“This thing is 17 pages long!”
As a parent, the thought of an IEP plan, or preparing for an IEP meeting, may be a bit frightening because you’re asking yourself, “What exactly is in the IEP plan?”
What you’re preparing for is an Individualized Education Program meeting. At the meeting, you and a team of educators will sit down and produce a legal document that details the goals for your child. It will also describe the services that the school will provide. You want to be ready for this meeting so there are no surprises.
You should know what to expect, be prepared to discuss the goals you want to set for your child and understand what kind of feedback you should provide. All IEPs must contain certain kinds of information, and while the sections may be titled differently, they’ll contain the same type of information.
Let’s explore the sections of the IEP Plan:
Present Levels of Education Performance (PLEP)
This section describes your child’s current performance and how their exceptionality impacts them at school. Academic, social and emotional abilities are included.
Measurable Annual Goals
These are the individualized goals that will guide your child’s education this year. Each goal should feature smaller sub-goals called objectives. The objectives break bigger goals into milestones that will be measured across the year.
Services (Special Education and Related), Aids, Accommodations, and Modifications
The unique set of services and supports your child receives get listed here. This includes any changes to curriculum (called modifications) and any supports for accessing learning (accommodations). It also includes therapeutic supports and any other related services.
Degree of Non-Participation
Your child is entitled to an education in the Least Restrictive Environment (LRE). This means they are to be educated with their non-disabled peers as much as possible. If parts of your child’s life at school are separate from non-disabled peers, they are described here.
Changes to District and State Assessments
If a child is exempt from required testing, then alternate assessments must be noted on the IEP. If a child received any accommodations for testing, that too is listed here.
Service Delivery Information
This section tells when special education services will begin, where they will take place, and how often and for how long they will occur.
This section describes how often a parent will be informed of progress towards the IEP goals. It always describes in what way a parent will be kept informed. This portion is critical for following up after the meeting and checking for progress.
For Older Children, Transitional Planning
Once a child turns 16, they must have a transitional plan included in their IEP to help them prepare for life after school as an adult.
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