The Individualized Education Program (IEP)
The IEP is a document developed by a team of professionals in conjunction with the family. It is mandated by Part B of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, better known as IDEA.
Strategies to help parents participate fully in the IEP process are available through Parental Tips for the IEP Meeting.
IEP as a Roadmap:
Thinking of the IEP as a roadmap of a child's educational journey makes the IEP process easier to understand.
First, the IEP summarizes where the child has been. This is known as a statement of the child's current level of development.
The IEP then describes developmentally where the child will go in the next year. This is detailed in the goals section of the IEP. The IEP then describes how the child will reach those goals by detailing what personnel, teaching strategies, or modifications and adaptations will be needed for the child to succeed on the journey.
Finally, the IEP details the setting and program that the child will attend. Think of this as describing where the child's journey will take place—a special education classroom, a preschool classroom, or some other place.
Additional resources about the IEP process include:
- Center for Parent Information and Resources website
- Wrightslaw website
- IEP forms from the ISBE in either English or Spanish
- "Educational Rights and Responsibilities: Understanding Special Education in Illinois – Chapter 6" provided by the Illinois State Board of Education