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    #246138 - 09/30/19 09:45 PM GIEP QUESTION
    Irena Offline
    Member

    Registered: 05/26/12
    Posts: 1695
    Can i add spelling and grammar goals to a GIEP?

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    #246141 - 10/01/19 07:53 AM Re: GIEP QUESTION [Re: Irena]
    aeh Offline
    Member

    Registered: 04/26/14
    Posts: 3463
    It may depend on your state, but in most states, yes, if you can document a need. It's supposed to be a team decision, based on the individual needs of the student.

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    #246150 - 10/02/19 05:59 AM Re: GIEP QUESTION [Re: Irena]
    Irena Offline
    Member

    Registered: 05/26/12
    Posts: 1695
    Thank you aeh! Can you, or any one help me with wording the goals(s), to try and get this the the GIEP? (I am in PA if that helps.)

    So, this is in reference to my younger son who is moderately gifted (IQ in the 130s, if I recall correctly it was in the low 130s), scored very high in the visual spacial indices - and was only only impeded by time. They could only score him based on what he finished in the time allotted, but testers let him continue in the test of block design just to see how far he would go (he enjoys that stuff anyway) and they were really impressed by how far he got given time (I think he finished all the puzzles correctly with some extra time). Anyway, he tends to be quite gifted at 'building', coding, etc. Think engineer-type profile. And, what I think is sometimes common with those types is that they are relatively weak in language. So, this kid is in 5th grade, doing well - in ATP and accelerated about 2 years in math. Above grade-level in reading. However, his spelling and mechanics of writing are atrocious. Really. His older brother has dysgraphia and he is a significantly better speller. I have been expressing concern about this kid's spelling for years. The school acknowledges that he is very poor int he skill, but I am always brushed off because he is "so bright" and "so cute" and so "good." And they are "working on it." However, next year he goes on to middle school and I really think he needs some remediation in spelling and writing mechanics (grammar) before he gets there.

    I sent an email requesting a GIEP meeting regarding this concern and requesting we meet to discuss adding some support and some related IEP goals to his GIEP to address the issue. The gifted support teacher called me this morning (off the record) and said the school is going to push back with the argument GIEPs are strength based, etc. Gifted support teacher, however, totally agrees with me, which is why she called to give me a heads up. She advised that when I get the email pushing back to respond officially requesting a GIEP meeting. She told me to word my proposed goals to tie it into his gifted strengths. Something like along the lines of "this is a need/weakness adversely affecting his gifted strengths" and that is why it can be appropriate to put it in the GIEP. I need to get the wording right to help get this accomplished.

    The PA Department of Ed says the following on the topic: "Gifted Individualized Education Plan is a strength-based document however if a learning need exists that stems from a studentís strength, it belongs in the Gifted Individualized Education Plan. The need(s) can be noted in the present levels and used to craft a goal/short term learning outcome, or it can be incorporated into the specially designed instruction"

    An example of the goal I think he needs is "When given a topic, STUDENT will write a short 5 sentence paragraph using correct grammar, correct spelling, capitalization, punctuation, with 90% accuracy in 4/5 trials." (That seriously may be too ambitious but you get the idea.) Can you help with the wording by any chance? What do I add to that or how to I tweak it to make it appropriate for a GIEP?



    Edited by Irena (10/02/19 06:12 AM)

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    #246153 - 10/02/19 06:51 AM Re: GIEP QUESTION [Re: Irena]
    aeh Offline
    Member

    Registered: 04/26/14
    Posts: 3463
    I assume you've already looked at the relevant DOE advisements:

    "33. If a student has a learning need based on a weakness or discrepancy, can it be included in a Gifted Individualized Education Plan? If so, where and how should it be noted?

    The Gifted Individualized Education Plan is a strength-based document and if a learning need exists that stems from a studentís strength, it belongs in the Gifted Individualized Education Plan. The need(s) can be noted in the present levels and used to craft a goal/shortterm learning outcome, or it can be incorporated into the specially designed instruction. An example of a need based on a studentís strength might be support for long-term projects because he/she is working independently as part of a compaction opportunity. A child may need a learning contract developed to help chunk the project into intermediate steps with clear guidelines and expectations in order for resources to be secured ahead of time and allow the student the maximum opportunity to work independently. If a learning need does meet the definition of a disability and it is preventing the child from accessing the general education curriculum, then all needs, goals, short-term learning outcomes, specially designed instruction, and support services need to be addressed in one document, an individualized education plan according to the procedures in the Pennsylvania Code (22 Pa. Code Chapter 14). If the learning need stems from a studentís weakness and it is not a documented disability, it can be noted in the present levels section of the Gifted Individualized Education Plan, but it is not addressed in the goals, short-term learning outcomes, or specially-designed instruction. For instance, if a child struggles with organization and it is not connected to a disability or a medical diagnosis, it would be helpful for the Gifted Individualized Education Plan team to understand that aspect of a childís learning. The team (consisting of general education and gifted education staff) will provide support in accordance with Pennsylvania Code (22 Pa. Code Chapter 4) through normal differentiation that would be offered to a child who struggles with organization and is not identified gifted. Therefore, since the support provided is not beyond the scope of the general education curriculum, there is no need to write it in a Gifted Individualized Education Plan as specially designed instruction."

    It seems to me the most likely avenue that meets the statute would be to argue that his discrepant weaknesses in spelling and writing mechanics are limiting his access to appropriate programming and GIEP services for his identified above-grade level strengths in ELA (reading comprehension). That is, he demonstrates strength-based needs in ELA, based on his above-grade level reading, but placement into his strength-appropriate ELA settings is compromised by his discrepantly-low writing mechanics. Therefore, specially-designed instruction in writing mechanics is necessary in order to support his access to strength-appropriate ELA instruction.

    If the school continues to claim that they are "working on it", it would be helpful to have them clarify the strategies and interventions they currently have in place, and how they are measuring progress (this is all relevant even for general ed supports), and also to specify if they are accommodating his writing mechanics in some way (which further supports the need for either formal accommodations going into middle school, such as one might find on a 504 plan, or skills remediation). E.g., perhaps they are not marking him down for spelling or other mechanics errors, because he is bright, cute and good.

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    #246154 - 10/02/19 07:13 AM Re: GIEP QUESTION [Re: aeh]
    Irena Offline
    Member

    Registered: 05/26/12
    Posts: 1695
    Originally Posted By: aeh
    It seems to me the most likely avenue that meets the statute would be to argue that his discrepant weaknesses in spelling and writing mechanics are limiting his access to appropriate programming and GIEP services for his identified above-grade level strengths in ELA (reading comprehension). That is, he demonstrates strength-based needs in ELA, based on his above-grade level reading, but placement into his strength-appropriate ELA settings is compromised by his discrepantly-low writing mechanics. Therefore, specially-designed instruction in writing mechanics is necessary in order to support his access to strength-appropriate ELA instruction.


    Yes, thank you so much! I was actually just drafting this type of argument actually in reference to math and science. Basically, He is accelerated two years in math and with all of the "writing to explain" in math his writing mechanics do get in the way. With my older in honors middle school science (and this kiddo heading there himself next year). I am concerned about the same in science. My older one often gets work to be redone due to less than stellar writing mechanics. There is a lot of writing in science. This guy can "do" the work but he needs to be able to express himself in a decently written sentence! Your suggestions are great and I will incorporate those! Thank you.

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    #246155 - 10/02/19 07:19 AM Re: GIEP QUESTION [Re: aeh]
    Irena Offline
    Member

    Registered: 05/26/12
    Posts: 1695
    Originally Posted By: aeh
    If the school continues to claim that they are "working on it", it would be helpful to have them clarify the strategies and interventions they currently have in place, and how they are measuring progress (this is all relevant even for general ed supports), and also to specify if they are accommodating his writing mechanics in some way (which further supports the need for either formal accommodations going into middle school, such as one might find on a 504 plan, or skills remediation). E.g., perhaps they are not marking him down for spelling or other mechanics errors, because he is bright, cute and good.
    Yes the gifted teacher alluded to this. Obviously, what they are doing for him in spelling (because they do acknowledge he is extremely poor in it, and have been acknowledging it for 4 years now) is not good enough. It is not helping. And that is why I started this in the first place because I realized that I need a way to get the school really focused on remediating this - if there is a measurable (G)IEP goal that they have to meet, they will take this issue of remediating this weakness more seriously. I do not need him to win a Spelling B, I just need him to be able to keep up in his advanced classes by being able decently spell and use capitalization and a period.

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