What is the IEP?
An Individualized Education Program (IEP) is a written plan describing the specially designed instruction and related services needed to address the individual needs of your child. The IEP describes your child’s learning strengths and needs. It also identifies specific goals and tracks your child’s progress toward achieving those goals. The IEP sets goals for one year and is formally reviewed and updated annually. Minor changes may be made to the IEP during the school year without a formal meeting if you and the IEP team agree to do so.

Who schedules the IEP meeting?
Your child’s IEP case manager will work with you to schedule the meeting date and time. Many individuals may be involved in the IEP meeting, so it is important to keep meeting appointments.

Who participates in the IEP meeting?
As a parent, you are crucial to the IEP process. Required members of the IEP team include the parent(s), a general education teacher, a special education teacher or provider, a school district representative, and an individual who can interpret the instructional implications of evaluation results. A student must be invited to attend his/her IEP meeting beginning at age 14, and may do so at a younger age if the team deems it appropriate. The child’s parents and school district may invite other persons who have knowledge or special expertise regarding the child.

What does the IEP document include?
– student strengths, parental information including concerns, evaluation & assessment data
– present level of academic achievement & functional performance including current achievement in the areas of need
– annual goals for each area of need describing what the student can reasonably be expected to accomplish within a year
– a description of how the child’s progress toward meeting the annual goals will be measured and reported
– special education & related services and supplementary aids & services to enable the child to advance appropriately toward attaining annual goals, to be involved in and progress in the general education curriculum, and to be educated and participate with other children with disabilities and nondisabled children
– accommodations to assist the child in accessing the general curriculum
– modifications including possible changes in curriculum or learning expectations
– participation in the general education curriculum including how much of the school day your child will be in classes with their same age peers
– transition (at age 14) including postsecondary goals to plan for life after high school

How does the school use the IEP?
Once the IEP is developed, it will be shared with your child’s teachers and service providers. The school will give you a copy of the IEP and ask you to sign it, acknowledging that you participated in its development, that you understand the content and purpose, and that you received a copy. Your child’s teachers and service providers are responsible for implementing the programs and services outlined in the IEP.