October 30, 2014
Shine a Light On: Release Time for Writing IEPs
Please be advised that this Shine a Light is accurate as of October 30, 2014.
Individual Education Plans (IEPs) are mandated by the Government of Ontario. Teachers should be given time within the instructional day to complete them.
Address issues pertaining to IEPs in your school. Read the Collective Agreement language ETT has proposed.
Concerns Raised by Teachers Surrounding IEPs
- Increased pressure on teachers to produce an ever-increasing number of IEPs.
- Inadequate time in the school timetable for teachers to write IEPs.
- Inconsistent policies across the Board (some teachers are given time by their administration to complete IEPs, others are not).
- Insufficient technical resources and lack of training available to support teachers.
- Teachers sacrificing their lunch, recess, and/or personal time to work on IEPs.
Proposed Collective Agreement Language
ETT has proposed that the following language concerning IEPs be included in the Collective Agreement.
- In each school, timelines will be established and communicated to Teachers for all IEPs, prior to September 15, by consensus with the Principal and the Teachers.
- The Principal shall communicate the Board’s IEP content and formatting expectations by September 15.
- Release time must be provided to each Teacher for the writing of IEPs. 1 hour release time per IEP, to be given in blocks of no less than 30 minutes, rounded up to the nearest half day.
- The Board shall ensure sufficient access to hardware and software to complete IEPs during the instructional day. If a Teacher experiences technical difficulties accessing the system, additional release time will be provided.
- Teachers are not responsible for editing colleagues’ IEPs.
- Training for any changes in the IEP process (e.g. hardware, software, etc.) will be provided by the Board during the instructional day.
TDSB Position on IEPs
The TDSB refuses to address the situation, claiming that the proposed language is unnecessary, as IEPs are not a workload issue and that training and technological resources remain adequate.
IEP release time is an ETT priority. The TDSB must recognize this significant workload issue.
Creating Time to Write IEPs
- Propose to the administration how time can be created to allow you to write IEPs (e.g. combining classes with consent from a colleague, administration teaches class for the afternoon, school-wide or divisional activities, etc.)
- Suggest to the Budget Committee that they allocate funds for Occasional Teacher coverage.
If you are having any difficulty with respect to writing IEPs, please contact your Executive Officer.
Best Practices at Schools/Work Sites Across the Board
- Occasional teachers are brought in to provide release time during the instructional day for teachers to complete IEPs.
- Colleagues collaborate to create time during the instructional day.
- School-wide activity days and other activities, such as assemblies, concerts, etc., are developed to provide release time to write IEPs.