IEP Development & Approval

Within 30 days of determining that your child is eligible the IEP team must meet to begin to draft an Individualized Education Program (IEP). Sometimes this happens at the same meeting the team determines eligibility and sometimes it’s broken into two meetings.  The IEP must be reviewed and revised at least annually, and must be in place by the beginning of each school year.  Below is a list of the required components of an IEP.

  • A statement of your child’s present levels of academic achievement and functional performance in the general education curriculum, and how your child’s disability affects his/her involvement and progress in the general curriculum, or in appropriate preschool activities
  • Measurable annual goals which meet your child’s educational needs and enable your child to be involved and progress in the general curriculum, or in appropriate preschool activities.
  • Benchmarks or short-term objectives
  • A statement of how your child’s progress towards annual goals will be measured and when you will be provided periodic reports of progress
  • An explanation of the extent, if any, your child will not participate with children who do not have disabilities in the regular classroom
  • A statement of the special education and related services and other supports that will provided to your child, or on behalf of your child, to enable him/her to advance towards his/her annual goals, progress in the general curriculum, participate in extracurricular and nonacademic activities, and be educated with children who do not have disabilities
  • A statement of the program modifications and accommodations
  • The projected date for services to begin, and the anticipated frequency, location & duration of the services
  • The length of the school year and school day required to implement the IEP
  • Appropriate accommodations to state or district-wide assessments. If the Team determines that your child cannot participate in the state or district-wide assessments, a statement of why the child cannot participate and why the alternate assessment selected is appropriate for the child must be included in the IEP
  • A list of individuals or service providers responsible for implementing the IEP
  • A statement of the party/parties financially responsible for implementing the IEP (the school district)
  • Signatures of the representative of the parent(s), legal guardian, surrogate parent or adult student (when appropriate) and of the LEA (school district)

Other Important Considerations

The IEP team must consider your child’s strengths, the parents’ concerns for their child’s education, and the following “special factors” when developing the IEP.

  • If a child has limited English proficiency, the language needs of the child, as they relate to the IEP
  • If a child is blind or visually impaired, instruction in Braille must be provided, unless the team determines that it would be inappropriate
  • The communication needs of the child must be considered. For a child who is deaf or hearing impaired, that includes the opportunity for direct communication with peers and staff and for instruction in the child’s mode of communication and at the child’s academic level.
  • The child’s need for assistive technology devices and services are to be considered.
  • If a child’s behavior impedes his/her learning, or that of others, appropriate strategies, including positive behavioral interventions, strategies, and supports to address the behavior need to be implemented

If anyone on the IEP team has concerns regarding the behavior of a child with a disability, a functional behavioral assessment should be requested as part of an initial or reevaluation, to ensure the team has appropriate information to develop/revise the IEP.  For more information on behavior and the IEP.

Transition Planning for Older Students

When your child reaches 14, there are transition planning components that a required to be part of the IEP.  For more information on transition.

  • A vocational education component, if appropriate
  • At least one year before the student reaches the age of majority (18 in New Hampshire), a statement that he/she has been informed of the rights that will transfer to him/her at age 18
  • Beginning at age 14 (or younger, if determined appropriate by the IEP team), the IEP must include a statement of transition service needs, which focus on the student’s course of study
  • Beginning at age 16 (or younger, if determined appropriate by the IEP team), the IEP must include measurable post-secondary goals
  • Beginning at age 16 (or younger, if determined appropriate by the IEP team), the IEP must include a statement of needed transition services, including, if appropriate, a statement of the interagency responsibilities or any needed linkages

Next Step=> Placement