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Haley23 Haley23 is offline
 
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Haley23
 
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Student participation in IEP meeting
Old 02-18-2021, 07:09 PM
 
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So, I've never had to do this before because I've been in primary forever. Back when I used to teach all grades, no one was inviting elementary students to IEP meetings (at least in the districts I was in).

It's now policy that 6th graders attend for the entire meeting. I don't know what was in the water that year, but our 6th grade cohort happens to be extremely high achieving and our whole two kids with IEPs were in elearning this year. BUT, now we are evaluating a 6th grader, so it's an initial meeting on top of everything.

I'm case managing the entire school but only teaching in K-2, so this isn't one of my regular students that I've built up a relationship with. I will be completing the academic portion of his testing, but the only academic concern is math so it won't be very involved at all. We honestly don't have a ton of formal testing resources for math. And another layer is that the middle school sped team will be there since it's spring and that's where he'll be next year.

I'm looking for any and all tips to make this go smoothly and be an okay experience for the student. I plan to have a pre-meeting to talk about what we'll be discussing beforehand with him. What do you do differently when the student is there? Do you still talk frankly about percentiles and the like? His classroom teacher is already upset about this because she says he feels really badly about his classroom test grades. Present the information and ask if there are questions, like normal, or ask the student specific questions/have him do something specific in the meeting?

I'm so out of my element here. I know it's important for older kids to understand their disability, but I can't imagine what I would have felt like if I were in the student's shoes sitting in a big meeting where you don't even know half of the people (or don't know them well), and to have this all be brand new to you since it's an initial.


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MissESL MissESL is offline
 
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MissESL
 
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Iep
Old 02-18-2021, 07:20 PM
 
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Well, we involve our 6th graders, because they are going to a new building for middle school. Usually they have him/her wait out in the hall until it is time to talk about goals and the upcoming school year. They are not there for the entire meeting.

As 8th graders, however, they are involved in the whole meeting start to finish. It is considered a transition meeting and their future goals, possible career choices, high school schedule, etc. is discussed in addition to regular IEP stuff with the complete involvement of the student.

Yes, it seems rough from a teacher’s perspective, but there are a few things to remember:
1) kids know when they struggle in ways other kids do not,
2) they know when they are receiving support in ways other kids do not (and the other kids know it, too), and
3) their disability will be a factor to some degree throughout at least their academic career, if not throughout their life. Treating it in a matter of fact (and encouraging) manner helps students learn to recognize their strengths, build coping strategies, and prepare them for appropriate levels of independence. Realistically and positively and in an additive manner is the best approach.

If we as teachers treat it with kid gloves, we extend the stigma surrounding disability. If we face it matter of factly, we are showing acceptance and understanding of who the student fundamentally is.
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TAOEP TAOEP is offline
 
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Old 02-20-2021, 06:08 PM
 
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MissESL made some good points. I taught HS regular ed, but attended many IEP meetings. When I talked with them before the meeting, I always encouraged them to attend and participate. My point of view was that they wouldn't want other people to be talking about them and making decisions without hearing what they had to say and being able to have input.

Make sure that you spend enough time talking with the student before the meeting that you can talk knowledgeably about strengths. For example, one plus with this student is he cares about his test scores and wants to do better. Building on that, explain to him and to the group that your goal is to put a plan in place to help him improve those scores. In the meeting, I wouldn't emphasize the numbers, and there likely isn't a need to discuss them much. Just mention the scores and state clearly that he qualifies (if that's true) for services.
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