Issue: 2016-10-12, PHOTO: courtesy of understood.org
Understood.org (a great resource for students who learn differently)
The school year is well and truly underway by now. There is a lot of enthusiastic, energetic and creative learning happening all over the territory. School learning can present large or small hurdles for some, though.
When students are struggling in school, there are two types of plans that schools may create to help them work toward success.
The information here comes from the Yukon Education Act, Yukon Education’s website and the Student Support Services Parent handbook.
Individualized Education Plan (IEP)
Students with exceptional or on-going needs may have an IEP. A student’s IEP is created by a school-based team, which is made up of school administrators, teachers and other support or resource professionals. Parents are invited to be a part of the team. The team discusses the student’s learning needs, and creates the student’s plan. The IEP can follow the student throughout their schooling, even if they change schools or leave the territory. It can also help students as they transition to post-secondary education.
Creating an individualized education plans helps teachers understand a student’s strengths, interests and needs. It describes education goals and identifies strategies to support the student. These goals are adjusted and updated regularly. There are three meetings each year to review the progress being made toward the goals. Parents must be consulted during the implementation of the plan.
There are two types of goals: adapted and modified – and the difference is important. They relate to the prescribed learning outcomes, which are the listed curriculum expectations for each grade or course. For example, by the end of Grade 10 Math, students will be able to understand and perform certain equations and theories.
If a student’s goals are adapted, it means the student is working toward the prescribed learning outcomes for a grade or course. Things that will help these students meet their goals include changes to teaching methods, the learning environment, time demands or evaluations methods.
When a student’s goals are modified, it means they are individualized, and different from the prescribed learning outcomes of a grade or course. A student who has a modified individualized learning plan may be working toward a School Completion Certificate, rather than a Graduation Certificate.
Student Learning Plan (StLP)
This type of plan details strategies and ongoing adaptations to support a student’s success in a course or program. The adaptations, including different learning materials or assistance with specific tasks, are intended to ensure the student can meet the prescribed learning outcomes for a grade or course.
The Student Learning Plan is created by teachers, the learning assistance teacher, and the school counselor. Parents will be notified when a student’s plan is developed.
Once the student has met the goals of this plan and is able to achieve the curriculum expectations, the plan is considered complete and does not follow the student to their next course or program.
Another way to differentiate between these two types of plans: an IEP is for long term goals, while an StLP is for short term goals.
Need clarification? Reach out to school teachers and administrators. Connect with them on effective ways to support students.
Need more? Parent networks, school councils and organizations like Learning Disabilities Association of Yukon (LDAY) can be a great resource to ensure that all learners have the opportunity to achieve at their greatest potential.