Special Education and a Personal Curriculum (PC)
The Personal Curriculum is a process to modify specific credit requirements and/or content expectations based on the individual learning needs of a student. It is designed to serve a variety of students who need to individualize learning to meet the Michigan Merit Curriculum requirements.
Parents of students with a PC can begin to explore the PC option as early as the 7th or 8th grade when the Educational Develop Plan is being developed. If granted, the PC goes into effect when the student enters high school. Parents of students with an IEP may also request a PC at any point during the student’s high school career.
This Michigan Merit Curriculum Law was amended in 2007 to add Subsection (k) [MCL 380.1278(b)(5)(k) (emphasis added)] which states that if the parent or legal guardian of a pupil requests … a modification of the Michigan merit standard requirements that would not otherwise be allowed under this section and demonstrates that the modification is necessary because the pupil is a child with a disability, the school district or public school academy may allow that additional modification to the extent necessary because of the pupil’s disability if …(a) determines that the modification is consistent with both the pupil’s educational development plan ... and the pupil’s individualized education program.
“Not otherwise be allowed” means that exceptions to the limitations on the Personal Curriculum stated in the law for students without an IEP (e.g., no modifications of ELA, Science, online, etc.) may be allowable for a student with an IEP.
Ultimately, decisions regarding performance standards for earning MMC credit (i.e., the definition of proficiency in meeting the content expectations that define required MMC credits) and determination of the credit associated with each course, are local district/board decisions.
Allowable Modifications for a Student with an Individualized Education Program
The parent or legal guardian of a student with an Individualized Education Program (IEP), the student if of age or emancipated, or school personnel may request a Personal Curriculum (PC) to modify the requirements of the Michigan Merit Curriculum (MMC) not otherwise allowed, providing the PC:
Incorporates as much of the Michigan Academic Standards as practicable for the student within the context of the MMC requirements.
Aligns with the Educational Development Plan (EDP) and is consistent with the IEP.
Modifications directly address the effect the student’s disability has on his or her ability to access and/or demonstrate progress in the general education curriculum.
■ If a Personal Curriculum (PC) is requested, the district shall develop a Personal Curriculum. An in-person meeting is not required. However, the parent and school official must still agree on the implementation of a Personal Curriculum. Quarterly follow-ups are no longer required.
■ The school district shall not discourage pupils seeking and receiving a Personal Curriculum modification.
■ The school district shall annually notify pupils and parents of the Michigan Merit Curriculum and Personal Curriculum modifications; such notice will be provided in the student handbook.
The District offers the Personal Curriculum option and respond to Personal Curriculum requests, but the Superintendent or designee is not required to approve all requests.
For further information on the Personal Curriculum go to the Michigan Department of Education’s website to: www.michigan.gov/highschool A Parent's Guide to Curriculum: Focus on Students with an IEP.