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Individualized Education Program (IEP)

An IEP specifies in writing the commitment of the school district to provide the services needed to assist your child in working toward his/her goals (but does not guarantee that your child will make the growth anticipated or described in the IEP).

Your child should have only one IEP in effect at any one time. Your child’s IEP should include, but is not limited to, all of the following:

  • A statement of your child’s present levels of performance, both strengths and weaknesses
  • A statement of annual goals, including benchmarks or short-term instructional objectives
  • A statement of the specific education and related services to be provided to your child
  • An explanation of the extent, if any, your child will not be able to participate in the general educational environment
  • The projected date services will begin and how long they will be expected to continue
  • Appropriate, objective criteria and evaluation procedures and schedules for determining, on at least an annual basis, whether the short-term, instructional objectives are being achieved.

Vocational Education goals may be included in an IEP. These may include pre-vocational education, career awareness and development, work/training programs, and travel training. Preparing students with special needs for employment is the long-term goal of vocational education.

The ITP is included with a student’s IEP beginning at age 16. The ITP is designed to develop a long-range plan for the student’s movement into the adult world. Goals are developed by the IEP team in the areas of employment, training/education, financial, residential, recreational, social, and independent living.

Transfer of Parent Rights at Age of Majority requires that notice of their rights be given to student and parents one year prior to student’s 18th birthday, and that rights are transferred to student when he/she turns 18.

The IEP team will review the findings of the assessment and establish your child’s present level of performance in the areas of need. Be certain to ask questions if you do not understand the test results or if
any terms are unclear.

Long-term goals and benchmarks or short-term objectives should be written for each area where the team has identified a need.

Goals describe how the team wants a student’s competence to improve after instruction, usually over the period of one year.

Benchmarks or short-term objectives are incremental steps to be taken to reach the goals. They should be specific, meaningful, observable, and measurable. The benchmarks or short-term objectives should be based on a particular activity and easy to understand. The objectives should clearly state who
will measure the results and how they will be measured.

  • You will need to let the rest of the team know whether or not you agree with the written goals and benchmarks or short-term objectives that have been generated.
  • All possible program options should be explored, along with the least restrictive placement option that will allow your child to benefit from the agreed-upon goals and objectives.
  • After the team has selected a placement option, the parents need to give written consent for placement.
  • Appropriate Designated Instruction and Services (DIS) and related services are identified, indicating specific frequency and duration of services to be provided.
  • If you are unable or choose not to attend the IEP meeting, the other members of the team will meet on the scheduled day and develop the program. A copy of the completed IEP will be sent to you for your review and signed consent.
  • Your signed permission on the IEP form is needed before services can start. You or any other member of the team may suggest that the IEP meeting be completed at another time.
  • Parents are provided with a copy of the IEP. You can request that your copy be in your primary language.

Related Services are provided to special need students when they are required to help support his/her instructional program.

Related Services may include, but are not limited to the following:

  • Speech and language therapy
  • Audiological services
  • Orientation and mobility instruction
  • Instruction in the home or hospital
  • Adapted physical education
  • Occupational therapy
  • Counseling and guidance services
  • Psychological services other than assessment and development of an Individualized Education Program (IEP)
  • Parent counseling and training
  • Health services
  • Social worker services
  • Specially designed vocational education and career development
  • Specialized services for low-incidence disabilities such as readers, transcribers, and vision/hearing services
  • Transportation

If you do not agree with all the parts of the IEP, you may sign for only those portions of the program with which you do agree. The portions agreed to will be implemented without delay. You have the right to write a statement of disagreement and include it in the IEP. If you sign the IEP and later decide you disagree with any part of it, you may withdraw consent at any time after giving written notification to a school administrator.

An IEP Team must include the following people:

  • The school/district is required to notify the parent in writing regarding who will attend the IEP meeting.

  • The parent/legal guardian
  • Regular Education teacher
  • Special Education teacher
  • A representative of the school district who is qualified to provide or supervise the provisions of special education who
    • knows about the regular curriculum 
    • knows about available district resources
  • An individual who can interpret the instructional evaluation results
  • Other individuals who have special expertise regarding the child, including related services personnel, as appropriate
  • The child with a disability, when appropriate

The school/district is required to notify the parent in writing regarding who will attend the IEP meeting. 

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Costa Mesa, CA 92627

Special Education Directory