Using A Planning Matrix

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Using the Planning Matrix, we will walk you through a series of questions to ask yourself and the ARD committee to help you determine where your child can best meet those IEP goals, while staying in the Least Restrictive Environment.  We’ll also offer several “real life, real kids” examples of the planning matrix at different grade levels and support needs.

 

Step One:
Review the Matrix and its key.  You’ll find a blank Planning Matrix here.

 

Step Two:
Plug your child’s schedule (or a typical schedule for his/her grade level) into the matrix on the top horizontal (left to right) row.  Insert the IEP goals in the first vertical (up & down) column.

 

Step Three:
Consider each goal in the scheduled class setting on the matrix and ask yourself these questions:

  1. Can this goal be met in the regular classroom environment just like every other student?  (As is)
  • If yes, put a big checkmark and move on to the next goal!
  • If no, move to the next question…
  1. Can this goal be met in the regular classroom environment with the help of adapted materials?
  • If yes, put a checkmark with a “2” beside it to denote that adapted materials will be needed for this goal in this classroom.
  • If no, move to the next question…
  1. Can this goal be met in the regular classroom environment with the assistance of personal help (who?) and/or some form of equipment (what?)?
  • If yes, put a checkmark with a “3” beside it to denote that personal assistance, or related service provider, or some form of equipment will be needed for this goal in this classroom.  Make a note with specifics about who will provide the assistance/service or what form of equipment will be provided.
  • If no, move to the next question…
  1. Can this goal be met in the regular classroom environment with adapted expectations?
  • If yes, put a checkmark with a “4” beside it to denote that the classroom expectations will be adapted for your child to be successful in the class.
  • If no, move to the next question…
  1. Can this goal be met in the regular classroom environment using an alternative assignment?
  • If yes, put a checkmark with a “5” beside it to denote that your child will have alternate assignments for this class.
  • If no, move to the next question…
  1. Can this goal best be met in an alternative setting rather than the regular classroom environment?
  • If yes, the ARD committee will then weigh the remaining options available for your child – perhaps a content mastery class, resource room setting, or (last resort) self-contained setting such as a life-skills classroom.

 

Look at these example planning matrixes, based on different grade levels and types of IEP goals, to see real-life examples of how the matrix can be used to support placement decisions in the least restrictive environment:

 

 

 

By using a Planning Matrix, the ARD Committee can determine what percentage of the school day your child will spend in the general education classroom.

 

As you and the ARD committee work through the matrix, be sure to keep an eye on the future.  Where do you envision your child as an adult?  Remember that whatever environment you create for your child when he or she is young, you must be prepared to replicate that same environment in the adult world. 

 

Now, the ARD Committee can document what has been provided, tried and considered, as well as ensure that your child is being educated in the least restrictive environment. 

 

Progress in the General Curriculum (ESC 20) has created the Least Restrictive Environment Question and Answer document that can help you understand placement. 

 

 

Additional Resources