Individual Planning » Components of the IEP

Components of the IEP

The following section is intended to provide you with a breakdown of some of the terminology and sections of the IEP that you will discuss at your child’s meeting:

  • PLAAFP:  Present Level of Academic Achievement and Functional Performance (often called the “present levels”).

This is a narrative statement(s) of your child’s current performance levels in a specific area of the curriculum. This narrative should include information about how your child’s disability impacts their learning, or their access to instruction. It should further include:

    • Test Scores (more than one data point)
    • Strengths
    • Areas of need or improvement
    • Functional information (observational data that gives a holistic picture of your child as a learner and peer in the academic environment)

This narrative is a summary which should clearly indicate data which defines the direction of the IEP goals and objectives.

  • Annual Goals:

Goals are written for a student’s area of need (where a student is performing significantly below grade level expectation or functional/social/emotional expectation for their age).

Goals are written with the expectation that they can be achieved within a year’s time (not a school year, per se, but within a full year of the date of the meeting).

Goals must be measurable (there must be something tangible; a product that can be used to determine growth).

Goals must be directly related to the areas of need, aligned specifically with the PLAAFP.

  • Objectives:
Objectives are more specific and easier to measure than goals. They are the steps to accomplish in order to achieve the ultimate goal. 

Like goals, objectives must be specific and measurable. They must be achievable and realistic/relevant, and they must be time-bound.

    • Objectives can be achieved in less than one year if they are leading to the overall achievement of the larger goal that is to be accomplished at the end of one year.

    • Each goal must have a minimum of one objective.  
  • Progress Tracking/Quarterly Progress:

You will find a statement within your child’s IEP that clearly indicates how you will receive documentation of your child’s progress.

At MSD, progress tracking is done on a quarterly basis and is provided to families in a written document that is sent home around the same time as report cards. A clear description of your child’s progress on each goal/objective is noted with a corresponding number to help you follow your child’s growth.

    • If your child is “not making sufficient progress” for more than one quarter of the IEP cycle, you can expect the IEP team to hold a meeting to discuss how to revise their approach to this area of need.

    • You always have the right to call a meeting sooner, should you feel the need to do so.
  • Specialized Instruction:

At MSD, your child is eligible to receive specialized instruction because they are deaf or hard of hearing. Your child may also have additional challenges in their learning needs.  

These additional needs should be clearly identified in your child’s IEP and the type of specialized instruction to meet those needs should also be clearly identified, if other than the use of ASL to access instruction.

You can find that documentation in several places on your child’s IEP; however, the Eligibility page is foremost in determining “why” your child is receiving instruction that is specialized.

The Maryland School for the Deaf is considered a Separate Public Day School by the Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE). Because it is identified in this way, MSD is seen by the state as a school that provides 100% specialized instruction to all of its students, regardless of the level of need your child requires in support throughout the school day.  

This is the reason that all of the students at MSD are required to have an IEP.

MSD has a full range of services that it offers to all of its students, as does any other public setting in the state. All of the students who are here require direct instruction using a visual language and a fully visual learning environment. All students at MSD receive instruction using the Maryland College and Career Readiness Standards and must meet the state’s graduation requirements to obtain a Maryland State diploma upon graduation.

Any student at MSD who requires longer than four (4) years to complete their high school graduation requirements, may do so if it is necessary, with a clear transition plan that outlines how they will achieve their goals, in what time frame, and with what supports.