The Individualized Educational Program (IEP)
The document that guides the education of a student with disabilities is called an Individualized Education Program or IEP. Every child who receives special education services must have an IEP. This document is developed by the IEP team and includes information about your child's present level of educational performance along with goals that have been set for your child to achieve during the school year. The IEP specifically defines where, what kind of and how often special education and related services will be provided. It identifies the tests or other methods of assessment that will be used to decide if your child is meeting the annual goals. The IEP includes information about how and when your child's progress will be reported to you. IEPs are reviewed at least one time each year and more often if needed. You or another member of the IEP team may request an IEP meeting.
Writing the IEP
When the evaluation process determines that your son or daughter is in need of specially designed instruction, you will receive an Invitation to Participate in an Individualized Education Program (IEP) Team Meeting. The Invitation to Participate is a written notice of when, where, and why the meeting will be held, and a list of the people who are invited to attend.
The IEP team will write your child's Individualized Education Program (IEP). It includes a description of all the programs and services that are necessary to help your son or daughter be successful in school. In writing the IEP, the team uses the information that is contained in your child's Evaluation Report (ER). As a parent, you are a valuable IEP team member, so it is important for you to attend these meetings. Meetings are scheduled to fit your schedule and the school officials' schedules, at a mutually agreed upon location. If the date or time is not convenient, you may ask for a change. Parents may also participate by telephone if it is impossible for them to attend the meeting in person.