When I asked the IEP team about my daughter’s Summary of Performance, I got the “deer in the headlights” look – they didn’t even know what it was. We finally got one in late summer when my daughter was already out of high school. What is the intent of a Summary of Performance? What should it look like?
When your child graduates from high school with a regular diploma or “ages out” of special education, IDEA requires the school to provide a “summary of academic achievement and functional performance.” The Summary of Performance (SOP) should include recommendations about ways to help your child meet post-secondary goals.
The SOP must be completed during the final year of high school. It is most useful when completed during the transition IEP process when your child has the opportunity to actively participate in the development of this summary. The SOP should contain the most updated information on academic achievement and performance, and include your child’s abilities and aspirations.
The information in the Summary of Performance should be based on your child’s unique needs and her goals after she graduates from high school, although IDEA does not spell out specifically what the SOP must contain. The intent of the SOP is to provide crucial information to those people who may assist your child in the future.
Since specific information that must be included in the SOP will vary by state, parents should become familiar with their state’s requirements. You should check to see if your state Department of Education has developed a policy on the SOP development process.
The National Secondary Transition Technical Assistance Center (NSTTAC) provides links to State Summary of Performance (SOP) forms as well as other state transition resources. Click on any state on the National Resources Map to see that state’s Summary of Performance form (if available) and information and resources relating to transition.
In 2005, the National Transition Documentation Summit, a group of secondary and postsecondary representatives, rehabilitation specialists, consumer advocates, and parents, produced a model template for the Summary of Performance. It is available to be freely copied or adapted for educational purposes.
You’ll find more information, a link to the NSTTAC State Resources Map, Q and As, and a link to download a copy of the model template.