The Committee on Special Education (CSE)/Committee on Preschool Special Education (CPSE) Process and Individualized Education Program (IEP) Development
The IEP is the cornerstone of the special education process for each individual student. It is the tool to document how one student’s special needs will be met within the context of an educational curriculum and environment. The IEP development process and implementation need to be premised on the research and experience that have shown that to improve results for students with disabilities, schools must:
- Have high expectations for students with disabilities;
- Ensure their access in the general education curriculum to the maximum extent possible;
- Strengthen the role of parents and take steps to ensure that families have meaningful opportunities to participate in the education of their children at school and at home;
- Ensure that special education is a service, rather than a place where students are sent;
- Provide appropriate special education services, aids and supports in the general education classroom, whenever appropriate;
- Ensure that all those who work with students with disabilities have the skills and knowledge necessary to:
- Help these students meet developmental goals and, to the maximum extent possible, the challenging expectations established for all children, and
- Prepare them to lead productive, independent adult lives, to the maximum extent possible;
- Provide high quality research-based instruction and supports to all students who are experiencing learning difficulties to reduce the need to label children as having disabilities in order to address their learning needs; and
- Focus resources on teaching and learning.
The Foundation of an Effective Special Education Process
Appropriately developed IEPs and high quality research-based specially-designed instructional practices (i.e., special education) are essential to ensure a free appropriate public education to a student with a disability; but the context and environment in which the student's IEP is implemented are equally as important. Because special education is a service and not a place, a high quality and effective special education program relies in great part on the quality of the school district as a whole, including, but not limited to the following:
- Administrative support for the CSE process, including access to training necessary for CSE members to understand and follow through on their responsibilities.
- Administrative support to ensure implementation of CSE recommendations.
- A philosophy and practices that support inclusion of students with disabilities in all buildings and classrooms.
- Effective communication systems among school principals, CSE chairpersons, special and general education teachers and service providers.
- High quality early intervening services, including research-based instruction; systems to continually screen, monitor and intervene to address a student's response to instruction (e.g., "response to intervention"); school-wide, classroom-based and small group positive behavioral supports and services; and culturally responsive instruction and environments.
- Knowledgeable and qualified personnel to conduct individual evaluations, provide special education, and instruct students in core curriculum.
The IEP and IEP Development Process
The IEP is a strategic planning document that identifies a student’s unique needs and how the school will strategically address those needs in IEPs:
- Guide how the resources of a school will be configured.
- Identify how students will be incrementally prepared for adult living.
- Provide an important accountability tool for school personnel, students, and parents to measure students’ progress toward goals and objectives, and to determine whether the school has appropriately configured how it uses its resources to reach the desired outcomes for students with disabilities.
- Ensure that each student with a disability has access to the general education curriculum and is provided the appropriate learning opportunities, accommodations, adaptations, specialized services and supports needed for the student to progress toward achieving the learning standards and to meet his or her unique needs related to the disability.
The IEP development process is a student-centered process. No other issues, agenda or purposes should interfere with this process.
- Information provided by parents regarding their child’s strengths and needs is a vital part of the evaluation and is considered in developing an IEP.
- All members of the Committee share the responsibility to contribute meaningfully in the development of a student’s IEP and to make recommendations that are based on the student’s present levels of performance and in consideration of the student’s strengths, needs, interests and preferences, and the concerns of the parents for the education of their child.
- CSEs include individuals who know the student and his or her unique needs and who have the authority to commit the school’s resources to address the student’s needs.
- Individuals serving on CSEs can articulate their role and execute their responsibilities on the Committee.
- CSEs include individuals who contribute meaningfully to the discussion of the student's strengths and needs and how those needs can be met in the least restrictive environment.
- The IEP must be developed in such a way that it is a useful document that guides instruction and provides a tool to measure progress.
- The IEP should appropriately address all the student’s unique needs without regard to the current availability of needed services.
- The IEP development process must include steps to ensure IEP implementation.
- All staff with responsibility to implement a student's IEP must be specifically informed of their responsibilities and be provided a copy (or, as appropriate, access to a copy) of the student's IEP.
- Resources necessary for the student's IEP to be implemented must be accessed in a timely manner.
- Systems of progress monitoring of the student's progress toward the annual goals must be established and consistently implemented.
- The student’s parents must be regularly informed of their child’s progress.
This Quality Indicator Review and Resource Guide focuses on three areas essential to a quality CSE and IEP development process
- Individualized Education Program (IEP) Development
IEPs for students with disabilities developed by the CSE/CPSE result in student access, participation and progress in the general education curriculum and address other disability needs of the student.
- Results of individual evaluations provide the information the CSE needs to make its recommendations.
- The student’s strengths and needs guide IEP development.
- The CSE considers the interrelationship of the impact of the student’s disability and the components of the IEP.
- IEP development occurs in a structured, sequential manner.
- IEPs include documentation of recommendations in a clear and specific manner so that the IEP can be implemented consistent with the CSE recommendations.
- Annual goals are identified to enable the student to progress in the general education curriculum and meet other disability related needs.
- The CSE determines how student needs will be met in the least restrictive environment.
- The CSE demonstrates knowledge of grade level general education curricular and behavioral expectations and benchmarks.
- Resource Allocation
The district uses data on the needs of current and future students that are analyzed to determine the procurement, allocation and/or reallocation of resources required to support the CSE process and implement IEP services and supports for students.
- Professional development is provided to CSE members to ensure their understanding of their roles and responsibilities on the CSE.
- The district understands its child find responsibilities to identify students whose needs may need to be addressed by the CSE.
- Students’ needs determine the allocation of personnel and material resources.
- IEP Implementation
IEPS are implemented with fidelity and adjusted based on student response to instruction.
- Ongoing progress monitoring and formative assessment of student progress, goals and objectives are consistently implemented.
- Revisions to the IEP are made based on data indicating changes in student needs or abilities.
- Alignment between the written document and actual practice is evident.
|Indicator: IEP Development|
|Outcome: IEPs for students with disabilities developed by the CSE result in student access, participation and progress in the general education curriculum and address a student's other disability needs.
|Quality Indicators||Look for||Comments/Evidence|
|Results of individual evaluations provide the information the CSE needs to make its recommendations.||
|Student’s strengths and needs guide IEP development.||
|The CSE considers the interrelationship of the impact of the student’s disability and the components of the IEP.||
|IEP development occurs in a structured, sequential manner.||
|IEPs include documentation of recommendations in a clear and specific manner so that the IEP can be implemented consistent with the CSE recommendations.||
|Annual goals are identified to enable the student to progress in the general education curriculum and meet other disability related needs.||
|The CSE determines how student needs will be met in the least restrictive environment.||
|The CSE demonstrates knowledge of grade level general education curricular and behavioral expectations and benchmarks.||
|Dimension: Resource Allocation|
|Outcome: The district uses data on the needs of current and future students to determine the procurement, allocation and/or reallocations of resources required to support the CSE process and implement IEP services and supports for students.
|Quality Indicators||Look For||Comments/Evidence|
|Professional development is provided to CSE members to ensure their understanding of their roles and responsibilities on the CSE.||
|The district understands its child find responsibilities to identify students whose needs may need to be addressed by the CSE.||
|Students’ needs determine the allocation of personnel and material resources.||
|Dimension: IEP Implementation|
|Desired Outcome: IEPs are implemented with fidelity and adjusted based on student response to instruction.
|Quality Indicators||Look for||Comments/Evidence|
|Ongoing progress monitoring and formative assessment of student progress, goals and objectives is consistently implemented.||
|Revisions to the IEP are made based on data indicating changes in student needs or abilities.||
|Alignment between written document and actual practice is evident.||
- Office of Special Education Educational Partnership
- NYS Sample IEP and Guidance Document
- Test Access and Accommodations Manual
- Parts 200 and 201 of the Regulations of the Commissioner of Education
- OSEP Ideas that Work – Tool Kit on Assessing Students with Disabilities
- LEARNet Problem Solving System and Resource Website – Dr. Mark Ylivasker
Data Driven Decision Making
- Intervention Central – Dr. Jim Wright’s website of free tools and resources of academic and behavioral intervention strategies, publications on effective teaching practices, and tools that streamline classroom assessment and intervention.