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  • Sarah Tira

Present Levels of Performance

Arguably, one of the most important parts of an IEP is the present levels of performance (PLOP). Without this section, the IEP team wouldn’t know the needs of your child or what to work on! The present levels of performance are the foundation of a good IEP. Usually, they are split up into various categories including communication skills, gross and fine motor abilities, academic abilities, vocational skills, adaptive daily living skills, and social/emotional/behavioral skills. Each section should have a detailed description of what your child is able to currently do. This information can be gathered by informal measures like classroom assignments or observations, or formal measures like standardized assessments. The information should be measurable and should give anyone reading it a good picture of what your child is capable of. The present levels should also be updated yearly during each annual review. If your child hasn’t progressed and not much has changed for him or her, then your child’s IEP team needs to have a serious conversation about whether or not your child is in the appropriate placement.

Usually, your child’s special-education case manager is the one that fills out most of the present levels, but related service providers can contribute to their various sections. For example, the speech therapist will have a great deal of input for the communication section if your child receives speech therapy services. Now that most schools are participating in distance-learning, the PLOP should also include input from your observations! If something doesn’t seem right to you, speak up and ask for clarification. The present levels should be detailed and thorough, and any areas of need identified by the team will have IEP goals attached to them. Reach out to San Diego SEA today if you feel your child’s present levels need some revamping!


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