An Individual Education Program (IEP) is a written document used to outline an educational program that meets your child’s individual needs. Every child who receives special education services is required to have an IEP.
What does an IEP include?
In addition to highlighting the student’s current level of functional performance or skills, the IEP includes specific service needs and sets measurable annual goals. It should discuss your child’s academic achievement and progress, and how/if he will participate in state assessments.
Who participates in the IEP team?
An effective IEP requires input from a variety of concerned parties and individuals. According to the Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act (IDEA), the IEP team should include:
- The parents of the child
- Not less than one regular education teacher of the child (if the child is, or may be, participating in the regular education environment)
- Not less than one special education teacher of the child, or when appropriate, not less than one special education provider of the child
- A representative of the public agency (LEA) who:
- Is qualified to provide, or supervise the provision of, specially designed instruction to meet the unique needs of children with disabilities
- Is knowledgeable about the general education curriculum
- Is knowledgeable about the availability of resources of the public agency (LEA)
- An individual who can interpret the instructional implications of evaluation results
- At the discretion of the parent or the agency (LEA), other individuals who have knowledge or special expertise regarding the child, including related services personnel as appropriate
- Whenever appropriate, the child with a disability
Can my student be involved in the IEP Process?
Yes. The IDEA actually requires that students be invited to any IEP meeting that will cover transition services—or services designed to help the student plan for his transition from high school to adulthood.
Involvement in the IEP Process is key to helping your child better understand his disability and to participate in the choices that determine his future. This process also helps students connect with teachers and other caring adults, support services, and experiences that build skills and help them reach their goals.