February Newsletter | Polish Your IEP Process

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Polish Your IEP Process

Lea este artículo en español aquí.

Have you ever been overwhelmed by the sheer quantity of Individualized Educational Plans (IEPs), not to mention the need to implement standards-based instruction for a new class of students? You’re not alone—juggling IEPs can be a handful, and now is the perfect time to use resources in STAR, SOLER, and Links to your advantage in this process! Read on for more helpful tips.

1. Connecting School and Home

Students with significant disabilities are facing new challenges when returning to school following the global COVID-19 pandemic. Socialization skills and even basic routines including circle time, lunch, and transitions may be rusty and need focused attention. Use our behavior support icons (English|Español), first-then templates (English|Español), and visual schedule templates (English|Español) to support routines.

Few classrooms have a curriculum for social and emotional skills that also aligns these skills with standards and IEP goals—so we created SOLER (Social Learning and Emotional Regulation)! The SOLER curriculum gives students with developmental disabilities the the tools they need to learn successful and meaningful interpersonal connections—and the SOLER Alignment Guide provides teachers valuable sample IEP goals!

This is also an opportunity to reach out, establish connections with students’ homelife, and learn about what has been successful for them. Try our free questionnaire to gather important information on students’ strengths and challenges. As always, families and caregivers can access our free Home Support Webinars to learn new strategies and polish existing ones.

2. Aligning IEP Goals and Curriculum

Educators often find challenges when matching IEP goals to lesson plans and state standards: Stumbling blocks can include creating specific and measurable goals, measuring students’ skills, and aligning IEP and post-secondary goals for successful transition plans.

STAR, SOLER, and Links address each these challenges through data collection, detailed lesson plans in core curricular areas, and digital tools. The model below demonstrates how assessment can inform standards, which lead to well-formed IEP goals supported by lesson plans that include progress monitoring and adjustments as needed. The result is a fully self-sustaining learning ecosystem.

STAR and Links curricula are aligned to Common Core State Standards or Essential Elements and provide a developmental progression of skills that can be easily aligned to specific state content standards. Click here to learn more. 

3. Encouraging Student Participation

Students’ needs are at the forefront of the IEP process, and there are valuable opportunities to teach and learn self-advocacy skills. The free Student Survey can help start the conversation and ensure that students have agency and a meaningful voice in shaping their educational lives

Listen to valuable insights on the Autism Annex!
Media Center subscribers, find IEP Alignment Guides here!