State Changes IEP Terms for Aides/Parapros

The Tennessee Department of Education has changed the IEP designations for paraprofessionals/aides who work with kids. The new designations are “Aide in the Special Education Setting” and “Aide in the General Education Setting.” The important thing to know about his change is that both of these terms of art mean that a student will be supported by a person who has responsibility for EITHER one OR two children.  If you are the parent of a child who requires 1:1 support from a paraprofessional in order to receive a free, appropriate public education, then you need to make sure that your child’s IEP adequately documents this.  Because there currently is no designation for a 1:1 aide that can be used on the service page of the IEP,  you will need to ask the team to add language to the LRE section (last page of the IEP) noting that the student will receive 1:1 support (specify the times or portions of the day that this service will be provided). If your county takes minutes during IEP meetings, ask that this information be reflected in the minutes/notes, as well. Also, you can follow up after your IEP meeting with an email documenting your understanding of what occurred during the meeting, to include your understanding that your child will be receiving 1:1 support (during the portions of the day agreed upon). 

For more information, here is a link to a recent memo from the State regarding this topic: