Present Levels in the IEP – Only the School’s Perspective?

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The school sent us a “draft” Present Level of Performance for math and told us our feedback was welcome.

We wrote our draft and sent it back to the school.

When reviewing the draft at the IEP meeting, the school told us the present levels could only be the school’s perspective. The team would not be discussing our draft, or our concerns.

Is this legal?

It would be interesting to see the rule, regulation, statute, or local policy that restricts the Present Levels to input from the school only – or “only the school’s perspective.”

Politely tell the school you’re confused about this, and ask (in writing) for a written copy of the policy to clarify.

Parents talk with psychologist about recent psycho-educational evaluation

There is nothing in the federal statute or regulations that says the law does not allow parent input. But don’t depend on this post – learn for yourself what the law says.

Check your Wrightslaw: Special Education Law book, p. 99 & 245.
20 U.S.C. 1414(d) and 34 CFR 300.320.

The IEP (that includes the written statement of Present Levels) is developed, reviewed, revised… in a meeting in accordance with sections 34 CFR 300.320 through 300.324.

These sections speak to the make-up of the IEP Team, that includes (listed first), the parent of the child, and parent participation in the IEP.

Some states actually have a place in the Present Levels section for parent input.

For example, see the PA annotated IEP form (2018) page 13, 14 for the Present Levels section that asks for “Parental concerns for enhancing the education of the student.”

Read what IDEA says about the development of the IEP. Again, check your Law book page 103.  20 U.S.C 1414(d)(3)

Development of IEP

(A) In General. In developing each child’s IEP, the IEP Team, subject to subparagraph (C), shall consider

(i) the strengths of the child;

(ii) the concerns of the parents for enhancing the education of their child; [emphasis added]

Note: You must document all your concerns in writing. If you have questions about what the school told you, be sure to write a letter to the school to document your concerns.

More about Present Levels

Present Levels – the Foundation of the IEP

Present Levels in the IEP – What’s So Important

More strategies for adding input to the IEP.

  1. Can a school district edit the IEP parental concerns section? We have had an IEP for our son since he was classified as pre-school disabled. Now he’s a Junior in high school and this is the first time we saw rebuttals to our parental concerns–the same concerns that we also shared at our son’s IEP meeting. I have never had any IEP team member do that before. There’s even a statement at the end of the parental concerns that indicating that “this information in the parental concerns section is the opinion of the parents and is solely the perspective of the parents.” The section is titled “parental concerns. And the irony here is that we included concerns from a specialist’s report that was accepted by the IEP as my son’s re-evaluation.

  2. The district Special Ed Director for our district in San Luis Obispo California says the notes section of the IEP (SELPA form) are not a part of the IEP. Is that true? Does that mean if the multiple diagnosis are not added under diagnosis on the front page they are not legally actionable/enforceable. They want to just put two and leave the other two equally important CAPD and dyslexia off. Can you clarify?

    • Deah, Chuck is right. Notes and other comments ARE part of your child’s IEP.

      Chuck also recommended you contract your state Parent Training & Information Center (PTI) for help. I second that recommendation! I checked our Yellow Pages for Kids site – the Directory of PTIs for all states is here:

      You live in N. CA where there are several PTIs and Community Parent Resource Centers. These folks are experts in helping parents with parent-school problems.

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