Facilitated IEP Process and Procedure

Facilitated IEP Process and
Marcus E. Hayes
Exceptional Education Teacher Institute
June 21-25, 2010
Hunters Lane High School
Historically, humans have found meaning in work, family, community, and shared
faith. They have drawn upon collective resources to do what they could not do
alone. United efforts – raising a barn, shoring a levee, rescuing earthquake victims,
or singing a hymn – have brought people together, created enduring bonds, and
exemplified the possibilities of collective spirit.
- Bolman and Deal, Leading with Soul: An Uncommon Journey of Sprit (p.6)
What is IEP Facilitation?
A facilitated individual education program (IEP) meeting
is one in which:
• An IEP is developed by a collaborative
team whose members share
responsibility for the meeting process
and results.
• Decision-making is managed through the
use of essential facilitations skills.
• Shared Responsibility
• Collaborative Attitude
• Strategic Thinking
• Facilitative Behaviors
Shared Responsibility
Through the principle of shared
responsibility everyone in an
IEP meeting can plan an active
and positive role in producing
meaningful results.
Collaborative Attitude
By developing a
collaborative attitude with
the team, the mind set
guides individuals to act in
a cooperative and
impactful manner.
Strategic Thinking
The use of strategic thinking
allows the team to select
an appropriate course of
action to achieve desired
Facilitative Behaviors
Facilitative behaviors utilizes
practical tools, techniques and
actions to help the individual
team members build
understanding and agreement.
The process of Facilitation for IEP
meetings enables the team to:
• Build and improve strong relationships among team
members by bringing out the best in all group
• Reach true consensus by assisting people in building
understanding and agreement.
• Focus the IEP content and process on the needs of the
student by guiding the IEP team toward their
• Bring out the best in all group members by exercising
an efficient, guided meeting process where effective
communication and reflective listening are practiced.
• Guide the Process
• Broker Communication
• Build Agreement
• Resolve Conflict
Guide the Process
build effective desired outcome statements for
meetings or parts of meetings, design an agenda
that can guide a group towards its desired
outcomes, draw out participation, energy and
creativity, behave neutrally and contribute to
content only when appropriate, facilitate
discussions in a way that encourages an open
exchange of ideas, generates useful information
and keeps a group focused and on track
Broker Communication
listen in a way that validates the speaker and
confirms your reception of the speaker’s
words, uncover the reasoning or feelings that
lie beneath a speaker’s assertions or concerns,
assess the meaning of body language and
other non-verbal communication, assist others
in understanding a speaker’s meaning,
reasoning, feelings or intentions, record
speakers’ ideas legibly on the group memory
Build Agreement
build an atmosphere of openness, informality and
collaboration, identify and highlight areas of
agreement, navigate the group through a
variety of strategic moments, help the group
build the appropriate sequence of agreements,
apply several tools for reaching consensus
Resolve Conflict
protect individuals and their ideas from attack,
handle difficult or argumentative behavior
with directness and respect, enroll disputing
parties in a process for reconciling differences,
distinguish between issues, interests, and
positions, tailor confidence-building measures
and negotiate small agreements
If you as a school team member or as a family member
find yourself doing any of the following, then it may be
time to consider this option.
• Spending more time putting out fires than working on
activities that promote student achievement and
• Sensing that the discussions and/or interactions at IEP
meetings are creating an acrimonious climate that
might lead to a formal complaint
• Attending multiple IEP meetings for the same student
to address persistent issues with little or no resolution
or a completed quality plan
Facilitating an IEP Meeting
“Conducting a team meeting and documenting
its’ actions and decisions has become
increasingly important in respect to student
success, allocation of resources such as; staff,
utilization, materials, and funds. In this litigant
minded society, leafing and documenting this
process has also become extremely critical in
regard to ensuring that due process is adhered
to and thereby protecting school/district
against legal actions.”
John C. Beardsley, How to Conduct and Document IEP Team
Meetings, 1998.
Pre-Planning for an IEP Meeting
Prior to holding an IEP meeting, several tasks need to
be completed to ensure that the required team
members are in attendance and that the
information presented is organized. If possible,
begin planning for IEP meetings three to four weeks
prior to the anticipated meeting time. This will give
all team members ample time to prepare and
ensure availability for them to attend the meeting.
Pre-Planning for an IEP Meeting
• Plan the date and location of the meeting.
• Verify the time and date with parents/guardians
first. Inform parents of who will be attending the
meeting as well as the purpose of the meeting.
You may also want to provide parents with
information about how they can contribute to the
• Coordinate the agreed upon time with the
required team members.
• All students should be encouraged to attend their
IEP meeting.
Pre-Planning for an IEP Meeting
• Send a prior written notice and an invitation to
the meeting to the parents/guardians and
enclose a copy of the procedural safeguards
• If it is an annual IEP, begin to compile data on the
previous years goals and objectives. Data should
be presented in a manner that reflects the
criteria statements in the objectives.
• Prepare statements on the strengths of the
student as well as concerns that need to be
Before the IEP Meeting
The physical set up of the room can lend to a positive and effective IEP
meeting. Note the following:
• A room free from outside distractions.
• Ample room for all team members to sit and space to take notes or
chart notes.
• Water or beverages if the meeting will run over an hour.
• Alert office personnel to expect parents and make them feel
• Hold phone calls/silence cellular phones.
• Have copies of reports you will be reviewing, the student’s cumulative
record, and organizational materials available for team members.
• Pre-set technology (computer/laptop, projector, EasyIEP).
• Position team members. The facilitator should sit next to the parents.
Beginning the IEP Meeting
When conducting an IEP meeting, as case manager,
it’s important to set the tone and purpose of the
meeting. Note the following:
• Introduce yourself and invite the other team
members to do the same having them state their
relationship to the student.
• Welcome the parent/guardians and review the
procedural safeguards booklet with them.
Beginning the IEP Meeting
• Explain the purpose of the meeting. Set the
agenda and ask if there are any additions to the
Sample Agenda for IEP’s
1. Start-Up
Agenda Overview
Procedural Safeguards
Parental Concerns
Beginning the IEP Meeting
2. Present Levels of Performance (What is it that
the child knows, understands, and is able to do
Personal Information
Assessment Information
Domain Skills
Review Progress on Previous Year’s Goals/Objectives
Team Member Concerns
Transitions Plans/Services
Beginning the IEP Meeting
3. Goals and Objectives (What is it that we
want the child to know, understand, and be
able to do a year from now?)
Develop/Revise goals and objectives (Do any of
these goals and objectives need to be revised,
based upon concerns reviewed?)
Beginning the IEP Meeting
4. Services Recommendations (In what placement in
the least restrictive environment can these goals
and objectives be implemented appropriately?)
Percent of time NOT in general education settings
Related Services
Supplemental aids and services needed to support the
Participation in state and district assessments
Transition plans/services
Beginning the IEP Meeting
5. Wind-Up
Confirm agreements (including signatures)
Action plan for follow-up activities
Determine schedule for review of progress
Prior Written Notice
Beginning the IEP Meeting
• Set time parameters. Communicate with the team
that if all agenda items are not addressed, another
meeting may need to be held. This motivates all
members to stay on task.
• Inform parents that notes will be taken and
incorporated in the Prior Written Notice.
Meeting Etiquette for All Members
“Successful, productive meetings do
not just happen. They depend on the
behaviors of both the meeting leader
and the meeting participants.”
Marlene Caroselli, Ed.D., Meetings that Work, 1992
Meeting Etiquette for All Members
Meeting Facilitator
• Be open and encouraging
• Serve as a catalyst by posing questions
• Maintain harmony; remind participants of
shared goals and appropriate meeting
• Don’t ramble (stick to the agenda)
Meeting Etiquette for All Members
• Gather support for ideas before the meeting
• Don’t control or dominate the discussion
• Take notes on all that occurs (notify the team that
you are shredding the notes after the PWN is
• Use and elicit “We” behaviors
• Exercise follow-up questions
• If consensus can’t be reached on an issue, discuss
follow up options.
Meeting Etiquette for All Members
Meeting Participant
• Decide to make the meeting worthwhile
• Attempt to answer the leader’s questions,
especially if there is long silence
• Defend your ideas, but exercise appropriate
meeting behavior
• Don’t ramble (stick to the agenda)
• Study the agenda; assemble your information to
share. Don’t wing it.
Meeting Etiquette for All Members
• Practice listening skills; don’t engage in side
• Take notes and ask questions (note errors that
occur, so they can be corrected)
• Demonstrate a “We” attitude
• Suggest closure for items that aren’t resolved
within allotted time (Parking Lot)
• Volunteer for follow up tasks that are assigned
Conducting the Meeting
Facilitative Behaviors are actions anyone
can take to make meetings run smoothly.
• Preventions are facilitative behaviors
used before or during the meeting to
prevent the meeting from getting off
track with respect to either content or
Conducting the Meeting
Facilitative Behaviors are actions anyone
can take to make meetings run smoothly.
• Interventions are facilitative behaviors
used during the meeting to help people
get back on track with respect to either
content or process.
• Get agreement on desired outcomes, agenda,
roles, decision making method, ground rules.
• Make a process suggestion (on how the group
could proceed).
• Get a process agreement (on how the group will
• Educate the group (process commercials).
• Ask open-ended questions to generate
• Request that participants reserve judgment.
Sample IEP Meeting Ground Rules
Communicate clearly and listen carefully.
Respect the views of others.
Share your views willingly.
Ask and welcom questions for clarification.
Be open to the ideas and views presented.
Honor time limits and stay on task.
• Return a question to the person who asked it or
to the group so that the leader or facilitator does
not take all the responsibility for answering
questions or resolving problems.
• Regain focus by making sure everyone is working
on the same content, using the same process, at
the same time.
• Ask “What’s going on”? Naming something that
isn’t working and getting it out in the open so the
group can deal with it.
• Enforce process agreements.
• Accept/Legitimize/Deal with, or Defer.
• Use congruent body language to reinforce
• Use humor to relieve the tension. Be sensitive
not to joke at someone else’s expense.
Listening to the ideas and opinions of
others is a foundation for building
agreement and taking concerted
action. However; people often fail
to listen to each other. As a
consequence, they create
antagonism instead of alignment.
There is an alternative: even when
one feels defensive or aggressive, it
is possible to make a conscious
choice to listen as an ally.
Listening as an Ally
• Internally acknowledge and set aside your
own advocacy, argument, point of view or
judgment and become curious about the
speaker’s point of view.
• Confirm understanding by repeating the
speaker’s exact words.
• Rephrase using your own words to confirm
the speaker’s meaning.
Listening as an Ally
• Deepen your ability to support and empathize
by checking out “your belief” about what the
speaker feels or thinks (“It sounds like…”)
• Probe for further information by asking a
question that requires more than a one-word
or two-word answer.
• Increase the comfort level of the speaker by
using your body in a way that is congruent
with your words.
Conducting the Meeting
• Stay student focused.
• Stick to the agenda; ignore irrelevant
• Watch body language and voice tone.
Sandwich problematic issues with
positive statements. Disgruntled
parents walk away upset because of
poor communication.
• Meet with staff in advance to make
sure they are familiar with the needs of
the student.
Conducting the Meeting
• Avoid taking parent complaints personally,
however; adjourn the meeting if members
become verbally abusive and reconvene at a
later time.
• Steer awa from past problems and focus on
the student’s future needs.
• Give consideration to all the parent
• Make recommendations based on data and
professional expertise.
• Try to have staff members at the meeting
with whom the parent has developed a level
of trust.
Ending the Meeting
Following through is a process for concluding a
meeting in a way that acknowledges what
happened during the meeting, sets in motion
actions to implement decisions, and carries
forward key learning to future meetings.
Ending the Meeting
• Review what happened at the meeting.
• Establish a path of next steps.
• Produce a written memory of participant
agreements, action steps, and outstanding
issues (Prior Written Notice).
• Debrief (list what worked and what could have
been improved in the meeting process).
• Thank participants for their contributions.
Just remember, there’s a right way and a wrong
way to do everything and the wrong way is to
keep trying to make everybody else do it the
right way. M*A*S*H, Colonel Potter

similar documents