Program Planning Process

posted May 14, 2015, 7:15 PM by Jim McNeil   [ updated Dec 4, 2017, 8:43 AM by Genevieve Richardson ]

Policy 2.2: Program Planning Process


Each school board is responsible for establishing a process of identification, assessment, program planning, and evaluation for students with special needs.

Guidelines

The school board is responsible for the implementation of this process; therefore, each procedural step should be documented in the school board’s special education policy. School boards are encouraged to refer to the appropriate sections of the Department of Education’s Special Education Policy.

(Information taken from, The Program Planning Process: A Guide for Parents and Guardians2016)

The Process 

Stage 1Screening and identification (getting information) 
Who is involved? You, your child (when appropriate), your child’s teacher(s), school board based support staff, others who may be involved with your child as appropriate What happens? By working closely with your child in the classroom, the teacher may notice that additional planning is needed to meet your child’s needs. The teacher will contact you to discuss their observations and may ask you to provide any information that may help them better understand your child. If your child has diagnosed special needs, the process may go right to Stage 3. Why? In this stage, the teacher needs to develop a full understanding of your child’s strengths, challenges, and interests in order to support your child in meeting the Public School Program curriculum outcomes. 

Stage 2:  Exploring instructional strategies 
Who is involved? Your child’s teacher(s), your child (when appropriate), others who may offer ideas What happens? The teacher will try different strategies to support your child in the classroom. You will be informed that these strategies, called “adaptations,” are being explored. The teacher will keep track of what works or does not work for your child, and will make changes or try new ideas as needed. Adaptations are documented on a form that the teacher fills out in TIENET (Technology for Improving Education Network), the provincial online student information system for managing student services information. You will receive a copy of the form. Why? Trying different ideas in the classroom will give the teacher a better understanding of what is helpful for your child. Sometimes, these in-class changes are enough to help your child succeed and the process will not need to move beyond Stage 2. If the adaptations aren’t meeting your child’s needs, it may be time to talk about additional supports in Stage 3. A diagram of the Program Planning Process can be found in Appendix 1. Adaptations are monitored on an ongoing basis and are reviewed at least once a year or once a semester. All adaptations are documented in TIENET. 6 The Program Planning Process: A Guide for Parents and Guardians 

Stage 3: Program Planning Team referral (sharing information and ideas) 
Who is involved? You, your child’s teacher, anyone with responsibility for your child’s learning What happens? The teacher fills out a “Referral to Program Planning Team” form for the principal. The principal forms a Program Planning Team that can support your child. The principal can provide information if you have any questions or concerns about the referral or the Program Planning Process in general. Why? A referral to a Program Planning Team may occur when y your child has a diagnosed special need, needs support before starting school for the first time, or is transitioning from another school y Stage 1 indicates your child has an immediate need for a referral y Stage 2 adaptations have not been enough to enable your child to meet or extend the Public School Program curriculum outcomes 

Stage 4: Program Planning Meeting (collaboration) 
Who is involved? The Program Planning Team What happens? The team will meet to talk about your child’s strengths, challenges, and interests. Together, the team may decide to y try different adaptations y get more information from doing more assessments or refer to other professionals y develop an Individual Program Plan (IPP) (See Stage 5.) Why? The meeting is a time when team members share information, collaborate, and decide on future actions. Your child may need a combination of both adaptations and IPP. You can bring a support person (advocate, Elder, etc.) with you to program planning meetings. You should let the principal know if you are bringing someone. The Program Planning Process: A Guide for Parents and Guardians 7

Stage 5: Developing adaptations and/or an IPP 
Who is involved? The Program Planning Team What happens? The Program Planning Team will create an IPP for the school year, or semester, that addresses your child’s strengths, challenges, and interests. The IPP Template on page 23 lists the criteria needed to be met before developing an IPP. Annual and Specific Individualized Outcomes are developed in one or more of the following areas: y Academic y Enrichment y Life Skills y Social Development Transition needs are considered when developing adaptations and IPPs. Why? An IPP is developed and implemented for students for whom Nova Scotia’s public school program curriculum outcomes are not applicable or attainable. An IPP changes what your child is expected to do in school or in certain subjects. It also documents supports provided by your child’s teacher(s) and others. 

Stage 6: Implementing the adaptations and/or an IPP (putting the plan in place) 
Who is involved? Anyone assigned responsibility as noted in the Documented Adaptations form (see templates on pages 20–22) and/or IPP (see IPP Template on pages 23–24). What happens? Your child’s teacher(s) implements the plan, evaluates your child’s progress, and shares information with you. You are encouraged to stay in touch with your child’s teacher(s) to update them on progress, and to share concerns and successes. Why? It was determined by the Program Planning Team that the adaptations and/or an IPP was appropriate to support your child’s needs. Specific Individualized Outcome(s) are statements outlining steps that lead to the attainment of the Annual Individualized Outcome(s). 8 The Program Planning Process: A Guide for Parents and Guardians

Stage 7: Monitoring adaptations and/or an IPP (checking in and following up) 
Who is involved? The Program Planning Team What happens? Your child’s progress is monitored throughout the year or semester. If needed, minor changes may be made to Specific Individualized Outcomes without the Program Planning Team’s input. Such changes are documented and the teacher(s) will keep team members up-to-date on the changes. The Program Planning Team is involved if an Annual Individualized Outcome needs a change. Adaptations are also regularly monitored to ensure they are helping your child meet outcomes in each subject. Why? Checking in on your child’s progress, and keeping the Program Planning Team informed on successes and challenges, is important to ensure the IPP is meeting your child’s needs. 

Stage 8: Reviewing Adaptations and/or an IPP
Who is involved? The Program Planning Team What happens? Adaptations and IPPs are reviewed for their effectiveness in meeting your child’s needs. Adaptations are monitored on an ongoing basis and are reviewed by the team once a year for grades primary to 9, or once a semester for high school. IPPs are reviewed at least twice a year or once a semester. Why? This gives everyone an update on how the implemented adaptations and/ or an IPP are working and identifies where changes may be needed. It may also be an opportunity to consider removing your child from an IPP.


http://studentservices.ednet.ns.ca/sites/default/files/program-planning-process.pdf