ESE601: Students With Exceptionalities in the School Setting

ESE601: Week 5 – Discussion Forum

Week 5 – Discussion Forum

Your initial discussion thread is due on Day 3 (Thursday) and you have until Day 7 (Monday) to respond to your classmates. Your grade will reflect both the quality of your initial post and the depth of your responses. Refer to the Discussion Forum Grading Rubric under the Settings icon above for guidance on how your discussion will be evaluated.

The grading rubric is based on 10 points, and the discussion is worth 4% of your grade.

   Present Level of Performance (Scenario) [WLOs: 1, 2] [CLOs: 1, 3]

This discussion is your opportunity to demonstrate your understanding of how to effectively use present levels of academic and functional performance to create specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-based (SMART) IEP goals that strongly align with student needs.


Prior to beginning work on this discussion forum,


As you navigate this scenario, consider how you can apply these concepts and critical terms to your chosen path or learning environment in the field of education. Points to ponder as you begin:

  • P-12: Consider the state or educational standards your district follows or the Common Core State Standards.
  • Early Childhood: The National Association for the Education of Young Children or your local education standards.
  • Post-secondary: Adult learning or training environments (e.g., educational, military, corporate environments) and standards aligning with professional learning.

Consider your goal for this discussion.

By the end of the day Thursday, complete the Week 5 Present Level of Performance (Scenario) initial discussion forum content expectation steps of writing at least three SMART goals in the discussion forum based on the supporting required resources provided with 100% accuracy.


You play an important role on the individualized education program (IEP) team, which is required to meet at least once annually. This federal mandate requires that all participants meaningfully contribute information regarding the student’s current abilities, strengths, and areas of weaknesses so that specific goals and services can be provided. Remember that evaluation and IEPs are completed by multi-disciplinary teams and not the decision of one educator or stakeholder. The written document that results from the IEP team meeting is akin to a “roadmap” that is specifically designed for each student who qualifies for special education and related services.

During Henry’s annual IEP meeting, his present levels of academic and functional performance are discussed. You are still concerned for Henry’s overall lack of academic progress and quiet demeanor. Since you know Henry well and want him to be successful in school, you make suggestions to the team regarding his goals. Collaboratively developing goals for any student is one of the most important components of the IEP process. Because they are the basis on which appropriate services and placement are determined, this discussion serves significant importance to the overall plan that is developed. IEP goals must be developed based on the student’s current levels of abilities, be measurable, linked to the general education curriculum, and reasonably met within one year.

Take Action

Initial Post:

  • Create at least three IEP goals using the SMART goal format.
  • Present a descriptive narrative, offering a rationale for your decision-making process, explaining why you chose each of the goals, how they align with Henry’s levels of performance, and how they meet the SMART goal criteria.

Guided Response

Review the posts of your classmates and that of your instructor. Respond to at least two peers by comparing your suggestion of the three goal areas with those evidenced by your peers. Be sure to endorse, question, or refute your peer’s suggestions using the text, Instructor Guidance lesson, or other outside sources as supporting evidence. Refer to the Scholarly, Peer-Reviewed, and Other Credible Sources (Links to an external site.) table if you need clarification on viable sources. You are encouraged to provide additional resources that will assist with your explanation.

Distinguished responses will

  • Include a question about your colleague’s response.
  • Offer an additional resource that supports this week’s topics.
  • Discuss your colleague’s point of view.
  • Share your own related personal or professional experiences.
  • Demonstrate critical thinking by including real-world application.
  • Support statements and responses with scholarly resources.

Though two replies are the basic expectation, for deeper engagement and application of the material, you are encouraged to provide responses to any comments or questions others have made (including your instructor) before the last day of the discussion period. This will extend the conversation while providing opportunities to demonstrate your content expertise, critical thinking, and real work experiences with this topic.

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