Giving Compass' Take:

Ace Parsi and Curtis Richards lay out six ways that individualized learning plans can work successfully for students with disabilities.

The key points outlined below emphasize that educators should encourage student agency and engagement within their own individualized learning plan.  Why is it important to include student voice and opinion in regard to equity and inclusion? Can other education models work on this?

Learn about how different states make educational policies around what they think it best for students with disabilities.

From pulling our kids out of bed in the morning for school to devising the right carrots and sticks to inspire their effort in the classroom, education often becomes something we drag kids through rather than inspire them to enjoy.

We shouldn’t be surprised then at the pervasive state of disengagement in our schools, or that when many kids finally have the agency to make the decision for themselves, they drop out of school altogether.

Individualized learning plans (ILPs) are a key instrument to achieving this goal. ILPs are being used as a strategy in more than 40 states to enable students to document their course-taking patterns and post-secondary plans and ensure these plans are aligned to their career goals.

Yet efforts to ensure ILPs meaningfully deliver on equity and inclusion may often be derailed by overlooking the needs of different students. It might occur in the failure to address physical accessibility of different learning opportunities outlined in the ILP. Or it may be a failure to check adult biases about what a student with a disability or a student facing an educational challenge can know and do and how it is reflected in their ILP.

Several key actions can ensure we maximize the potential of ILPs for students with disabilities. These include:

  • Expand stakeholders understanding of a disability.
  • Be explicit in helping students develop key skills in the ILP process.
  • Ensure the system is accessible so that students have meaningful choices.
  • Ensure students are part of any conversations affecting them.
  • Value the goals that students choose for themselves.
  • ILPs need to be complementary to a student’s Individual Education Program (IEP), and vice versa.

Read the full article about implementing personalized learning plans by Ace Parsi and Curtis Richards at Getting Smart