Tips for Building a Strong Personalized Learning Plan

Posted in: NBACL Blog

If you are a parent, you might be wondering if your child is prepared for the upcoming school year. One way to ensure that your child is set up for success is to ensure the proper supports are in place before the school year begins.

Some students may have a Personalized Learning Plan. The term Personalized Learning Plan (PLP) has replaced the term Special Education Plan (SEP) at the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development. For the purpose of this blog and our work at NBACL, we will use the term Personalized Learning Plan (PLP). The New Brunswick Inclusive Education policy defines a PLP as a plan for a student who requires specific and individual strategies, goals, outcomes and education supports to help ensure student success.

As a parent, you might want to consider a Personalized Learning Plan (PLP) for your child if:

  • Your child is experiencing difficulties over an extended period of time.
  • Your child is not making progress with additional support.
  • Your child requires supports to address his or her behavior challenges.

school clip artIf you think your child requires a PLP, you can talk with your child’s classroom teacher or resource teacher at his or her school. Following your discussion with your child’s teachers a Psychological Educational Assessment may be recommended if one hasn’t been done already. One purpose of this assessment is to recommend to your child’s teacher appropriate interventions and supports for your son or daughter. Intervention at the school can and should still occur while waiting for an assessment, and may be identified by school staff (for example, the classroom teacher or resource teacher) without a formal assessment

In order to enable your child to learn and achieve, it is important for your child’s teacher and resource teacher to do:

  • On-going monitoring
  • Adjustments

Planning for a PLP
When planning for a PLP as a parent, you play a very important role, because you are your child’s first educator. Parents/guardians should always be consulted when determining whether a PLP is needed and, if so, during the development of a PLP. As a parent, you can provide valuable background information about your child’s history, explain past experiences, and/or share information relevant to your child’s learning needs.

How Do I Know if My Child Needs a PLP?
You may first recognize that your child is struggling at school from some of his or her behaviour at home. Some indicators could be:

  • Your child may want to avoid homework;
  • Your child may want to avoid a certain subject;
  • Your child may spend a large amount of time on homework; and
  • There may be a pattern of behaviours concerning school.

How Do I Help Ensure My Child Achieves Success?
To ensure that your child is successful, his or her PLP should be goal-orientated. You may collaborate with the school on defining the goals. You can also help your son or daughter achieve them by working on them at home. It is also very important to include how each goal will be assessed. This allows you to identify when your son or daughter has reached his or her goals, or if they need more support in specific areas.

It is important that your child’s goals are challenging and focused. They should be reviewed continually and revised as needed. As your child achieves his or her goals, new goals should be created.

PLPs and High School
Elementary school pupils running outsideThere are some extra things to keep in mind when it comes to PLPs for high school students. Once your child enters high school, their PLP should also focus on a plan for transition to life after they graduate. In other words, what is your son or daughter going to do after High School and how can we help him or her get there? It is important to begin the transition planning process as soon as possible, but no later than Grade 9. On-going communication with your teen about his or her future plans allows everyone (including you!) to be prepared.

Transition planning should involve your teen working on job-readiness skills. Many teens might enroll in a co-op education course and may participate in NBACL’s Transition to Work program. There are many options and possibilities! Your teen’s transition plan should be clearly outlined in his or her PLP.

If you are unsure of your child’s progress or confused about the process, schedule a meeting with your child’s classroom teacher and resource teacher. It’s important to express your expectations and show interest in participating in the process. A good PLP is the result of collaboration, consultation and teamwork with everyone involved in the process, including your child.

For more information about successful PLP planning for your child, or about Inclusive Education, contact Sherry Jonah at: 1-506-453-4400, toll free (within Canada) at 1-866-622-2548 or by email sclouston@nbacl.nb.ca.

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