Individualized Education Program-A Road Map to Success (page 4)
After the Multidisciplinary Evaluation Team (MET) determines eligibility, the Individualized Education Program (IEP) Team will develop an appropriate education program for your child.
- Meetings should be scheduled at a time and place that is agreeable for all team members.
- The school must notify you early enough to make sure you can attend.
- The meeting notice will indicate the purpose, time and location of the meeting and who will be in attendance.
- If you can’t attend the meeting the school will use other methods to ensure your participation (i.e., conference call).
- You may bring anyone to the IEP meeting who can provide support or additional information and expertise about your child.
- Informal and unscheduled conversations, or preparatory activities that will be discussed at a later meeting, can occur without your attendance.
The team may decide your child’s participation in the IEP meeting is appropriate at any age. One year before your child reaches the age of majority (age 18) the school will inform you about the transfer of rights to your child. You will retain the right to participate in meetings; however, all other rights transfer to your child unless he/she has a court appointed legal guardian.
- parent cannot be identified;
- parent cannot be located after several attempts;
- child is a ward of the state and no parent can be identified or located; or,
- child is an unaccompanied youth as defined by federal law.
When the school determines a surrogate is necessary, the school makes an application for appointment to the Arizona Department of Education. Once appointed, the surrogate parent represents the child in all matters relating to the identification, evaluation, placement and the provision of FAPE.
IEP members from the school will include:
- not less than one special education teacher;
- not less than one regular education teacher if the child is, or will be, participating in a regular education environment;
- a school district representative who is knowledgeable about district resources, the general curriculum, and is qualified to provide or supervise special education;
- an individual qualified to interpret evaluation results; and,
- a member of the IEP team may be excused from attending the meeting, in whole or part, if the parent and school agree in writing prior to the meeting.
Purpose of an IEP
- Describes your child’s current academic achievement and functional performance.
- Describes measurable academic and functional goals for one year.
- Describes what special education your child needs.
- Serves as a commitment from the school to provide listed special education services.
- Serves as a monitoring and compliance tool to ensure State and Federal requirements are met.
Additional Functions of the Individualized Education Program (IEP)
Measurement of Progress Toward Annual Goals
The IEP will include a description of how your child’s progress toward meeting the annual goals will be measured and how you will be notified of his or her progress; for example, periodic reports will be provided (i.e., intermittent, quarterly, or concurrent with the issuance of report cards).
Description of Related Services (this list does not include all related services):
- speech therapy
- physical therapy
- occupational therapy
- audiology services
- orientation / mobility training
- interpreter for hearing impaired students
- specialized transportation
- school health services
Decision about Accommodations and Alternate Assessments
As part of the IEP Team, you will discuss what accommodations will be necessary to measure your child’s academicachievement and functional performance on State and school district assessments. The Team may decide your child will take an alternate assessment.
Determination of the Least Restrictive Environment (LRE)
IDEA ‘04 states that to the maximum extent appropriate, children with disabilities should be educated with children without disabilities. Schools are required to provide a variety of placement options and IEP Teams must consider all options when determining your child’s placement for special education and related services. LRE refers to the educational setting best suited to address your child’s learning needs.
The following questions should be taken into consideration when determining placement in the LRE.
- Is placement based on your child’s IEP goals and the services necessary to implement the IEP?
- Would your child attend this school if he or she did not have a disability?
- Will there be harmful effects on your child or on the quality of services that he or she needs?
- Will the placement provide your child the opportunity to participate with peers without disabilities, to the maximum extent appropriate, in nonacademic and extracurricular services and activities?
- Has the team committed enough opportunities, time and resources to determine that your child’s IEP requirements cannot be met in an age-appropriate regular education classroom with accommodations,
supplementary aids and services?
Discussion of Extended School Year (ESY) Services
ESY services are provided to prevent the loss of a student’s learning progress (both academic achievement and functional performance) from the regular school year. Decisions about whether your child is eligible for ESY services are made based on information collected throughout the school year. Related services (speech, occupational, physical therapy, etc.) are also considered. Eligibility for ESY services is determined at least annually. The ESY decision is documented in the IEP and a Prior Written Notice (PWN) is completed to notify parents of the decision.
Determination of Transition Services
The IEP should include measurable post secondary goals addressing training/education, employment and, where appropriate, independent living skills. These goals and transition services should be based upon on your child’s preferences, interests, and strengths as determined by an age appropriate transition assessment. Planning for transition should begin no later than the first IEP to be in effect when your child turns 16, or younger if the IEP Team determines that is appropriate, and will be updated annually.
Review and Revision of the IEP
Your child’s IEP must be reviewed periodically, but not less than once a year, to make sure the goals are being achieved and related services are appropriate. Your participation in the annual or review IEP meeting is very important to discuss your child’s academic and developmental goals and progress, anticipated needs, and other special considerations. The IEP document will be revised to include current information, updated goals, and related services.
Practical IEP Tips
Before the IEP Meeting
- Review progress reports and other documentation.
- Review the previous and current IEP.
- Think about your child’s strengths and needs.
- Ask for a copy of the draft IEP before the meeting.
- Review your parental rights and responsibilities.
- Take a list the things you want to discuss to the meeting
- Familiarize yourself with grade level (general education) academic standards.
During the IEP Meeting
- Express your questions, concerns and ideas.
- Ensure that your child’s strengths and needs are considered.
- Ask questions to clarify anything you do not understand.
- Be an active participant in talking about your child’s goals.
- Ensure the suggestions, which are proposed or refused, are documented.
- If any issues are left unresolved, request another IEP meeting.
- Request a copy of the IEP document before leaving the meeting.
- Write down any questions you have that were not answered in the meeting.
After the IEP Meeting
- Review the IEP on a regular basis and monitor your child’s progress towards his or her goals.
- If you don’t understand how progress towards IEP goals was measured, request clarification from the educator or therapist who has written the progress report.
- Request an IEP review meeting if your child is not making progress toward IEP goals.
- Discuss with your child his/her progress report(s), strengths, needs, barriers to learning, and IEP goals.
- Communicate with your child’s teacher or others from the IEP Team when you have questions or concerns.
- Contact your local Parent Information Network (PIN) Specialist if you need further assistance (1-877-230-PINS).
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