World Down Syndrome Day is coming up on 3/21.  It's the prefect time to spread awareness at your school! Click here  for facts, ideas, and more.


Recommended Book!

Aligning IEPs to the Common Core State Standards presents a user-friendly template for aligning student IEP goals to instruction, assessment, and grade-level common core state standards (CCSS). This book features ideas for aligning IEPS and objectives to current CCSS in Language Arts and Math, plus self-determination and assistive technology. Also current hardware and software examples used to teach academic objectives. Discussion of effective instruction for teaching academic objectives to students and case studies.


IEP's: Educator Prep Tips!

OMG - IEPs! Here are a few thoughts and tips to help you get through the next season of acronyms….PLOP, LRE, IEP, CCSS, ESY, ETC!

Be prepared. Gather relevant documents, assessments and input; make contact with the team, including parents, prior to the meeting; create and share an agenda; schedule the meeting so that all team players can attend and there is enough time to accomplish the agenda.

Prioritize areas of challenge that most greatly impact a student’s access to the general education curriculum and environment. Deficit models are only good when you use them to in order to improve the participation and quality of life of an individual. For example, you have a 4th grader who has a difficult time communicating his needs, has limited handwriting abilities, a poor pencil grip and isn’t able to add double digits. It is the communication skills that should be prioritized. If an individual cannot successfully communicate, their access to curriculum and community is at risk. Prioritization does not mean to ignore other areas of need; it is a means of organizing and targeting.

Align IEP goals to common core standards. By aligning goals, a student’s IEP is tied to the general education curriculum thereby increasing the odds for successful inclusive education. Aligned goals utilize (continued in the next column...)

standards to create greater access, consistency in language and higher expectations for special education students. Aligned standards do not mean that all students need to be performing at the same level in a specific content area.

Don’t forget to craft short term objectives and benchmarks. Short term objectives assist in breaking down a goal and allowing a tool to monitor progress.

Include transition goals. At age 14, the IEP should include discussions about the transition from school to adult life. At age 16, the IEP needs to include goals and services that reflect a transition plan.

Include social, emotional and extracurricular participation goals if warranted. Note: IDEA requires that districts take steps to provide equal access for students with special needs to participate in extracurricular and non-academic actives.

Get tips from current providers (yourself included) about what does work with your student. Does she work best when given a “job” i.e. materials counter, calendar pointer, etc. Does he attend best at circle when he has a disc cushion to sit on? Is she highly motivated by things related to music? This is valuable information that often doesn’t make its way into IEPs. Share your insights with the next team.

View from another’s shoes. Know that IEPs can be stressful for parents, educators and students. Breath, listen, and try to understand one another. Teams should be teams - we’re working for the same end-goal. 


Breaking: Feds Issue New Guidance: IEPs Should Align With Grade-Level Standards

The Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services of the U. S. Department of Education issued a new "Dear Colleague" Letter yesterday stating that IEPs must be aligned to a state's content standards for the grade in which the student is enrolled.  To read the full article, click here.


IEP Goals & Objective APP with Common Core State Standards - $9.99 - CLICK HERE

This App Allows You to:

  • Build a list of students and then save, edit, add, and/or delete selected Goals and Objectives that are unique for each student
  • Develop multiple Goals and Objectives for each student
  • Export the assembled annual goals, short term objectives and behavioral objectives for each student via email or text message
  • Plan certain significant components of each student's educational curriculum
  • Build an exportable list of enrichment experiences to enhance each student's development from a list of over 2,700 suggested activities.

To see demonstration videos of this application, click here .


"Writing IEP's That Align to Common Core Standards", has some great info and very useful printables!  Click here.