Individualized Education Program

  • Education Program Development

    To design and record a plan to meet the individual learning needs of your child who has been determined to be exceptional and in need of special services. The parents participate as equal partners to jointly decide:
    • The child's needs.
    • Services that will be provided to meet those needs.
    • Anticipated outcomes.

    The IEP Meeting

    The IEP meeting is a formal meeting taking place about 30 calendar days after you receive the Evaluation Report (ER).

    The IEP team consists of:
    1. At least two people besides the parent(s).
    2. An interpreter for parents using sign language or for those who do not speak English.
    3. Your child's teacher.
    4. An agency representative with authority to provide or supervise the provision of special education services.
    5. A person qualified to interpret evaluation results.
    6. At least one regular education teacher if the child is or might participate in the regular education environment.
    7. A person knowledgeable about positive behavior strategies if the child's behavior interferes with the learning of the child or others.
    8. At least one special education teacher.
    9. An agency representative knowledgeable about general curriculum and the availability of resources.
    10. At the parent's discretion, other individuals with knowledge about your child, including related service personnel.
    A single member of the IEP team may meet two or more of the listed qualifications.

    The IEP team shall consider:
    1. Whether the child needs assistive devices and services.
    2. Language needs for children with limited English.
    3. For the child who is blind or visually impaired, Braille instruction, unless the Team determines that the use of Braille is not appropriate.
    4. Communication needs for all children.
    5. For deaf or hard of hearing children, language and communication needs, opportunities for communication in the child's language and communication mode, including direct instruction in that mode.
    6. behavior that may interfere with learning.

    The IEP document:
    1. Summarizes the evaluation describing present levels of functioning, including how the child's disability affects involvement and progress in the general curriculum.
    2. Lists specific instructional needs and related services to assist your child to be successful in school.
    3. Has a statement of measurable annual goals and short term objectives responsive to the individual learning needs addressed in the ER explaining the special education and related services, supplementary aids and services to be provided and program modifications or supports to be provided to the staff to assist the child in attaining annual goals and to be involved in the general curriculum and extra-curricular and other activities.
    4. Describes for each service your child receives the amount of time for the services, beginning date and duration of the services, person(s) responsible for the service, location of the service and date for review of the IEP.
    5. Describe the opportunity to participate with children without disabilities including those in public/private facilities or explain the extent that the child will not participate in regular classes and extracurricular and nonacademic activities.
    6. List individual modifications needed to participate in State and districtwide assessments and why it is not appropriate for the child to participate and how that child will be assessed.
    7. Takes note of transition planning beginning no later than age 14 and annually at age 16. Interagency responsibilities must be noted.
    8. At least 3 years before the planned exit from school, there should be a discussion and writing of the criteria for graduation.
    9. Notes how progress toward annual goals will be measured and how parents will be regularly informed of progress.
    10. Has signatures and positions of members of the IEP team, signifying participation and date of the meeting. Signatures do not signify agreement.


    The IEP must be developed before placement is decided. Placement and program are to be decided based on the needs of the child not on the availability of classes or programs. The parent participates in any placement decisions.
    Notice of recommended educational placement (NOREP)
    Upon completion of the IEP, the school must give or send you a Notice of Recommended Educational Placement (NOREP) signed by the school district superintendent or designee and an explanation of your rights to request a pre-hearing conference or due process hearing.

    You have 5 days to review the NOREP before signing, if it was given to you at an IEP meeting; 10 days, if it was mailed to you.

    The IEP will not be put into effect for at least 5 days to allow for your review and decision to approve or not.

    If you believe that the IEP and NOREP address the needs of your child appropriately, sign that you agree with the NOREP.

    You may want the IEP team to meet again for further discussion if you believe any of the following:
    • the evaluation or assessment was inadequate;
    • your views were ignored;
    • the IEP is not responsive to your child's needs;
    • the services being offered are not what you expected or wanted and you are not convinced they are appropriate;
    • your child is in an inappropriate or restricted placement;
    • your child is showing little or no progress.
    If you believe that the IEP does not meet your child's needs, you have the following options:
    • indicate dissatisfaction with portions of the IEP/NOREP, sign the IEP/NOREP, attach a letter noting areas not acceptable, indicate your signature is valid until review on a given date.
    • indicate dissatisfaction with the IEP/NOREP and your intention to appeal (go to due process),
    • sign the IEP/NOREP, check that you do not approve or write do not approve under your signature or...
    • sign the IEP/NOREP indicating in writing sections not acceptable. Request another meeting to attempt to resolve the continuing differences.
    The IEP can be put into effect if you do not sign the NOREP.

    This information is provided by the PARENT EDUCATION NETWORK (PEN); 2107 Industrial Highway; York, PA 17402; 800-522-5827; It is not intended to provide legal advice PEN is funded as a Parent Training & Information Center by the US Department of Education. No official endorsement of the content is implied.

    Related Services

    The purpose of the individualized education program conference is to prepare and record the IEP document which is the plan to meet the individual learning needs of your child. The IEP conference serves as a communication vehicle between parents and school personnel, enabling them as equal participants to jointly decide:
    1. what the child's needs are;
    2. what services will be provided to meet those needs;
    3. what the anticipated outcomes may be.
    The IEP document states in writing:
    • a commitment of resources
    • a management tool and evaluation device to ensure each child found to be eligible for special education services is provided with a free, appropriate, public education (FAPE).
    Related services:
    • must be needed to help your child benefit from or gain access to the education provided
    • must be provided at no cost to the parent
    • will be an integral part of the goals and objectives as stated in the IEP
    Related services include, but are not limited to:
      • speech pathology and audiology
      • psychological services
      • physical and occupational therapies
      • social work services
      • school health services
      • early identification and assessment
      • medical services for evaluation/ or assessment
      • parent counseling and education
      • recreation
      • counseling services
      • transportation
      • orientation and mobility services for blind and vision impaired students
      • travel training for other students with disabilities in and around and to and from school
      • independent living services
      • assistive technology and services
      • rehabilitative counseling services
    Describes for each service your child receives the:
      • amount of time for the service
      • beginning date and duration for the services
      • person(s) responsible for the service
      • location of the service
      • date for review of the IEP
    IDEA funds may be used for the costs of special education and related services and supplemental aids and servicesprovided in a regular class or other education related setting to a child with a disability even if one or more nondisabled children benefit from the service. If an independent evaluation has been conducted to determine the need for a related service, be sure the written report answers:
      • the type of related service the student needs
      • the amount of service the student should receive
      • the length of time the student should receive the service each time it is provided
      • how this service relates to the goals and objectives of the program described in the IEP
      • who should provide the service (an aide, regular or special ed teacher) and if it will be on a direct, consultative, group or a one-on-one basis.
    This information is provided by the PARENT EDUCATION NETWORK (PEN); 2107 Industrial Highway; York, PA 17402; 800-522-5827; It is not intended to provide legal advice PEN is funded as a Parent Training & Information Center by the US Department of Education. No official endorsement of the content is implied.

    Transition to Adult Living

    Here is a link to our Transition Coordinator's website that reviews Planning for the Future. Please check it out to review all of the great resources she provides!     Planning for the Future Website by Sarah Worthington
    Transition is a coordinated set of activities for a student with a disability that is:
    1. Designed with an outcome-oriented process which promotes movement from school to post-school activities, including post-secondary education, vocational training, integrated employment (including supported employment), continuing and adult education, adult services, independent living or community participation.
    2. Based on the individual student's needs, taking into account the student's preferences and interests.
    3. Includes instruction, related services, community experiences, the development of employment and other post-school adult living objectives and, when appropriate, acquisition of daily living skills and functional vocational evaluation.
    Required members of the IEP team for transition are:
    1. The student. If the student does not attend, the school district must take steps to ensure that his/her preferences and interests are considered.
    2. The parent(s).
    3. The local education agency representative.
    4. A regular education teacher.
    5. The special education teacher.
    6. When vocational-technical education is being considered, the vocational-technical education representative.
    Other members of the community may be invited depending on the student's desired outcome. For example, a college representative, Office of Vocational Rehabilitation (OVR), a MH/MR caseworker, an employer, a military recruiter.

    Content of the IEP

    • At age 16, a statement of needed transition services, including, if appropriate, a statement of interagency responsibilities and/or needed linkages of service providers.
    • The student's post-school goals.
    • Present levels of performance.
    • A statement of transition service needs.
    • Annual goals.
    The Transition IEP must:
    1. Establish the student's interests, abilities and aptitudes.
    2. Define and project post-school outcomes as identified by the student, parent and IEP team in these areas:
      • community living
      • employment
      • post-secondary education/training.
    3. Identify specific transition activities in these areas: vocational/career education work experience community referenced and community-based instruction including: sequential activities that support the development of desired post-outcomes of instruction, community experiences and living, employment, daily living skills and functional evaluation, if appropriate.
    4. Identify persons responsible for implementing each activity support or related services such as transportation, case management, vocational counseling, medical services.
    5. Establish graduation criteria 3 years prior to planned exit from school.
    6. Designate the person responsible for the continuation of transition planning during the student's final school year.
    Tips for transition:
    1. Talk to your child early about their goals and plans for the future.
    2. Help your child identify their strengths and interests. 
    3. Help your child understand their disability and what accommodations they will need to be employed or to seek further education or training.
    4. Make contacts early with agencies that may provide services to your child when they are adults. A listing of adult agency providers can be found in the PEN Guide for Parents: Transition, the Bridge to Adult Living .
    5. Understand your rights and your child's rights under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), the Rehabilitation Act and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
    This information is provided by the PARENT EDUCATION NETWORK (PEN); 2107 Industrial Highway; York, PA 17402; 800-522-5827; It is not intended to provide legal advice. PEN is funded as a Parent Training and Information Center by the US Department of Education. No official endorsement of the content is implied.