Role of the Parent in the IEP Process
The British Columbia Ministry of Education, the British Columbia Confederation Parent Advisory Councils and the Burnaby School District together recognize the vital role parents have in planning for the education of their children. It is expected that the parents will work in partnership with the school in planning, developing and implementing their child’s Individual Education Plan. “Parents of students with special needs know a great deal about their children that can be helpful to school personnel in planning educational programs for them …. Collaboration should be sought in a timely and supportive way, and the input of parents respected and acknowledged.”
(A Manual of Policies, Procedures and Guidelines, section B9)
Parent’s Guide to Individual Education Planning
Supporting Meaningful Consultation with Parents
Partners in Planning: Preparing for Your Child’s IEP Meeting
Parents Guide to Individual Education Planning, available from the British Columbia Ministry of Education.
Click on the bars below for answers to commonly asked questions about the IEP process.
It is a concise and usable document which summarizes the plan for the student’s educational program. The IEP document does not describe every aspect of the student’s program. It does refer to those aspects of the education program that are modified or adapted, and identifies the support services to be provided.
The following beliefs and values of Burnaby‘s Learning Support Services are reflected in this process:
- valuing the uniqueness of each child; their strengths, needs, and contributions,
- creating partnerships with the home and community to support the education of each child,
- supporting diversity as a natural and inherent condition of the school environment,
- striving to create an effective, inclusive learning environment for each child,
- providing access to appropriate educational environments that meet the individual needs of each child, and
- having high expectations and monitoring results for each child.
An IEP is developed for all students with special needs, except:
- a student who requires minor adaptations to educational materials, or instructional, or assessment methods;
- a student whose expected learning outcomes have not been modified;
- a student who is receiving, in one school year, 25 hours or less remedial instruction, by a person other than the classroom teacher. (Page C-10 – Special Education Services: A Manual of Policies, Procedures and Guidelines)
Parents must be given the opportunity to participate in the planning process, and should receive a copy of the IEP. To the extent possible, the student should also participate in the process. As necessary, other school district personnel or staff from community agencies may be involved in the development and have a role to play in its implementation.
Forms to Support Preparation for the IEP Meeting
- Partners in Planning: Preparing for Your Child’s IEP Meeting
- Example Letter: Parent Participation in IEP planning
Parents Guide to Individual Education Planning, available from the British Columbia Ministry of Education at www.bced.gov.bc.ca/specialed/iep/.
The following resources are available to support this process.
- A Student’s Guide to the IEP is a publication of The National Dissemination Center for Children with Disabilities
- Eight Steps to Help Students Develop IEP Goals from CEC Today (Nov-Dec 2003, p13). See Appendix this section.
- Career/Life Transitions for Students with Diverse Needs: A Resource Guide for Schools, Published by the British Columbia Ministry of Education
- student (if appropriate)
- classroom teacher(s)
- educational assistant
- learning support teacher
The following extended team members could be invited if appropriate and/or if they will be involved with the student:
- specialist teachers (e.g., Speech and Language, Vision, Hearing…)
- Children’s Services Resource Team (CSRT)
- (i.e., occupational therapist, physiotherapist, nurse)
- community agencies working with the student
The IEP must set out:
- present level of educational performance (including strengths and needs);
- goals that correspond to the curricular areas that are adapted or modified;
- goals for students who are designated within a Ministry category which correspond to the category in which they have been identified;
- measurable objectives that focus on performance and observable behaviour;
- teaching strategies, materials and support required to reach the stated objectives;
- names of the people responsible for implementing the plan;
- where the plan will be implemented;
- the means of assessment and evaluation, and
- the period of time and a process for reviewing the IEP
Where the goals established for the student are different from the expected learning outcomes for the age or grade, these should:
- be set at a high but attainable level to encourage parents, students and staff to hold high expectations.
- be accompanied by measurable objectives developed for each goal to enable IEP review and evaluation.
In addition, the IEP should include, when applicable, plans for the next transition point in the student’s education (including transitions beyond school completion) and linkages to the SLP in the intermediate and graduation years.
Wherever possible, students will be evaluated using standards established for other students and on all components of their program, including those that have been modified and those that have not. It is important that evaluation and reporting procedures accommodate the range of adaptations and modifications. Students with special needs may:
- take part in the regular program with some adaptations (i.e., the student is following the same curriculum but aspects of the program require adaptation);
- take part in the regular program but have some modified components (i.e., in some areas, the expected learning outcomes are substantially different from the prescribed curriculum; for example, math may be totally individualized, with a life-skills orientation); and/or
- participate in a program that is completely modified (e.g., a student with profound intellectual disabilities whose program may focus on independence and self-care skills).
Parents can assist the school in achieving and evaluating progress toward learning outcomes – particularly with respect to achievement of social goals, acquisition of life skills, and career exploration.
When necessary, additional informal reporting may include other procedures such as daily logs. Where a student with special needs is expected to surpass or achieve the expected learning outcomes set out in the provincial curriculum, regular letter-grading practices and reporting procedures will be followed; however, instructional and assessment methods for some students with special needs may differ, and this will be reflected in their IEP.
Where a professional support person other than the classroom teacher is responsible for providing some portion of the student’s educational program (e.g., speech pathologist, orientation and mobility instructors), those persons should provide written reports on the student’s progress for inclusion with the report of the classroom teacher.
Official transcripts of courses/marks should identify whether courses have been modified, although adaptations (e.g., oral exam) need not be identified. With written consent, such information should be communicated to post-secondary Institutions.