Do you have accurate and up-to-date information about your child for the present level section of his IEP? If the present levels don’t accurately reflect where your child is currently performing, then beneficial SMART goals can’t possibly be created accurately.
The kids that came home to do virtual schooling last Spring are not the same today. Many of them have regressed. Even more, they are worried about their place in the world and what will change next.
Their IEPs need to reflect who they are and what they need now (not who they were a year ago).
Present Level of Performance The Most Important Part of an IEP Explained
Does Your Child Have a Quality IEP?
An IEP is a roadmap to an excellent educational program for your child. Good IEPs are essential to ensure that your child has the support in class to make good academic progress. Even though IEPs are so necessary, not all IEPs are quality IEPs.
An essential section of your child’s IEP is the present level of performance of academic achievement and functional performance. IDEA requires that every IEP have a present level or “PLOP” for short.
The IEP is written based on what is in the PLOP. It gives the information needed to:
- Write the goals
- Supplemental aids needed
- It helps determine the services required to make academic progress.
Every area that your child receives academic services should have a unique present level. This section must have specific information in it detailed below.
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Data Sources are Essential in the Present Level Section
A well-written present level section should have multiple data sources to tell where the child is functioning in a given area. Various sources are necessary because children often perform differently on different tasks and different days.
If there is only one data source, it might give an incomplete picture of where your child is functioning.
Data sources could include:
- Informal assessments created by the teacher
- Curriculum assessments
- Formal assessments
An assessments’ sources should test that specific area. Any accommodations provided during the assessment must be listed when discussing the scores.
For example, if your child uses a calculator or verbatim reading on the assessment, it should be noted.
At the IEP meeting, ask for work samples that show your child’s performance in the given academic area. The present level section should also have data from where the student was performing previously and explain the amount of growth or decline the student has made in the given area.
What Else Should Be Listed in the Present Level Section of the IEP?
#1 Strengths and Weaknesses
The present level section should include your child’s strengths and weaknesses in each area.
- It should ideally reference the state standards for academic achievement in this area and the gap from where your child performs.
- Your child’s missing pre-requisite skills to meet the state standard should be listed.
For example, if the state standard is subtracting with regrouping, but your child has not mastered two-digit subtraction without regrouping, that will be listed here.
This will help drive the writing of goals tailored to your child’s specific needs in a given area.
#2 Strategies Previously Used
The present level section should discuss what strategies your child has previously used. It also needs to list which ones worked and which ones have not been successful.
If a strategy benefits your child, you want to ensure it is also on the IEP as a supplemental aid and service or accommodation.
Additional IEP Resources
What part of the IEP do you struggle with understanding? Drop it in the comments below so we can help.
Here are other resources we have to help you with your child’s IEP:
- 7 Steps Of The IEP Process
- What are Accommodations and Modifications in Special Education?
- 5 Tips Parents Can Use To Help Create An Effective IEP
- IEP – 4 Simple Ways To Monitor Progress
Do you have a child that needs one on one assistance?
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