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Originally published on August 17, 2021 to address lost IEP services due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The concepts addressed in this blog, however, can be applied to any situation

in which a student loses services due to various circumstances that could occur.

As we move forward as IEP teams to address lost IEP services for students, there are 4 areas to consider as a student may

need to have their S.M.A.R.T.E.R. Steps® goals addressed through make-up services, compensatory services, or covid-impact services.

The Four Areas to Consider:

1) Review concepts: Regression, Rebound, and Lack of Instruction/Intervention

2) Review techniques to determine impact of lost services

3) Create a framework for the future on how to address lost services

4) Determine next steps in collaborative partnerships with the IEP team for solutions

STEP ONE: Review Concepts

Concept 1: Regression: “A return to a former of less developed state.”

-You were working on it
-You had it, then you lost it
-You are not progressing, you are steadily going backwards or staying still
-How much time is of significance to note? 3-6 month

Concept 2: Rebound during Regression phase

  • Rebound means “bounce back”
  • You were working on it
  • You had it, then you lost it
  • You came back and made up for the lost ground and regained lost skills (recoupment)
  • How much time did it take you to make up for it?
  • Now, you start progressing

Concept 3: Lack of Instruction or Intervention

  • You were NOT working on it
  • Is that regression? Depends…
  • Why was the Goal not addressed?
  • Team decision to not address the goal this cycle and prioritize another area?
  • Student had outside event that caused the team to table the goal?
  • Related Reasons?

STEP TWO: Review Techniques to Determine Impact of Losses

  • Data Review
  • Documentation
  • Discussion

First: Gather Student Data

  • PLAFP impact (basis for goal)
  • Goal (is it measurable?)
  • Baseline
  • Progress monitoring at regular intervals (daily, weekly, biweekly, monthly, etc.)
  • Notes (SOAP or otherwise) that gives qualitative documentation on progress/lack of progress and impeding factors

Second: Analyze Data: Analysis after reinitiating services

  • Consider Student’s current status after loss of services (regression/rebound)
  • Compare the student’s current performance to where they would expect it to be had there not been a loss of services
  • Determine within reason, (based on data) if the student will recoup lost skills

Third: Discuss Data: After reviewing data and student’s academic and functional performance on goals:

  • Review progress in the classroom/carryover
  • Discuss data, progress and any concerns with IEP team
  • Gather/consider input from teachers and parents
  • Collaboratively review the student’s progress and any lasting impact from loss of service

STEP THREE: Create a Framework to Address Lost Services

  • Review Guidance Memos and Documents from U.S. Dept of Education, State Dept. of Education, and Local education agencies
  • Data tracking analysis and other documentation
  • Collaborative determination with parents, student, and other educators

Concepts to Consider for Compensatory Services:

  • Compensatory Services = Owed service minutes
  • Did the school make good faith reasonable attempts to provide FAPE to the greatest extent possible during the time frame of loss of services?
  • What is a good faith reasonable attempt?
  • What is the greatest extent possible?
  • And WHO decides that? IEP team members collaboratively including parents, student, and school staff

In case of a dispute, this could be decided through other processes such as a Facilitated IEP meeting, State Child Complaint, Mediation, or Due Process Hearing

  • HOW will this be decided?

-Documentation of reasonable attempts: frequency and logical lay-out of attempt

-Documentation of changes to the IEP via meetings or addendum meetings

-Evidence of the alternative methods of instruction/programming provided and the progress data on the goals with that alternative delivery method

-Data reflective of regression, rebound, and/or lack of instruction/intervention

-Emails from district, school staff, and parents discussing concerns/successes

-Other factors: Variety of issues could be discussed example: Staff locked out of building: no access to student info, unable to reach parents, etc.

-Illnesses of staff, parent, students due to COVID-19 in timeframe

STEP FOUR: Moving Forward

It is important to distinguish between “could not” provide FAPE vs. “would not” provide FAPE in your documentation.

IEP teams should they consider what services {and supports} the student needs moving forward. Teams can identify, through the use of progress monitoring data, each student’s functional performance in relevant curriculum areas.

Then, IEP teams compare the student’s current performance to where they would expect it to be had there not been a loss of services.

When a Goal is NOT Addressed…

  • Needs to be explained in the Present Level of Academic & Functional Performance
  • Could be discussed at end of Impact Statement
  • Could be discussed in Parent Concerns Section
  • Could be discussed in Changes in Current Functioning since Prior IEP
  • Could be discussed in Evaluation Results Section

Determine next steps in collaborative partnerships with the IEP team for solutions

  • The LEA will need to make a decision on whether they will provide or refuse compensatory services.
  • They will issue Prior Written Notice (or Notice of Action) related to their decision.
  • If it’s a refusal, then the parent can move forward and file a child complaint, mediation, or due process related to that decision if they choose.
  • AND next, a discussion of appropriate Impact Services and Supports should be taking place by the team. (or whatever your state requirements include

If it is determined that additional services are necessary, IEP teams develop IEPs that include services {and supports} designed to help the student bridge any gap in performance between where the student is and where the student was expected to be.

  • Parents: Create your list of Parent Concerns and ideas for addressing the issues
  • School Staff: Review your students goal progress and develop your ideas for addressing the issues
  • Reconvene an IEP meeting or Addendum meeting (School or Parent initiated)
  • Review the parent concerns and goal progress data and then have an open dialogue about impact of lost services
  • Document this information in the IEP
  • Make a collaborative plan

Would you like to know more? Register with Xceptional Ed and obtain CEUs to take this course https://xceptionallearning.com/events-and-conferences/

 

 

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