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Case Management 101, Part 2

iep case management Oct 08, 2022

Did you know that each school district does not do case management the same way? Yes, they follow legislation by IDEA but their processes of who is responsible for what actions are different. 

Some districts have special education coordinators, who schedule all the meetings, send out notices to the team about upcoming meetings, and is the LRE representative for the district. It is the teachers responsibility to gather data, get input from parents/guardians, get input from general education teachers, get input from related service clinicians and write the IEP. 

While other districts have special education coordinators are the LRE representative, monitor compliance and facilitate “HOT Cases''. While it is the special education teachers responsibility to schedule IEP meetings, communicate with the IEP team, gather data, get input from parents/guardians, get input from general education teachers, get input from related service clinicians and write the IEP. 

In both of these situations, the teacher needs to be looking at the data that has been collected, analyze the data and write a plan to support a student so they can further their education and pursue their employment goals, as well as acquire the skills needed for independent living. 

WOW, we as teachers have a lot on our plate, and you may be wondering how am I supposed to get all that done and also provide highly rigorous lessons for my students at their individual level, while also making them fun and engaging. 

Ok let’s focus on one thing first, which is IEP Case Management. The primary responsibility of a case manager, which can be a students primary teacher are to:

  • Assure compliance with procedural requirements
  • Communicate and coordinate with home, school, clinicians, and teachers
  • Train classroom staff, support and train general education teachers

Responsibility #1: Compliance

It is very important that case managers meet the compliance requirements set by their district. What I found useful is having an IEP & 504 Compliance sheet, this will allow you to keep track of when you sent out the IEP notice to when the draft of the IEP should be sent out to the parent. Did you know that the IEP needs to be sent out for review 10 days before the IEP meeting? 

Responsibility #2: Communication

At the beginning of the school year it is important to establish a procedure on how you are going to communicate with all stakeholders. Establishing a procedure and boundaries at the beginning of the year is beneficial for your peace of mind. 

At the beginning of the school year, I email the parents/guardians introducing myself and asking if they want to informally meet before school starts to discuss any changes that occurred over the summer. I know that some teachers can’t meet with parents before school starts, but you can also ask them to complete a form. Some key information to ask them is the following:

  • Has their child had any medical changes over the summer?
  • Have you seen any behavioral changes over the summer?
  • Are there any changes with their transportation to school? 

These three questions are crucial, because if there any medical or behavioral changes you want the team to begin monitoring from the first day of school, so if you need to call an IEP meeting to add or decrease services before the annual IEP meeting you have the data

Responsibility #3:Training

Every school is different, some have time built into their schedules to train paraprofessionals, other teachers like myself have to build time within the day to do mini 10-15 minute training sessions. If you have limited time to train the other adults in the classroom, then what is crucial is establishing a classroom procedure manual, that anyone who comes in your classroom can reference. Just like we have check-in and check-out meetings for our students, these are also beneficial for the staff you are working with so everyone is on the same page. Some key training that everyone needs to be trained on at the beginning of the year are the following: 

  • Student Health and Safety Plans
  • Student disabilities
  • Specific health and safety concerns/student responses
  • Student's personal equipment and how to use to support academic achievement
  • School equipment used by students to support academic achievement
  • Special communication systems or specific strategies for the student
  • Specific student needs to support progress
  • Behavioral Intervention Plans
  • Student specific safety plans for school and the bus 

This article is the second in a series of 3 articles about school case management. This series looks at how teachers can improve their roles as a teacher and a case manager. The next article will be focusing on team meetings to facilitate Inclusive IEPS.

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