Does the thought of annual review times keep you awake at night?! Does your desk start to look like a tornado hit it because you have so many pieces of paper and not enough time to clean/evaluate/meet/treat at the same time?! Keep reading about some products that are available, ideas to help stay organized and more! I don't claim to be any sort of expect, but the following suggestions and ideas have been tricks that I have learned throughout the years that work for me!
First on the list, have you heard about the evaluation scales and intervention manuals by Hawthorne. These commercially available products are pricey, but many districts have them in a common location or are willing to purchase them for you. They are great for grabbing and going!
Have you seen my previous post about my data collection book?
I find that keeping a binder with information and data ready to go on my desk at all times, it helps prepare progress reports and evaluate progress. I can honestly say I have been trying to do a MUCH better job collecting data. If I cannot do it each session, I try to at least collect once a week. The use of applications on the iPad such as those by Smarty Ears, is a great way to collect easy data that is saved and ready to review for time of annual reviews.
Next thing to consider, what is the best method for you to stay organized and keep track of the dates of meetings and when paperwork is due. I keep a calendar on my iPhone for meetings but I also keep a school calendar in my classroom/therapy room for keeping track of meetings, paperwork due dates, and dates I schedule testing for re-evaluations. I just received my schedule of meetings, therefore, I have started planning out my calendar and scheduling time for re-evaluations. I find it works best for me to be earlier than later. I like to get it done so I have time to fiddle around with reports and writing IEP goals. It is finding what works best for you. I would love to hear ways that you keep track and plan it out!
Does your district invite parents in ahead of meetings to discuss results and create a plan of action before the official annual review meetings? I have worked in districts that did this and those that do not. I truly believe this is a great way to warn parents of lack of progress or even of great progress which may result in recommendation of discharge from speech therapy. It can be difficult to arrange especially when working in a large building with a large caseload, but it is definitely recommended.
Understanding IEP changes:
I know in NY, there have been numerous changes in expectations and requirements for IEPs over the last few years. It is important to make sure you get the updated list of requirements especially those your district is requiring. As someone that has worked in MANY districts, every district has their own expectations and formats. It is important, especially if you are new to a district, to understand the specifics of that district.
I have put together a little (not that little), Annual Review Checklist Document. It contains checklists to help you stay organized with each step of the way:
It also has documents to provide to teachers and parents to assess concerns (for younger and older levels).
I have also provided some sample goals related to common core state standards for grades K-6.
I hope you find this document useful as you prepare for this overwhelming time of the year! You can grab this download HERE!