The Individualized Education Program (IEP)
The Individual Education Program (IEP), is a written document developed for each public school child who is eligible for special education. The IEP is created through a team effort and reviewed at least once a year.
Before an Individualized Education Program can be written, your child must be eligibile for special education. By federal law, a multidisciplinary team must determine that (1) he/she is a child with a disability and (2) he/she requires special education and related services to benefit from the general education program.
The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), a federal law, requires certain information to be included in the IEP but does not specify how the IEP should look. States and Local Educational Agencies (LEA) may include additional information, individual forms from state to state and may vary between school systems within a state.
IEP Team Members
The members of the multidisciplinary team who write your child's Individualized Education Program (IEP) include:
- You, the parent(s)/guardian(s), who have valuable insights and information about your learners strenghts, needs, and ideas for enhancing their learning
- General education teacher(s) who can share information about classroom expectations and your child's performance
- A special education teacher who has training and experience in educating children with disabilities and working with other educators to plan accommodations and/or modifications
- A representative (LEA) of the school system who knows about special education services and has the authority to commit resources
- Your child, when appropriate, and whenever transition is discussed
- Your team may also include individuals with knowledge or special expertise about your child that are invited by you and/or the school district
- Your team may also include an individual who can interpret the results of your child's evaluation and use results to help plan an appropriate instructional program
- Your team may also include representatives from transition services agencies, when such services are being discussed