What is an IEP?

Defining Individual Education Plan (IEP).

6/11/20211 min read

Each public school child who receives special education and related services must have and Individualized Education Program, IEP. The Individualized Education Program, is a written document that’s developed for each public school child who is eligible for special education. Each IEP must be designed for one student and must be a truly individualized document. The IEP is creates an opportunity for teachers, parents, school administrators, related services personnel, and students (when appropriate) to work together to improve educational results for children with disabilities. Once created by the team the document is reviewed at least once a year. Before an IEP can be written, your child must be eligible for special education. By federal law, a multidisciplinary team must determine that (1) a child with a disability and (2) 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 doesn’t specify how the IEP should look. The IEP contains a written statement describing the child’s present educational and functional performance, academic, physical, and social emotional needs. Annual goals are required for development with specific services to be used as well as any accommodations. An annual goal is written for each special education need. Services can range from general education, with related services, up to a restrictive residential placement. To begin the IEP process and request special education services for a child, a parent may simply write a letter to a child’s teacher, principal, or the special education administrative office. The letter informs the school about concerns related to the child’s educational process. The letter may also request that the school begin assessments for special education. The school district must provide the parents with an assessment plan within 15 calendar days of receipt of the letter unless the parent or guardian agrees in writing to an extension. Parents or guardians shall have at least 15 calendar days from the receipt of proposed assessment plan to give consent to any assessments contained in the plan.