Services and IEPs
Development of the “Team”
The first step in the development of an IEP is the identification of the IEP Team. IDEA-97 emphasizes the importance of working cooperatively as a team. The team is facilitated by the school district. The team brings together parents, the student, general educators, special educators and administrators.
There may be other team members as appropriate. These may include Adapted Phy Ed Teachers, Assistive Technology Specialists, School Nurses, Occupational Therapists, Physical Therapists, Paraprofessionals, Psychologists or Social Workers, Speech Clinicians. Parents can bring anyone they wish to the IEP meetings. As a courtesy, advise the school district if you are bringing additional guests or participants.
What is the Role of the Team?
The team process has important, integrated steps. Under IDEA-2004, the IEP process is a focal point for reaching improved outcomes for students with disabilities. This process is critically important to children with disabilities and must be carefully managed to ensure that the unique needs of the student are addressed. An appropriate evaluation, development of the IEP, appropriate services and periodic progress reports are crucial.
The team process is a collaborative process between parents, school staff members and other professionals involved with your child. As a parent, you have a unique and critically important perspective on the child’s learning style, strengths and needs. The school staff should ensure you feel comfortable throughout the process and identify specific contact people for you to connect with throughout the year.
You have the right to be involved in ALL meetings that discuss the identification, evaluation, IEP development and educational placement of your children. The law ensures you and school personnel are equal partners in all steps during the team process.
Student participation is important and students are considered important members of the team. As students get older, they should become more and more active at team meetings, and their interests and preferences should determine the direction for the identified goals and services in the IEP. Supporting active student participation in the team process assists students in developing self-determination skills, which are necessary in adult life. If the student does not attend the meeting, the district must take other steps to ensure the student’s preferences and interests are considered. It is not mandatory for the student to attend. The decision to attend is up to the student and his or her parents.
- Present Levels of Academic Achievement and Functional Performance (PLAAFP)
- Goals and Objectives/Benchmarks
- Special Education and Related Services
- Least Restrictive Environment (LRE) Explanation
- Course of Study
- Transition Activities and Services
- Transfer of Rights at Age of Majority
- Progress Reporting
- Program Placement Decisions
- Accommodations and Modifications
- Participation in State and District-Wide Tests
- Extended School Year