Access to Academic and Nonacademic Learning

School design encourages and supports opportunities for all students.

High school teacher assisting students on an assignment.

Full access to academic and non-academic learning for all students refers to school design that encourages and supports opportunities for all students.

The IEP is a document that addresses how a student’s disability impacts his or her ability to access the general curriculum and make meaningful progress. Educators are challenged with writing IEPs that address the unique learning needs of the student, while staying aligned with the same grade-level standards that apply to all students.

Standards of Practice

5.1 Students have standard-based IEPs where goals are aligned to grade-level standards.

5.2 The IEP team determines the amount of specially designed instruction based on the student’s need to achieve the IEP goal/s and not based on the length of class periods.

5.3 Students are provided instruction on the IEP process empowering them to participate as a team member.

5.4 Instruction outside of the general education classroom utilize evidence-based practices and is aligned to standards.

5.5 Students who receive instruction outside of the general education classroom are provided with learning opportunities via small group instruction.

5.6 Community-based instruction is designed to meet the student’s IEP goals.

5.7 Instructional activities and assessments are age and grade appropriate for all students including those with the most severe disabilities.

Teacher assists a secondary student

5.8 Adaptive/assistive technology is available and used to support student access to the curriculum-based instruction and across settings.

5.9 Extracurricular school activities are accessible for all students given their IEP supports.

5.10 A formal peer tutoring program is in place where all students have the opportunity to serve as a peer assistant.

5.11 All IEP supplementary aids and services are provided.

Steps for Writing Standards-Based IEPs

  1. Know the curriculum standards for the student’s enrolled grade level. Describe how the student may be able to access the standard using student strengths, Universal Design for Learning (UDL) principles and using accommodations, modifications and supports.
  2. Identify the Present Level of Performance (PLEP) for the student in relation to the grade-level standards and write one or more statements that accurately describe what the student can do relative to the standards.

3. Generate one or more annual goals that are measurable and conform to the required components (timeframe, condition, behavior and criteria) and the enrolled grade-level standard.

4. Write short-term objectives or benchmarks that will confirm to the requirements (time, condition, behavior and criteria) and will lead to the mastery of each goal.

5. Monitor, record and report progress on each goal. Adjust instruction, curriculum or behavior interventions when necessary.

Resources to Improve Your Practice