Individualized Education Program (IEP)

  • Guiding Principles

    The Individualized Education Program (IEP) is a written program that represents an ongoing team planning process to support students eligible for special education services. The educational plan is based on a comprehensive look at the student's needs, relying heavily on current assessment data.

    The IEP is developed by a team where each member's voice is important. The student's voice in the IEP is critical to building ownership, increasing achievement, and improving advocacy skills. Students' participation in the IEP process can begin effectively at a very young age, with students taking on increasing responsibility in the process as they grow.
     
    Annual goals should reflect rigorous expectations for that individual student connected to Oregon's State Standards (CCSS) and based on clear data. 
     
    The IEP process provides on opportunity for parents, educators and the student to come together collaboratively as a team, It also provides a clear road map for the student's education for that year, and ensures ongoing protections for students with disabilities and their parents. The IEP sets forth in writing a commitment of resources by the district that are necessary to enable the student to receive needed special education and related services.

    The overall IEP requirement is comprised of two main components:

    • The IEP meeting is the time at which parents, student and educators jointly make decisions about a student’s program.
    • The IEP documentation is a written record of the decisions reached at the meeting.

     Present Levels - Goals - Services

    Procedural Guidance

    The IEP Team:

    • The parent(s) 
    • The student
      • Even at a young agree, students can express their strengths, discuss what they are learning, and help identify areas in which they want to grow more.
      • Prompts or supports, such as a prepared script, presentation software, or pre-recorded video can allow students who may be anxious or have communication challenges to participate in their meeting.
      • There may be occasions where a student is unable to participate in their IEP meeting, but this should be a rare exception.
      • The student is a required IEP team member beginning at age 16. The student must have the opportunity to indicate their preferences and interests during the IEP meeting when transition services are being considered. If the student doesn’t attend the IEP meetings when transition services are being discussed, the district must take steps to ensure the student’s interests and preferences are considered.
    • At least one regular education teacher of the student 
    • ESOL Expert/ELD teacher -- If student is an Emerging Bilingual (Limited English Proficient)
    • At least one special education teacher or provider
    • A representative of the school district who:
      • Is qualified to provide, or supervise special education
      • Is knowledgeable about the general education curriculum
      • Is knowledgeable about the availability of resources, and has the authority to commit agency resources;
      • Another special education provider may also serve as the district representative, as long as this individual meets the criteria for this role, if no significant changes are being discussed
      • Building Administrator, SPED IC, or Student Services Directors may always fulfill this role
    • An individual who can interpret instructional implications of evaluation results 
    • For students of transition service age: a representative of other agency(ies) that are likely to be responsible for providing or paying for transition services. 
      • For the district to invite or communicate with representatives of outside agencies, the parent (or adult student) must provide written consent. 
    • At the discretion of the parent or district, other individuals who have knowledge or special expertise regarding the student.
    • The parent and district may agree to use alternative means for members to participate in IEP and placement meetings, such as phone participation or video conferencing.
    • The parent and district may agree to excuse an IEP team member from a meeting under the following circumstances:
      • parent and district consent in writing
      • the team member submits written input to the parent and other members of the IEP team before the meeting
      • the excusal is authorized by the SPED IC or Student Services administrator
      • information about excusal is provided to the parent in their native language or mode of communication 
    • If an interpreter is present, that person is not an IEP team member and does not contribute content to the IEP development, but rather a facilitator of the communication between team members.  This person should listed on the cover page clearly as "Interpreter"
     
    General IEP Information
    • The IEP team must meet at least once every 365 days. They can meet at any time if any member of the team (including the parent) requests an IEP team meeting.
    • An IEP is in effect before Special Education services are provided to a student
    • An IEP is in effect at the beginning of each school year
    • West Linn-Wilsonville uses the Oregon Standard IEP format through the ePEP system
    • The district develops and implements all provisions of the IEP as soon as possible following the IEP meeting
    • Paperwork Distribution
      • The packet will be sent to parents (via email unless otherwise requested)
      • The packet will also be archived as a pdf in PaperVision (the district's paperwork database)
      • After completing the IEP meeting, the case manager should review all paperwork and press the "submit" button in ePEP
      • Student Services staff will make a packet of IEP paperwork in ePEP
      • Case manager prints a copy of the IEP packet and puts it in the student's cum file in the school office
    • The IEP Packet includes
      • All pages of the IEP
      • Placement Page
      • Meeting Notice
      • Meeting Minutes
      • Prior Written Notice of SPED Action (standard cover letter or specifically written for this IEP)
    • The IEP will be accessible to each of the student's regular education teachers, special education teachers and related service providers
      • Each teacher and service provider will understand their responsibility for implementing the IEP
     
    The IEP Meeting
    • Be prepared
      • A written Meeting Notice should be sent out in a reasonable time for all team members to attend (a week in advance is desirable)
      • Meet with the student in advance to help them prepare for an active, meaningful role in their IEP meeting (strengths, progress, goals, accommodations)
      • Communicate with gen ed teachers and any related service providers to ensure they have input and can attend the meeting
      • Send home a written draft of the new IEP ahead of time for parents to review with the message that THIS IS A DRAFT and the IEP will actually be developed at the meeting
      • Have technology ready, if student is using presentation software or if you are projecting the IEP or showing videos/pictures
    • Be welcoming
      • This meeting may be one of many IEPs that you facilitate for the year, but this is the one opportunity for this family to have your full attention on their child
      • Think about the seating arrangements
      • Never under-estimate the power of a warm smile and kind word
      • Nothing is more reassuring to parents than to know that you care about and like their child
      • Starting the meeting with a picture of the student, a sample of the student's art or writing on the table, a brief slide show of the student, or a short video clip sets the tone for a student-focused positive meeting
    • Be inclusive
      • Facilitate so that every team member talks and is able to contribute meaningfully to the process
      • For new team members (parents, students, gen ed teachers, etc.) take the time to slow down and explain the process and language
      • Avoid educational jargon - the IEP should be written in language that is understandable for all participants (including the parent)
      • Be professional:
        • Pass out copies of the written draft to all members or project on screen for all to see
        • REMIND EVERYONE THIS IS A DRAFT and you will be working together today to develop the new IEP
        • Meeting notes must be taken and included in the IEP packet - particularly highlighting where the team reached consensus and if there were any areas of unresolved disagreement
        • Be sure to note any requests or concerns raised by team members, particularly parents
        • Make sure any action items are clearly designated at the end of the notes and FOLLOW-UP

     

     
    The IEP Document
    • Use the IEP tab in ePEP, creating a new Draft IEP (14 days after the IEP meeting, the current IEP must be finalized and submitted in ePEP)
    • Demographics should prefill in ePEP
    • Enter the date of the annual IEP meeting.  
      • Any lack of expected progress toward the annual goals and in the general education curriculum, where appropriate;
      • The results of any special education evaluation;
      • Information about the student provided to, or by, the parents about the student’s academic, developmental, and functional needs;
      • The student’s anticipated needs.
      • The IDEA requires that, at least every 365 days, the IEP team review the student’s IEP to determine whether the student’s annual goals are being achieved, and to revise the IEP as appropriate to address:  
      • The initial IEP meeting must be held within 30 calendar days of the initial eligibility determination.
    • Check reevaluation due date (should be pre-filled by ePEP)
      • A reevaluation must be conducted at least every three years. 

     

    • Consideration of Special Factors
      • If yes, a functional behavioral assessment should be conducted to provide information on why a student engages in a behavior, when the student is most likely to demonstrate the behavior, and situations in which the behavior is least likely to occur.  
      • A behavior support plan should be written based on the FBA and noted in the Accommodations section of the IEP, and attached to the IEP tab in ePEP
      • The desired behavior or alternate behavior in the behavior support plan should closely match the student's behavior goal, and the specially designed instruction for behavior should be noted in the instructional component of the behavior support plan.
      • Teams should consider this factor carefully for students with autism, attention deficit, emotional disturbance, and any other behavioral issues. 
      • If yes, the IEP team should consider:
        • What is the student's current level of English proficiency? Note in Present Levels
        • Whether the disability impacts the student’s involvement in the general curriculum, including any bilingual or ESOL program; note in Present Levels
        • What language will be used for instruction; note in Present Levels
        • Accommodations that may be necessary for instruction and testing, ELPA accommodations should be noted on the State Assessment Page
      • If yes, the IEP must reflect instruction in Braille, unless the IEP team determines, after an evaluation of the student’s reading and writing skills, that Braille is not appropriate for this student. Consideration of future needs for instruction in Braille or the use of Braille must be documented annually. The specialist from the regional Program for Vision Impaired will provide a written Braille assessment to be attached to the IEP.
      • The IEP must reflect consideration of the student’s communication needs.  If the student has communication needs, indicate that these needs are addressed in the IEP, or indicate why they are not addressed in the IEP if there are special circumstances.
      • If yes, the IEP must explain the student's communication and language needs. In addition, opportunities for direct interaction with peers and educational personnel in the student’s own language and communication mode must be described. The IEP team must also consider the student’s academic levels and full range of needs, as well as opportunities for direct instruction in the student’s own language and communication mode. 
      • See the Assistive Technology page of the district handbook for more detailed information
      • AT devices are items, equipment, or system(s) used to increase, maintain, or improve the functional capabilities of a child.  These devices may be either “low-tech” (e.g., colored overlays, specialized pencil grips), or “high-tech” (e.g., computers, software applications, portable note taking equipment).  AT services mean any service that assists the student in the selection, acquisition, or use of such devices.
      • If yes, use of AT should be described in the Present Levels AND specific devices should be described in the Accommodations section
      • If the student has a documented print disability, work with your teacher librarian to get general educational materials in alternative formats in a timely manner
      • If you need additional support, contact your SPED IC or the student services office
      • For ALL students, the IEP team must consider the following:
        • Does the student demonstrate behaviors which impede learning of self or others?
        • Does the student have limited English proficiency:
        • Is the student blind or visually impaired?
        • Does the student have communication needs?
        • Is the student deaf/hard of hearing:
        • Does the student need assistive technology?
        • Does the student need accessible instructional materials?

     

    • Present Levels (of Academic Achievement and Functional Performance)
      • Strengths of the child
      • Input from the parents for enhancing the education of their child
      • The results of the initial or most recent evaluation
        • Evaluation data doesn't only mean the formal data gathered for eligibility purposes. It also means the data you are gathering daily to inform instruction.
        • Always include relevant data about academic achievement and functional performance from the last year
        • Only include data from earlier evaluation/assessment if there is a strong reason to include older information 
      • The results of the most recent state assessments and district assessments (if they have participated in those assessments within the last 1-2 years)
      • The academic, developmental and functional needs of the child
        • Be specific! Use multiple points of data if at all possible.
        • Be current! Data should reflect what the student knows and is able to do NOW 
          • Use data from the previous year's IEP goals as a starting point for the next year's present levels
        • Include information from both general education and special education settings, triangulating curriculum-based measures, classroom assessments, and qualitative data when possible for areas of concern
        • When reporting test results, avoid using acronyms
      • Any factors that the team identified in the Special Factors section
      • A statement of of how the child's disability affects the child's involvement and progress in the general education curriculum
      • For students 16 or older (or will be 16 during the life of that IEP) or younger if appropriate
        • Results of age-appropriate transition assessments
        • Consideration of the student's preferences, needs, & interests
      • The Present Levels section serves as a foundation for the development of the IEP, and should provide a clear picture of the student's strengths and needs.
      • These statements should be written in language that is understandable to all team members.
      • There must be clear through-lines from the needs presented in the present levels to the annual goals developed to the areas of specially designed instruction and the accommodations/supplemental services listed.
      • A well written Present Level clearly indicates areas of instruction needed as well as accommodations, modifications, or other supports needed.
      • The Present Levels must include:
    • Transition Services (for all students who will be age 16 or older during the IEP or earlier if appropriate)- See the Transition Services page in this Handbook
    • Statewide Assessment Participation
      • State Law allows parents to opt students out of OAKS/Smarter Balanced. However, that is separate from the IEP process. The law does not allow the IEP team to say that the student will not participate in statewide assessment. 
        • If a parent wants to opt their child out of statewide assessments, they should follow the district process for opting out - which is not an IEP process.
      • The only reason to check "No" on the IEP for participation in statewide assessment is if the student is in grades K,1,2,9,10 or 12. If a student is in a testable grade, we need to check "Yes" for participation. Then the team can decide whether they take the standard assessment or the extended assessment.
      • Reading and Math: Grades 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 11 (Smarter Balanced)
      • Science: Grades: 5, 8, 11
      • Standard testing (including allowable resources for all students such as breaks and quiet setting)
      • Standard testing with accommodations as outlined in the Oregon Accessibility Manual (see Resources section below for a pdf version of the accessibility manual)
      • Extended assessment 
        • Connected to grade level standards but significantly reduced depth, breadth, and complexity
        • Intended for students with very significant impact on learning due to disability
        • Administration includes visual supports and manipulatives
        • ODE has provided a guidance document and checklist for determining who is eligible to take the extended assessment  Extended Assessment Criteria (the checklist is on page 2 of this guidance document)
        • If Extended Assessment is selected, IEP team will provide a statement of why this option was selected.
      • All students in Oregon must have full access to participation in the Oregon Assessment of Knowledge & Skills
      • Grade Levels For Statewide Assessments
      • Students should participate in the most rigorous level of testing that they can access
      • For students who are emerging bilinguals, ELPA participation should be documented in the Statewide Assessment page (it used to be documented on the District Assessment page on the old IEP forms before 2015-16)
        • ELPA accommodations are listed in the Oregon Accessibility Manual (see Resources section below for a pdf version of the accessibility manual)
    • District Assessment Participation
      • Only tests that are required for every student in WLWV at a particular grade level in the district qualify as district assessments in this section (MAP 3-8th Grade, DRA in primary school)
    • Goals and Objectives
      • Short term objectives can break down progress toward the goal over time, or by the acquisition of subskills necessary toward accomplishing the goal.
      • Consider what makes sense, and what is doable!
      • If you say the criteria will be completing a task successfully on 4/5 trials, you must actually document the observation of 5 trials.
      • Beware of the 80% trap.... For example, if the goal is about student being safe when angry, is it really okay to write an 80% criteria? In other words, is the team okay if the student is unsafe when angry 20% of the time?
      • Annual goals are brief statements written in measurable terms that describe what the student will accomplish in a 12 month period, keeping in mind the balance between the power of high expectations and power of knowing a goal can/will be achieved.
      • The goal should meet the student's needs that are present because of the disability or because of behavior that interferes with the student's ability to learn
      • The annual goals should be directly related to the information listed in the Present Levels
      • Academic goals should be connected to Oregon State Standards and support progress in the general education curriculum, while at the same time reflecting the individual needs of the student.
      • It is best practice (in most situations) to write short term objectives that will lay out a road map toward achieving the annual goal.
      • State the criteria that will be used to determine progress toward each goal. Criteria may be expressed in a variety of ways including: percentage of correct response, rate of speed, number of successful trials, score on a work sample rubric, frequency of response, etc.
    • Services Summary
      • Specially Designed Instruction (SDI)
        • There must be an area of SDI to correspond with each annual goal
        • SDI must be individualized and include instruction based on the annual goals and objectives
        • SDI is based on peer reviewed research to the extent practicable to assist students in meeting their goals, progressing in the general ed curriculum and participating with other students.
        • SDI should be different in some way from that provided students of the same age or in the same class who are not disabled (could be more frequent, more intense, have smaller groups, more frequent response, different methods of presentation, different methods of response, different curricular tools, etc)
        • The location of SDI is usually listed as "school wide" as this allows flexibility of whether that instruction is delivered in general or special education setting.  However, when it is helpful for the team, other designations may be selected such as "general education setting", "special education setting", "community"
        • In most cases, the SDI should be designated for one year, with the start date being the date of the IEP (i.e. 10/26/2013) and the end date being one year later (10/26/2014).
        • The provider term "LEA" means Local Educational Agency and refers to the district being responsible for providing that item.
        • The provider term "Regional" may be listed when services for visually impaired or hearing impaired students are delivered by Columbia Regional Services.
      • Related Services
        • These are developmental, corrective, and other supportive services that may be required to assist a child with a disability to benefit from special education
        • Identified after special education services have been identified because they enable a student to make use of the specially designed instruction.
        • Examples include: transportation, occupational therapy, physical therapy, nursing
      • Supplemental Aids & Services/Modifications & Accommodations
        • Supplementary Aids & Services: visual schedule, pencil grip, weekly reports home, access to keyboard
        • Accommodations: (allow a student to access or respond in a different way without changing the learning target or construct) such as having a student present science content knowledge orally
        • Modifications: (making changes to the program that do change the learning construct) such as reading the reading test aloud to a student
        • List those aids, services, modification and/or accommodations that are necessary for the student to advance appropriately toward annual goals, progress in general education curriculum, participate in co-curricular activities activities, and participate with non-disabled peers to the maximum extent possible
        • Must be individualized
        • Consider both regular and special education settings
        • Do not use the term "as needed" on the amount/frequency column.  If a time designation does not make sense, describe the conditions when the item is needed (i.e. Use of graphic organizers... When given writing assignments)
        • Examples: 
      • Supports for School Personnel
        • Example: A student who no longer needs direct speech or language services but the team believes having the SLP consult with the classroom teacher around some key strategies are necessary for the student's success.
        • Example: A student with an orthopedic impairment who does not need SDI or related services in motor development, but needs the PT to consult with the PE teacher around curriculum adaptations.
        • Example: A student with autism who does not need direct instruction in communication and social thinking skills, and the team wants to be sure that the general education setting has key supports around communication in place.
        • Specially designed instruction and related services should include regular opportunities to interact with the student, monitor student progress, and team with staff and parents.
        • In most cases, consultation should be added to the IEP when expertise outside of the team that is already working with the student is needed.
        • There may be times that a current instructional provider may also be listed as a consultation provider if the IEP team truly believes this may be necessary for FAPE.
        • Consultation time should always be documented.
      • This page summarizes the services and supports that the district will implement to support the child in advancing appropriately toward the annual goals and to progress in the general education curriculum and non-academic settings. Each service on this page will include a statement about the location, inclusive dates, amount/frequency, and who is responsible for implementation.
    • Non-Participation Justification
      • The IEP must explain the extent, if any, to which the student will not participate with non disabled peers in the regular classroom and in extracurricular and other nonacademic activities.
      • Describe the extent (amount) of any removal from the regular class environment, and provide justification for the removal. These means an amount (expressed either numerically, such as 20% of the day or narratively, such as for all mathematics instruction) and a reason (such as because student needs a smaller structured setting in order to make progress.)
    • Extended School Year Service
      • See Separate ESY Tab in online SPED Handbook


    Revising or Amending the IEP

    • IDEA 2004 permits changes to an IEP between annual IEP meetings without an IEP meeting if the parent and an authorized school district representative agree.
    • In the current IEP tab in ePEP, enter any revision date(s) to the annual IEP and make the changes within the IEP itself.
    • The agreement to do this must be documented using a Prior Written Notice of Special Education Action, including:
      • When you communicated with the parent
      • A statement that the parent agrees with the change 
    • Parents must be provided both a copy of the revised IEP and the Prior Written Notice of SPED Action that explains this revision within 14 calendar days.
    • All members of the IEP team as well as all of the student's teachers and service providers must be notified of the changes to the IEP
    • EMAIL THE STUDENT SERVICES SECRETARY NOTIFICATION OF THIS CHANGE! 
     
    Reporting Progress on IEP Goals
    • Progress reports need to be completed in ePEP and copies sent to parents in accordance with the timeline outlined on the goals page when report cards are distributed
    • Progress reports are required on the annual goals. Whether or not progress is reported on the short term objectives depends on the circumstances of how the goals/objectives were written and is left to the discretion of the case manager
    • Progress reports should reflect the same data type as listed in the goal criteria (i.e. if the goal states "student will read 115 correct words per minute," the progress note needs to report how many correct words per minute the student is reading now, and may also include some qualitative data around how the student is interacting with text).
     
     
    Resources
     
     
    IEP FAQs
     
    What if the general education teacher that had been invited to the meeting is sick and unable to attend?
    Find another general education teacher to attend instead. A general education teacher can be a classroom teacher, a librarian, a PE teacher, a school counselor, a general ed IC, a music teacher, etc. Create a new meeting notice to include the name of the general education teacher who will actually attend the meeting. Present that meeting notice to the parent before the meeting begins.
     
    Can a school counselor serve as the district rep on the IEP team?
    In most cases, no. The district rep must be a provider of special education OR a supervisor of those who provide special education, and be authorized to commit resources for the IEP. Some of our school counselors are also licensed as a special education teacher or school psychologist.
     
    When is a Prior Written Notice of SPED Action required? 
    1. In response to specific parent requests outside of an IEP meeting
    2. To document changes to the student's eligibility, placement, or evaluation plan.
    3. When the student is leaving services for circumstances other than moving (including student has dropped out, student has graduated, student has aged out)
    4. If the parent and district IEP team members disagree about the outcome of an IEP meeting, it is always wise to document the rationale for this outcome in a separate prior written notice
    5. If all members of the IEP team are in agreement about the annual IEP that was developed, the case manager doesn't need to write a separate prior written notice, as ePEP will automatically generate one when the IEP is moved from draft to current.
     
    Board Policy IGBAF, IGBAJ