Friday, April 20, 2012

Fast Fact Friday: Baseline Data

Developing an IEP requires an understanding of a child's current strengths and weaknesses, and a description of "present levels of performance" is part of the required content for an IEP document. However, defining what that means in a practical sense can be difficult.

"Baseline data" is a way of referring to the where the child is performing on a specific skill at that time. It is a "starting place" based (hopefully) on concrete, understandable information derived from measurements of the child's performance in that area. Understanding, and including, the baseline can give the IEP team the ability to write clear, measureable goals that will allow the child to make real progress.

Baseline data can be taken from a variety of places. For example, if a child's prior IEP included a goal in a specific area, the data collected from the measurement of that goal can give you a baseline for that same skill going forward. Baseline data could also come from standardized tests, classroom based assessments, or statewide / schoolwide testing results.

Here are some examples:

If the IEP team wants to write a goal for reading fluency, you would need to know what the child's current achievement is in this area in order to write a goal that will allow for progress going forward. Reading fluency could be measured in accurate words per minute (wpm) or by the score from a standardized fluency test. That becomes the baseline by which progress towards the goal can be set.

If the child needs a goal in the area of behavior, specifically to address on task behavior or work completion, data can be taken in the classroom setting to establish baseline data.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Not Acceptable R-word PSA Wins YouTube Award

This PSA for "Spread the Word to End the Word," which features Glee stars Jane Lynch and Lauren Potter, brought awareness to why the "R-word" is simply unacceptable.  The ad won the YouTube DoGooder Nonprofit Video Award in the "Fearless Video" category for its fearless take on this important issue.

You can read more about the video, the campaign to end the R-Word and this award at the following links:

How to make record requests

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Resource of the Week: a FREE conference for Parents!

This weekend, the Special Needs Network here in Los Angeles will be hosting its 6th Annual Tools for Transformation Conference - a FREE confe for parents of students with special needs! The conference features many presentations and workshops throughout the day as well as a resource fair with providers and vendors in a multitude of disciplines from around the LA area.

You can register for this free event at the following link:

A2Z will be participating in the resource fair all day on Saturday. We hope to see you there!