Table of Contents
- Overview of IEP Service Delivery
- Related Service Providers
- Extended School Year
- Voices from the Field
This short article addresses the component of the IEP we’ll call “service delivery.” The language at §300.320(a)(7) states the IEP must include:
(7) The projected date for the beginning of the services and modifications described in paragraph (a)(4) of this section, and the anticipated frequency, location, and duration of those services and modifications.
This is where the details are specified about the services that a child with a disability will receive—the when, where, how often, how long of service delivery. The service delivery statement in the IEP should include:
- how often the child will receive the service(s) (number of times per day or week);
- how long each “session” will last (number of minutes)
- where services will be provided (in the general education classroom or another setting such as a special education resource room); and
- when services will begin and end (starting and ending dates).
The model IEP form developed by the Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) at the U.S. Department of Education (2006) suggests the format shown below as a means of recording this information.
Considering Extended School Year (ESY) Services
The IEP team should also consider whether or not a child needs to receive services beyond the typical school year. This is called Extended School Year or ESY services. Some children receiving special education services may be eligible for ESY services. States and LEAs typically have guidelines for determining eligibility for ESY. Whether or not a child needs ESY in order to receive a free appropriate public education (FAPE) is a decision that is made by the IEP team.
Want to know more about ESY? Here is an online resource to get you started:
Extended School Year Services
Voices from the Field
*Teacher candidates reference their supervising practitioners as SPs.
The special educator/case manager monitors their student’s IEP Service Delivery and all aspects of IEP Compliance.
My supervising practitioner related to me that in the past, she has kept a log sheet, or journal, for related services. She related to me that different case managers in the district keep track differently. I also spoke with another special education teacher who stated that the service providers keep a record and that the 1:1 paraeducators document the times and relate them to the case manager. The case manager has a schedule from all service providers and helps enforce the schedule. She also stated that if the provider is unable to deliver services, then the district needs to provide services by finding a qualified substitute or bringing someone in from another district. That highlights the importance of the case manager keeping track as well as providers, because missed sessions have to be made up somehow and a case manager can’t follow up if they’re not keeping track. I would think a digital table or log would be the most effective way to keep track of the information. That way it can be accessed from multiple locations and is stored securely with whatever programs the school uses. Rachel Stoudt
My SP also has a master calendar in her (locked) office that outlines when IEP drafts and evaluations are due and when meetings are scheduled. She’s come up with a color-coded system, so you can get a sense by just glancing at the calendar what is ahead, which has been helpful for me. I know providers have information about when IEPs end, but my SP reaches out to everyone before due dates and meetings to make sure everyone is on the same page. We also meet as a special education team regularly to check in. We talk about how services are going, trouble-shoot any issues, and take a look at the weeks ahead to make sure we are on track.
I know there is a lot to keep track of, and I find it overwhelming at times. I had a teacher that helped give me a different perspective by saying that I should consider all of the paperwork and compliance as advocacy work. She said that for so long students with disabilities did not get services, and this is just how we make sure they are getting what they need. Even though I understood that concept intellectually, the way she framed it helped me see it in a different light. Jessica Warning
Private School Perspective
The school I work at is a private school, so the rules regarding special education services are different than public school. Private schools do not have IEPs, instead they have ISPs (Individual Service Plan). The main difference is students with an ISP are only provided equitable services. They are not entitled to FAPE or the same level of service as in public school. Because of this my school has limited special education services available. SAU XX decides which children will be served, what services will be provided, how and where the services will be provided, and how the services will be evaluated. This can lead to students who do not qualify for services. So, a meeting of teachers and school administration will meet to see if in house services may be applicable. The classroom teachers will accommodate and modify lessons to the best of their ability. But if parents, teachers, or school admin think more help is necessary than can be provided, then the decision is made for the student to leave and enroll in a public school. Because of this there are only a small number of students with ISPs in the school. My SP is a classroom Kindergarten teacher and due to the limited resources most kindergarten students are not tested and very few have services. Anonymous
Private Special Education School
Working in a treatment based facility, our IEP caseloads and how we handle them are a bit different than the typical school. My SP has helped me with IEPs since day one when I was just a sub, when we get new student intakes there are different reports we receive; behaviors, case information and the current IEP (if the student has one). Once she gets a student with an IEP, she makes a copy of it, since legally there can only be one official, and puts it into her IEP binder. She goes through the IEP highlighting and numbers the goals she’s responsible for. From there she records the student’s information (name, birthday, district, IEP start + end date and their goals), and creates a progress sheet for tracking. This tracking sheet is helpful because as each quarter ends she has her information easily accessible and tangible for reporting back to the districts. After recording all this information, she incorporates the goals into her daily lesson plans if necessary and will write the student’s initials with the goal #1 under it so she can go back and report easily on the tracking sheet. She has helped me immensely with IEPs, treatment reports and my job as a whole, I’d be so lost without her. Sarah Harkness
Our K-2 special educator told me that she has a chart that lists each student, the related service (or multiple services) they receive, the provider of that service, and when/where it occurs. The special educator and service providers work together to schedule services for each child. Typically, they begin to create a schedule in the beginning of the year once the students start school, but the schedules may change if more students receive IEP’s and need to receive services. She keeps a checklist of her student’s goals and each week she assesses each student to measure their progress towards their specific goal. The service providers and case manager hold a weekly meeting to discuss the progress of the students and identify any concerns they have about specific students. These weekly meetings are helpful in keeping everyone in the loop about progress and concerns. If a new student is added to the caseload, they will discuss scheduling, the specific goals for the child, and the data as well.
The K-2 special educator told me that in a typical year, if the service provider is out for any reason, they will usually work with the classroom teacher to schedule a make-up time. For example, if our occupational therapist is out, she will talk with the classroom teacher and reschedule an extra session during the week (or following week). Now, if a service provider or a child is out for an extended amount of time, the sessions can be rescheduled or held virtually. If a child or service provider has to quarantine because of Covid, they have the ability to complete their sessions over Zoom. Usually, the child will go into the special educator’s classroom, and the teacher will project the service provider on the screen and that’s how they complete their sessions. While that may not be an ideal way to have a session, it allows the student to still be seen and have some consistency. Isabella Desimone
My SP maintains a “big picture” that includes the daily schedules for other services providers, the reading specialist, the two other Special Ed teachers, the paras, and herself. This way she can make sure everyone’s time is being used effectively and to see what may need to change and/or be accommodated for any staff absences. Using this she can also rearrange para services. For example, this week the Speech Therapist is absent so all of her sessions are via Google Meet. Fridays are for data tracking, which gives some flexibility in case any make-up services are needed.
My SP also keeps an IEP service page for each special ed student that shows the why, when, and to whom they are going for any of their services; pull-outs, transportation details, and para support; when their classroom specials are, and Medicaid logs. I think one of the most valuable documents is the IEP goal tracking sheet. This is a template, which helps makes maintenance more streamlined, consistent, and straight-forward for users. In addition, this document is shared with regular ed teachers so that they can also document any relevant information. One thing she really stressed was that the progress narratives were very detailed and included student attendance, which was documented on the IEP goal data sheets. Rebecca Foss
At the beginning of the year, my SP creates two case load charts. One lists each student, their date of birth, IEP dates, 3 year evaluation date, and when their IEP draft needs to be submitted. The second chart lists each student, the classroom teacher they are assigned to, room number, transportation information, and all related service days and times.
In her teacher planner, each week, she lists out what services the students have each day under their name as well as any academic plans she has for them, meetings for them, teacher/service provider consults, etc. In that plan book, she marks if the student is absent, dismissed early, tardy, or if a specific service is delivered. Each service provider also keeps service logs of when they see each student. If the service provider is absent or has a meeting, then they find make up sessions for the student. However, if a student is absent, or does not log on for a scheduled remote session, then the service providers usually do not make up the session unless there are extenuating circumstances.
While our district uses our own formatting for IEPs, we still enter the information into the NH Special Education Information System (NHSEIS) which keeps track of IEP and Eligibility dates. The system provides warnings and flags when IEPS are about to go out of compliance. My school has about 90 students with IEPs so we are lucky enough to have a special education administrative assistant. She spends much of her job organizing physical files, electronic files, making sure everything remains in compliance, and making sure IEP and Eligibility meetings are scheduled on time. She does so much; I know not every school is lucky enough to have someone dedicated to this. Anonymous
In my preschool, we are very lucky that over half of our services are delivered within the classroom whenever possible. This makes tracking much easier for the Case Manager/Special Education teacher. For example, our preschool’s lead classroom teacher is the Special Educator/Case Manager for the students in his or her class. Each classroom has a Speech Pathologist as a co-teacher. We are then each assigned an OT who comes in to our classroom twice a week to work on individual services and also teaches lessons. The only service that is does not happen in the classroom often is PT. Tracking is easy because the Special Educator/Case Manager is present and observes the services happening. He or she may step in and help. We have weekly check-ins to ensure everything is on track and if a service is missed, it is rescheduled right there. Excellent communication and a very simple school setup makes this tracking very easy. I have worked at some of the elementary schools recently and can see how tracking is much more difficult! Kids were being pulled left and right. As the classroom para, I am in charge of tracking the outside of the classroom service (PT) and use a simple tracking sheet which I use for Medicaid billing that timestamps the services and notes if one is missed. Overall, I am lucky to be learning in a school with this setup. Deanna Hanley
Center for Parent Information and Resources (2010). Service Delivery , Newark, NJ, Author. https://www.parentcenterhub.org/iep-servicedelivery/
IEP Screen Shots from: Next Steps-NH.org, (2016) Blank IEP Template from NHSEIS Retrieved from https://nextsteps-nh.org/wp-content/uploads/IEP-Blank-from-NHSEIS-4-11-16.pdf
U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs. (2006). Model IEP form. Washington, DC: Author.