Present Levels of Performance

Connecticut’s Individualized Education Program (IEP) must include a statement of the student’s present levels of academic achievement and functional performance. This part of the IEP is commonly referred to as the “present levels statement,” or simply, “present levels.” Similarly, the term “present levels of performance (PLOP)” is often used interchangeably. The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) says:
(1) A statement of the child’s present levels of academic achievement and functional performance, including –
(i) How the child’s disability affects the child’s involvement and progress in the general education curriculum (i.e., the same curriculum as for nondisabled children); or
(ii) For preschool children, as appropriate, how the disability affects the child’s participation in appropriate activities...

The two areas of development considered are “academic achievement” and “functional performance.”
Academic achievement refers to skills in academic areas such as reading, writing, math, history, science, etc.
Functional performance refers to skills or activities that are not considered academic or related to a student’s academic achievement. It is often used in the context of routine activities of everyday living such as dressing, eating, and social skills. The PLOP statement is intended to comprehensively describe a student’s abilities, performance, strengths, and needs. It is based on all the information and data previously collected and known about the student, most especially the full and individual evaluation of the student that must be conducted in accordance with IDEA’s evaluation/eligibility provisions of §§300.301 through 300.311.

Connecticut’s IEP Form has the present levels listed in each goal area, rather than a separate section as it previously did. The present levels will list the assessment data and evaluations, strengths, areas of concern, and impact of the student’s disability on involvement or progress in the general education curriculum or appropriate preschool activities. The present levels statement lays the foundation for the Planning and Placement Team (PPT) to design the IEP based on the student’s needs and strengths. It is the student’s PLOP, and not the disability category that informs the goals, objectives, and services in the IEP.

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