the measurement method for each goal.
PLAAFP must also include statements, as appropriate, regarding health, vision,
hearing, social-emotional status, general intelligence, educational
performance, communicative status, motor abilities, and developmental status
(Kansas State Department of Education, 2011). Parental concerns may also be
addressed in the PLAAFP at the discretion of the IEP team. There must be
documentation that the concerns of the parents were considered when developing
the IEP, but this information does not necessarily have to be written in the
PLAAFP (K.S.A. 72-987(d)).
"Appropriate activities" are defined as those activities that children of the same age would take part in if they were enrolled in preschool, child care, mother's day out programs, or in their home with their family. Such activities may include emergent literacy and math, listening to stories, dramatic play, participating in small and/or large groups, playing with friends, interacting with adults, singing songs, constructing buildings with blocks, coloring and painting, etc.
Under current regulations, the IEP team must describe in the PLAAFP how the child's disability affects their involvement and progress in appropriate activities. By identifying how a child's delay affects his or her ability to progress in appropriate activities, the IEP team can easily identify and prioritize needs from which to create goals. For example, if Suzie's delay in expressive language is keeping her from making friends (Suzie is unable to verbally initiate, respond to and, maintain social interactions) this need could be identified as a priority since the ability to make and keep friends is a critical skill for young children.
Relationship Between the PLAAFP and Measurable Annual Goals
should be a direct relationship between the PLAAFP and the measurable annual
goals. Each area of need identified in the PLAAFP must be addressed
somewhere in the IEP. Most needs will be addressed as measurable annual goals,
but needs may also be addressed in other ways.
Some needs identified in the PLAAFP may be addressed within routine classroom activities without additional intervention or support. In such cases, the team would include a statement in the "special considerations section" of the IEP, and thus, not need to write a goal. However, in most cases, needs identified on the PLAAFP are addressed by writing measurable annual goals and anyone reading the IEP should see a direct relationship between the goals that were selected and the needs outlined in the PLAAFP.
Early childhood professionals will find it difficult to describe a child's performance in appropriate activities if they have not collected enough information during the evaluation process. Many teams spend large amounts of time assessing children using published norm-referenced instruments. These instruments assess child performance within developmental domains (e.g., cognitive, social/emotional, self-help, motor, and com-communication) and describe that performance relative to peers of the same age.
from norm reference tests represent a wide range of content, and are not
specific to a particular curriculum or activities. In addition, scores recorded
on norm-referenced tests reflect a band of scores (standard error of
measurement) not an exact score. For example, if the standard error of
measurement is 6, and a child receives a standard score of 65, that means 95
times out of 100 when given the same test, the child will receive a score
somewhere between 60 and 70. For these reasons scores produced using norm
referenced instruments are not specific or sensitive enough to be used for
Norm referenced tests help answer the question, "Is there a delay in the child's development?". Although this is important information and may help establish eligibility, it is only one piece of the evaluation process. The second question to be answered is, "If a delay exists, how is that delay affecting the child's ability to participate and progress in appropriate activities?". This question will be answered through other methods of assessment.
To assess how a delay affects a child's ability to participate in appropriate activities, the team must use evaluation measures that examine a child within authentic activities. The team can use a variety of formal and informal measures, such as published curriculum-based assessments or criterion-referenced tests, structured observations, rating scales, rubrics, portfolio assessments, work sample analysis, language samples, and checklists. Information collected using such methods will provide good baseline data to be used in the PLAAFP. In addition the tool or method used to establish PLAAFP baseline data will later be used to measure the overall accomplishment of the goal.
a Baseline in the PLAAFP
PLAAFP helps to establish the baseline for measurable annual goals. A baseline
is a starting point from which to measure progress. Without good baseline data,
it is difficult for parents and staff to evaluate the effectiveness of the
educational plan. Therefore, teams should choose their baseline data wisely.
Baseline data should be stated in clear and concise terms. If test scores
are used in the PLAAFP to establish baseline, they should be written in
understandable terms, free of jargon and relate to developmental outcomes. The
same criteria used to report baseline must be used to measure progress toward
the annual goals. The following are some examples of baseline data statements: