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Are you a special education teacher who is looking for a step by step guide to IEP writing?

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How to write an iep step-by-step | Samples for Real Teachers

If you are a teacher or iep team member who wants to write a great individualized education program. Then you are in the right place. Our full length guide offers text examples for easy use in your IEPs or as a time saving framework to individualize for your students. This simple guide can cut your individualized education program writing time in half.

Want To Gain Your Life Back?

We know that a special education teacher's job can be stressful and overwhelming, so we've created this easy-to-use template to help you write an individualized education program. It includes all the necessary components of an IEP in one place, so you don't have to waste time searching through other resources or trying to piece together information from different sources. You can use our templates as they are written or customize them with your reporting style. Either way, it will save you valuable time and energy!

You'll never have to worry about missing any important information because our guide covers everything from goals and objectives, assessments, other special education services, accommodations, and modifications. With our step-by-step instructions and helpful examples, amazing IEP writing has never been easier!

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The IEP meeting will go smoothly if every area is covered thoroughly and specifically for the student's academic success, thanks to the inclusion of specific and individualized material. With succinct justification statements, there is little wiggle room for questions from the IEP team regarding the IEP goal.

Student Strengths Statement Framework

How to write an iep step-by-step | Samples for Real Teachers

 

Review Individualized Education Program (IEP) Invitation

When writing an invitation to an IEP letter, special education teachers should include the general education curriculum that their students are following. This will help parents understand what their children are learning in school and how it is linked to their overall education. Teachers should also provide an overview of the accommodations and modifications that have been put in place for their students. This will help parents understand how their children are being supported in the classroom. Finally, teachers should remind parents of the date, time, and location of the upcoming IEP meeting.

Want more information and letter samples for parents and other attendees

Section One - Setting Up the Meeting

Contact Attempt Report

A contact attempt report is a document that is used to outline the attempts that have been made to contact a parent or guardian for an IEP meeting. It should include the date, time, and method of contact that was attempted. The report should also list the name of the person who made the contact, as well as their title or position within the school district.

Section Two - IEP Cover Page

Things to include:

  • Student Name, grade, age disability, and primary language

  • Most recent evaluation date and expiration date

  • Attending school and if it is their home school district or are they accepted on a waiver

  • IEP start date and expirations date (often call next start date)

  • Date parents or guardians were notified of the meeting

Section Three - Team Considerations

Student Strengths


How do I write the strengths of the student and the concerns of the parents for enhancing the education of their child section of an IEP?

 

When you have a structure to help you, creating a student strength statement is not difficult. A well-rounded declaration includes up to three choices from each area, with any number of strengths shown. Keep it simple and straightforward, but be honest in your descriptions. Always seek parental and general educational instructors' input before deciding which talents to exhibit the student's best side.

A well-written IEP should include at least three strengths statements for the student.

Before choosing your choices keep in mind:

Skip any strength area if it does not apply to the student and their needs

Skip strength areas that are not within his/her control(ex: It may be important to acknowledge a love of reading but this is something we cannot change, eliminate this from the list)

Skip any academic strength area if it does not fit within a special education program.

Student Strengths Statement Framework

 

When writing a profile of the student's strengths, think about the child as a whole. Every person on the IEP team should provide input. 

What are the strengths that make the student academically successful? 

What are strengths that the student has that make them socially adaptable or socially accepted? 

Both of these questions lead to academic and behavioral success in the classroom. Both items combined will be at the forefront of any student's strength profile. ​​

 

Sample:

 

Sam has a strong character, is eager to learn, and is curious about a new subject. In his classroom behavior, he demonstrates responsibility by coming prepared to class with materials ready to learn. His positive work habits show that he follows rules and routines, can ignore distractions, and is a self starter in classroom activities. 

​​Use this framework to help guide the writing process:

__________ has a strong character, is _______________, and is _______________. In his/her classroom behavior, he/she demonstrates responsibility by _______________. His/her positive work habits show that he/she _______________, can _______________, and _______________. 

 

Sample:

 

Megan is a hard worker in the class. Her math skills are a strength, as are her reading comprehension skills. She enjoys working with peers and completes tasks on time.

 

​__________ is a hard worker in class. Her/His __________ skills are a strength, as are her/his __________ skills. She/He enjoys __________ and __________ .

 

​Sentence starters for student strengths statement in an IEP

These helpful sentence starters can be best used with the assistance of the student and parents. Have them fill out what their best answer are and then compare to find commonalities.

​__________ is best at…

__________ has an amazing ability to…

__________ always takes pride in his/her work when…

__________ is frequently recognized for…

__________ participates the most when…

__________ does this better than any other student…

__________ is highly motivated by…

__________ is highly interested in…

Student Strengths Category List

 

Student strengths come in all different shapes and sizes. It is our job as special education teachers to find those strengths and utilize them to the best of our ability.

Tip - The list below is by no means all-inclusive. It is merely a representation or guideline to get you thinking on the right track.

 

Strengths of the student by character, work habits, academics, and classroom behavior

Character

Trustworthiness

__ Honest in actions

__ Does not deceive, cheat or steal 

__ Reliable

__ Courageous

__ Loyal to friends 

__ Keeps promises

 

Respect

__ Treat others with respect

__ Tolerant and accepting of differences

__ Has good manners

__ Does not use bad language

__ Considerate of the feelings of others

__ Does not threaten, hit or hurt anyone

__ Deals with anger, and disagreements peacefully

 

Responsible

__ Does what they are supposed to do

__ Plans ahead

__ Is diligent

__ Perseveres through challenges

__ Does their best work

__ Uses self-control

__ Is self-disciplined

__ Thinks before acting

__ Is accountable for words and actions

__ Sets a good example for others

__ Chooses a positive attitude

 

Fairness

__ Plays by the rules

__ Take turns and share

__ Be open-minded; listen to others

__ Don’t take advantage of others

__ Don’t blame others carelessly

__ Treat all people fairly

Caring

__ Is kind

__ Is compassionate

__ Shows Empathy

__ Expresses gratitude

__ Forgives others

__ Helps people in need

__ Is charitable and altruistic

 

Citizenship

__ Gets involved in school affairs

__ Obeys classroom and school rules

__ Respects authority

__ Protects the environment

__ Volunteers

 

Work Habits and Academics

__ Organizes materials 

__ Comes prepared to class

__ Turns in work on time

__ Strong work organization skills

__ Follows routines well

__ Keeps track of time and obligations 

__ Understands and sets goals

__ Can plan ahead

__ Is a self-starter

__ Can ignore distractions

__ Flexible thinker

__ Good working memory

__ At grade level work in reading

__ At grade level work in writing

__ At grade level work in math

 

Classroom Behavior

__ Can learn from mistakes

__ Self-advocates/asks for help

__ Can work or play independently

__ Works well/gets along well one-on-one

__ Works well/gets along well in groups

__ Consistent class participation

__ Accept consequences appropriately

__ Respects property of others 

__ Respects personal space of others 

__ Respects uniqueness of others

Parent Concerns


When writing a parent concerns statement, stay on topic "enhancing the education of their child." Only education concerns should be in the IEP. Every other matter can be assigned to someone on the team for resolution or follow-up. The invited administrator will have details if district services are available and might want to schedule an additional meeting specific to parent concerns not related to educational enhancement.  

 

​Tip - If there are concerns that are not going to be written in the IEP, make a note of them in the Prior Written Notice. Noting them lets the parent know that the concern was heard and who will be their point of contact for support.

#1 ​Parent Concern Sample Statements

Sam's support classes are adequate for supporting and promoting growth towards IEP goals and the general education curriculum. However, the 4th period Math class is very disruptive and distracting. Alternative class placement is requested preferably in a co-taught classroom. Follow up in the Prior Written Notice on how this was resolved.

 

#2 ​Parent Concern Sample Statements

John's teachers and paraprofessionals are very supportive and responsive to his needs. However, the high school building is too large and confusing for John to navigate independently. He feels unsafe in the outdoor commons area as well as the bus drop off location. Alternative transportation services are requested close to home or at a more convenient location for John. Follow up in the Prior Written Notice on how this was resolved.

 

#3  Parent Concern Sample Statements

There are too many students in Josh's general education classes with IEPs to allow them the time and attention they need. The inclusion model is not working for his grade level due to a lack of necessary materials, small group instruction, and lack of accommodations/modifications. Alternative class placement is requested with specific accommodations/modifications for Josh so he can advance towards IEP goals. Follow up in the Prior Written Notice on how this was resolved.

 

#4  Parent Concern Sample Statements

Sam's behavior is escalating to violent outbursts due to his anxiety and sensory processing differences. The use of positive behavior support has not been effective in managing his behavior and maintaining a therapeutic classroom environment. A Functional Behavioral Assessment (FBA) is needed to determine the triggers and develop a Behavior Intervention Plan (BIP). Follow up in the Prior Written Notice on how this was resolved.

Parent Conerns

Student's Performance on Assessments


When writing the results of the student's test performance summary, stick to the facts. Parents have already received these scores from the district, and their interpretation is not part of the IEP process. 

 

Items to include in the summary are:

  • Test name and whether it is National, State, or District

  • The test category

  • The test score

  • What level the test score falls under


Sample Statements

State/National

SBA - ELA 2341 L1 (2288–2486) Achievement Level Scale Score Range for Standard Not Met

SBA - Math 2305 L1 (2265–2503) Achievement Level Scale Score Range for Standard Not Met

 

District

AIAMSWeb - ELA 434 Well Below Average (1-10 %ile) 

Comparison Group National Score Range 278-453 N-Count 25 (8.6% of students)

 

AIMSWeb - Math 183 Well Below Average (1-10 %ile) 

Comparison Group National Score Range 145-197 N-Count 25 (8.6% of students)

Communication Needs


Does not need service

Sam is not deaf or hard of hearing and does not currently identify as needing language or communication services.

Does need service

Sam uses an iPad with UNI talk to augment his communication. He is in need of intensive language services in the general education classroom to ensure he understands all assignments and participates appropriately in class discussions.

Assistive Technology


Does not need service

Sam does not currently identify as a student in need of assistive technology devices or services beyond those that are provided to all general education students.

​Does need service

Sam has a communication device that is not currently supporting his IEP goals. He is in need of an adaptive computer with voice output and keyboard support to enable him to access all academic opportunities.

 

Behavior Impedes Learning

Does not need service

Sam's behavior does not impede learning and that of others and is not currently in need of services in this area.

 

If you select that that student does need service in this area a behavior intervention plan will need to be attached.

 

Does need services

Sam's behavior impedes his learning at times and the behavior must be addressed before he can make progress in this area.

If you select that that student does need service in this area a behavior intervention plan will need to be attached.

 

Limited English Proficiency

Does not need service
Sam does not have limited English proficiency and would not require services in this area.
 

​Does not need service now but may in the future
Julie is a new English Language Learner. She is learning English very quickly and requires no services in this area now. However, depending on her language development, it may be necessary in the future.

​​​Does need service now and will require ongoing services as long as English is the second language
Juan needs an interpreter to help him understand things that are taught in class because he does not speak English well enough to absorb the lessons presented. In addition, his teacher would like for him to have an individual teacher aide to help him with other academic needs. Juan also would benefit from tutoring sessions during lunchtime.

Does need service now and will require ongoing services as part of her IEP, even if English becomes the first language

​​Maria is a new English Language Learner. She has difficulty understanding lectures taught in class because she struggles to understand English. She also needs some individualized attention to keep up with the rest of her class. Maria would also benefit from tutoring sessions during lunchtime.

Blind or Visually Impaired 


Does not need service
Sam does not currently have a visual impairment that is greater than could be accommodated with corrective lenses and would not need additional services in this area.

​Does need service
Jane has a significant visual impairment that impacts her ability to function in the general education environment. She is working hard to use other senses to compensate for her lack of sight but will need an aide who can help her identify objects and materials, or she may miss critical learning opportunities.

Appropriate accommodations/modifications for Jane should include:

One-on-one aide services for the duration of the class or course.​

An additional set of materials that have been highlighted, labeled, or color-coded so she can easily identify them.

A peer tutor to help her learn the material in a different way

Present Levels of Educational Performance and Measurable Annual Goals

General Education Teacher Report

Sample: 
Wyatt's writing skills are significantly below those of their classroom peers. Despite accommodations in the general education classroom, they continue to show minimal progress. writing progress and will need continued support to meet academic and behavioral standards.


Wyatt's student academic character profile reflects few absences and 0 behavior/discipline referrals unrelated to attendance with general work habits showing few missing assignments.

 

  • Math current unit assessment grades are reported at a standard proficiency level 2.5

  • English Language Art grades are reported at a standard proficiency level 2.5

What is and how to write a profile of the student's present levels of performance.

 

Present levels of performance are a narrative of the student's performance in several categories. The section talks about the student's overall performance, strengths, and weaknesses related to academics, behavioral issues, and social issues. All items in this category should speak in a team voice that includes all teachers, parents, and support team members. A clear picture of the student's present levels will help future teachers and support staff working with the student understand the student's strengths and weaknesses in order to better work with them.​

 

​Tip - If something is mentioned in the present levels as a weakness an IEP goal must be written into the student's IEP with a clear plan on how to support and strengthen the student's skills in this area.


Adverse Impact Summary

Sample:

Wyatt's health impairment impacts academic progress in all areas of the general education program. There are significant learning struggles in the areas of writing skills that will require specially designed instruction.

Functional & Academic Performance​

This section is generally a place where the last eval placed the student and then additional statements on progress past the last evaluation to form one cohesive view of the academic performance since the last formal evaluation date.

Sample:

(From Last Locked Evaluation 03/10/2022)
Max scored in the Average range for Reading (SS 93) and Math (SS 95). He scored in the Low range for Written Language (SS 62).

 

He requires specially designed instruction in the area of Written Language.


He could do well in either a co-taught class or the support class, the data supports either if his accommodations are in place. He had strong ideas, answered the prompts, correctly and did well with the content portion of the writing assessment. Wyatt struggled with punctuation and capitalization. He also didn't elaborate much on the essay portion, despite being able to do so for shorter and prompted responses.

In the statement above there are two key takeaways that have been highlighted, these are the focus for iep goals.

Functional Skills
​For students not focusing on academic skills, present levels would include where the student is in relation to daily living skills, independence, home activities, and job placement. Skills that are related to where the student's postsecondary goals are aimed. 

Living Skills
Daily living routines and activities 

Independence skills related to home life and performance at school

  • Home

  • Community

  • Leisure time

  • Post-secondary

  • Life-long learning

  • Motor skills

  • Personal care

  • Time and money

  • School/work habits

  • Home/community orientation

  • Behavior 

  • Interpersonal relationships

Ability to follow routines on a daily basis

  • Ability to maintain academic and social skills with peers during large and small group activities

  • Ability to plan and begin an activity independently

  • Ability to use classroom supports throughout the day (e.g., graphic organizers, peer assistance, timers)

  • Ability to transition between activities with minimal to no prompting

  • Ability to follow 2-step directions on a daily basis

  • Ability to sustain attention for up to 20 minutes during classroom lessons

  • Ability to sustain effort throughout the school day without frequent breaks or needing shortened academic tasks

  • Ability of self-care skills (e.g., hygiene, toileting, dressing, etc.)

​​

How to write the academic section of an IEP


Academic Skills


​Inclusive Education Students: Present levels or current academic achievement describe the student's current levels in math, written language, and reading as compared to the grade level peers and standards. The discrepancy between grade level and present level is the skill gap to which IEP goals will be written. An academic review is a general overview and not be confused with the more detailed teacher reports later in the IEP. The majority of this section is based on the student's evaluation report or updated evaluation report if it is older due to time in the evaluation cycle.

​A present level of academic performance statement will start with and include

  • The ending progress from last year's IEP goal

  • New special education assessment findings

  • Performance on district and state assessments, including strengths and needs (the score severity been recorded in a previous section do not include them in your present levels)

  • Classroom grades and observations that will also include behavioral data

  • A statement of progress from the student (opinions and work ethic values as contributory factors to goal progression, the student's interpretation)

  • A statement of progress from the parent (behavior and work performance, demonstrated in-home environment)

  • A review of accommodations and assistive technology or services to determine if they are successful or should be removed or modified


Reading - ​​How to write the reading section of an IEP

​How to write the student's current level of academic achievement in reading, math, and writing

*Indicates a benchmark for the general education population. This does not need to be included in the IEP unless it is being used to establish goals. It can also be added to provide evidence that supports why this student may require similar or more intensive support than his/her peers because of an identified disability.

Apprviated Options for Writing PLOAP for Reading Skills

  • Reading comprehension of informational text at a 4th grade level*

  • Reading comprehension of narrative text at a 3rd grade level*

  • Reading comprehension of narrative text at a 5th grade level*

  • Reading decoding skills of CVC words at a 1st grade level*

  • Reading decoding skills of CVC words at a 2nd grade level*

  • Ability to conduct research by following directions at a 2nd grade level*

  • Ability to conduct research by following directions at a 3rd grade level*

Writing - ​​How to write the writing section of an IEP

Apprviated Options for Writing PLOAP for Writing Skills

  • Written expression of ideas (e.g., correct sentence structure, spelling, punctuation) at a 5th grade level*

  • Written expression of ideas (e.g., correct sentence structure, spelling, punctuation) at a 6th grade level*

  • Written expression of ideas (e.g., correct sentence structure, spelling, punctuation) at an 8th grade level*

  • Written expression of ideas (e.g., correct sentence structure, spelling, punctuation) at a 6th grade level*

Math - ​​How to write the math section of an IEP

Students' present levels of comprehensive performance template depict the present performance levels for an inclusive education student with regular services in either a support class or a resource room environment. It includes data from three key factors to ensure a well-balanced and accurate depiction of the student's goal progression. 

The academic sections of an IEP are considered the most important document in a student's academic career. Here is where goals are formulated, but at the same time, you must be able to demonstrate their validity and necessity. When writing goals for math, it should be based on what you have observed. It should include criteria that will indicate whether or not the child has achieved the goal. While it is helpful to include skills that the child should have mastered, you must be able to explain how these skills would enable them to progress toward his/her future goals.

 

Typically, an example of a math goal might read as follows: "I will apply division strategies in real-life situations with division facts through 20 by the end of fifth grade." This goal may include some essential criteria that would indicate when mastery had occurred. For example, when asked to solve 24 ÷ 4 students will correctly answer 6 with 80% accuracy by the end of 5th grade. You would note this in your documentation and potentially add a graph or chart to demonstrate this level of success.

 

To ensure that students are receiving the most appropriate academic guidance, it is important to take into account their physical, mental, and emotional states. You should include other criteria in your documentation that support the proposed goal. For example, you should also note how long it takes for students to complete assignments or practice concepts. This may indicate how difficult the concept is for the student or whether they need extra practice to master it.

You should be sure to include notes about how frequently you provide feedback. More frequent feedback may indicate that the goal is too easily achievable and needs more challenging work. Conversely, if students are frequently struggling with a concept, then perhaps that concept isn't appropriate for them at this time.

 

Documenting all of this information provides a convincing argument for why your student needs the services they are receiving and how it will benefit them. You should also note what accommodations or modifications you have made to help students meet their goals. For example, if not enough time was given during math classes to allow students to complete assignments in class, but they are able to complete them at home with support, then you may note that in your documentation.

You should also include accommodations or modifications that are provided or needed outside of the classroom. For example, if students are struggling to complete their work during math class due to ADHD issues, but they are still able to complete it at home after receiving tutoring, you may note that in your documentation. Remember, each student's IEP is unique and should reflect the complexities of their needs.

 

If the goal is to ensure that students are able to practice concepts independently, then they may need more frequent access to a computer or calculator. If they are unable to remember strategies taught in class, but they can demonstrate them independently on a calculator, then you may note that as well. This way, the IEP team can determine whether students require more opportunities for practice and reinforcement of new concepts or if they need to spend more time practicing what they have already been taught.

​INFORMATION FROM THE EVALUATION (date)

TEACHER REPORT: (Strengths/current status in the area of qualification) _______________________

General Education Teacher: _______________________

Current Classroom Grade Summary: _______________________

Teacher Comments: _______________________

Benchmark: AIMSWeb or another District testing

Strengths:​ _______________________

Needs: _______________________

IXL or other spiralling diagnostic testing measures:

Numbers and Operations: _______________________

Algebra & Algebraic Thinking: _______________________

Fractions: _______________________

Geometry: _______________________

Measurement: _______________________

Data, Statistics and Probability: _______________________

PREVIOUS GOALS/PROGRESS ON PREVIOUS GOALS:

Math (how far and to what level was the student meeting the previous year's goal?)

Goal #1: _______________________ (previous goals wrap up review)

Progress Report: _______________________ (what parts of the goal can the student do and what are still struggle points?)

Case Manager: _______________________

SDI Developer and Instructor: _______________________

Progress: _______________________

​​

NEW GOAL

RECOMMENDATIONS/BASELINE: _______________________ (insert new goal or continuation of previous goal that has been modified to reflect a higher level or proficiency)

As Measured By: _______________________

​​

How to write the reading section of an IEP

Students' present levels of comprehensive performance template depict the present performance levels for an inclusive education student with regular services in either a support class or a resource room environment. It includes data from three key factors to ensure a well-balanced and accurate depiction of the student's goal progression.

​​

This section should be a comprehensive collection of data that provides a detailed description of the student's skill levels in reading including comprehension, decoding, vocabulary, and fluency.

 

#1 Reading Present Levels of Performance Sample Statment

The student is highly capable of decoding single-syllable words, multisyllabic words, and blends. The student struggles with reading unfamiliar decodable text that contains unknown vocabulary or content knowledge. The student needs to process information during the reading that follows along with a familiar pattern while still encountering words that are new.

It also includes data on how well the student is able to read and comprehend what has been read. It includes data on how well the student can read at a sustained rate of speed, decode multi-syllable words, and complete multiple tasks while reading.

 

#2 Reading Comprehension Present Levels of Performance Sample Statement

The student demonstrates outstanding recall and comprehension skills when reading familiar passages that contain known vocabulary and content knowledge. The student is highly capable of processing text that follows along with a familiar pattern while still encountering words that are new.

The student demonstrates fair recall and comprehension skills when reading passages that contain unknown vocabulary or content knowledge. The student needs to process information during the reading that follows along a sequence while still encountering words that are unfamiliar.

It also requires data on how well the student is able to read, write and process information while reading.

 

#3 Reading Comprehension Present Levels of Performance Sample Statement

The student demonstrates outstanding recall skills when reading familiar passages that contain known vocabulary and content knowledge. The student is highly capable of processing text that follows along a sequence while still encountering words that are unfamiliar.

 

The student demonstrates fair recall skills when reading passages that contain unknown vocabulary or content knowledge. The student needs to process information during the reading that follows along with a familiar pattern while still encountering words that are new.

 

It also requires data on how well the student is able to make inferences and generalizations, determine main ideas and supporting details, draw conclusions, and summarize information.

 

#4 Reading Comprehension Skills Sample Statement

The student demonstrates outstanding skills in making inferences and generalizations when reading passages that support points of view that are familiar to the student. The student is highly capable of drawing conclusions about characters, settings, or plots while reading passages that contain unknown vocabulary or content knowledge.

 

#5 Reading Skill Sample Statement

The student demonstrates fair skills in making inferences and generalizations when reading passages that support points of view that are familiar to the student. The student needs to determine the main ideas and supporting details while reading passages that contain unknown vocabulary or content knowledge.

​INFORMATION FROM THE EVALUATION (date)

TEACHER REPORT: (Strengths/current status in the area of qualification) _______________________

General Education Teacher: _______________________

Current Classroom Grade Summary: _______________________

Teacher Comments: _______________________

​Benchmark: AIMSWeb or other District testing

Strengths: _______________________

​Needs: _______________________

 

CBM Assessments

CBM Benchmark: _______________________

Word Reading Fluency: _______________________

Passage Reading Fluency: _______________________

VOCAB: _______________________

Multiple-Choice Reading Comprehension: _______________________

Common Core State Standards Reading: _______________________

IXL or other spiraling diagnostic testing measures:

Gap reduction and skill refresh category recommendations

 Reading Strategies:

_______________________

_______________________

Vocabulary:

_______________________

_______________________

​​

PREVIOUS GOALS/PROGRESS ON PREVIOUS GOALS: Reading (how far and to what level was the student meeting the previous year's goal?)

​​

Goal #1: When given informational text with the main idea Elizabeth will select the main idea of a text from 3 multiple choice options improving main idea skills from 1/10 grade level work samples out of 10 consecutive trials to 8/10 work samples in 10 consecutive trials as measured by teacher based rubrics, unit test, and curriculum assessments

Progress Report: _______________________ (what parts of the goal can the student do and what are still struggle points?)

Case Manager: _______________________

SDI Developer and Instructor: _______________________

Progress: _______________________

NEW GOAL

RECOMMENDATIONS/BASELINE: _______________________ (insert new goal or continuation of previous goal that has been modified to reflect a higher level or proficiency)

As Measured By: _______________________

 

How to write the writing section of an IEP

Students' present levels of comprehensive performance template depict the present performance levels for an inclusive education student with regular services in either a support class or a resource room environment. It includes data from three key factors to ensure a well-balanced and accurate depiction of the student's goal progression. 

​Writing Sample Template


#1 Writing Present Levels of Performance Sample Statement

The student has shown to be able to produce writing at a basic level. The student is able to write in a way that is understandable and follows common conventions of print. The student can produce writing with support, including the scaffolded structure and graphic organizers. The student can also use spell check and editing features of word processing programs.

#2 Writing Present Levels of Performance Sample Statement

The student has shown to be able to produce writing at a basic level and is always above the national average. The student is able to write in a way that is understandable and follows common conventions of print. The student can produce writing independently without scaffolded structure and graphic organizers. The student also uses spell check and editing features of word processing programs.

#3 Writing Present Levels of Performance Sample Statement

The student has shown to be able to produce writing at an academic level and is always above the national average. The student is able to write in a way that is understandable and follows common conventions of print. The student can also produce writing independently without scaffolded structure and graphic organizers. The student does not use spell check and editing features of word processing programs.

#4 Writing Present Levels of Performance Sample Statement

The student has shown to be able to produce writing at an academic level and is always above the national average. The student is able to write in a way that is understandable and follows common conventions of print. The student can also produce writing independently without scaffolded structure and graphic organizers. The student does not use spell check and editing features of word processing programs.

​INFORMATION FROM THE EVALUATION (date)

 TEACHER REPORT: (Strengths/current status in the area of qualification) _______________________

General Education Teacher: _______________________

Current Classroom Grade Summary: _______________________

Teacher Comments: _______________________

​Benchmark: AIMSWeb or other District testing

Strengths:​ _______________________

Needs: _______________________

 IXL or other spiraling diagnostic testing measures:

Gap reduction and skill refresh category recommendations

Writing Strategies:

_______________________

_______________________

 

Grammar and Mechanics:

_______________________

_______________________

PREVIOUS GOALS/PROGRESS ON PREVIOUS GOALS: Writing (how far and to what level was the student meeting the previous year's goal?)

Goal #1: _______________________ (previous goals wrap up review)

 

Progress Report: _______________________ (what parts of the goal can the student do and what are still struggle points?)

Case Manager: _______________________

SDI Developer and Instructor: _______________________

Progress: _______________________

 

NEW GOAL

RECOMMENDATIONS/BASELINE: _______________________ (insert new goal or continuation of previous goal that has been modified to reflect a higher level or proficiency)

As Measured By: _______________________

 

​How to write the goals section of an IEP

 

Based on data from the present level section a new IEP goal will fall directly after the previous goal. Extending and elevating the skill level or learning progression to a new skill.  Find IEP goals here

Goal format most commonly used for SMART goals: 

 

By (date) when given (problems with number counting) the student will understand that the last number name said tells the number of objects counted. The number of objects is the same regardless of their arrangement or the order in which they were counted (e.g. How many triangles in the set? or Put 3 bears in the circle.) improving counting and cardinality skills from 0/10 work samples out of ten consecutive trials to 8/10 work samples in ten consecutive trials.

 

​When Given

What will the student be provided to successfully demonstrate the desired skill? This information written into the gaol allows everyone reading to know how to set up the materials and how they will be measured. Here is a few ideas for how to write a given statement for a student's math or reading IEP goal.

__ a short 3-5 sentence passage at the students reading level

__ short passage and multiple-choice answer options

__ (4) multiple-choice options 

__ a fill in the blank option

__ (partially filled) graphic organizer

__ (blank) graphic organizer

__ (detailed list) written steps 

__ (personal notes) written steps

__ (written sentence) written steps

__ a (20) piece task box

 

​How to write the related services section of an IEP


Related services such as physical therapy, occupational therapy, or speech services are a collaboration opportunity in the IEP writing process. The related service provider will be responsible for contributions to the present levels of performance and participate in the IEP meeting if possible. If there are additional service providers for a student the meeting invitation should always include related services providers and inexcusable notice approved by the family if they are not able to attend. Service providers will also be responsible for setting IEP goals in that service area.

 

​​How to write the least restrictive environment section of an IEP


Creating a school program in the least restrictive environment for students ensures that they are getting an appropriate class schedule with as much flexibility and inclusion as possible. These combinations can include co-teaching where there is one general education and one special education teacher, support classes 12:1 ratio, but based on your district. There may be many, many more options. Enclosed classroom environments are cases where a student will spend the majority of their time in a single classroom. However, it is important for student case managers to not overlook opportunities for general education integration whenever possible.

​Tip - Co-taught classrooms can have many models associated with them, but the most important one is the ratio of general education students to special education students. A 30% to 40% ratio of students in the class can have an IEP as a general standard. Different districts view the percentages differently and it is important to ask what model your district supports when constructing a student schedule to include a co-taught class.

 

​How to write the accommodations and modification section of an IEP


For a special education teacher identifying the types of accommodations or modifications, the student needs in order to be academically, behaviorally, and socially successful is a very important portion of the IEP process.

 

Accommodations and modifications have very different purposes and are often overused especially by case managers writing an IEP for the general education curriculum it's important to understand that accommodation is to assist the student and should have a gradual release of responsibility plan associated with it. Modifications would be handled similarly with a gradual release of responsibility or level of modification.

Comment on accommodations could include extended time, separate location, questions read aloud or directions read aloud to the student. 

 

An accommodation justification statement will be written into the present levels of performance in conjunction with a student's need such as an IEP goal. The accommodation justification statement will include what the accommodation is such as extended time, when it can be used, and finally, the amount of time to be extended.

​Example statement: Due to factors directly related to Sam's specific learning disability extended time on state and local exams will be extended to time and a half to allow for additional processing time and frequent breaks not to exceed five minutes per thirty minutes of test time.

 

​Example statement: Due to factors directly related to Sam's specific learning disability and test anxiety a separate location for state and local exams with a duration of greater than one hour will be provided in a room with no fewer than 12 students. This accommodation does not extend to general education classroom tests with a duration of less than one hour.

Caution – The most overused or misused accommodation is the use of a calculator. The use of a calculator should always come with the caveat that it is not to be used when it could impede the learning of new skills.

​How to write the prior written notice section of an IEP

Sample narrative for basic IEP renewal

 

Description of the proposed or refused action: Initiate IEP developed on 01/10/2021

The reason we are proposing or refusing to take action: IEP was due for review and amendment for the coming year's support.

 

Description of any other options considered and rejected: Options considered and rejected were that Sam stay placed in a general education non-co-taught math class with the addition of a support class.

 The reasons we rejected those options were: The rejected reason was that in a non-co-taught class Sam was easily distracted and feels that a co-taught class with 2 teachers would provide the support and redirection needed to be successful.

 

A description of each procedure, test, record, or report used or is planned to be used as a basis for action: Current evaluation, class progress reports, winter benchmark testing, and teacher/parent comments were all used as a basis for these actions.

 

Any other factors that are relevant to the action: No other factors were relevant to the action.

Whether you're a special education teacher, an IEP team member, a physical therapist, or a family member, we want to help you understand what all the components of an IEP are and how they support the students' future goals.

Thank you for reading! I hope this article was helpful in understanding the importance of individualized education program iep writing and the process behind it.