Sunday, 23 September 2012

Should students be included in the IPP process? Yes!

Last week we tried a new approach to individual program plan writing. We met as a team with the family of the student, the consultants from our Inclusive Learning Services, the teaching team (including the Educational Assistant) and me, the principal. At then of our time together, we had the skeleton of an excellent IPP. What a valuable time for all. Everyone had an opportunity to speak and be heard. This week, the teaching team will finish this initial draft and share with the family. All in all, everyone left the table feeling heard and satisfied that they had a voice. This week we will take the same process and meet with the rest of our families. I only had one regret... We didn't include the student. I think that to truly make this an inclusive process, we need to include the voice of the students. I am sure they will have a say but I think they would be surprised to be included in the conversation. I think they are so used to having education "done" to them that they would need some encouragement to speak up at an IPP meeting. After the week's meetings are done, I will report back at how the student voice was included in this process. I expect each student will be pleased at being included. After all, it is their education so why shouldn't they be able to speak up?