Understanding the IEP
What Is An Individualized Education Program (IEP)?
The IEP is the written plan that describes a child’s unique needs. Your child must have an IEP before he or she receives special education services. Your child’s IEP must be implemented as soon as possible after the IEP meeting. In addition, your child’s IEP must be reviewed and, if necessary, revised once a year or more often upon request.
If your child is found to be eligible for special education services, the IEP will contain:
- Annual goals and benchmarks focusing on your child’s current level of performance
- The services that your child will receive
- When services will begin, how often they will be provided, and for how long
- Where these services will be delivered
- The amount of time your child will spend in general education
Will I Receive Notice of the IEP Meeting?
The school must provide you with notice of the IEP meeting within a reasonable time prior to the meeting. This notice will include: date, time, and place of the meeting; the reason for the meeting; who will be at the meeting; and a statement of the right of participants to electronically record the meeting. If you are unable to attend the meeting, you may contact the school to reschedule.
When Must an IEP Meeting be Held?
An IEP meeting must be held:
- Once a year to review your child’s progress and placement and to make any needed changes to the IEP
- Every three years when a comprehensive reevaluation of your child’s progress has been completed
- Whenever your child receives a formal assessment or reassessment
- If you or a teacher feels that your child demonstrates significant educational growth or lack of anticipated progress
- When you or a teacher request a meeting to develop, review, or revise the IEP
- To develop a transition plan, beginning at age sixteen (16) or younger, if appropriate
- To determine whether a student’s misconduct was a manifestation of his or her disability before expelling or suspending the student from school for more than ten (10) days.
If your child is already enrolled in a special education program and you request an IEP meeting, you must do so in writing. Once your request is received, the meeting must be held within thirty (30) days, not counting school vacations greater than five (5) days.
IEP Annual Review
If your child is receiving special education services, his or her IEP will be reviewed in an IEP meeting at least once a year to review goals and develop an IEP for the next year. In addition every three years, the IEP team will decide if your child needs to be reassessed to determine continued eligibility for special education. If there are concerns that your child’s educational needs are not being met, either you or school personnel may request a reassessment or an IEP meeting to review the IEP at any time during the year.
You may request an IEP meeting by sending a written request to the school. Once your request is received, the meeting must be held within thirty (30) calendar days, not counting school vacations greater than five (5) days. The school must get your permission before it reassesses your child. In the case of reevaluation, the school district must document reasonable measures to obtain your consent.