2 Ways to Improve IEP Compliance with Athlos
Over the last five years, the number of due process complaints regarding IEP compliance has increased. However, demonstrating mastery of goals and completion of service minutes can be difficult without the proper tool. Athlos Special Education Logs streamlines documentation of IEP compliance in two areas described in IDEA’s definition of an IEP – progress monitoring and service minutes. Special Education Logs leverages three pillars to support these two elements of IEP compliance- Data Collection, Real-Time Analytics, and Reporting.
Many districts find themselves using a hodge-podge assortment of methods when it comes to tracking services and progress. Some providers may use Google Sheets, while others may have a binder, sticky notes, even the back of napkins. We hear it all. As you reflect on how your providers track services some of this might sound familiar.
There are a few key issues with these methods. First and foremost is lost data. If a provider’s binder gets misplaced there’s no way to recover their data. Second, there’s likely inconsistencies in the level of information that is tracked. Each provider includes their own level of detail in their logs. Finally, there’s zero transparency. Other teachers, providers, and administrators have no way to effectively get a pulse on students’ services and progress.
Special Education Logs lets providers log services from any device. They can even use their phone’s text-to-type feature to dictate service notes or create custom templates for reoccurring service sessions. Does Mrs. Johnson provide services to the same four students at 10:00 on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday? No problem, she can create a template so she doesn’t have to re-enter the same data after each session. She just selects the template, adds the new session notes and she’s done. Students, session time, date, and applicable IEP goals for each student are all auto-filled.
Special Education Logs has taken the concept of progress monitoring and distilled it down to really simple tracking. Rather than adding administrative time to a teacher’s workload, we aim to reduce it. Data collection is the first step towards IEP compliance and reducing the barriers for teachers is critical for adoption. Teachers can track progress towards mastery on IEP goals using the specific type of assessment that is specified within the IEP in under a minute. This allows for a more efficient and effective method of data collection, as well as more time for the service provider to focus on how to best support their students.
Leveraging Real-Time Data
Special Education Logs takes datapoints from progress and service logs and updates them into a real-time interactive dashboard. You can see how many students’ goals are being monitored, how frequently a provider is logging services, and identify trends across providers, schools, and students. This gives your program transparency, which allows you and your staff to be better equipped with the information needed to make data-driven decisions and improve student outcomes.
Here’s an example of how in just a few clicks, a special education director uses Special Education Logs dashboards to understand a student’s progress and identify the root-cause of their limited progress in math class.
Mr. Rose is concerned about Sally’s progress in math. You don’t see Sally often but want to help coach Mr. Rose on how to improve Sally’s progress towards mastery. You click on Sally’s name in the Special Education Logs dashboard, select her math IEP goal, and see how she’s progressed on each benchmark over time. You see when each service session took place between the progress assessment and its associated notes. Nothing jumps out at you as an issue, so you click on her reading goal. You see the same trend of limited progress.
After going through the notes from her reading service logs, you realize she has been struggling with reading comprehension. Clicking back to her math goals, you see that she recently started word problems. You mention to Mr. Rose that Sally’s limited progress in math could be due to her difficulty understanding the word problem rather than the equations themselves. You and Mr. Rose have a conversation with Sally’s reading teacher. Together you identify ways to adjust the approach to help Sally get back on track.
Albeit simplistic, this example gives you a glimpse into the knowledge that cross-curricular data aggregated into meaningful dashboards can provide you and your department.
Reduce Your Compliance Headache
You’ve received a call from a stakeholder questioning whether their child is receiving the services specified in their IEP. Now it’s up to you to reach out to each person providing services to the child and request logs for the services provided. Your team sends you the information and you begin compiling all the hand-written notes and spreadsheets into a document that you and the stakeholder can make sense of.
At this point, you realize one of the providers hasn’t been taking session notes and another is missing three weeks of logs because the pages fell out of their notebook.
You compile the various datapoints into a report, even with some missing session notes. Finally, everything is in one document that you send to the stakeholder four days after the initial request.
What if you could flip this process? Imagine if you could get everything you need in a few clicks. A few minutes. You could have an email with all the information back to the stakeholder shortly after the call.
The power of Special Education Logs’ ability to streamline IEP compliance is in the reports. You can select the student and timeframe, then automatically generate a stakeholder-ready report broken out by IEP goal with all the service minutes and assessments related to that IEP goal listed chronologically.
You can then export the student’s report to a PDF, take a quick look through it (you regularly check dashboards so there are no surprises in the data), and send it to the stakeholder. Not only does the report include session notes and progress, it also tracks which sessions the student was absent for as well as when school was out of session for holiday, all giving you and the stakeholder the context you need to understand if the student is receiving the services they’re required to receive.
You’re no longer at risk for a provider losing the piece of paper they log their data on, and thanks to dashboards you can proactively norm session notes across your district. Moreover, you can improve compliance by setting a logging period to restrict the length of time providers can log a session after it occurred. For example, you can choose to only allow past services to be logged up to two days after the session to encourage providers to log consistently when information is top of mind. This increases data integrity and provides updated information for your report.
Special Education Logs helps school districts demonstrate compliance. Providers can log services and progress in less than a minute. Dashboards give you the information you need to make data-driven decisions, support teachers, and improve student outcomes. Lastly, reports aggregate all this data into meaningful information for external stakeholders and parents, helping your district demonstrate progress towards the IEP goal, as well as frequency, duration, and notes about the services provided. If you want to learn more, take a look at this case study or book a demo with us!