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IEP Case Study Rationale

The Individualized Education Plan (IEP) is the document that describes in detail how

services and supports will be provided to a student who qualifies based on a disability that is

impacting his/her education. The process for developing this plan and updating it is one of the

most important processes that a special educator participates in. For this artifact, I was part of the

team that revised a students IEP for his annual review. I needed to demonstrate mastery of the

following Council for Exceptional Children (CEC) standards: 1: Learner Development and

Individual Learning Differences, 3: Curricular Content Knowledge, 6: Professional Learning and

Ethical Practice, and 7: Collaboration to successfully participate in this process.

The IEP document is written specifically to address the needs of one student. As a part of

preparing for an annual review, data is collected so that recommendations made to the IEP team

are reflective of the students current needs. I administered several informal assessments that

were used as supporting documentation to the claims I made about the students areas of need.

This information also helped identify the students strengths, which contributed to my overall

understanding of the students individual learning differences. After analyzing the data and

reviewing the current IEP, including the students progress toward current goals, I was able to

demonstrate that Id considered the students learner development and individual learning

differences (CEC Standard 1) before proposing any changes to the IEP.

Any student in an inclusion classroom will be exposed to grade level content and be

expected to interact with it on some level. As a special educator, I am responsible for having

knowledge about the content so that I can share strategies on how to best help the student access

it (CEC Standard 3). Even though a student may be performing below grade level expectations in

a particular area, the IEP is required to align with the Common Core standards that are

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IEP Case Study Rationale

appropriate for the students grade level. For this case study, I was able to help create objectives

that will allow the student to work toward grade level goals, based on his abilities and rate of


Professional and ethical practice (CEC standard 6) are the pillars of the educational

system. As an educator, I am in a position of trust and must ensure that my practice is ethical and

not impacted by my personal opinions or biases. It is my role to advocate in the best interest of

the student and for me that means being a professional and adhering to the ethical principles

established by my licensure and the school district where I am working. Keeping information

confidential and limiting discussions to those persons working directly with the student are

examples of how I demonstrated this behavior during the completion of this artifact. Being a

lifelong learner and participating in professional development activities means that I am making

sure that I have current knowledge to implement appropriate research-based strategies to benefit

the students I am working with. In education, change is constant because our student populations

change and as a result the policies change so that we can meet their needs.

Since the IEP is a document developed and approved by a team, it is imperative that each

member is flexible and remembers that the goal is to meet the individual needs of the student.

Collaboration is the key to successful participation on a team. During the completion of this

artifact, all parties involved worked together throughout the entire process. This student has

multiple service providers so we all needed to work together to update the different parts of the

IEP including, goals, services, supports, supplemental aids, etc. When the parent was unable to

attend the meeting, we created a plan for how to get her input in person about the proposed

changes to ensure that she remained informed and involved. We also wanted her to know that we

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IEP Case Study Rationale

valued her input and participation. (Parents/guardians are an important part of the team because

no changes can be made without their consent). When team members are able to collaborate and

keep the end goal in mind, the student benefits because the team is working to make sure that his

needs are met across settings and that he has the best chance for success. (CEC Standard 7)

As a result of my participation in this assignment, I have mastered skills that I need to be

an effective special educator. I am now more confident in collecting, analyzing and using data to

develop and implement the requirements of the IEP and deliver instruction. I am able to identify

individual learning differences and apply my understanding of child development to support any

suggestions I make on behalf of any student I am working with. I have learned how to reflect and

make sure that my practices are aligned with the ethical and professional standards I am required

to uphold. The student whos IEP I was updating was positively affected because instead of

having just the one professional review and propose changes, there was a second person that she

could brainstorm and share ideas with to finalize the amendments that would be presented to the

team. My future students will benefit because after this experience I am more comfortable

presenting information and knowing that I am qualified to make recommendations to the IEP


LaShell Wallace