The Individualized Education Program (IEP) is a written statement of the Department of Education’s plan to provide your child with special education services in the least restrictive environment.
Least Restrictive Environment (LRE)
The “least restrictive environment” (LRE) means that your child will be educated alongside his or her non-disabled peers for as much of the day as possible.
The IEP team, which includes you, will determine if your child is eligible for special education services and requires an IEP. A school-age student is eligible for special educations services if the student:
- Meets the criteria for one or more of the 13 disability classifications listed in the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA); and
- The disability affects the student's education performance and/or ability to learn and benefit from the general education curriculum
Eligibility cannot be based on
- A lack of appropriate instruction in reading;
- A lack of appropriate instruction in math; or
- Limited English proficiency.
If your child is not eligible, an IEP will not be developed. However, the information from the evaluations will be given to the principal of your child’s school, so he or she can work with staff to help your child.
- Emotional Disturbance
- Hearing Impairment
- Intellectual Disability
- Learning Disability
- Multiple Disabilities
- Orthopedic Impairment
- Other Health Impairment
- Speech or Language Impairment
- Traumatic Brain Injury
- Visual Impairment
Descriptions of each disability are in the Family Guide to Special Education Services for School-Age Children on pages 14-16.
The Contents of the IEP
The IEP must contain information about your child and the educational program designed to meet his or her unique needs. This information includes:
- Present Levels of Performance
- Measurable Annual Goals
- Recommended Special Education Services
- Participation with Students without Disabilities
- Participation in State and District-wide Assessments
- Promotion Criteria: Beginning in Grade 3 the IEP must specify whether your child will be held to the same promotion standards as all students or have modified promotion criteria. If modified promotion criteria are recommended, the IEP must describe the criteria.
- Transition Services
- Diploma Objective
- Dates and Places
- Reporting Progress to Parents
- Language of Instruction
Descriptions of each part of the IEP are in the Family Guide to Special Education Services for School-Age Children on pages 17-18.
The Annual Review
After your child has received special education services, an IEP meeting is held each year to review your child’s progress. This is called an Annual Review. During the annual review the team will:
- Discuss your child's progress toward his or her goals
- Discuss the current supports that are in place
- Determine goals for the following year
A reevaluation must be completed once every three years, unless you and the school district agree in writing that it is not necessary. This is called a Mandated Three-Year Reevaluation (formerly called a Triennial).
If the school or district CSE determines that new evaluations are needed as part of a reevaluation, you will be asked to provide consent to conduct new tests or assessments. Consent to evaluation means you are giving your permission to proceed with an evaluation to determine continued eligibility.
Once the evaluation is completed, all written reports will be shared with you. The reports include your child’s strengths and weaknesses and the supports your child may need in school. The IEP team, which includes the parent, will meet again to determine if any aspects of the IEP need to be changed based on evaluation results and new information.
The DOE can request a reevaluation if it determines that the educational or related services need to be reassessed. A reevaluation can be requested by you or school staff but may not be conducted more than one time a year unless you and the DOE agree otherwise in writing.