I once had a parent ask me for help writing an IEP for her son. She had her first IEP coming up and she was worried because she didn’t know what to write.
As parents, and teachers, writing IEPs can be difficult on so many levels. I’m glad it’s a team effort because if I had to do it alone it would probably take me a week and I’m sure I’d get it wrong.
With so many rules and ever-changing regulations, it helps to have software that applies the required legal elements, but that doesn’t change the important content that’s actually the substance of the IEP.
Probably the most important aspect to be considered is to properly write IEP Annual Goals. And to make it easier, think in terms of SMART IEP Goals.
To begin, the child’s Present Level of Educational Performance, also known as PLOP, should be stated to form a basis to write goals and objectives. Does the child have difficulty with Math or Reading? Are test scores low, is homework being completed, are there behavioral issues? Be specific, as these will relate to writing IEP Goals.
Writing IEP Annual Goals are long term and pertain to the goals to be met on an annual basis – what will be accomplished by the next IEP in one year. IEP Goals must be measurable and attainable. Goals that can’t be measured or can’t be met are not Goals.
Make sure to include the area (Reading, Math, Writing) and level (with some help, at grade level) the goal should meet. Example: Patty will be able to read a 4th grade reading passage and understand 8 sight words at 80% accuracy by next October.
IEP Objectives are short term and help build along the path to the Annual Goal. If the Annual Goal begins and ends in October, short term Objectives should be met in possibly February and June. Example: Patty will be able to read a 4th grade reading passage and understand 5 sight words at 60% accuracy by February.
Of course these are very brief and simple examples to illustrate. It’s important to provide as much info as possible as it relates to the grade level of the child.
Be sure to include any necessary resources and materials that will be needed to reach the IEP Goals and Objectives.