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Teacher Newsmagazine Volume 19, Number 1, September 2006

Teaching to diversity—It's IEP season

by Marilyn Miller

Excellent online information and assistance is available through the BCTF web site.

The BCTF homepage will link you to Teaching to Diversity. There, open the Resource Inventory and then open Documentation. That is your main source of diverse information and multiple supports to assist with IEP development.

Within Documentation, you can access the ministry’s Manual of Policies, Procedures, and Guidelines to find out exactly what the manual states regarding who must have an IEP and what must be contained in an IEP. You can also access the ministry’s Special Education Resource Guide, which provides helpful information and strategies regarding all aspects of the IEP, including determining when an IEP is necessary, which processes should be considered and who should be involved. The guide also includes sample forms and plans that teachers will find useful in preparing their own IEPs.

In addition to those sample forms, there are several sample IEP and Student Learning Plan templates found in the Documentation section of the Resource Inventory. They range in length from full, multipage IEP formats to more concise formats to suit students with less intense needs. Useful checklists of typical adaptations are also found within these templates.

Are you interested in learning what research tells us about what will make the greatest difference in student learning? Go to "Looking at IEPs as Best Practice" for reasons why we need to involve students in their IEP development/review and how their involvement enhances achievement.

You have no doubt noticed that the Resource Inventory contains many more access portals. Why not have a look around those other portals. You will find that the Adaptations, Modifications, and Strategies sections contain varied and useful sources to augment your IEP development as well as general educational practice. One of my favourite sections is Graphic Organizers found within Adaptations. There are literally hundreds of easy-to-use visual templates to scaffold learning. Have a look!

Marilyn Miller teaches at Trafalgar Junior Secondary School, Nelson, and as a member of the Teaching To Diversity committee is content co-ordinator for the web site.


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