Saturday, February 2, 2008

New Special Education Forms - Feeling a bit Frustrated

by Harold Shaw, Jr.

I just got caught up on my Special Education Paperwork this week - what a great feeling. The Special Education Director had nice things to say about the IEP, that I submitted, but I feel we are still running a bit blind when preparing the new State DOE Special Education forms.

Maine DOE has mandated the use of certain forms, formats and language to be used on the forms. But it seems as though what is expected is still actually a bit of a moving target? They have provided sample IEPs, but these seem very basic to me?? and don't seem to give enough information regarding the criteria to create a quality IEP that is actually useable by others. Maybe I am just a bit anal about this, but...I am the one held accountable if they are not done correctly (legally and professionally).

My Special Education Director is an outstanding administrator and yet sometimes she too, has many questions. But I guess that I have to be patient (not something I am good at) the first year of any new system there are bound to be modifications and changes as people actually use and discuss the issues with those forms. But it still is frustrating to try to create a quality product (IEP) that actually is useful to the classroom teacher (for those that will read them) without trying to play "pin the tale on the donkey". I just hope DOE is understanding when they come in for a Special Education Records site review regarding these first year IEPs or what happens if the IEP becomes one of those being reviewed at hearing.

Has anyone else had similar questions or concerns about the new Special Education Forms and Formats. I guess I am just feeling a little cynical and frustrated today.

Thanks Harold

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