Return to Headlines

IEP (Individualized Education Program)

An Individualized Education Program, or IEP, is developed for students who are eligible for special education and related services.  The IEP is a written document designed to meet the student’s unique needs.  IEP teams will consider the following information when developing an IEP: 

  • the strengths of the student and the parent’s concerns about his/her child’s education; 
  • the results of the first or most recent evaluation;
  • the student’s academic, developmental, and functional needs;
  • behavior intervention strategies and supports if the student’s behavior interferes with learning;
  • the student’s language needs if he or she uses a language other than English;
  • instruction in Braille and the use of Braille, unless inappropriate, if the student is blind or visually impaired;
  • the communication needs of the student;
  • the student's need for benchmarks and short-term objectives;
  • the student’s language and communication needs if he or she is deaf or hard of hearing; and
  • any need for assistive technology devices and services. 

In addition, IEPs will include the following information:

  • present levels of academic achievement and functional performance;
  • measurable annual goals;
  • how the student’s progress toward the annual goals will be measured;
  •  participation in state and division-wide assessments;
  • special education and related services to be provided;
  • dates and locations – when, where , how often services will be provided; and
  • explanation of the student’s nonparticipation in general education classes / activities.

For students ages 14 and older, the IEP will contain information regarding the student’s post-secondary goals related to training, education, employment, and, if appropriate, independent living skills. 

At least one year before the student reaches the age of 18 (age of majority), the IEP must include a statement that the student and the parent have been informed of the rights that will transfer from the parent to the student at the age of 18.  

Who are typically members of the IEP Team?

Parent/Guardian, Principal/Assistant Principal or designee, Classroom Teacher, Special Education Teacher, Related Service Providers, your child, if appropriate, and/or others invited by school and/or family.

What is discussed?

  • Your child’s strengths, weaknesses, and present levels of performance.
  • Your child’s academic, developmental and functional needs.
  • How your child’s disability affects his or her involvement and progress in the general curriculum.
  • Behavior interventions and strategies, if needed.
  • Communication needs.
  • For students ages 14 and older, your child’s post-secondary goals related to training, education, employment and, if appropriate, independent living skills (additional information in Transition section).
  • All factors involved in providing a Free Appropriate Public Education (FAPE) for your child, including your child’s need for Extended School Year (ESY) services and assistive technology.

What is determined?

  • Measurable annual goals and the need for short-term objectives.
  • Participation in state, division and/or alternate assessments.
  • How progress toward annual goals will be measured.
  • When you will receive progress reports.
  • Special education and related services to be provided.
  • Dates and locations - when, where and how often services will be provided.
  • Transition services (required for children 14 years and older), including course of study, instruction, related services and community experiences, based on your child’s needs.

Tips for Preparing
Your school values your contributions.

  • Reflect on your child’s strengths and weaknesses.
  • Seek your child’s input as appropriate.
  • Consider your short and long term goals for your child.
  • Think about supports you think your child may need at school.
  • Share relevant information, input and suggestions with the IEP Team in advance of the meeting, if possible.
  • Consider your family’s priorities and desired outcomes for this meeting.

My Role as a Parent or Guardian
You are an equal and valuable member of the educational team.

  • Actively participate in discussion at the meeting.
  • Be comfortable sharing your input, thoughts and any concerns.
  • Ask questions and seek clarification as needed.
  • If you agree with the IEP, you will be asked to provide consent for the IEP to be implemented.
  • If you wish to review the IEP before providing consent, you may review and return it to the school with your signature after the meeting. Any changes to the IEP would require an additional IEP meeting.
  • At the end of the meeting, if the team has not reached consensus on the IEP, or if you disagree with the IEP, a follow-up IEP meeting will be scheduled.

Note: Your consent is required for implementation of an initial IEP and for any changes to your child’s IEP. Until you provide written consent, the school is unable to initiate the special education and related services specified in the new IEP. You have the right to revoke your consent for your child to continue to receive special education and related services at any time.