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Mock IEP Meeting: Preparing for a Re-Evaluation Transcript

[Opening slide with the words, "This webinar series is provided by the Commission of Deaf, DeafBlind and Hard of Hearing Minnesotans and by the Minnesota Department of Education.]

[Title slide: "An IEP Meeting Preparing for a Re-Evaluation of an Elementary Student"]

[Slide: "Background on the Student"]

[A woman appears and begins to sign.]

Javanna is the fifth-grade student in this mock IEP.  Both of her parents are deaf and use ASL as their primary language.  She has 3 deaf siblings. She attends the state residential school for the deaf as a day student, not overnight. She is a bright student with consistent exposure to language since birth due to her deaf family, yet she still struggles with reading, English vocabulary, writing,  and grammar.  Her social skills are amazing…she is kind, empathetic, thoughtful and mature.  She has a fantastic sense of humor and a true compassion for others.  She has many students in her class with additional disabilities and she takes every opportunity she can to help them. 

[Slide: "The Meeting"]

[Four people are in a meeting room and are sitting at a table. They have papers and pens in front of them. They are Susan Lane-Outlaw (school administrator),  Nanette McDevitt (teacher), Javanna Johnson (student), and Justin Johnson (parent).]

Nanette:  Thank you for coming today.  Let’s do a brief round of introductions. I'll start. I'm Nanette McDevitt. I'm Javanna's teacher of the deaf/hard of hearing. I'm also the IEP manager. 

Susan: I'm Susan Lane-Outlaw. I'm here as an administrator.

Justin: I'm Justin Johnson, her father. 

Javanna: And I'm Javanna Johnson. 

Nanette: The purpose of the IEP meeting is to review Javanna’s progress but also to hear about concerns in the area of academic progress. I'm going to share this Discussion Guide [Nanette passes out copies of the Discussion Guide to everyone].

Nanette: You can refer to this during the meeting. Justin and I talked earlier this week through email and videophone and looked at the Discussion Guide to decide what to focus on and I think we agreed to look at the testing section of the guide.  Justin, could you share with the group what your concerns are for Javanna now that she’s in fifth grade?

Justin:  First, I’m sorry that my wife wasn’t able to attend, but I will do my best to share our questions and thoughts about her.  Javanna’s mom and I are concerned that her writing and reading skills in English are below grade level.  We wonder if her English vocabulary and some writing skills are below grade level. We're trying to figure out how to meet her needs.  We’ve also noticed when she is reading books she asks me what words mean that I feel like she should know. For example, she did not know the word "ancestor" which she should know for her level.  

Javanna:  I understand the story, but there are some words I see and I don’t know what they mean.  I think I would like reading more if I didn’t have to stop so often to figure out the words. 

Nanette: Understanding individual words can be hard? [Jananna nods.]

Justin:  When she describes things in ASL, she uses advanced ASL vocabulary, and she is so descriptive.  But, when she writes in English she uses basic vocabulary and her writing is not very descriptive.

Nanette:  Sounds good. Let’s take a look at the Discussion Guide, page 11. [Preview of the discussion prompts for assessment in the Discussion Guide. The prompts are: Does the team agree that the data collected. Is current? Is it valid? Is it reliable? Provides evidence that is useful for developing effective instructional strategies and determining appropriate adaptations and accommodations? To what extent does the data describe the student's present level of academic and social language skills? What appears to be affecting the student's growth.]

Nanette: What I’m looking at specifically in the Discussion Guide is page 11 which we need to decide when we pick which tests would give us information about Javanna’s English vocabulary and language skills. We want to see how her English and other language skills are related to her reading and writing skills. Her IEP is due soon, so we need to update her English skills data.  Those ideas are on page 12.  [Preview of page 12. Possible information sources. Assessment of academic skills, vocabulary and social language. Data from Minnesota Comprehensive Assessment (MCA) and/or Measures of Academic Progress (MAP). Evaluation summary report. Information assessment measures. Running records/work samples. Formative assessments. Systematic classroom observations. Interview data. Assessment of academic and social language/vocabulary. Curriculum-Based Measures e.g., Avenue: Progress Monitoring (AVE:PM), EdCheckup, AIMSWeb). Grades for secondary level students.]  

Nanette: Is that okay?

Susan:  I think it will be good to get more data to help Javanna do even better.

Justin:  That sounds fine.  Who will test her?  Will that person be fluent in ASL?

Nanette:  Good question. Yes, I will test her myself in ASL. 

Justin:  How do we do that?

Nanette:  This will be a lot of information, so be patient with me. We have to make sure that the tests are reliable and valid for Javanna.  Her first language is ASL, not English, so we need to look at how to test her using her first language, but we also need to test her English skills because it is related to her reading and writing skills. The challenge with the English tests is that we cannot do tests that require speech and listening. It doesn’t mean that ASL is any less than English, but we acknowledge it is a different language, just like Spanish is different than English.  So, we can modify some of the tests, but we will have to explain that.  Let’s take a look at the tests on page 26.  [All find page 26 in the Discussion Guide.] 

[Slide: Appendix II: Language and Communication Assessments with a list of all the tests is shown. The names of the tests are too small to clearly see.]

Susan: Lots of options. [All smile.]

Nanette: Yes, we have a lot of tests to choose from. We could do the Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test (PPVT). For that test, it is usually given with spoken English. For Javanna, I will fingerspell the words and have her point to the matching picture. Okay? [Javanna and Justin nod.] 

Nanette: We could also do the Expressive Vocabulary Test (EVT). This evaluates the opposite skill. Javanna would have to fingerspell the word that is shown in the picture.  She might know a sign, but we are looking for specific English words to see which words she knows. She attends a school that has the language of instruction in ASL all day, and English is taught through reading and writing, so we could test her written English skills using the Test of Written Language.   It would give us information about her writing skills in several areas. You and her mom said that she is writing basic English.  This test will evaluate many different areas of her strength and weakness that will help us. [Justin starts to sign and stops.]

Nanette: Sorry, it is a lot of information. We can include informal assessments like a reading inventory that measures Javanna’s understanding of English vocabulary, recognizing sight words and also her understanding of comprehension passages.  For reading comprehension, we will do tests in two different ways. First, we will sign a story using ASL, then will ask her questions in ASL. Then this test could be given with a written story and she can read it herself and answer questions independently.  We will test her on her reading comprehension in two different ways, ASL and English. Okay?

Justin (looking first at Javanna then at Nanette and Susan):  I know this seems like a lot of testing, but I think we need this information to support Javanna as she prepares for middle and high school.  I know her mother would agree with me.

Susan:  Yes, we want to make sure we are doing all we can to support Javanna.

Nanette: Now that we are on the same page, let’s start making a plan. 

Justin (nodding): Okay.

[Video fades to the original slide with the words, "This webinar series is provided by The Commission of Deaf, DeafBlind and Hard of Hearing Minnesotans and by the Minnesota Department of Education."]

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