What Should Be in an IEP?




  • This article is being published in our newsletter with permission from Barbara Day, Special Education Guide on about.com. You can visit Barbara Day on her website at http://www.specialed.about.com/

    The IEP, or Individual Education Plan, is a written statement for each student, ages three to twenty-one. Whenever it is developed and/or revised, it must contain the following:

    • The student’s present levels of educational performance, including
      • How the disability of a student (ages 6 through 21) affects his or her involvement and progress in the general curriculum, or
      • How the disability of a preschooler (ages 3 through 5) affects his or her participation in appropriate activities
    • Measurable annual goals, including “benchmarks” or short-term objectives, related to
      • Meeting needs resulting from the disability, in order to enable the student to be involved in and progress in the general curriculum
      • Meeting each of the student’s other disability-related needs
    • The special education and related services and supplementary aids and services that will be provided to the student or on the student’s behalf, and the program modifications or supports for school personnel that will be provided so that the student
      • Can advance appropriately toward attaining the annual goals
      • Be involved and progress in the general curriculum and participate in extracurricular and other nonacademic activities
      • Be educated and participate with other students with disabilities and with students who do not have disabilities in general education
    • The extent, if any, to which the student will not participate with students who do not have disabilities in general education classes and in extracurricular and other nonacademic activities of the general curriculum.
    • Any individual modifications in the administration of state or district-wide assessments of student achievement, so that the student can participate in those assessments; moreover, if the IEP determines that the student will not participate in a particular state or district-wide assessment or any part of an assessment, why that assessment is not appropriate for the student and how the student will be assessed.
    • The projected date for beginning the services and program modifications and the anticipated frequency, location, and duration of each
    • Transition plans, including
      • Beginning at age fourteen and each year thereafter, a statement of the student’s needs that are related to transition services, including those that focus on the student’s courses of study (e.g., the student’s participation in advanced-placement courses or a vocational education program)
      • Beginning at age sixteen (or sooner, if the IEP team decides it is appropriate), a statement of needed transition services, including when appropriate a statement of the interagency responsibilities or any other needed linkages
      • Beginning at least one year before the student reaches the age of majority under state law (usually, at age eighteen), a statement that the student has been informed of those rights under IEAS that will transfer to the student from the parents when the student becomes of age
    • How the student’s progress toward annual goals will be measured and how the student’s parents will be informed – at least as often as parents of students who do not have disabilities are informed – of the student’s progress toward annual goals and the extent to which the progress is sufficient to enable the student to achieve the goals by the end of the school year

    Source: Exceptional Lives: Special Education in Today’s Schools, 1999, Merril Source