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Present Levels of Performance: Checklist for the IEP (Individual Education Program)

written by: Barbara • edited by: Elizabeth Stannard Gromisch • updated: 4/5/2012

The IEP is a legal document that includes the current evaluation of how a student's disability impacts his/her participation and progress in the general education classroom. Find specific examples of present levels of performance and other important parts of the IEP.

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    IEP Checklist

    The IEP (Individual Education Program) is a legal document that defines students with disabilities’ academic and behavioral performance in school communities. A part of the IEP includes a section called “Present Levels of Performance” which reflects a student’s current level of educational performance based on the student's specific disability. The following sections are evaluated relative to the student’s performance:

    • Strengths of the student
    • Results of the initial or recent evaluation
    • Data of student’s current performance levels
    • Areas qualified for specially designed instruction
    • Statement of adversity in educational impact of student’s program
    • Identified strengths and current levels of performance

    Strengths of the Student

    In evaluating the strengths of the student, the IEP information must reflect how the student’s disability impacts the student’s educational access and equity. The information contained should show using progress reports and behavioral feedback how the student is performing in his/her specialized designed programs in the academic environment.

    Results of the Initial or Recent Evaluation

    Students with disabilities and their parents have the legal expectation that the student’s IEP is an annual evaluation that is measurable and narrative of the student’s actual and current performance academic and behavioral data. The IEP is cumulative of present diagnostic data which should be reflective of the student’s academic and behavioral skill levels and how those levels are reflective in current educational performance. Once the results of the student’s IEP have been evaluated and incorporated into curriculum programs and behavioral expectations in the classroom, there must be compliance of the IEP. If the IEP needs to be amended during the school year, another meeting must happen with all of the stakeholders to provide an amendment to the current IEP for compliance.

    Data of Student’s Current Performance Levels

    Data included in a student’s IEP should come from a variety of resources, that includes Brigance diagnostic testing. A student’s quarterly progress reports will provide current academic performance in each subject content area. Attendance data will include excused and unexcused absences during the grading period. Attendance is important in that it can directly impact and affect a student’s academic performance in the classroom. Disciplinary data will show how behavior impacts academic performance and the ability to learn progressively. Teacher feedback and other support staff input of observations in a student’s classroom performance can also be included in evaluating a student’s current performance levels.

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    Areas of Present Levels of Performance

    The following additional areas of “Present Levels of Performance” will be evaluated in reflecting how the student’s disability impacts the student’s ability to access and engage in general education programs:

    • Areas qualified for specially designed instruction
    • Statement of adversity in educational impact of student’s program
    • Identified strengths and current levels of performance

    Areas qualified for specially designed instruction

    In this section of the “Present Levels of Performance” in the IEP (Individual Education Program), the student’s Case Manager should define specific areas of individualized instruction. For example, if Mark’s areas of specially designed instruction include math and written expression, that information included in this section would state the following:

    Mark qualifies for specially designed instruction in the areas of mathematics and written expression.

    Statement of adversity in educational impact of student’s program

    The statement of adversity is provided to address how delays in a student’s academic skill levels adversely impact the student’s current abilities in a regular education program. In the case of Julia’s diagnostic deficiencies in written expression and mathematical computations, a written statement would include the following:

    Diagnostic skill deficiencies and delays in Julia’s written expression in the areas of spelling, conventions, grammar and fluency; and mathematics in the areas of problem solving, computation (basic math levels) and calculation adversely affect Julia’s ability to complete 9th grade level assignments in the general education classroom.

    Identified strengths and current levels of performance

    The specifics of the current levels of performance and strengths in those levels for students with disabilities are clearly stated in this section. Testing results should include quantifiable data from diagnostic tests such as the Brigance or other specialized designed testing of a student’s academic and behavioral performance levels.

    Written Expression: Karen has strength in expressing her views on issues and is impressive with her ability to active questioning of subject expectations in the classroom. She has good research skills and is able to print presented materials which represent some of her strengths. Karen earned a composite score in the “below average” in the 10th percentile range on spelling and written fluency. Karen is not able to compose complete sentences and scored in the 10th percentile range on convention tasks such as punctuation and editing skills.

    Brigance test: 3rd Edition

    Composites/Subtests Standard Score Percentile Score Grade Equivalent

    Written Expression 79 10 4.5

    Essay — Authentic Author Content with References Noted


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