The LEA must ensure that an IEP be in effect for eligible children with disabilities on their third birthday in compliance with the ARD Committeeframeworks (CFR 300 300.101(b) and 19 TAC 89.1035(a) ). If a child's third birthday occurs during the summer, the child's ARD committee must determine the date when services will begin (CFR 300.301(b)). The ARD committee must comply with the Least Restrictive Environment (LRE)framework. Home instruction may be used for young children (ages three through five) when determined appropriate by the ARD committee (19 TAC 89.63(c)(2)(B)).
The IEP is a written statement for each child with a disability that includes the following information:
- a statement of the child’s present levels of academic achievement and functional performance (34 CFR 300.320(a));
- how the child’s disability affects involvement and progress in the general education curriculum (34 CFR 300.320(b));
- measurable annual goals, including academic and functional goals designed to meet the child’s needs that result from the child’s disability to enable the child to be involved in and make progress in the general education curriculum;
- a description of how the child’s progress will be measured and when the progress will be provided;
- a statement of the special education and related services and supplementary aids and services, program modifications or supports that will be provided to the child (34 CFR 300.320 (a));
- an explanation of the extent, if any, to which the child will not participate with nondisabled children in the regular class;
- a statement of accommodations that are necessary to measure the academic achievement and functional performance of the child on State and districtwide assessments;
- if the child must take an alternate assessment instead of a regular State or districtwide assessment of student achievement, a statement of why the child cannot participate in the regular assessment and why the particular alternate assessment selected is appropriate;
- the projected date for the beginning of the services and the anticipated frequency, location, and duration of the services;
- for students age 14 and older, appropriate measurable postsecondary goals based upon age appropriate transition assessments related to training, education, employment, and, where appropriate, independent living skills; and the transition services needed to assist the child in reaching those goals;
When developing the IEP, the ARD committee must consider (34 CFR 300.324):
- The strengths of the child;
- The concerns of the parents for enhancing the education of their child;
- The results of the initial or most recent evaluation of the child;
- The academic, developmental, and functional needs of the child.
Additional information can be found here: US DOE Topical Brief on Individualized Education Plans (IEP)
What We Do
The Individualized Education Program (IEP) is developed by the ARD Committee. The IEP must include certain information about the child and the educational program designed to meet his or her unique needs:
- The ARD/IEP must be in effect at the beginning of each school year for every child with a disability.
Current performance. The IEP must state how the child is currently doing in school (known as the Present Level of Academic Achievement and Functional Performance (PLAAFP)). This information usually comes from the evaluation results, state assessment and benchmark testing, classroom tests and assignments, and observations made by parents, teachers, and other school staff. The statement about "current performance" includes how the child's disability affects his or her involvement and progress in the general curriculum.
- Annual goals. These are goals that the child can reasonably accomplish in a year. The goals are broken down into short-term objectives or benchmarks. Goals may be academic or functional and must be measurable
- Special education and related services (see Related Services). The IEP must list the special education and related services to be provided to the child or on behalf of the child. This includes supplementary aids and services that the child needs and any modifications (changes) to the program.
- Participation with nondisabled children. The IEP must explain the extent (if any) to which the child will not participate with nondisabled children in the regular class and other school activities.
- Participation in state and district-wide tests. The IEP must state what modifications the student will need in the administration of these tests. If a test is not appropriate for the child, the IEP must state why the test is not appropriate and why the alternate assessment that is selected is appropriate.
- Dates and places. The IEP must state when services will begin, how often they will be provided, where they will be provided, and how long they will last.
- Transition service needs (see Transition). Beginning when the child is age 14 (or younger, if appropriate), the IEP must address the courses he or she needs to take to reach his or her post-school goals. A statement of transition services needs must also be included in each of the child's subsequent IEPs. Beginning when the child is age 16 (or younger, if appropriate), the IEP must state what transition services are needed to help the child prepare for leaving school.
- Age of majority. Beginning at least one year before the child reaches the age of majority, the IEP must include a statement that the student has been told of any rights that will transfer to him or her at the age of majority.
- Measuring progress. The IEP must state how the child's progress will be measured and how parents will be informed of that progress.
- Evaluating and Monitoring the IEP. Review of course performance should be conducted and documented
- US DOE Topical Brief on Individualized Education Plans (IEP)
- Texas Education Agency Question and Answer Document on Individualized Education Program Annual Goal Development.
- Parents on the IEP Team Parents of the child with a disability are vital members of the IEP team.
- Special educators on the IEP team Special educators, with their knowledge of how to educate children with disabilities, are obviously a very important part of a child’s IEP team.
- Regular Educators on the IEP Team IDEA requires that at least one regular educator of the child be included on the IEP team.
- A Representative of the School System The IEP team must also include a representative of the school system, who has the authority to commit agency resources. This person must have specific qualifications. Find out what those are.
- Someone to Interpret Evaluation Results IDEA requires there must be someone on the IEP team who can interpret the child’s evaluation results and discuss what they mean in terms of instruction.
- Others with Knowledge or Special Expertise About the Child Either the parent or the school system may invite others to join the team if they have knowledge or special expertise about the child. This can include related service providers.
- Student with a Disability on the IEP Team The student with a disability should be included as appropriate and must be invited to attend when transition is discussed.