IEP: Individualized Education Program

IEP: Individualized Education Program



An individualized education program or plan (IEP) outlines services that the school will provide, at no cost to the student's family, to ensure that the student has access to a quality education guaranteed by the law. Here's what you need to know about who's eligible, how to develop an IEP, progress reporting, strength-based goals, and much more.

What is an IEP?

An Individualized Education Program outlines the services and supports that the school or district will provide, at no cost to the student’s family, to ensure that the student has access to a free and appropriate public education (FAPE) under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). The IEP meeting is where you will meet with your school team and build a plan for your child’s special education goals and services, which — true to the “individualized” in its name — should be tailored to your child’s unique needs. The plan becomes a legal agreement between you and your school that must be followed.



What is an IEP?

How do I get my child assessed for special education services?

Who helps develop my child’s IEP?

When can I request an IEP meeting?

Why should I understand my rights as a parent of a child with an IEP?

Where can I get help with writing IEP goals?

Related Parent Questions

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Brittany OlsenUndivided Editor

An editor and cartoonist who loves using words and images to simplify and share ideas. She has ten years of experience as a copy editor and lives near Portland, Oregon. She often spends her free time going on nature walks with her dog or trying new bread recipes.

Reviewed by

Jennifer Drew, Undivided Senior Editor

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