21. IEP. [See Chapter 4 after July 1998 for the changes described below.] The following italicized provisions concerning IEPs are not effective until 7/1/98:
The statement of present levels of educational performance section of the IEP must include how the child's disability affects her involvement and progress in the general curriculum, or, for preschoolers, appropriate activities. "Goals and objectives" is now "a statement of measurable annual goals, including benchmarks or short-term objectives," related to enabling the child to be involved and progress in the general curriculum.
The statement of special education and related services now includes: the supplementary aids and services that will be provided, and a statement of the program modifications or supports for school personnel that will be provided for the child in order for the child to be involved and progress in the regular curriculum and participate in extracurricular and other nonacademic activities and be educated with other disabled and nondisabled children. The service statement must include a statement of the extent to which the child will not participate in regular class [but not the reasons; however, this is California Law (5 CCR 3042(b))], a statement of any individual modifications for district assessment participation, or why district assessment is not appropriate and how the child will be assessed.
Frequency, location, and duration of those services and modifications must be specified.
Beginning at age 14, there must be a statement of the transition service needs under the applicable components of the IEP that focus on courses of study, such as advanced-placement or vocational education courses. Then, as in previous law,
Beginning at age 16, there must be a statement of the needed transition services, including any inter-agency responsibilities and linkages.
One year before the child turns 18, there must be a statement that the child has been informed of his rights and that these rights will transfer to him at age 18.
There must be a statement of how progress toward annual goals will be measured, how the parents will be regularly informed by, e.g., report cards, at least as often as parents of nondisabled children are, of progress toward goals, and the extent to which that progress is sufficient to enable the child to achieve the goals by year's end.
The IEP team includes the same people as before (parent, special education teacher, district official qualified to supervise and provide services) plus a regular education teacher if the child is or may participate in a regular education environment. The district official must be knowledgeable about the general curriculum and about the availability of resources of the LEA. The team must also include someone who can interpret instructional implications of evaluation results (this may be one of the people already mentioned). 1414(d)(1)(B).
In developing the IEP, the team must now consider: strengths of the child and concerns of the parents. Now, the team must also consider the potential need for positive behavior interventions and strategies and supports for a child "whose behavior impedes his or her learning or that of others." [Maybe this goes beyond California's use of positive behavior interventions only when the child's behaviors are self-injurious, assaultive, property destroying or otherwise severe, pervasive, maladaptive behaviors.] For students with limited English, the team must consider language needs. For blind children, they must consider Braille. For deaf children, the team must consider the child's communication mode. 1414(d)(3)(A)(B)
A regular education teacher shall participate in the development of the IEP, including behavior interventions and supplementary aids and services, program modifications, and support for school personnel. The regular education teacher also participates in the review of the IEP (still at least annually) to determine progress toward goals, etc. 1414(d)(3)(C)&(4).
If a noneducation agency fails to provide transition services as per the IEP, the LEA must call an IEP meeting to identify an alternative strategy to meet those objectives. 1414(d)(5).
Performance Goals and Indicators. Effective 7/1/98, districts must set performance goals and indicators for special education students and they must, to the maximum extent appropriate, be consistent with those set for all other students. Data must be kept on drop-out rates, graduation rates, and the performance of special education pupils on regular assessments. 1412(a)(16).
Special Education Hearing Office
Institute For Administrative Justice
McGeorge School of Law
3200 Fifth Avenue
Sacramento, CA 95817
Re: Due Process Hearing
I am writing to request a due process fair hearing for my son, John Blue. John Blue's address is [address]. His date of birth is [date]. He is in the ____________ grade. He is attending [name of school attending] which is in the [name of school district] district. John Blue resides in the [name of the school district in which the child resides] school district. I am the parent [or guardian] of John Blue and my residence address and telephone number are as noted above.
Besides the [name] school district, the [name of other public agency involved in the assessment or provision of special education or related services to the pupil] is involved in John's IEP.
I am requesting this due process proceeding because [explanation of disputed issues involved]. I believe these disputed issues could be resolved if [explanation of parent's/guardian's proposed resolutions to each disputed issue described above].
As noted below, I have sent a copy of this letter to [name of applicable school district special education official]. Please send me a copy of the Special Education Hearing Office Notice of Procedural Safeguards and any amendments or subsequent revisions of the Notice. Please contact me as soon as possible to advise me of the dates of the due process hearing and name and telephone number of the proposed mediator.
cc: [name of the applicable school district special education official to whom copy of this letter has been sent.]