IEP - Individualized Education Program

Once a student has been determined eligible to receive special education and related services, the PPT team begins the process of developing an individualized education program (IEP) to meet the specific educational needs of the student.

Each student eligible for specialized instruction is afforded a Free Appropriate Public Education (FAPE). 

The standards set for an appropriate educational program

  • provide instruction and services to meet the student's unique and individual needs.
  • provide the student with a program resulting in some meaningful educational benefit.
  • conform to the student's IEP.

The development of the IEP gives parents the opportunity to work with educators as equal partners to identify both the student's educational needs and the services that will be provided to meet those needs and to determine what the specific goals may be. The process of collaborative goal setting allows both educators and parents to combine their separate areas of expertise to plan for the specific needs of the student.

The IEP is a document, a written description of the program developed for the student. It is a contract in writing identifying the resources the school agrees to provide. The IEP is developed at the Planning and Placement Team meeting. A proposed IEP may be presented at the meeting to save time, but changes can and should be made as the team works together to develop the program.

The IEP should include

  • a statement of the child's present level of educational performance including, as appropriate, academic achievement, communication social/emotional, vocational  psychomotor, and self help skills.
  • a statement of annual educational goals.
  • a statement of short-term instructional objectives leading toward the accomplishment of set  goals.
  • a statement of specific educational services to be provided including special education and related services and the recommended instructional settings.
  • a listing of the individuals responsible for the implementation of the IEP components and their time involvement.
  • the date when the services will begin, the length of time the services will be provided, and the length of school day and school year needed to meet the student's education needs. When appropriate, extended school year needs should be documented.
  • the extent to which the student will participate in the general education program  with typical peers.
  • modification and accommodations necessary for the student (instructional, environmental, and technological).


  •  Ask for suggestions regarding how you can continue, expand and, reinforce school activities at home
  •  Take the time to explain any special equipment your child uses.
  •  Inform the teacher of any activities or significant events that may influence your child's performance in school.
  •  Let the school know that you would like to be called if you are needed.  Remember both you and the school want the best for your child. Working together can make that happen.
  •  Ask that samples of your child's work be sent home. If you have questions, make an appointment with the teacher(s) and significant others to discuss new strategies to meet your child's goals.
  •  Take the initiative. If you want to meet with the teacher, call him or her to arrange a visit.
  •  While you are in the classroom, observe how your child participates. Does the teacher expect the child to participate fully and treat your child the same way others are treated?
  •  Is your child reasonably happy? Does he or she feel pretty good about school? Talk to your child about what's going on in school.
  •  Does your child seem to be making progress toward the goals of the IEP?  If not, and you see signs of lack of progress, it is your responsibility to contact the school to talk about that lack of progress. Remember, you and the school are on the same side: your child's!

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