What is an IEP?
The IEP, or Individualized Education Program, is a written plan for the special education of a child with a disability. It describes your child’s present levels of performance, current strengths and weaknesses and determines what you and the school will do to provide the assistance needed for educational success.
Before you meet . . .
Parents can be active participants in the development of the IEP. Before the conference you should look over any information you already have about your child’s academic history and performance. Make a list of questions you want to ask. You will be encouraged to describe how your child performs at home, and to discuss his or her interests. It may be helpful to share information about things that work well with your child, and how he or she learns best. You may bring a spouse, a relative, an educational advocate, or a friend with you.
If your child has recently received a multidisciplinary evaluation, the school will contact you to schedule a conference to discuss the test results. The conference should be scheduled at a time that is convenient for both you and the school. The classroom teacher, a special educator, and the administrative representative, should be present to discuss the test results and what they mean for your child. It is important to remember that the test results only present a partial picture of your child’s abilities. Upon conclusion of the conference, the entire team will consider the Oklahoma state guidelines for special education, and determine if your child has a disability that qualifies for special services. You will be asked to sign an eligibility form and indicate if you agree or disagree with the team’s recommendations. You may ask for a copy of the evaluation results.
The IEP Meeting
An initial IEP meeting can be held immediately following the eligibility determination meeting. The entire educational team should be present to discuss your child’s educational needs. If appropriate, the student may also attend. There are many different types of information that will be discussed that include the following:
Present Levels of Performance – objective statements which describe the effects of the child’s disability on their educational performance. Information should include how the disability affects the classroom. May include current test or evaluation results.
Strengths and Educational Needs – lists some of the student’s strengths and the anticipated effects on participation in the general curriculum. Also lists the educational needs resulting from the disability which requires special education, related services, supplementary aids, supports for personnel, and/or modifications.
Annual Goals and Short-term Objectives – lists the measurable annual goals and short term objectives which will enable the student to progress in the educational environment and meet other academic needs that result from the disability.
Type of Service– indicates the amount of time in special education and the service delivery model needed. Also lists any related services and supplementary aids that are needed as a result of the disability.
Transition Services – Beginning at age 14, students must have a plan to assist with vocational transition. The student’s post-school preferences, interests, and further educational plans should be indicated.
Least Restrictive Environment (LRE) – Documents the least restrictive placement options considered by the team and reasons they were determined to be appropriate, or not appropriate. Potential harmful effects of the recommended placement are also considered.
At the end of the meeting, you will be asked if you have any questions or if you would like to add any comments to the IEP. If you agree with the plan, you will be asked to sign some forms which give consent for your child’s placement. You will receive a copy of Parents Rights in Special Education, as well as a copy of the IEP.
If you disagree with the proposed IEP, you should express your concerns with the school team. If you cannot come to an agreement, the school may schedule another meeting with an area coordinator to answer any questions and address your concerns.