • Name of the school and principal
  • Date of the student's most recent IPRC (if applicable)
  • Student's exceptionality
    For a student identified as exceptional by an IPRC, the description of the student's exceptionality must be consistent with that provided in the IPRC's statement of decision, and must also accord with the categories of exceptionalities and the definitions provided in the Ministry of Education's memorandum to Directors of Education and School Board Authorities dated January 15, 1999. (For a student who has not been identified as exceptional by an IPRC, a brief statement describing the characteristics of the student that make a special education program and/or services necessary must be provided.)
  • IPRC placement decision (if applicable)
    The placement indicated must be consistent with the placement specified in the IPRC's statement of decision. (Options may include placement in a regular class with or without withdrawal support provided by a qualified special education teacher; placement in a special education class with partial integration in regular classes; and placement in a special education class for the entire school day.)
  • Student's current grade and/or special education class placement
  • Subjects or courses to which the IEP applies
  • Relevant medical conditions
    Any medical conditions affecting the student's ability to attend school or to learn must be listed, along with any related specialized health support services that the student requires on a constant or intermittent basis.
  • Relevant assessment data
    The date, source, and results or recommendations of relevant assessment reports prepared or conducted by school or board staff or outside agencies and, where applicable, considered by the IPRC in determining the student's exceptionality and placement must be identified. (See also section 11, Information Sources.)
  • Elementary school program exemptions or secondary school compulsory course substitutions
    Program exemptions or course substitutions must be identified, and the educational rationale for them supplied.

The principal must ensure that all of the required information has been recorded in the IEP, that it is complete and accurate, and that it meets the requirements noted for individual items.

Compliance With the Standard
The IEP will be reviewed to ensure that all of the required information has been provided.

3. The Student's Strengths and Needs

Purpose of the Standard
To identify the student's strengths and needs clearly, as the basis on which an appropriate special education program and services are developed

Requirements of the Standard
A clear understanding of the student's strengths and needs is fundamental to the development of an effective special education program and the provision of appropriate accommodations and services to facilitate the student's learning.

A description of the strengths and needs of the student must be recorded in the IEP. In the case of students who have been identified as exceptional by an IPRC, a description of strengths and needs will have been provided in the committee's statement of decision. The description in the IEP must be based on and consistent with the description contained in the IPRC's statement, but may elaborate on it to reflect the results of any further assessments conducted or observations made of the student.

In the case of students who have not been identified as exceptional, descriptions of strengths and needs must be developed on the basis of appropriate educational, psychological, and/or health assessments, and on the basis of observations of the student.

The descriptions of the student's strengths and needs must be clear and specific.

It is expected that the strengths and needs described in the IEP will be supported by relevant assessment data (see section 2, Student Profile). They will also be reflected in the description of the student's current level of achievement (see section 4.1), and in the student's learning expectations (see section 4.3) and special education strategies, accommodations, and resources (see section 5).

Compliance With the Standard
The IEP will be reviewed to ensure that the descriptions of the student's strengths and needs are:

  • clear and specific;
  • consistent with the descriptions provided in the IPRC's statement of decision, where applicable;
  • supported by relevant assessment data and consistent with information on current achievement level, learning expectations, and strategies, accommodations, and resources.

4. The Special Education Program

The components of the student's education program that are addressed in this section involve an assessment of the student's current level of achievement and the development of annual goals and learning expectations that meet the unique educational needs of the student.

The requirements outlined in this section pertain to the specifics of the student's education program in each subject, course, or skill area to which the IEP applies. Where appropriate, the skill areas addressed should include areas such as gross motor development, perceptual motor skills, and life and social skills. Information on the student's current achievement level (section 4.1), annual goals (section 4.2), and learning expectations (section 4.3) must be recorded in the IEP under the appropriate subject, course, or skill area heading.

4.1 The Student's Current Level of Achievement

Purpose of the Standard
To provide a starting point from which to measure the student's progress towards achieving the learning expectations and annual goals set out in the IEP

Requirements of the Standard
Information summarizing the student's current level of achievement in each of the subjects, courses, or skill areas to which the IEP applies must be recorded in the IEP. This information will serve as a baseline against which the student's progress towards achievement of his or her learning expectations and annual goals in each subject, course, or skill area will be measured through subsequent assessment and evaluation.

The student's level of achievement will be described in one of the following ways:

  • The current level of achievement of a student who is working on modified curriculum expectations must be indicated by a letter grade or mark, as reported on the Provincial Report Card. (If the student's program includes modified expectations, the report card will indicate that the student has an IEP.) The description must also indicate the grade level, or range of levels, of the Ontario curriculum from which the expectations in the student's modified program have been derived. (Modified expectations are expectations derived from a provincial curriculum policy document for a grade level, or levels, above or below the student's age-appropriate grade level.)
  • The current level of achievement of a student whose needs cannot be met through the Ontario curriculum and who is working on alternative expectations will be described in terms of the student's progress towards meeting the learning expectations that form his or her educational program, as outlined in the IEP. (Alternative expectations are expectations that are not derived from a provincial curriculum policy document or that are modified so extensively that the Ontario curriculum expectations no longer form the basis of the student's educational program. Learning expectations in the areas of life skills and orientation and mobility training are examples of alternative expectations.)

Compliance With the Standard
The IEP will be reviewed to ensure that the current level of the student's achievement is summarized clearly for each program area in the manner appropriate to the student's educational program, as described above.

4.2 Annual Program Goals

Purpose of the Standard
To inform the student, parents, and teachers of the goals towards which the student is progressing through the achievement of the learning expectations set out in the IEP

Requirements of the Standard
Annual goals are statements describing what a student can reasonably be expected to accomplish by the end of the school year in a particular subject, course, or skill area. Annual goals must be developed under the following circumstances:

  • if the student's learning expectations are modified from the curriculum expectations for a particular subject or course
  • if the student's learning expectations are alternative expectations

In the first case, the annual goals may be modified from the overall expectations outlined for a subject at a particular grade level, or for a secondary school course, in a curriculum policy document. In the second case, they will not be derived from the overall expectations, but will be developed on the basis of the student's identified strengths and needs and will constitute a summary of the student's alternative learning expectations.

Annual goals need not be developed for students who are working on unmodified curriculum expectations.

All annual goals must:

  • take into account the student's strengths, needs, and current level of achievement in the program area;
  • describe realistic and observable achievements.

Annual goals meeting these requirements must be recorded in the IEP for each subject, course, or skill area to which the IEP applies.

Compliance With the Standard
The IEP will be reviewed to ensure that the annual goals outlined meet the requirements described above.

4.3 Learning Expectations

Purpose of the Standard
To provide a focus for learning that is based on the student's strengths, needs, and current level of achievement and to clearly identify the knowledge and skills that the student is expected to acquire while working towards his or her annual goals in a particular subject, course, or skill area

Requirements of the Standard
Learning expectations are statements that describe the specific knowledge and skills that the student should be able to demonstrate within a specified time period during the school year. They represent the learning a student must acquire in order to progress from his or her current level of achievement to the related annual goals identified in the IEP. Based on the student's achievement of the learning expectations, parents and teachers will be able to gauge, at particular times during the year, how well the student is progressing towards achieving his or her annual goals.

A representative sample of the student's learning expectations in each subject, course, or skill area must be recorded in the IEP under the following circumstances:

  • if the student is working on modified expectations, as defined in section 4.1
  • if the student is working on alternative expectations, as defined in section 4.1

Learning expectations need not be recorded in the IEP if the student is working on provincial curriculum expectations at the regular grade level.

The learning expectations recorded in the IEP must:

  • be based on the student's learning strengths and needs;
  • reflect learning that is focused on the student's annual program goals in each subject, course, or skill area;
  • be clearly identified as modified or alternative expectations;
  • if modified, include identification of grade level;
  • describe specific, realistic, and observable achievements.

The learning expectations must be reviewed at least once every reporting period and updated as necessary, in view of the student's progress. The student's parents must be advised of any such updates, which must be entered and dated in the IEP (see section 14, Review and Updating).

Compliance With the Standard
The IEP will be reviewed to ensure that the student's learning expectations have been designed and recorded according to the requirements set out above.

5. Special Education Strategies, Accommodations, and Resources

Purpose of the Standard
To ensure that teachers, parents, and the student clearly understand the range of strategies, accommodations, and resources that will be employed to facilitate the student's learning

Requirements of the Standard
Special education strategies, accommodations, and resources support the student in achieving his or her annual goals and learning expectations. In its statement of decision, the IPRC may have made recommendations for the special education services needed to facilitate the student's learning. Both students who are working on expectations from the Ontario curriculum and students who are working on modified or alternative expectations may require specialized supports and services.

The specific teaching strategies, accommodations, and resources required to facilitate the student's learning must be identified in the IEP in the following categories: teaching strategies and accommodations; human resources; and individualized equipment. Descriptions and examples of each type of strategy and resource are given under the corresponding headings below (sections 5.1, 5.2, and 5.3).

If the student requires the same types of strategies, accommodations, and resources in all subjects, courses, and skill areas, the information may be grouped in the IEP in a separate section. Alternatively, if the student's needs relate to particular subjects, courses, or skill areas, the information relevant to each may be included under individual program area headings.

When determining the strategies, accommodations, and resources to be provided to the student and listed in the IEP, the team developing the plan must take into account the recommendations regarding special education programs and services made by the IPRC in its statement of decision.

For the human resources identified in the IEP, the following information must be recorded:

  • the type of service provided
  • the date on which the service was initiated
  • the planned frequency or intensity of the service
  • the location in which the service is provided (i.e., regular classroom, resource-withdrawal classroom, or special education classroom)

Compliance With the Standard
The IEP will be reviewed to ensure that each of the requirements stated in this section have been met.

5.1 Teaching Strategies and Accommodations

Examples of the individualized teaching strategies that may be identified in the IEP include the following:

  • using special resources such as reading material that is consistent with students' reading levels and learning styles, and videotapes, audiotapes, and other audio-visual materials that give learning experiences greater breadth and depth
  • using learning resources that provide direct experiences of seeing and touching (i.e., tactile materials)
  • providing enrichment units, additional readings, and other opportunities (e.g., problems to solve) that extend learning
  • using a variety of teaching and learning strategies, such as special interest groupings for research projects; peer partners, collaborative groups, and cross-age tutoring; mentorship programs; and independent study plans
  • collaborating with resource teachers, teacher-librarians, and other professionals
  • simplifying the language of instruction
  • providing opportunities for performance in areas of special talent
  • providing all students with strategies for understanding and accepting exceptional students and integrating them into the regular classroom

Examples of the individualized accommodations that may be identified in the IEP include the following:

  • giving students extra time to complete classroom assignments
  • allowing students to complete tasks or present information in alternative ways (e.g., through taped answers, demonstrations, dramatizations, role play)
  • allowing students to tape lessons for more intensive review at a later time
  • providing a variety of learning tools, such as adapted computers for completing writing tasks and calculators for completing numeracy tasks
  • providing for the use of scribes
  • using pictorial schedules to assist students in making transitions

5.2 Human Resources

Teaching Staff: Special education teachers provide direct instruction in a regular class, in a resource-withdrawal classroom, or, where required, in a special education class. Special education teachers also provide consultation services for regular classroom teachers and other school and board staff (e.g., guidance counsellors or psychologists) to assist them in developing programs that are appropriate for the student.

As noted above, the type, initiation date, and planned frequency or intensity of the services provided to the student by the special education teacher, as well as the location in which they are provided, must be recorded in the IEP.

Non-teaching Support Staff: Professional and/or paraprofessional special education support staff provide developmental, corrective, and other support services (e.g., support as teaching assistants; support services in the areas of speech pathology, audiology, psychological assessment and counselling, physical and occupational therapy, recreation, social work, medical services) as may be required to meet the needs of the student.

As noted above, the support staff involved with the student, and the type, initiation date, planned frequency or intensity, and location of the services they provide, must be identified in the IEP.

5.3 Individualized Equipment

This category includes any type or item of equipment or any electronic product or system commercially produced, modified, or custom-made to maintain, increase, or improve the functional capabilities of individuals with disabilities.(3) Examples of individualized equipment include the following:

  • speech analysers
  • FM systems
  • print enlargers for students with poor vision
  • amplification systems
  • computer hardware and software
  • individually modified desks or work tables
  • adjustable desks or computer tables
  • Braille writers
  • symbol or letter voice translators
  • insulated booth and study carrels
  • communication aids, such as speech synthesizers
  • positioning devices for sitting, standing, and lying down


6. Assessment, Evaluation, and Reporting

6.1 Assessment Methods and Accommodations

Purpose of the Standard
To ensure that an appropriate range of methods and strategies is used to give the student the opportunity to demonstrate the full extent of his or her achievement of the learning expectations

Requirements of the Standard
The student's achievement of learning expectations and his or her progress towards meeting the goals identified in the IEP should be monitored and assessed continuously, using a wide variety of methods and techniques. The assessment procedures and strategies normally used may need to be adjusted to give students with special needs the opportunity to demonstrate their achievement of the expectations. All such accommodations must be suited to the student's particular strengths and needs. The IEP must describe the methods by which the student's achievement of the learning expectations will be assessed, including any accommodations to regular classroom assessment procedures that may be required. Examples of the methods and accommodations used include the following:

  • administering tests individually or in small groups
  • providing a quiet environment in which assessment may take place
  • allowing extra time for students to write tests or complete assignments
  • permitting oral responses to test questions
  • providing for the use of scribes
  • simplifying the language of instructions and questions used in tests
  • encouraging student self-evaluation

Compliance With the Standard
The IEP will be reviewed to ensure that a variety of appropriate methods for assessing and evaluating student achievement are identified.

6.2 Evaluation and Reporting of Student Achievement

Purpose of the Standard
To ensure regular evaluation and reporting of the student's achievement of the learning expectations

Requirements of the Standard
The student's progress towards meeting annual goals and learning expectations must be evaluated at least once in every reporting period and the results of the evaluation must be reported to parents using the provincial report card. For students whose program includes alternative expectations, the results of evaluation may, if necessary, be reported in a different format, and may be supplemented with additional material from the student's IEP (see the Guide to the Provincial Report Card for Grades 1–8 or for Grades 9–12). Regardless of the format used, the report must include teachers' comments on the student's strengths, areas for improvement, and next steps in relation to the program goals and learning expectations identified in the IEP.

The IEP must indicate:

  • the dates on which evaluations are completed (at least once in every reporting period);
  • the format used for reporting student progress to parents.

Compliance With the Standard
The IEP will be reviewed to ensure that student achievement is evaluated and reported to parents at least once per term.

7. Provincial Assessments

7.1 Accommodations for Participation in Provincial Assessments

Purpose of the Standard
To ensure that students who have an IEP are given the opportunity to participate and demonstrate the full extent of their knowledge and skills in provincial assessments

Requirements of the Standard
School boards are required to provide accommodations to facilitate the participation of students who have an IEP in provincial assessments of student achievement. Possible accommodations include adjustments in scheduling, changes in setting, the use of aids and equipment, and adjustments in the format of assessments. Accommodations must not affect the level or content of the assessment, the performance criteria, or the reliability or validity of the assessment. They must also comply with other related policies of the Education Quality and Accountability Office (EQAO) and the Ministry of Education.

Any testing accommodations recommended to facilitate the student's participation in provincial assessments must be identified in the IEP. These accommodations must be:

  • appropriate to the student's particular needs, as identified in the IEP;
  • included among the strategies, accommodations, and resources identified in the IEP as necessary for facilitating the student's learning and demonstration of achievement in regular classroom assessments;
  • described in specific rather than general terms (e.g., "use of a word processor" rather than "answers recorded in other manner").

Compliance With the Standard
The IEP will be reviewed to ensure that the requirements described above have been met.

7.2 Exemptions From Provincial Assessments

Purpose of the Standard
To ensure that any exemption from a provincial assessment is justified for the particular student

Requirements of the Standard
In rare cases, a student may require an exemption from a provincial assessment.(4) An exemption may be considered if, even given the full range of permitted accommodations, the student would not be able to provide evidence of learning under the circumstances of the assessment. If it is determined that the student will not participate in a particular provincial assessment, a statement must be included in the IEP explaining why the assessment is not appropriate for the student and identifying the ministry or EQAO policy under which the exemption is applied.

Compliance With the Standard
The IEP will be reviewed to ensure that an explanatory statement meeting the requirement described above has been included if the student has been exempted from a provincial assessment.

8. The Transition Plan

Purpose of the Standard
To ensure that the student is well prepared to meet postsecondary goals that are appropriate to his or her strengths, needs, and interests, and that he or she receives the assistance necessary for making a smooth transition

Requirements of the Standard
Regulation 181/98 requires that the IEP of an exceptional student who is 14 years of age or older must include a plan for the student's transition to appropriate postsecondary activities, such as work, further education, and community living. The transition plan is optional for students who are identified as exceptional solely on the basis of giftedness.

The regulation also requires the principal, in developing the transition plan, to consult with such community agencies and postsecondary institutions as he or she considers appropriate.

A transition plan must be included in the student's IEP. The plan must include the following elements:

  • specific goals for the student's transition to postsecondary activities. The goals must be realistic and must reflect the strengths, needs, and interests of the student;
  • the actions required, now and in the future, to achieve the stated goals. The actions identified must build on the student's identified strengths, needs, and interests;
  • the person or agency (the student, parents, educators, providers of specialized support and services, community agencies) responsible for or involved in completing or providing assistance in the completion of each of the identified actions;
  • timelines for the implementation of each of the identified actions.

It should be noted that the goals and actions outlined in the student's annual education plan should support those identified in the transition plan.

Compliance With the Standard
The IEP form will be reviewed to ensure that the transition plan is included, and that it contains each of the elements specified above.

9. Parent/Student Consultation

Purpose of the Standard
To ensure that parents and the student, if the student is 16 years of age or older, are consulted in the development and review of the IEP, in accordance with Regulation 181/98

Requirements of the Standard
Regulation 181/98 requires the principal to ensure that the parents and the student, if the student is 16 years of age or older, are consulted in the development and review of the student's IEP, and that a copy of the IEP is provided to the parents and the student on its completion.

A form documenting consultations with a parent and the student (if 16 or older) must be prepared and attached to the student's IEP. The parent/student consultation form must contain the following information:

  • the date of each consultation
  • the outcome of each consultation

The parent and the student (if 16 or older) must be asked to sign the form and to indicate whether:

  • they were consulted in the development of the IEP;
  • they declined the opportunity to be consulted;
  • they have received a copy of the IEP;
  • any comments they provided are noted on the form.

Compliance With the Standard
The IEP will be reviewed to ensure that a parent/student consultation form is included, that it meets the requirements described above, and that it gives evidence of appropriate consultation with parents and the student.

10. Staff Involvement in the Development of the IEP

Purpose of the Requirement
To ensure that the IEP is developed collaboratively and that the individuals involved in its development bring together the knowledge and experience that will best serve the needs of the student

Requirements of the Standard
The school principal, who is responsible under Regulation 181/98 for ensuring that an IEP is developed for each student who has been identified as exceptional, is also responsible for ensuring that the IEP is developed collaboratively by school and board staff members who are familiar with the student and who, as a team, possess the knowledge and qualifications necessary to develop the most effective plan possible for the student.

Collaboration is important to ensure that the members of the team have a common understanding of the student's strengths, interests, and needs. Each individual will bring important information to the IEP development process, lending a perspective that will add to the team's collective understanding of the student and of the kind of instruction and support necessary to facilitate the student's learning.

In elementary schools, the principal or vice-principal is expected to coordinate and oversee the work of the special education team, which may include the special education teacher, the classroom teacher, the teacher-adviser, and support staff, in developing, monitoring, and reviewing each student's IEP.

Because of the size and organizational structure of secondary schools, the principal may designate a vice-principal or a staff member to act on her or his behalf in coordinating and overseeing the development of the IEP. In some secondary schools, a special education teacher will be assigned to prepare a draft framework for the student's IEP and to bring it forward for discussion with the student's classroom teachers, including his or her teacher-adviser or guidance counsellor, as appropriate, and with support staff. In other secondary schools, the student's classroom teachers may be more directly involved in the initial development of the student's IEP. It is also expected that secondary school students will be given the opportunity to provide input about their strengths, needs, and interests and the accommodations and special education services they feel are necessary to help them learn and succeed at school.

Each member of the team involved in the development of the IEP must be identified in the IEP. The principal must ensure that, collectively, the team members:

  • have knowledge of the student and, wherever possible, experience teaching the student;
  • have knowledge of the Ontario curriculum;
  • are qualified to provide, or supervise the provision of, special education programs and services to meet the needs of the exceptional student;
  • have knowledge of the special education strategies and resources available in the district school board.

Although the IEP is developed collaboratively, the principal is ultimately responsible for each student's plan. The principal must sign the IEP to indicate his or her assurance that the plan is appropriate to the student's strengths and needs and that it meets all of the standards outlined in this document.

Compliance With the Standard
The IEP will be reviewed to ensure that all team members involved in the development of the plan have been identified and that they collectively meet the requirements for staff involvement described above. The IEP will also be reviewed to ensure that the principal has indicated his or her approval by signing the plan.

11. Information Sources

Purpose of the Standard
To ensure a sound and reliable basis for the development of every student's IEP through the use of a variety of appropriate sources of information about the student and his or her educational needs

Requirements of the Standard
The quality and effectiveness of the IEP developed for a student will depend in large part on the gathering and use of relevant information from a variety of sources, and on the sharing of that information with all those involved in the preparation of the plan. (When obtaining, releasing, or sharing personal information about a student, the principal must ensure that the requirements of the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act and the Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act, as well as the requirements regarding access to student information outlined in The Ontario Student Record (OSR): Guideline, 2000, have been met.)

The school principal must ensure that the student's IEP is developed on the basis of information obtained from a variety of appropriate sources. Under Regulation 181/98, in developing the IEP, the principal must take into account any recommendations regarding special education programs and services made by the IPRC. Other sources of information that should be reviewed include:

  • the student's Ontario Student Record (OSR), including previous report cards and the previous IEP;
  • classroom observation;
  • the student's current work;
  • information provided by the student; the parents; school and board staff who have previous experience working with the student, and other professionals and paraprofessionals, including information provided in various types of assessment reports and through diagnostic tests (to be used only with parental permission or as permitted under freedom of information legislation);
  • results of further assessments, if needed, undertaken in consultation with parents.

Information used in the development and updating of the IEP should be shared with the student (if 16 or older) and his or her parents, and with school staff, particularly members of the planning team, to enable them to develop a comprehensive view of the student's learning profile and programming and service needs.

A list of the information sources used in developing and updating the student's IEP must be provided.

Compliance With the Standard
The IEP will be reviewed to ensure that a variety of appropriate information sources, as described above, have been identified.

12. Date of Completion of the IEP

Purpose of the Standard
To ensure the timely preparation of the student's IEP, in accordance with Regulation 181/98

Requirements of the Standard
Under Regulation 181/98, an IEP must be developed within thirty (30) school days of the exceptional student's placement in a special education program. "Placement" will be taken to mean one of the following:

  • the first day of a student's attendance in the new special education program specified in the IPRC's statement of decision
  • the first day of the new school year or semester in which the student is continuing in a placement subsequent to its confirmation by the annual IPRC review
  • the first day of the student's enrolment in a special education program that he or she begins in mid-year or mid-semester as the result of a change of placement

The thirty-day period must be calculated from the first day of the student's placement in a special education program, as defined above.

The thirty-day requirement for completion of an IEP will apply to the IEPs of all students, including those who have not been formally identified as exceptional but who receive a special education program and/or services.

Both the date on which the student begins his or her placement in a special education program and the date on which the IEP is completed must be recorded in the IEP.

Compliance With the Standard
The IEP will be reviewed to ensure that it was completed within the required thirty-day period following the student's placement, as defined above.

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STANDARDS FOR IMPLEMENTATION AND REVIEW

13. Implementation and Monitoring

Purpose of the Standard
To ensure the effectiveness of the IEP through proper implementation and monitoring

Requirements of the Standard
The effectiveness of the student's IEP can be assured only with proper implementation and monitoring of the plan. Proper implementation and monitoring depend on appropriate sharing of information among those involved with the student and on regular evaluation of the student's achievement and progress towards meeting the goals and expectations set out in the IEP. To this end, the principal must ensure that the staff member assigned to coordinate the development and implementation of the IEP has:

  • reviewed the IEP with the principal;
  • met with the student's classroom teachers, teacher-adviser and/or guidance counsellor, and support staff, as appropriate, to discuss implementation of the activities described in the IEP and the responsibilities associated with each of those activities;
  • informed classroom teachers, parents, and the student who is 16 years of age or older of the modified or alternative learning expectations in the student's program and of the special education strategies and resources required to facilitate the student's learning, as set out in the IEP. (Classroom teachers of subjects and courses to which the IEP applies must be made aware of the IEP as it relates to the student's instruction in the subject areas for which they are responsible.)
  • discussed with the teacher-adviser and classroom teachers the importance of parental involvement in support of the plan;
  • established a plan, including a timetable, for evaluating and monitoring the student's progress towards achieving his or her learning expectations (see section 6, Assessment, Evaluation, and Reporting);
  • shared information about the monitoring plan with parents and the student (if 16 or older) and with school and support staff.

Compliance With the Standard
The ministry's review of the IEP will require the principal to give his or her assurance that the plan is being implemented according to the guidelines described above, and that a monitoring plan is in place.

14. Review and Updating

Purpose of the Standard
To ensure that the student's special education program and services remain effective and appropriate to the student's needs and strengths over time

Requirements of the Standard
The results of regular evaluation and monitoring of the student's achievement and progress towards his or her goals may reveal that adjustments are needed in the student's special education program. If the student is not meeting, or is exceeding, the expectations described in the IEP, his or her situation must be reviewed to determine the cause. If it is determined that the cause is related to the student's exceptionality, the IEP must be adjusted. Changes to the IEP may include:

  • altering the strategies and resources used in instruction, or the level of support the student receives;
  • developing new expectations, if learning is proceeding at a faster rate than had been anticipated by the plan;
  • breaking expectations down into smaller steps, if learning is proceeding at a slower rate than had been anticipated by the plan.

If revisions of the IEP result in significant changes in the student's learning expectations and/or in the level of special education accommodations and services to be provided, the parent(s) and the student (if 16 or older) must be consulted before the changes are implemented. Information about such consultations must be recorded on the parent/student consultation form (see section 9).

The date of all revisions to the IEP must be recorded in the IEP.

Compliance With the Standard
The IEP will be reviewed to ensure that any revisions to the plan have been noted and dated in the IEP, and that the consultation with parents and the student regarding the revision has been recorded on the parent/student consultation form.


Note:

  1. In this document, "school board" and "board" refer to district school boards and to school authorities.
  2. In this document, "parents" refers to parent(s) and guardian(s).
  3. Information about funding for individualized equipment can be found in the Ministry of Education's Resource Manual for the Special Education Grant: Intensive Support Amount, 2000.
  4. It should be noted that successful completion of the provincial secondary school literacy test is a requirement for the Ontario Secondary School Diploma, and that students who are exempted from the test will not be eligible to receive the diploma.

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