Special Education & Individualized Education Plans (IEP)

Basic Individualized Education Programs (IEP) Overview

An Individualized Education Program (IEP) is a written statement of the educational program designed to meet a child's individual needs. Every child who receives special education services must have an IEP. That's why the process of developing this vital document is of great interest and importance to educators, administrators, and families alike.

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Parent Participation in IEP Decision Making

The evidence is clear and consistent: When schools and families work together, student learning and outcomes improve. So do children's attitudes toward school, their social skills and behavior, and the likelihood that they will take more challenging classes and pass them. Given the power that family involvement has to influence how our children achieve in school and in life, it's not surprising that the nation's special education law, the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), strongly supports parents' right to be involved in the special education their child receives.

Learn About Getting Involved in Your Child's IEP

Progress Monitoring

The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) require schools provide regular progress reports to parents of students with IEPs as often as report cards. For example, if schools issue report cards every nine weeks, progress reports on IDEA-entitled student's IEP goals should also be issued every nine weeks.

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As children grow and develop their needs change. For students with IEPs (Individualized Education Plans), those changing needs have to be recognized and reflected in the educational planning process. That means periodic reevaluations for special education services are necessary to determine if a student continues to be an eligible child with a disability as defined by IDEA (the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act) and, if so, to help gather the most current information about the student's needs and abilities to be used for the development of an appropriate IEP.

Learn About Reevaluation for Students with IEPs

Suspicion of Disability

There are good reasons for not evaluating a child for Special Education too quickly. Many children can get low level assistance (usually referred to as "interventions" by schools), and have no need for anything else. However, there are also good reasons for pursuing an evaluation without significant delay.

Learn About Evaluations

The IEP Team

To write an effective IEP for a child with a disability, parents, teachers, other school staff-and often the child-come together at a meeting to look closely at the child's unique needs. These individuals combine their knowledge, experience, and commitment to design an educational program that must help the child to be involved in, and progress in, the general education curriculum-that is, the same curriculum as for children without disabilities.

Discover Who Is Involved in the IEP Process