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Developing student learning plans effectively
Under No Child Left Behind, once a parent chooses an SES provider for his or her child, the district must enter into an agreement with the provider that includes, among other things, specific achievement goals for the student to be developed in consultation with the student's parents and the provider; a description of how the student's progress will be measured; and a timetable for improving student achievement. The student learning plans that result from these requirements are an essential component of SES implementation. Following are some considerations for developing student learning plans that inform service delivery and contribute to improved student achievement.
For information on involving school staff in this process and using student learning plans to connect SES with the classroom, see "Leveraging student learning plans" on p. 40.
Approaching student learning plans appropriately. Districts may approach student learning plans from a range of perspectives. At one end, a district may view student learning plans as a paperwork responsibility that amounts to little more than checking the appropriate boxes. At the other, a district may place such numerous and detailed requirements on these plans that their development, review, and approval cause a significant delay in the start of services. In general, districts are advised to seek a balance between these extremes and develop useful, informative learning plans while not imposing requirements that cause delays or act as barriers to the provision of services to students.
Using specialists. Districts could enlist the support of curriculum specialists and experts in developing student learning plans. For students with disabilities covered under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act or for students covered under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, districts could include specialists in those areas to assist in the development of the plans. Such experts could provide the SES coordinators in the district with training on the components of an effective student learning plan and could play active roles in plan development and review.