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Mueller and Vick (2019) suggested an alternative IEP procedure known as the facilitated IEP meeting. Is a facilitated IEP meeting as effective as a traditional IEP meeting for helping special education leaders ensure quality of education for students with disabilities? Why or why not?

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Dawn

Parents’ participation during the IEP process is key. Mason and Goldman (2017), suggest that the whole purpose of the FIEP is to help keep the cost of due process and other hearings down by helping keep the arguments and disagreements down or nonexistent. I have always run an IEP meeting with the student’s needs at the forefront. I make sure that I involve the parents throughout the whole process to hear what they are seeing at home with homework and what parents do to help them that may be added as an accommodation. I always make sure that whatever we are doing is proven by data. If there is data there to support the need for something then we put it in the IEP or do it if there is not the data to support it then it is not done or it was not needed. I make sure that I train all my IEP coordinators to run their meetings the same way.

Mason, C. Q., & Goldman, S. E. (2017). Facilitated individualized education planning: The state of implementation and evaluation.

 

Journal of Disability Policy Studies, 27(4), 212-222.

Derycka

Through decades of research Mueller & Vick (2019) demonstrates and identifies how imperative it is to improve the individualized education program (IEP) meeting process. Through the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) scholars who receive special education services are allocated an individualized education program (IEP) designed by the scholar’s educational team, referred to as the IEP team. However, research has also shown that there have been positive outcomes from the IEP team. Nonetheless, the negative has span for over 30 years, in due process cases and families/parents feeling excluded, ignored, and in some cases, challenged during IEP meetings. Mueller & Vick (2019) exhibits facilitated IEP (FIEP) meeting in their research. This is known as a restructured IEP meeting that uses a unbiassed facilitator and meaningful measures envisioned to encourage family and professional IEP team members to collaboratively develop a meaningful educational program for students with disabilities. 

Facilitated IEP meeting is imperative and more effective as a traditional IEP meeting because knowledgeable facilitators who support the team come to understandings that result in educational programs that are beneficial for children with disabilities. 

Through unbiased facilitating this member is educated in the IEP process who helps maintain the meeting the focus on IEP planning and using active problem-solving methods to continue the meeting in a positive direction. Even though this member may or may not be a part of the IEP team. They are equipped to support and facilitate an IEP meeting that will better bring forth the team in unity. Mason & Goldman (2017) demonstrates that the facilitated individualized education planning (FIEP) presents an alternative to formalized dispute resolution procedures, which can have damaging relational consequences for families and schools. Having a facilitator will support in maintaining positive communication practices during the meeting to promote an environment where the IEP team members can collaborate to build a high-quality IEP and continuously work together to keep scholars well-being at the forefront (Kurth et al., 2019). Through this facilitation effective decisions will continually be made and align procedures and method the team can use to keep supporting scholars and goals that will help support scholars meet their grade level expectations. This will guarantee and safeguard the education that is provided to scholars with disabilities are met.

Reference 

Kurth, J. A., McQueston, J. A., Ruppar, A. L., Toews, S. G., Johnston, R., & McCabe, K. M. (2019). A description of parent input in IEP development through analysis IEP documents. Intellectual and developmental disabilities, 57(6), 485-498.

Mason, C. Q., & Goldman, S. E. (2017). Facilitated individualized education planning: The state of implementation and evaluation. Journal of Disability Policy Studies, 27(4), 212-222.

Mueller, T. G., & Vick, A. M. (2019). Rebuilding the Family-Professional Partnership Through Facilitated Individualized Education Program Meetings: A Conflict Prevention and Resolution Practice. Journal of Educational & Psychological Consultation, 29(2), 99–127. 

https://doi-org.lopes.idm.oclc.org/10.1080/10474412.2018.1470934

REPLY

Maren

I remember being in one of my Intro to Special Education classes in the beginning stages of my undergraduate program. It’s not a class that I remember a lot about, but there was a discussion that my professor initiated about how important families are to the IEP process. Now that I’ve got some years under my belt teaching Special Ed., I would have to say that families being important is an understatement. There have been many moments where I have found their contributions to be invaluable. Because of this, it is important for special education teachers and leaders to develop positive and respectful relationships with the families of their students.  Unfortunately, these relationships are not always possible, or they become strained. When these situations take place, having a facilitated IEP meeting can help sensitive partnerships still produce productive and effective results. Facilitated IEP meetings are usually requested when parents and school personnel agree that a facilitator will help with the communication and problem solving when there may be a history of contentious interactions or when topics are sensitive or complex (Mason & Goldman, 2017).  The IEP team may not always get along or communicate effectively, but having a resource like a facilitator would give the team a better chance of meeting the common goal of providing students with the best support possible.

Mason, C. Q., & Goldman, S. E. (2017). Facilitated individualized education planning: The state of implementation and evaluation. Journal of Disability Policy Studies, 27(4), 212-222.
REPLY

Holly

The goal of a facilitated IEP meeting (FIEP) is the opportunity for the team to work through disagreements throughout the IEP as a team with a facilitator to provide support as needed (Mueller & Vick,2019). FIEP meetings are a beneficial method to allow all voices to be heard. FIEPs are a way to enhance family involvement and structure through trust-building; it is a tool that can be used for challenging or offtopic behavior during an IEP meeting (Mueller & Vick,2019). FIEPs are as effective as a traditional IEP meeting when ensuring the quality of education for the student. Before my IEP meetings, I send home a form about the parent’s input about the new IEP, what the parents would like to see the student work on, etc. During my IEP meetings, I always try to check in with the parents for clarification or input. The facilitator in FIEP meetings can ensure that the IEP procedure is followed and met. Having a facilitator will also allow parents to feel they can bring up topics that could cause a conflict because there is someone to ensure that the meeting does not stray from the primary purpose of the student’s education plan. 

Mueller, T. G., & Vick, A. M. (2019). An investigation of facilitated individualized education program meeting practice: Promising procedures that foster family-professional collaboration. Teacher Education and Special Education, 42(1), 67-81. 

https://lopes.idm.oclc.org/login?url=https://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=eric&AN=EJ1203721&site=eds-live&scope=site

http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0888406417739677

REPLY

Angelica

Replies to Dawn Morelle

Mueller & Vick (2019) identify a facilitated IEP as an avenue to resolve disputes and create and create an individualized education plan for students. A facilitated IEP is an alternative to filing due process, which utilizes a neutral facilitator to promote collaboration while creating a student’s IEP. For conflict resolution to be successful, a facilitator must be neutral in the situation being presented and well educated in special education law. Jones & Peterson-Ahmad conducted a study to offer strategies of collaboration among IEP team members, with efforts to promote best practices in conflict resolution. Jones & Peterson-Ahmad analyze mini-conferencing as an avenue to increase parent participation and promote overall collaboration among team members. These are both great avenues to take in attempts to create a more cohesive IEP team, with efforts to better supports students and their families. However, the conflict that continues to occur is the parents understanding of special education law and their ability to effectively advocate for their child in special education. For these programs to be effective, I do think that parents need to be offered additional avenues to be better education regarding their child IEP.  

References

Mueller, T. G., & Vick, A. M. (2019). An investigation of facilitated individualized education program meeting practice: promising procedures that foster family-professional collaboration. Teacher education and special education, 42(1), 67–81.

Jones, B. A., & Peterson-Ahmad, M. B. (2017). Preparing new special education teachers to facilitate collaboration in the individualized education program process through mini-conferencing. International Journal of Special Education, 32(4), 697–707.

REPLY

Derycka

replied to Angelica Elia

Hi

Angelica,

Mueller & Vick (2019) exhibits facilitated IEP (FIEP) meeting in their research. This is known as a restructured IEP meeting that uses a unbiassed facilitator and meaningful measures envisioned to encourage family and professional IEP team members to collaboratively develop a meaningful educational program for students with disabilities. Having a knowledgeable facilitator is an added benefit for children with disabilities. Through my experience I have seen that IEP teams can gear off on a tangent and forget what the main goal is. I have also experienced families/parents feeling confused, scared, not confident and excluded during these meeting when they have so much to say and express about their child well-being outside of their educational environment. Having a facilitator will support in maintaining positive communication practices during the meeting to promote an environment where the IEP team members can collaborate to build a high-quality IEP and continuously work together to keep scholars well-being at the forefront (Kurth et al., 2019). This will allow all member of the team to feel like they have a fair chance to speak and express what they know about the scholar. Through this all communications will be taking into consideration to create and IEP with goals for meeting grade level standards. 

Reference 
Kurth, J. A., McQueston, J. A., Ruppar, A. L., Toews, S. G., Johnston, R., & McCabe, K. M. (2019). A description of parent input in IEP development through analysis IEP documents. Intellectual and developmental disabilities, 57(6), 485-498.
Mueller, T. G., & Vick, A. M. (2019). Rebuilding the Family-Professional Partnership Through Facilitated Individualized Education Program Meetings: A Conflict Prevention and Resolution Practice. Journal of Educational & Psychological Consultation, 29(2), 99–127. 
https://doi-org.lopes.idm.oclc.org/10.1080/10474412.2018.1470934

Best,

Derycka Shirley-Clarke

REPLY

Maren

Unread

Replies to Angelica Elia

Angelica,

I think that you made a great point when you mentioned that conflicts occur when parents have difficulties understanding special education. I have had multiple conversations with parents who were frustrated with the system. Fortunately, I had a great leader who was great at explaining the process and respecting parents’ opinions and knowledge. Although these situations turned out positively, I know that this isn’t the reality for every situation where parents are unhappy with the services their child is receiving. Facilitated IEP meetings are a great resource when the lines of communication have been halted. The objective of a facilitated IEP process is to reduce costs and avoid adversarial procedures such as due process (Mason & Goldman, 2017).  Allowing a facilitator to become part of the IEP process allows for parents and school personnel a chance to problem solve and communicate in a structured way that can help prevent any further conflict and frustration.

Mason, C. Q., & Goldman, S. E. (2017). Facilitated individualized education planning: The state of implementation and evaluation. Journal of Disability Policy Studies, 27(4), 212-222.

Afreeka

Mueller and Vick (2019) proclaim that because of the negative parent experiences with Individualized Education Plan (IEP) meeting practice and the adverse outcomes associated with due process hearings, researchers, educators, policy makers have begun to promote the use of alternative dispute resolution (ADR) practices in special education. Mueller and Vick (2019) note that the facilitated IEP (FIEP) meeting is currently known as a restructured IEP meeting that uses a neutral facilitator and meaningful procedures intended to encourage family and professional IEP team members to collaboratively develop a meaningful educational program for students with disabilities. The aim of FIEP meeting practice is to provide the team with the opportunity to work through issues of disagreement throughout the IEP document as a team, with a facilitator available, to provide support, as needed (Mueller and Vick, 2019).

 I feel that a FIEP is as effective as a traditional IEP because the facilitator models effective communication and listening and works with the participants in the IEP meeting to identify points on which they agree and disagree. Helps the team stay focus on what the meeting is about. In addition, IEP facilitation can build and improve relationships among IEP team members, especially when they are having difficulty working well together; encourage parents and professionals to consider new options to address unresolved problems, help resolve disagreements more quickly than with other dispute resolution options; and maintain decision-making process with team members who know the student.

References

Mueller, T. G., & Vick, A. M. (2019). Rebuilding the family–professional partnership through facilitated individualized education program meetings: A conflict prevention and resolution practice. Journal of Educational and Psychological Consultation, 29(2), 99-127.

Mueller, T. G., & Vick, A. M. (2019). An investigation of facilitated individualized education program meeting practice: Promising procedures that foster family–professional collaboration. Teacher Education and Special Education, 42(1), 67–81. DOI: 10.1177/0888406417739677

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· LC

Lynnel

Unread

Replies to Rosaline Nixon

Rosaline,

You have vaild points and I can’t agree with you how important it is to ensure that parents are involved. I still remember my first IEP for my own daughter 10 years ago, at that time I was a stay at home and that school knew everything to tell me. They only kept my daughter in kindergarten for 2 hours a day as they were concerned for her safety because she kept running away from the school campus but on an IEP for autism. I sat there and let them tell me that I had to pick her up once she started to run away from her classroom, so there were times she never even went to school and missed an entire year of schooling. When I look back now as I have been educated on the law and now have a masters in autism, there were so many rights that I didn’t know and I felt like they were telling me what to do without listening to my concerns. Fast forward to today and now I ensure that my parents know their rights, even if they ask questions after a meeting about their rights!

It is imperative to understand these FIEP really help to stop all the costs the districts must pay when a parent is not satisfied and understands that they can go to due process (Goldman & Mason, 2018). I alway look at my job as if I am supporting these families in their concerns and never painting a pretty picture because we have to be real with parents as well. I get some many kids don’t know there letters and sounds yet in 4th grade and I have to be the barrier of bad news. I let parents know that they may need more specialized supports and we have the oppurtunity to do that.

Goldman, S. E., & Mason, C. Q. (2018). Predictors of participant perceptions of facilitated individualized education program meeting success. Journal of Disability Policy Studies, 29(1), 43–53. 

REPLY

Agnes

The alternative Individualized Education Program (I.E.P.) procedure is a facilitated Individualized Education Program (FIEP) meeting. 

Mueller and Vick (2019) explained the experiences of parents, advocates, educators, and facilitators, and FIEP served as alternative dispute resolution practice in special education. Mueller and  Vick (2019) explained that FIEP meetings use collaboration between family and professionals to develop a meaningful educational program to best address students’ needs. Data analysis identified FIEP as a promising collaborative practice used to restructure I.E.P. meetings with the intent to prevent and resolve conflicts by encouraging active parent participation through consensus building and maintaining focus on the student (Mueller & Vick, 2019). On the other hand, the Individuals with Disability Education Act (IDEA) stipulated some guidelines for all students who qualified for special education services, which provide under I.E.P. (Mueller & Vick, 2019). Despite the I.E.P. mandate, there are strain and fracturing in the relationship between parents and professional, and some research documented that parents exclude, ignore, or challenge during I.E.P. meeting (Mueller & Vick, 2019). FIEP is more effective than the formal I.E.P. meeting. The research reported that I.E.P. has more limitations than benefits to families and educators. 

Due process describes as expensive, biased, laborious, narrow, and grueling in emotion and an advocate for relaying on the alternative dispute resolution (Mueller & Vick, 2019). 

                                    References

Individuals with Disabilities Education Act of 2004, 20 U.S.C. 1412a14.

Mueller, T. G., & Vick, A. M. (2019) Rebuilding the family–professional partnership through facilitated individualized education program meetings: A conflict prevention and resolution practice. Journal of Educational and Psychological Consultation, 29:2, 99-127, DOI: 10.1080/10474412.2018.1470934 

 
 

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REPLY

Baptiste

Replies to Dawn Morelle

Greetings Dr. Tate & Cohort,

One of the primary components of individualized education program (IEP) meetings is collaboration. After decades of research, the need to improve the IEP meeting process has been identified with Facilitated Individualized Education Program (FIEP) meetings being presented as a possible option (Goldman & Mason, 2018). FIEP meetings use a collaborative approach to encourage educators and families to develop a student-focused educational program, prevent, and resolve conflict by encouraging active parent participation via consensus building by maintaining meeting focus on the student (Mueller & Vick, 2019). There is limited empirical literature on facilitated IEP meetings on whether it is as effective as a traditional IEP meeting for helping special education leaders ensure the quality of education for students with disabilities. However, facilitated IEP meetings offer school leaders an alternative option for resolving disputes and improving relationships in special education (Goldman & Mason, 2018). FIEP meetings can help promote collaborations by helping special education leaders to ensure the quality of education for students with disabilities.

References
Goldman, S. E., & Mason, C. Q. (2018). Predictors of participant perceptions of facilitated individualized education program meeting success. Journal of Disability Policy Studies, 29(1), 43–53. 

Mueller, T. G., & Vick, A. M. (2019). Rebuilding the family-professional partnership through facilitated individualized education program meetings: A conflict prevention and resolution practice. Journal of Educational & Psychological Consultation, 29(2), 99–127.

Derycka

Unread

Replies to Baptiste Dixon

Hi Baptiste,

What I love about the IEP team is that it creates a sort of checks and balances. Mueller (2009) demonstrates through research that there is a major gap in special education conflict resolution procedures that exists today. With disproportionality still happening in different school communities, along with, families struggle to advocate for themselves and representing their children in the correct manner. I can see why conflict resolution still happens across states and different school district. An alternative IEP procedure known as the facilitated IEP meeting is a way to create a team of individuals who support and service the growth of scholars inside and outside of their educational establishment. In a facilitated meeting there is a facilitator. A facilitator aids the IEP team members to stay focused on creating the IEP while resolving any conflicts or disagreements that may arise. Through the facilitator parents will feel comfortable in expressing themselves, along with not feeling confused with the agenda of the meeting and what is expected.

Reference 

Mueller, T. G. (2009). IEP facilitation: A promising approach to resolving conflicts between families and schools. Teaching Exceptional Children, 41(3), 60-67.

Best,
Derycka Shirley-Clarke
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