A Review of: The Adventures of ARD Man: Seven Steps Toward Effective ARD Meetings

by PammyMcB

????, ???. (Writer), ???, ???. (Producer). (1999). The Adventures of ARD Man: Seven Steps Toward Effective ARD Meetings. [Motion Picture]. United States: Texas School Administrators Legal Digest.

Purpose

The purpose of the ARD Man video was to teach parents and adult students of their rights when it comes to the ARD meetings. It was also to teach ARD committee members of the rights of the parents and students, the order that the ARD must be held, and the rules and regulations regarding the ARD.

Essential Points

Membership of the ARD Committee. One of the major points from the video is the membership of the ARD committee. There should be at least five committee members at the ARD. The committee members include at least one of the child’s regular education teachers if the child is participating in the regular education environment. At least one of the child’s special education teachers or providers must be present. A representative of the public agency (administrative representative). Someone who can interpret the instructional implications of the evaluation results must be present. The other committee member is the parent(s) of the child. The student may attend the ARD and is required to attend the ARD after the age of fourteen if the committee will be discussing the plan of post high school transition. The parents can invite anyone they may feel helpful to the ARD as well. For instance, if the parents wish that a specialist, advocate, case manager, or expert on the child to attend, their presence must be accepted by the rest of the ARD committee. The school may also call in experts or specialists; however, they must first notify the parent if they choose to do so. If the school cannot get the parents to attend the ARD meeting, then the rest of the committee may hold the ARD without them.

Importance of The Assessment Data. Another main point that I found in the video is the importance of the Assessment Data. Assessment data includes formalized testing, information provided by classroom teachers, grades, informal assessments and recommendations, information provided by parents, and information provided by outside experts. The IEP comes from all of this data and this data forms the base of the ARD pyramid.

The Order of The ARD. The ARD Pyramid (or order of the ARD) is the next main point. It is important for the ARD committee to make their decisions in the proper order. First, the committee is to carefully examine every piece of assessment data, which is the foundation for the pyramid. This is when the committee must look at the student’s present levels of performance. Next, the ARD committee builds the next level of the pyramid, or the IEP. Committee members should discuss and agree on the goals and modifications set forth in the IEP. They should also agree on short-term objectives or benchmarks for the student as well as special education, related services, supplementary aids and services, as well as program modifications or supports for school personnel. Last, the ARD committee members should agree on placement in the least restrictive environment for the student. This arrangement should give the student as much contact with non-disabled students as possible.

The Commitments. The next point that I will discuss is the commitments to ensure a quality education for the student. The district should be clear about its commitments with the parents. The parents should not leave the meeting without a promise list, which identifies specific commitments made. This list should have the commitment, the individual responsible for making sure the commitment is followed through, and the date that the commitment is to be completed. The district is bound by the ARD’s commitments listed in the IEP. The district or any member of the commitment cannot “unilaterally change the statement of special education and related services contained in the IEP. After the IEP is developed and the placement decision is made…the public agency must implement the IEP” (Letter from OSEP @ 18 IDEL R 627 (1991)). The promise list works best when the parents and the committee are at a consensus.

Consensus of The ARD Committee. The consensus of the ARD is the final main point of the video. In order to handle a non-consensus ARD, alternate method must be provided by the agency. ARD meetings are not a democracy; a majority vote cannot be used to determine the provisions set forth in the IEP. Parents may also ask for a recess if a consensus cannot be reached. The recess must not exceed ten days. After such recess, if a consensus still cannot be reached then the district can put forth an IEP that they feel suits the student’s needs. However, when the student’s behavior is a danger to himself or others, or when the student has done something that can cause him to be expelled, then a recess is not required. Though adhering to the law is important, the most important part of the ARD is to listen to what the parents have to say.

Application of the Essential Points

This video has helped me understand when I begin to teach that I must adhere to the law. When I am part of an ARD committee, I will know to make sure that everything is done in proper order. I must also remember that what I think is important is not as important than what the student’s parent(s) think is important. I should also make sure that I listen to specialists’ and experts’ recommendations when helping to construct the IEP. Once the IEP is in order, I must make sure that I follow the IEP closely. I should not change anything or discontinue any modifications unless an ARD has been called, and the IEP is changed. I must remember that it is my responsibility to make sure that the child receives all services that have been implemented.
On a more personal note, I have learned when a teacher stops using the assistive technologies that are in my son’s IEP, this is a violation of his rights, as well as a violation of law. I will not plan or threaten to file a lawsuit on the teachers that have told me that he does not need what is in his IEP. However, I do know, now, how to handle situations like this, and think I will be able to make sure that he does not get left behind just because it is an “inconvenience” to the teacher.

Personal Reaction

I enjoyed this video. It was very goofy, but also informative. I feel the way the film was made, helps the viewer remember what was said and done in the video. I liked it better than the RTI video because it was quite a bit more interesting and less difficult to understand. The reason that I feel this video was easier to understand is when they would say something in legal terminology; they would then explain in English what they mean.

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