Present Levels of Performance
The Present Level of Performance is a summary describing the student’s current achievement in the areas of need as determined by an evaluation and progress toward goals. The Present Level of Performance contains current specific, measurable, objective baseline information for each area of need affected by the disability. In addition, it links the evaluation results, the expectations of the general curriculum, and the goals for the student. For preschool children, the Present Level of Performance describes how the disability affects the child’s participation in age appropriate activities. The Present Level of Performance also addresses the student’s transition needs in the areas of instruction, employment and post-school adult living, community services, and related services.
The statement of the Present Level of Performance is important because it enables families, students, and educators to monitor student progress in the general curriculum. It summarizes and translates evaluation results into clear, understandable language. It identifies and prioritizes the specific needs of the student. Every goal must relate to a need identified in the Present Level of Performance. The evaluation of the student’s progress toward those goals must be linked to intervention planning. The Present Level of Performance additionally guides the modification and delivery of curriculum on an individual basis.
An example of a Present Level of Performance
In the general education curriculum, students are expected to complete all assignments. John turns in an average of 60% of his math assignments, 50% of his reading and language assignments. Of assignments turned in, fewer than 75% are complete. Accuracy of turn-in work fluctuates markedly from less than 10% to 100%.
Goals set the general direction for instruction and assist in determining specific courses, experience, and skills a student will need to reach his or her vision. There is a direct relationship between the goal and the needs identified in the Present Level of Performance. Goals are also descriptions of what a student can reasonably be expected to accomplish within a 12-month period with the provision of special education services. There are four critical characteristics of a well-written goal: Goals must be meaningful, measurable, able to be monitored and useful in making decisions.
Write a goal using this format:
Timeframe: 36 weeks
Conditions: Given a fourth grade level passage
Behavior: Jenny will read
Criterion: 100 words per minute with 95% decoding accuracy
Benchmarks and Objectives
Either benchmarks or objectives are used on the IEP with the goal. Benchmarks are major milestones which specify skill or performance levels a student needs to accomplish to reach their annual goal. The IEP Team should evaluate skills and performance levels to meet goals and select those for possible benchmarks in the IEP. Objectives are measurable, intermediate steps between a student’s present level of performance and the annual goals established for the student. Their development is based on a logical breakdown of the major components of the annual goals and they measure progress toward meeting the goals. They set the general direction to be taken by those who will implement the IEP and are the basis for developing a detailed instructional plan for the student.
Goals, objectives, and benchmarks must be written so they can pass the “Stranger Test”. In other words, a goal, objective, or benchmark is written so someone who did not write it could use it to develop appropriate instructional plans and assess the student’s progress. They must also pass the “So What Test”, meaning the IEP Team considers the importance of the goal, objective, or benchmark. Specifically, the IEP Team answers the questions, “Is the skill indicated in this goal, objective, or benchmark really an important skill for the student to learn?” If the answer is “No”, then the goal is probably inappropriate.
Least Restrictive Environment
The Least Restrictive Environment (LRE) is the educational environment providing the greatest exposure to and interaction with general education students and persons without disabilities and LRE enables a student with a disability to receive an appropriate education. It is grounded in the idea that the general education environment is appropriate for educating all students.
The IEP Team should consider answers to the following questions in determining the LRE:
A coordinated set of activities for a student designed within an outcome-oriented process, which promotes movement from school to post-school activities, including post-secondary education, vocational training, integrated employment, continuing and adult education, adult services, independent living, or community participation. The coordinated set of activities shall be based upon the individual student’s needs, taking into account the student’s preferences and interests, and shall include instruction, community experiences, the development of employment and other post-school adult living objectives, and when appropriate, acquisition of daily living skills and functional vocational evaluation.
At age 14, the Present Levels of Performance need to contain information which will assist in writing a statement of the transition service needs of the student. At age 16, the Present Levels of Performance need to contain needed transition statements. The transition need statements should be in the areas of instruction, related service, community experiences, development of employment and post-school adult living objectives and if appropriate, acquisition of daily living skills and functional vocational evaluation.
Transfer of Rights
Beginning at least one year before a student reaches 18 years old, the student’s IEP must include a statement that the student has been informed of his or her rights that will transfer to the student on reaching the age of majority.
Every IEP must consider technology/technology services or devices that student must have to be successful. AT services are those that directly assist a child with a disability in the selection, acquisition, or use of an AT device. AT devices mean any item, piece of equipment, or product system that is used to increase, maintain, or improve the functional capabilities of a child with a disability.
Documentation for Determining Participation in District-Wide Assessment
Participate in any assessment that is District-Wide (TERRA NOVA, ISAT, PSAT, et.) unless the Team decides that it is not appropriate for the student. This page indicates what testing the Team has decided is most appropriate, lists any accommodations the student needs, or the alternative form of assessment.
Description of Special Education Services
This page is used to outline the programs that were considered and the one chosen. It also indicates the time and frequency the services will be provided.
Related services that the student receives are also identified. The amounts of time these services will be provided are also indicated.
Also the amount of time and areas in which the student will be removed from the general education setting are identified.
Extended School Year (ESY)
ESY is provided to those students who would significantly regress over the time school is not in session. Regressions and recoupment must be discussed and the need for extended school year determined.
The date on the IEP will be implemented and the duration of the IEP must be indicated on the IEP.
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