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IEP: The Process

The present level of educational performance is a written description of the student's strengths, weakness, and learning styles. Based upon information from a comprehensive evaluation, these descriptions are both concise and meaningful. Also, they identify a student's needs. Because the annual goals and short term instructional objectives are based on the information contained in the present level of educational performance, it is the foundation of the IEP. The following are key components of the present level of educational performance:

  1. The present level of educational performance statements should describe the student's strengths, especially in the deficit areas. By including a description of what the student can do, one will know where to begin writing the annual goals and short term instructional objectives and where to begin the instructional program. Descriptions should provide concise and meaningful information about the student and should be free of educational jargon.
  2. The present level of educational performance statements should describe specific weaknesses demonstrated by the student. The weaknesses should be stated in simple language that is free of educational jargon and which describes specific student behaviors.
  3. The present level of educational performance statements should reflect the results of the evaluation(s). These statements are based upon data acquired from administering a variety of diagnostic procedures such as, formal/informal test, observations, anecdotal records, and interviews. Simple statements referring to diagnostic procedures and instruments can indicate the information is based on evaluation data and not opinion. Examples of these include:
    • Classroom observation confirms
    • Interviews with parents and teachers indicate
    • A review of completed homework assignments revealed
    • From administering the Woodcock Johnson Revised, Part II on
  4. An explanation of any test score referred to in the present level of educational performance should be provided. Explain a test score succinctly.
  5. The present level of educational performance should incorporate information regarding the student's learning style including a description of the techniques and/or materials that have proven particularly to be effective or ineffective.
  6. The present level of educational performance should avoid statements of where, when, or how special education services will be provided. This information does not belong in this section of the IEP and cannot be determined until the goals and objectives are developed.

Remember, the present level of educational performance should avoid statements of where, when, or how special education services will be provided. This information does not belong in this section of the IEP and cannot be determined until the goals and objectives are developed.

Final outcomes of the students program

These are those behaviors and skills that one would expect from the student upon graduation or exit from the school setting.

The IEP committee needs to articulate these outcomes in their discussions so that the development of annual goals and short term objectives plot a logical and purposeful course for the student. This will also assist the IEP committee in looking at transitional services that need to be addressed in the IEP. There are three skill areas which should be considered:

  • What academic and occupational skills will the student need?
  • What social and communicative skills will be needed for successful social interactions and interpersonal relationships?
  • What personal management skills will be required for independent living?

Present level of educational performance checklist

QUESTIONS IEP # IEP # IEP # IEP #
1. Does the present level of educational performance statements list strengths of the student especially those in each problem area?        
2. Does it list weakness of the student in each problem area?        
3. Is it based on information gathered from a combination of diagnostic procedures        
a. formal testing?
       
b. informal testing?
       
c. observations?
       
d. samples of the students work?
       
e. case history/current educational records?
       
4. Are the instructions or processes used in the evaluation identified?        
5. Does it contain statements on:        
a. instructional needs?
       
b. style of learning?
       
c. instructional materials(s) that have or have not been used successfully with the student?
       
6. Is the information instructionally relevant?        
7. Is it written in understandable language?        

(1999)