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    Every student with an Individualized Education Program (IEP) has an IEP team. This team creates, reviews, and revises the student's IEP. Each IEP team meets at least once a year to review their student's IEP.

    The IEP Team

    Each student's Individualized Education Program (IEP) is built by their IEP team. At a minimum, each IEP team includes:

    • a special education teacher, knowledgeable in designing and providing specially designed instruction (SDI). This person is usually the student's special education case manager.
    • a general education teacher, knowledgeable about the general education curriculum for the age and peer group of the student.
    • the student's parent/guardian, knowledgeable about the student's story, strengths, and needs. The team relies on the student's parent/guardian to be an expert on their student outside of the school setting and to provide a more complete view of the student.
    • a district representative (or administrative designee) makes sure the student's qualifying areas are addressed, and is knowledgeable about the IEP process and service delivery in the district. This person is usually a building administrator, such as a principal or vice principal. This person may also be a central office staff member.

    In some cases, the IEP team is larger. For IEP team meetings where transition is being discussed, the student should also be included.

    IEP Meetings

    The student is always the focus of an IEP meeting. A student's IEP must be reviewed at an IEP meeting at least once per year. However, IEP meetings can happen for many reasons:

    • After a student has received a formal assessment, including initial evaluation or reevaluation.
    • If an IEP team member requests a meeting to develop, review, or revise the IEP. This should be considered when there are concerns that a student is not making progress or has exceeded expectations.
    • When a significant change of placement is considered or selected by the IEP team.
    • There is a change in IDEA eligibility category or a change in areas of service.
    • To conduct a manifestation determination on disciplinary issues.

     

    IEP Meeting Agenda: What to Expect

    The purpose of an IEP meeting is to discuss a student's Individual Education Program (IEP). This is a summary of what to expect when attending an IEP meeting.

    Before the Meeting

    If the student has an existing IEP, it is important to meet before the student's current IEP expires. The student's special education case manager will work with the IEP team members to arrange a meeting time, inviting all members of the IEP team.

    If the student's parent/guardian does not respond to the invitation or refuses the proposed dates and times, the IEP team may meet without them.

    Introductions

    At the beginning of the meeting, all members of the IEP team should introduce themselves and explain their role on the team. In certain cases, other relevant people may also attend the IEP meeting.

    Parent/guardians may attend the IEP meeting by phone, if necessary. If the parent/guardian requires an interpreter to fully participate in the meeting, the case manager will arrange for those services.

    A copy of procedural safeguards are offered to parents/guardians at each meeting.

    IEP Draft

    The student's special education case manager will begin to draft an IEP to review with the IEP team at the meeting. Remember that this is only a draft! The meeting is an opportunity for all team members to discuss the draft, and make any necessary changes.

    It is in the interest of everyone on the IEP team to develop a plan to meet the student’s needs and provide the student with the best possible education and experience. To do this, it is important that IEP team members have the opportunity to share any information that may support that student’s success. This includes the parents/guardians, who are invited to share their student’s interests, their strengths, how they interact with peers, and how they react to challenges. Parents/guardians can also provide their observations from home and other environments.

    What will we talk about in the meeting?

    The primary goal of the IEP meeting is to finalize a student's IEP. There are many parts of an IEP, each with a specific purpose. The IEP team will review information about the student, consider any changes in service needs and/or delivery, and review and create goals for the student's IEP.

    Review Student Information

    The team will review information about the student. This information could include:

    • the student's Present Levels of Academic Achievement and Functional Performance (PLAAFP)
    • current student evaluations
    • data collected by district staff
    • state and district testing results
    Review Accommodations, Supports, and Services

    A student's needs can shift as they get older and progress through their education, so it is important to review what is necessary and helpful to the student. In the IEP meeting, the team will review the student's accommodations, supports, and services. This could include discussions about:

    • placement, including LRE decisions
    • what specially designed instruction (SDI) the student will receive, and how it will be delivered
    • alternative testing for state and district tests
    • the student's transition plan
    Student Goals

    It is important to set realistic goals that can be accurately measured. For students with an existing IEP, the team will assess if they have achieved the goals of their previous IEP. Then, the team will create or revise new, measurable goals for the student for the upcoming year. IEP goals are only created for the areas a student qualifies for.

    What if we don't agree?

    The goal for IEP meetings is consensus, but sometimes parents/guardians and educators have disagreements.

    Everyone in attendance must sign the signature page. It is important to note that this does not indicate agreement with decisions made, it is only a record of who attended the meeting. If disagreement exists, it is noted on the Prior Written Notice (PWN). The IEP team can reconvene if necessary (for example, if a decision is not reached), but teams are encouraged to try to reach consensus.

    Resources

    About the IEP Team   (Parent Center Hub)


    Participating in the IEP Meeting   (Parent Center Hub)


    Defusing Phrases to Use at IEP Meetings   (Understood.org)