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IEP: Individualized Education Program

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Overview

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?

Contents


Overview

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 Topic Decoders

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IEP Meeting Preparation
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IEP Assessments
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IEP-Related Services
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Strength-Based IEP Goals
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After the IEP
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Preschool IEP
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Related Parent Questions

Which disabilities qualify for special education?
A child is eligible for an IEP if they meet the criteria for one of 13 eligibility categories and if they cannot make adequate progress in school without special education services. These 13 categories are defined by law.
Does the IEP start when I sign it?
The school must implement the IEP as soon as possible after receiving the parent consent to the IEP. The law doesn't specify exactly when other than as soon as possible.
How often can I ask for an IEP meeting?
A parent can request an IEP meeting at any time they feel it’s necessary. They may have follow-up questions from a previous meeting to discuss, or a more recent assessment may necessitate changes to the IEP.
How long before the IEP meeting should I be notified?
The parent and all members of the IEP team have to be notified of the school’s proposed meeting date early enough to be able to realistically attend the meeting. There is no strict limit, however.
How often do IEP meetings occur?
IEP meetings are required to be held annually, no longer than 12 months from the date of the last annual IEP. A parent can request an IEP meeting at any time they feel it’s necessary.
What are the key parts of an IEP?
The key parts of an IEP are: progress reporting (PLOP), annual goals and short-term objectives, special education and related services, accommodations and modifications, extent of non-participation in general education, statewide assessments, and service delivery (offer of FAPE).

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