What is an IEP?
A federal law called the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) requires that public schools create an IEP for every child receiving special education services. Kids from age 3 through high school graduation or a maximum age of 22 (whichever comes first) may be eligible for an IEP.
The IEP is meant to address each child’s unique learning issues and include specific educational goals. It is a legally binding document. The school must provide everything it promises in the IEP.
Here’s a quick look at what an IEP must include, by law:
- A statement of your child’s present level of performance (PLOP)—this is how your child is doing in school now
- Your child’s annual educational goals
- Special education supports and services that the school will provide to help your child reach goals
- Modifications and accommodations the school will provide to help your child make progress
- Accommodations your child will be allowed when taking standardized tests
- How and when the school will measure your child’s progress toward annual goals
- Transition planning that prepares teens for life after high school