Your principal has come to you as a member of the Child Study Team and asked you to present an inservice to the classroom teachers of your building about their role in the IEP process. Provide detailed information about your presentation, helping teachers to understand how important their input and collaborative efforts will be to the Team process. Classroom teachers need to do a number of things as participants in the IEP process. It is, after all, a process that is ongoing from the time a child’s problem is observed until the child is identified as a special education student. Even after that, the classroom teacher, as part of the Team, is a valuable participant in the success of the child. First, teachers need to be observant and cognizant of the abilities and inabilities of his/her students as compared to the age and grade level of the rest of the students in his/her classroom. In this way, he/she can determine whether the differences noted are obvious enough to result in a discrepancy between achievement and ability and detrimental enough to the child’s success to warrant a comprehensive evaluation. Next, he/she needs to document, document, document—document behaviors, document strategies attempted, and document the results of those strategies—did they work or didn’t they? All classroom teachers should be trained and involved in the GEST (General Education Support Team) process. This process looks at regular education students and determines whether the performance the classroom teacher noted is poor enough to justify referral to the Child Study Team. Some teachers are trained better than others in the IEP and GEST process and some teachers, especially those new to the system or new to the profession are so overwhelmed that they see referral as just another thing added to their “already too full plate.” The Child Study Team, comprised of the school principal, psychologist, nurse, social worker, speech language...
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