Individualized Educational Program (IEP)

Selina Tang and Mustang Staff

 Students who need additional support in school may be eligible for special education services in an IEP (individualized education program). The IDEA (Individuals with Disabilities Education Act – 1990, called EHA from 1975-1990) states that parents and guardians of students with special needs are members of the IEP team. Some common conditions among students with an IEP include ADHD, autism, cognitive challenges, emotional disorders, hearing and vision problems, speech impairment, and physical disabilities.

Generally, students with IEPs are placed in general school environments with additional adult support. For example, an adult aide will help a small group of students with IEPs while the rest of the class works with the general ed teacher. In other instances a student is placed in a smaller sized class where they have access to more one-on-one instruction. These students spend most of the school day in this smaller sized class and join general school environments during physical education, the arts electives, and lunch. (Colleen O’Shea KidsHealth)

The IEP referral and evaluation process begins with parents, teachers, and doctors leading up to an educational assessment and an evaluation team. This team is composed of classroom teachers, a psychologist, therapists, and specialists who complete a comprehensive report. Together with general ed teachers, the specific measurable short-term and yearly goals are formed. (US Department of Education

The student’s IEP is reviewed by the IEP team at least once a year and revised if necessary. At least every three years the student is reevaluated in the triennial to determine if the student is still a student with a “disability” as defined by IDEA.