The Special Ed Advocate Newsletter
March 29, 2005

Issue - 303
ISSN: 1538-3202

In this Issue

1. Take the IEP Quiz

2. Answers to Your Questions About IEPs

3. Game Plan: How to Write IEP Goals & Objectives

4. IEP Tutorials: SMART IEPs

5. IEP Checklists

6. Back to Basics: IEP FAQs

7. Wrightslaw Programs in AZ, NH, IL

8. IDEA 2004: What's New?

9. Order Free Pub: Guide to the IEP

10. Subscription & Contact Info

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At Wrightslaw, our goals are to help you gain the information and skills you need to navigate the confusing world of special education. In this issue, we look at IEPs and IDEA 2004.

Highlights: Take the IEP Quiz; answers to your questions about IEPs; game plan - how to write IEP goals & objectives; IEP tutorials & checklists; frequently asked questions about IEPs; Wrightslaw programs in AZ, NH, IL; IDEA 2004 - What's New; order free pub about IEPs.

Quote of the Week: "Remember that 'measurable' means you can count it or observe it." (To learn who said this and why, scroll down to the tutorials about writing measurable IEP goals and objectives.)

The Special Ed Advocate newsletter is free - please forward this issue or the subscription link to your friends and colleagues so they can learn about special education law and advocacy too. We appreciate your help! Download this issue.

Flyers! Do you want to help others learn about special education law and advocacy? Please print and distribute the Wrightslaw flyer. Where? At schools, doctor's offices, hospitals, libraries, day care centers! Flyer in pdf  List of flyers

1. Take the IEP Quiz

Over the next few weeks, The Special Ed Advocate will focus on IEPs, FAPE (free appropriate public education), ESY (extended school year), and advocacy strategies to negotiate for a good program and resolve disputes.

If you visit Wrightslaw, you are likely to have questions about IEPs. Test your knowledge - take our IEP Quiz (you'll receive answers by email).
After you review your score, go to the IEP Page for articles, strategies, tips, law and regulations, and free publications about IEPs and IEP meetings.

2. Answers to Your Questions about IEPs

Many parents and teachers have questions about IEPs. In this issue, we answer questions about long-term planning, transition, and accountability.

"The school wants us to write a vision statement. Do you have advice about how parents can make long-term plans?" Read Long-term Planning & Your Child's IEP

"I want my son to be prepared to enter the workforce when he leaves school. How can we get vocational goals in his IEP?" Sue Heath answers this dad's question in Making the Transition from School to Work.

"My child has made little progress in her special education program. The school says I agreed to their IEPs so I can't complain. Who is responsible for providing an appropriate education?" Read our answer to this parent's question Who is Responsible for Providing an Appropriate IEP?

In Doing Your Homework, Sue Heath answers questions about IEPs, reading, retention, and No Child Left Behind.

More Frequently Asked Questions

3. Game Plan: How to Write IEP Goals & Objectives

Diane writes, "Help! I need good IEP goals and objectives!"

"I know my son's IEP is inadequate - the only goal is 'Commitment to academic success.' I need to find good measurable IEP goals and objectives. Can you point me to a source or site that has a model of a well-written IEP?"

Mary writes, "Help! I need good IEP goals and objectives!"

"I am a new special education teacher. I need to find good IEP goals and objectives - I don't have experience with this. Can you point me in the right direction?"

Parents, teachers, school administrators - it seems that everyone is confused about how to write measurable IEP goals and objectives. Why are IEP goals and objectives so difficult? What makes the IEP process so confusing? 

Read Game Plan: How to Write IEP Goals and Objectives.

Be sure to read SMART IEPs
(SMART IEPs are specific, measurable, use action words, are realistic, and time-limited) (chapter 12 in Wrightslaw: From Emotions to Advocacy)

Learn more about IEPs

4. IEP Tutorials: How to Write SMART IEPs

The IEP Tutorials (below) are memoranda
from Dr. Nissan Bar-Lev to his special education staff. You can use these articles and checklists to help you write IEP goals or fine-tune your skills.

In How to Write Measurable Annual Goals, Dr. Bar-Lev writes, "Remember that 'measurable' means you can count it or observe it."

In How to Make Annual Goals Measurable: Examples, Dr. Bar-Lev uses IEP goals from his staff, explains why the goals are not clear or measurable, then walks you through the process of revising the goals so they are SMART - specific, measurable, use action words, are realistic, and time-limited.

Nissan Bar-Lev is the special ed director of the Cooperative Educational Service Agency No. 7 (CESA-7) in Green Bay, Wisconsin. CESA-7 won first place in the Wrightslaw Best School Website Contest. The CESA-7 site is a rich source of information for parents and teachers. We encourage you to visit this website - you'll be glad you did!

5. IEP Checklists

Make several copies of these one-page checklists to share with your child's IEP team.

Present Levels of Performance Checklist

Annual Goals Checklist

Short Term Objectives and Benchmarks Checklist

IEP Review Checklist

Advocacy Tip: When you make copies of these checklists, bring more than your IEP team will need - leave extra copies for the next IEP team.

Our thanks to Nissan Bar-Lev, Donita O'Donnell, and the staff of Cooperative Educational Service Agency #7 (CESA) for permission to use these checklists.

6. Back to the Basics: Frequently Asked Questions About IEPs

If you are a new parent or a seasoned special ed veteran, you will learn something new in Frequently Asked Questions About IEPs. This article includes 14 Qs & As about IEP teams, placement, related services, and more.

My child is eligible - what happens next?
What is an IEP?
Who develops my child's IEP?
What can I do to prepare for the IEP meeting?
What are related services? What is assistive technology?
How is placement decided? What options do I have?
Can my child's IEP be changed?

Frequently Asked Questions about IEPs. Learn more about IEPs

7. Coming Up! Wrightslaw Programs in Arizona, New Hampshire, Illinois

Wrightslaw Special Education Law and Advocacy Training Programs focus on four areas: special education laws including significant changes in IDEA 2004; how to use the bell curve to measure educational progress & regression; SMART IEPs; and advocacy tactics & strategies.

Glendale, AZ: April 1-2, 2005 (Boot Camp)

Manchester, NH: May 6-7, 2005

Springfield, IL - May 13-14, 2005 (Boot Camp)

All participants receive two books, Wrightslaw: Special Education Law and Wrightslaw: From Emotions to Advocacy, (Value: $59.90), and our new publication, The Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act of 2004: Overview, Explanation and Comparison of IDEA 2004 & IDEA 97 by Peter Wright.

If you are interested in bringing a Wrightslaw program to your community, please read FAQs about Seminars.

8. IDEA 2004: What's New?

IDEA 2004 will affect Spring IEP meetings, even though the law does not go into effect until July 1, 2005. For a step-by-step review of changes in IDEA 2004, join an IDEA webcast on Thursday, April 14, 2005 at 1:00 PM EDT.

The webcast is being be produced by the National Association of Protection and Advocacy Systems (NAPAS).

Learn more about the webcast: IDEA 2004: What's New?

More special ed news.

9. Free Pub: Guide to the IEP

The heart of your child's special education program is the Individualized Education Program (IEP). This publication will teach you how to write IEP goals that target problems and measure progress.

A Guide to the Individualized Education Program from the U. S. Department of Education teaches you how to write IEPs that improve teaching, learning, and educational results. A Guide to the IEP includes: IEP contents; IEP team members; writing the IEP; placement decisions; implementing the IEP; revising and revising the IEP; resolving disagreements; a sample IEP form; information and resources; federal regulations and guidance for IEPs. Download

Advocacy Tip: Order free copies of A Guide to the IEP for every member of your child's IEP team. How? Contact ED Pubs, Editorial Publications Center, P O Box 1398, Jessup, MD 20794. Phone: 877-4-ED-PUBS

Visit our Free Pubs page to download free publications about IEPs, special education, transition planning, reading, children's mental health, harassment, high-stakes testing, retention and social promotion, zero tolerance and discipline.

10. Subscription & Contact Info

The Special Ed Advocate is a free online newsletter about special education legal and advocacy issues, cases, and tactics and strategies. Subscribers receive "alerts" about new cases, events, and special offers on Wrightslaw books.

Law Library Seminars & Training
Advocacy Yellow Pages for Kids
No Child Left Behind Free Newsletter
IDEA 2004 Newsletter Archives

Contact Info
Pete and Pam Wright
Wrightslaw & The Special Ed Advocate
P. O. Box 1008
Deltaville, VA 23043
Website: https://www.wrightslaw.com
Email: newsletter@wrightslaw.com

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