Essentials PEPSI Elementary Adolescence Advanced CD
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ESE504 : The Class : Advanced CD : Key Concepts

IDEA: The Six Critical Concepts

There are six guiding principles in IDEA 1997 that help us develop and maintain barrier free education for all.

Key Concepts
Personal Notes
Due Process Parents have rights clearly explained in native language and have access to files, paperwork, evaluation, mediation, due process hearings.  
Evaluation Eliminate bias with nondiscriminatory screening tools; utilize appropriate instruments with least language/culture bias, gain parent agreement and share findings clearly; multiple instruments used, including adaptive life skills.  
FAPE Free Appropriate Public Education or FAPE includes developing and implementing an IEP, and providing the services students need.  
LRE Least Restrictive Environment or LRE asks that students be included in a normal setting to the full extent possible, including having access to the general curriculum.  
Parent / student participation Decisions, from initial screening to reviews are parent, professional, school and student collaborations and student should be included as possible --mandatory participation by age 16.  
Zero rejection All students are served, regardless of disability, cost, communicable diseases or behavioral issues.  

The following chart uses making a Cake

as a Metaphor for the IEP Process

We check the cupboard to be certain we have all the ingredients for a chocolate cake.

Differential criteria for eligibility Determine need and explore range of services that may help.

Pre-referral The first step is making a plan for if and when the cake will be needed, what kind of cake it will be and who the cooks will be. Pre-referral step when it is determined, by a team who care about the student, if the child is eligible for service, using observations and informal assessments.
Referral We decide we want a cake for today and we have all the ingredients for a Rocky Road chocolate cake with marshmallow icing. Observations: The child is eligible for services, will benefit from them and we begin to recognize the most beneficial services.
Assessments The Master Chef makes certain that all ingredients are gathered, inspected for purity and freshness, measured and added together in proper order. Using procedural safeguards, informed and written consent from parents, an evaluation is conducted that is as free as possible from cultural and linguistic bias..
Evaluation The cooks blend all the ingredients, beating for the right amount of time, then find the proper cake pans, prepare them correctly and bake the cake for the required time at the proper temperature.

A battery of tests is administered and the team gathers to evaluate assessment results. The psychologist explains the results and the team determines eligibility and sets up an IEP meeting, including the proper team members..


IEP Developed
A great icing is chosen to compliment the cake, it's whipped up and the cake is decorated. Student strengths and needs are explored by all members of the team and goals and objectives are developed
Team meets to agree on IEP Everyone is invited to the party All are invited to the IEP teaming, including parents and when practical, the student
Implementation The party starts, refreshments are served and the fun begins. IEP includes present level of functioning, goals, the types of services provided and the environment best for providing the services and meeting the student needs.
Annual Review Everyone agrees to make this an annual event and celebrate together. IEP evaluated each year, while student reevaluation need assessed every three years.


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E-mail J'Anne Ellsworth at

Course developed by J'Anne Ellsworth


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