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Shelby Murphy

IEP Case Study

Towson University

Spring 2017
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Part 1: Background Information

Dante is currently an 8th grade student at Ridgely Middle School and receives

Special Education services as stated in his current IEP. Throughout examining the stu-

dents files, pertinent background information was brought to my attention. Dante was

born in 2003 at 30 weeks due to fetal distress. Dante has a fraternal twin that currently

attends Ridgely as well. Dante was the larger of the two children, weighing 3 lb and 3

oz. For six more weeks, Dante remained hospitalized due to respiratory difficulties. At 6

months, Dante was hospitalized again due to cellulitis. Delays were reported in walking

(12-18 months) and talking (24-30 months). Other than recurrent ear infections and

asthma until 3 years, Dante was reported to be an easy baby.

Dante has been receiving Special Education services since pre-school. In the

2008-2009 school year, a psychological evaluation was conducted and it was noted that

Dante has great difficulty with attention and cooperation. During this time, the student

lived in New York and went to Noxon Road Elementary School in 2011. The students

IEP required Dante to receive counseling, occupational therapy, speech and language

therapy, and special classes. As stated on the IEP, it was determined that it is difficult to

determine Dantes cognitive skills due to his difficulties in sustaining attention and his

unwillingness to participate. On this IEP, Dante had a total of 20 annual goals that he

was to be working towards. The IEP also stated that Dante would require a summer

program during the months of July and August.

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In 2012, Dante moved to Anne Arundel County Public Schools and attended

Odenton Elementary to ensure that his needs were met in a Self-Contained classroom.

January of 2012 a psychological assessment was conducted. Dantes cognitive ability

results fell within the Below-Average range. The parent was interviewed and the Con-

ners Comprehensive Behavior Rating Scales was used to provide information on a

broad range of emotional, behavioral, social, and academic concerns and disorders.

Dantes total academic difficulties score and Hyperactivity/ Impulsivity were scored as

very elevated. The students social problems were scored as elevated. In the class-

room, the student was scored very elevated in the sub scales of upsetting thoughts/

physical symptoms, language, math, aggressive behaviors, hyperactivity, and perfec-

tionistic and compulsive behaviors. It was also stated that Dante displays many charac-

teristics that relate to Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. In March of 2012, there

was a occupational therapy assessment report conducted. The Sensory Processing

Measure showed that there are problems with Dantes social participation, body aware-

ness, balance and motion, and total sensory systems.

In 2015 Dante transferred from Pinewood Elementary and began attending

Ridgely Middle School. Dantes current primary disability is under Other Health Impair-

ments. Dante is provided with his Least Restricted Environment in the general educa-

tion classroom setting. I got to observe this student on multiple occasions and got to sit

in on a meeting that was held about the student failing more than one class. This stu-

dent is currently at risk of repeating the 8th grade and having to come back for summer

school as well.
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Part 2: IEP Process

At Ridgely Middle School, a student must be identified and referred to the spe-

cialists that are involved in the IEP process and team meetings. The referrals can come

from a teacher or a Special Educator that worked with the student. When the student is

brought up, the parent must give permission for the Special Educator to begin testing

the student to determine the needs of the student. The testing and observations of the

student should include behaviors and their academic ability. There is a case manager,

which is usually a Special Educator, assigned to each student that has an IEP. The case

manager is in charge of testing the student, discussing the IEP at meetings, and altering

the IEP as goals are needed or met. During the annual review the parts that may be

looked at or changed include the present levels of the student, goals and objectives,

supplementary aids, and accommodations. At Ridgely Middle, there is a specific day

that is usually a team day and almost all IEP meetings are scheduled on these days.

These meetings at Ridgely usually include a General Educator, the IEP Chair, a Special

Educator/case manager, and the parents. Occasionally the School Psychologist will at-

tend the meetings as well.

In my internship at Ridgely Middle, I have been able to participate and observe at

multiple IEP meetings. As in compliance with IDEA, there are many things that must be

done before the annual meeting date. There must be a meeting prior to the annual that

then gives the Special Educator permission to conduct assessments with the student.

New formal or informal assessments must be given each year. Once completed, the

new documents must be given to the parents 5 days before the meeting. At the meeting,
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students will often come to participate in their IEP and give some input on what works

for them. The parents and the student can request things to be added or taken off if

necessary. The accommodations and supplementary aids must be appropriate for the

student and be proven to be beneficial to the student. The student must be placed in the

least restricted environment (LRE) that still gives them access to the general education

curriculum regardless of what setting they may be in. All of these things must be met

under IDEA. The General Educators role is to provide some feedback on how the stu-

dent is doing in the class and what modifications and accommodations seem to be

working for the student. The IEP Chair runs most of the meeting, introduces everyone,

provides copies of all of the paperwork, and facilitates the meeting. The Special Educa-

tor presents the IEP to the parents, discusses any changes that were made to the IEP,

and goes through the assessments done that show how the student is performing. After

the meeting, the Special Educator must also provide the new IEP to all of the teachers

that work with the student and have them sign off that they were shown the new IEP.

Part 3: IEP Content

Present Levels of Academic Achievement and Functional Performance (PLAAFP)

I had the pleasure of being able to conduct the informal assessments with Dante

and review the results. He completed the Brigance Comprehensive Inventory of Basic

Skills in February of this year. Throughout the reading part of the assessments Dante

performed a 20% on the eighth grade passage without a reader. When Dante was pro-
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vided a reader the student increased his understanding and got a 40%. On a fourth

grade passage the student scored 80% without a reader. During the word identification

portion of the test, Dante scored a 0% on eighth grade words, 40% on seventh grade

words, and a 60% on sixth grade words. Dantes grade equivalent showed to be on a

fourth grade level. The needs that Dante exhibits continue to be phonics and compre-

hension. For the mathematics portion of the informal, Dante would first complete as

much as he could without a calculator and then would be given a calculator after. When

completing calculations without a calculator, Dante scored at a first grade level. When

Dante completed the calculations with a calculator his scores went up to a fifth grade

level. During the problem solving portion, Dante performed at a second grade level

without a reader or a calculator. When given a reader and calculator, Dante performed

at a fourth grade level. Dantes needs in mathematics includes multi-digit addition and

subtraction, division and multiplication, fractions, and problem-solving. For the writing

portion of the informal, Dante scored at a seventh grade level. The needs that Dante still

exhibits are expanded sentence construction, and paragraph construction. Lastly, the

Special Educator and I conducted teacher interviews and observed Dante informally in

his classes. Dantes behavior performance is below grade level expectations. It was

seen that Dante needs constant cues, prompts, and supports to stay on task and submit

his assignments. Dantes behavior needs include on-task behavior and becoming easily

distracted. The results of these informal tests show that Dante needs the accommoda-

tions and supplementary aids that are provided to him so that he may succeed to the

best of his ability.

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Instructional and Testing Accommodations

Under Auditory Presentation Accommodations on Dantes IEP he requires a hu-

man reader or audio recording for verbatim reading of entire test. This was a continua-

tion from the old IEP. Under Multi-Sensory Presentation Accommodations he is give the

opportunity for text to speech software for verbatim reading of the entire test as well as

text to speech software for selected sections of the test. The accommodation provided

for selected sections of reading was new to this IEP to give Dante the option of having

the test read verbatim or just selected sections as well. During the meeting Dante

agreed with this request due to the fact that he said he does not always need the whole

entire test read to him. Under the Response Accommodations, Dante receives a scribe

to write for him and mathematics tools and calculation devices. These accommodations

are being continued from his old IEP. The informal assessments showed that the use of

a calculator is a need for Dante and he agreed when asked in the meeting. Under the

Timing and Scheduling Accommodations the students amount of extended time

changed on the new IEP. The student now receives extended time of 20 minutes in-

stead of the number being a percent. Dante also continues to receive multiple or fre-

quent breaks, reduced distractions to the student, and reduced distractions to other stu-

dents. The rest of the accommodations that Dante receives are specifically put on his

IEP for PARCC testing. Dante will receive text to speech for the mathematics assess-

ments, small group testing, human reader/human signer for the ELA/Literacy assess-

ments, including items, response options and passages, calculation device and mathe-

matics tools, mathematics response human scribe, ELA/Literacy constructed response

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human scribe, and extended time 20 minutes. These accommodations have all have

been shown to be effective through the informal assessments and the documentation

from teachers.

IEP Goals and Objectives

In the reading section of Dantes goals and objectives, he has a continuation of

two of his goals. The first reading goal is that when given grade level text that includes

syllabication patterns and morphology, Dante will decode the text with no more than 5

errors in 1 out of 5 reading activities as measured by teacher running record. The three

objectives that coincide this goal are continued as well from the old IEP. Objective one

continues to be when given an unfamiliar word in a text, Dante will break the word into

syllables in 1 out of 5 targeted trials. Objective two continues to be when given an un-

familiar word in a text, Dante will identify the roots and affixes 1 out of 5 targeted trials.

The last objective for this goal is when given a grade level text, Dante will be able to use

word meanings and order in sentences to confirm decoding efforts. The second contin-

ued reading goal for Dante is after reading a text written at grade level, Dante will sup-

port a central idea or key conclusion of the text by using 2 or more pieces of textual evi-

dence to support their analysis for 3 out of 5 texts. This goal was lowered from 4 out of

5 texts to now be 3 out of 5 to make this goal more accessible for Dante. Objective one

states that given a grade level text, Dante will highlight relevant pieces of textual evi-

dence that supports the central idea 3 out of 5 targeted trials. Objective two states that

given a grade level text, Dante will be able to justify the supporting evidence he chose,
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either orally or in writing 3 out of 5 targeted trials. Dante has one continued written lan-

guage goal on his IEP. By March 2018, during a writing activity in the classroom, when

writing a paragraph with multiple sentences, Dante will use a variety of sentence struc-

tures to signal differing relationships among ideas, according to a teacher-created

rubric, for 3 out of 5 writing sessions. Objective one states that Dante will be able to

generate ideas and topics for writing 3 out of 5 targeted trials. Objective two states that

Dante will be able to dictate or write sentences related to ideas or illustrations 3 out of 5

targeted trials. Both of the reading goals and the writing goal for Dante are included as

an Extended School Year (ESY) as well. Dante has one mathematics goal as well that is

continued from the previous IEP. By March 2018, when given a series of five real-world

problems involving rational numbers, and requiring any of the four operations, Dante will

select an operation and solve 3 out of 5 problems correctly with 50% accuracy. The pre-

vious goal had Dante performing with 60% accuracy but to make the goals and objec-

tives more accessible, it is now 50% accuracy. Objective one states that when given

real-world word problems, Dante will highlight the key, relevant details and/or words with

50% accuracy. Objective two states that when given real-world word problems, Dante

will identify and use the correct operation(s) needed to solve the problem with 50% ac-

curacy. Lastly, Dante has two continued behavior goals. The first goal states that by

March 2018, when participating in an activity, Dante will actively work on the assigned

task(s), use attentive posture, and will refrain from off-task behaviors for the duration of

the activity, for 4 out of 5 activities. The first objective states that Dante will respond ap-

propriately to constructive feedback 4 out of 5 targeted trials. The second objective

states that when given cues and support from the guidance counselor, Dante will use
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his words to appropriately express feelings of frustration and/or anger 4 out of 5 target-

ed trials. The third objective states that Dante will speak appropriately to those around

him when he becomes angry or frustrated 4 out of 5 targeted trials. The second behav-

ior goal states that by March of 2018, when given a directive, Dante will demonstrate

compliance by looking at the person and saying okay or nodding his head within 10

seconds then completing the directive and will refrain from engaging in non-compliant

behavior for 3 out of 5 directives given. The first objective states that when given a di-

rection from an adult, Dante will appropriately acknowledge the person and the directive

3 out of 5 targeted trials. The second objective states that when given a direction from

an adult, Dante will avoid non-compliant behavior 3 out of 5 targeted trials. Dante has

academic goals that he needs to reach as well as he needs to work on his on-task be-

havior so that the work can be a more accurate representation of what he is capable of.

Supplementary Aids and Services, Program Modifications, and Supports

Under the Supplementary Aids section, all of the supports that Dante receives

have been continued onto his new IEP due to the fact that he still shows a need for

them. The Supplementary Aids include:

Allows use of manipulatives.

Other Instructional Supports

Use of word bank to reinforce vocabulary and/or when extended writing is required.

Limit amount to be copied from board.

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Provide student with copy of student/teacher notes.

Allow use of organizational aids.

Instructional supports will be provided within all school classrooms/settings as

needed including having Dante repeat and/or paraphrase information, repetition

of directions, provide a multi-sensory approach to learning, simple, uncluttered

visual supports to be paired as possible with verbal instruction, provide multi-step

directions one direction at a time. As Dante continues to progress through grade

levels, he needs to be provided with assistance when copying and taking notes.

Assistance needs to be provided when copying from the board. When Dante

gets behind, adult assistant needs to step in to help him catch up. Limiting the

amount he is required to copy, only having him copy the essential material will

help Dante keep up more efficiently. For extended note-taking, a copy of teacher

notes will be provided. Providing Dante with a word bank to reinforce vocabulary

as well as when writing extended writing assignments will aid in task completion.

Altered/Modified assignments.

Delete extraneous information on assignments and assessments when possible.

Use pictures to support reading passages whenever possible.

Chunking of texts.

Other Program Modifications

Choice responses when answering higher level questions.

Program modifications will be provided as needed within all school settings. As-

signments should be modified to meet Dantes Instructional needs. Limiting

choices and providing picture cues when appropriate will help increase Dantes
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understanding. Deleting extraneous information from worksheets can include

whiting out unnecessary information, or covering up part of the page with a cover

sheet. This will help Dante focus on only part of the page. Picture clues and

choices need to be provided to help Dante learn new vocabulary in all subject


Choices will be provided to the student for higher level questions asked by the

teacher so as to assist with expressive and receptive language.

Provide manipulatives and/or sensory activities to promote listening and focusing


Strategies to initiate and sustain attention.

Sensory activities will be provided as needed within the classroom and other

school settings. Additional adult support will be provided throughout the day to

assist in implementing the behavior chart, providing structure during transitions

and less structured times such as physical education, redirecting student to task,

modifying assignments, etc. Support will be provided to help Dante initiate and

sustain his attention. This support will include using the cue: eyes on me, gaining

his attention before giving directions, proximity control, and visual cues to help

cue him to follow directions, and stay on task.

Adult Support

Additional adult support will be provided within the inclusion classrooms daily.

The adult assistant will provide opportunities to facilitate social interactions with

peers and adults, aid in focusing attention to instruction in small and large group

setting, help Dante remain on-task and complete tasks given, implement the be-
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havior chart, provide structure during transitions and less structured times such

as physical education, redirect student, modify assignments, and follow direc-

tions and classroom rules.

Part 4: Reflection

When it was time to send out the IEP notice for the annual review, all of the rele-

vant information required under IDEA was included for the parent. The parent got a no-

tice a week before the meeting that provided the date, time, a description of the meet-

ing, and a copy of the IEP documents. The timelines for evaluation, eligibility, and IEP

development were followed in accordance to IDEA as well. When at the meeting, the

required people were present included: The IEP Chair, a Special Educator, a General

Educator, and the parents. All of the members of the meeting sat at a large oval table in

a very small room. The IEP Chair sat at one end of the table, the General Educator sat

across from her, the parents sat beside the two of them, and the Special Educator and I

sat across from the parents/student at the table. I feel that this was the best seating

arrangement because I think that it is vital to sit at a position where the family feels that

they can be involved. The Special Educator and I sat directly across from the parents

which made them feel actively involved in the process of their childs IEP. At the begin-

ning of the meeting, the IEP Chair gave the parents a new copy of the Procedural Safe-

guards and explained to the parent any changes that may have been added since the

last time they went over the Safeguards document. The parent stated that they under-

stood the Procedural Safeguards and they did not have any further questions at this
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time. The IEP Chair introduced all of the individuals at the table, started off the meeting,

and passed around all of the legal papers that must be signed before and after the

meeting. The General Educator provided the family feedback on Dantes performance in

their classroom, his current grade, and what his strengths and weaknesses seem to be.

There was also written feedback from multiple of Dantes General Educators that was

read aloud for the parents as well. The Special Educator in the meeting presented the

IEP sections that have changed and stated it in a way that parents could fully under-

stand. These sections include PLAAFP, Supplementary Aids, Accommodations, and

Goals and Objectives. While going over the Accommodations and Supplementary Aids

sections, the student was asked what works best for them and if there were any

changes that he felt he needed. I believe this was vital to the meeting because you want

the students feedback and for them to advocate for themselves. This caused for a great

deal of collaboration between the parents, the student, and the Special Educator on

how we can best help this student succeed.

During this meeting, I provided some feedback on Dantes behavior and his test

results from when I got the chance to work with him throughout the informal assess-

ments. This meeting occurred very early on in my internship, so I observed my mentor

and participated to the best of my ability. Although I did not participate in this meeting

very much, this meeting prepared me for the future meetings that I did present in. In a

later meeting, I presented an IEP to a family and I believe that I was able to present ef-

fectively due to the fact that I was so involved in Dantes IEP process. During Dantes

IEP meeting I felt confident about my knowledge of the student because of how closely I

worked with developing the IEP, testing the student, and observing him in his other
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classes. This allowed me to become very involved in the IEP document itself and un-

derstand the entirety of the contents. I got to see first-hand how the assessments are

completed, how assessments are scored, what accommodations and supplementary

aids work well for the student, and how this all effected the content in the IEP. This ex-

perience helped me greatly to prepare myself for the future IEP meetings that I would

be involved in as well.