Once it is determined that your child is eligible for special education services under the IDEA, an individualized education program will be developed to meet the particular needs of your child. The term “individualized education program” or “IEP” is a written plan detailing your child’s special education program as designed by the Planning and Placement Team (PPT).

As a parent and member of your child’s PPT, it is vital that you influence and help develop your child’s IEP. The PPT must consider the strengths of your child, the concerns you have in enhancing the education of your child, the results of the initial or most recent evaluation of your child and the academic, developmental and functional needs of your child. Taking these factors into account allows for the PPT to create a specialized IEP geared toward providing your child with the best opportunity to satisfy their individual needs.

How is my child’s IEP developed?

A PPT meeting to develop your child’s IEP must be conducted within thirty (30) days following a determination that your child is eligible and in need of special education and related services. Subsequent to the development of your child’s IEP, special education and related services must be made available in accordance with his or her IEP.

What are the requirements that my child’s IEP must provide?

Detailed components of the content required in your child’s IEP are set out in the IDEA as follows:

  •  Statement of your child’s present levels of academic achievement and functional performance, including how your child’s disability affects his or her involvement and progress in the general education curriculum.
  • Statement of measurable annual goals, including academic and functional goals designed to meet your child’s educational needs pertaining to their disability and to ensure that your child be involved in and make progress in the general curriculum and meet other educational needs that result from his or her disability.
  • Description of how your child’s progress in meeting their annual goals will be measured and when periodic reports on the progress of your child meeting his or her annual goals will be provided.
  • Statement of the special education and related services to be provided to your child. This statement shall also include any supplemental aids and services to be provided to your child, as well as a statement of the program modification or supports for school personnel that will be provided for your child:
    • Advance appropriately toward him or her attaining their annual goals
    • Be involved in and make progress in the general education curriculum,
    • Participate in extracurricular and other nonacademic activities, and
    • Be educated and participate with other children with disabilities and non-disabled children.
  • Explanation of the extent, if any, to which your child will not participate with non-disabled children in the regular class and other school activities.
  • Statement of any individual appropriate accommodations necessary to measure through State and district-wide assessments the academic achievement and functional performance of your child. However, if the PPT determines that your child requires an alternate assessment they must state why and in which way the student will be assessed.
  • Statement of when the projected date for the beginning of special education services is to begin, along with the anticipated frequency, location and duration of those services.
  • Statement effective no later than the first PPT meeting that occurs after your child attains the age of 16, and updated annually thereafter regarding appropriate measurable postsecondary goals related to training, education, employment and where applicable, independent living skills. Moreover, at least one year prior to your child reaching the age of majority under State law, a statement must be made that your child has been informed of his or her rights, if any, under the IDEA that will transfer to him or her upon reaching majority.
IEP Accessibility 

Although the above requirements must be included in your child’s IEP, this list is not all-inclusive. Additional means in achieving the best possible educational plan for your child should be included whenever necessary. PPTs must satisfy each child’s unique needs and if necessary develop further activities beyond the expressed requirements to fully develop a child’s IEP. As a parent you must receive a copy of your child’s IEP at no cost within five (5) school days following any PPT meeting held to develop or revise your child’s IEP.

Your local educational agency must ensure that your child’s IEP is accessible to each regular education teacher, special education teacher and related service provider responsible for implementing the plan. Each teacher and provider must be informed of their specific responsibilities as it pertains to your child’s IEP and the specific accommodations, modifications, and support that must be provided for your child in accordance with their IEP needs.

Will my child’s IEP be reviewed? What is the process in revising my child’s IEP?

The IDEA sets forth rules concerning the review and revision of your child’s IEP. The local educational agency must ensure that the IEP team (PPT) reviews your child’s IEP periodically, but not less than annually, to determine whether the annual goals for your child are being achieved. Moreover, the local education agency is required to revise the IEP to appropriately address:

  • Any lack of expected progress toward the annual goals,
  • Any lack of expected progress in the general curriculum,
  • The results of any evaluation,
  • Information about your child provided by you as his or her parent, or
  • Your child’s anticipated needs

The IDEA requires that your child’s regular education teacher, consistent with their membership on the PPT, participate in the review and revision of his or her IEP. In modifying your child’s IEP following an annual IEP meeting, a parent and the local educational agency may agree not to convene an additional IEP meeting to modify your child’s IEP and instead develop a written document to amend the current IEP. Parents should be provided within five (5) school days with a copy of the revised IEP following any amendments.

What will happen to my child’s IEP if he or she is to transfer schools?

If you are planning to move to a different school district within Connecticut or are being transferred to a new job out of state, there are procedures and regulations that the new local education agency must follow to allow for a smooth transition pertaining to your child’s IEP.

If your child had an IEP in effect and you enroll your child in a new school in Connecticut, the new school must provide FAPE, which includes services comparable to those provided by your child’s prior school as described in his or her IEP. The new school district must adhere to your child’s IEP from their prior school until the new school adopts it as its own IEP, or develops, adopts and implements a new IEP that meets all the requirements described in the IDEA and applicable state law. Similar procedures and requirements apply to your child’s IEP if you are relocating to a new state.

However, the school district in your new state may conduct their own evaluation in accordance with the IDEA to determine if it is necessary to develop, adopt and/or implement a new IEP, in accordance with the IDEA and the new State’s law.

In transitioning your child from one school to another, the new school must take reasonable steps to promptly obtain your child’s records, which include their IEP and any other supporting documents relating to their special education needs. Your child’s former school district must take reasonable steps to respond to the records request from the new school that your child is enrolled in.

Our education law firm in Westport Connecticut serves clients with expulsion, discrimination, and general education law issues from all over the state including the towns of: Bethel, Bridgeport, Brookfield, Danbury, Darien, Easton, Fairfield, Greenwich, Monroe, New Canaan, New Fairfield, Newton, Norwalk, Redding, Ridgefield, Shelton, Sherman, Stamford, Stratford, Trumbull, Weston, Westport, and Wilton. We have the best education law attorneys in CT on staff that can help with your Connecticut or New York education issues today.

If you have any questions or would like to speak to an education law attorney about a pressing matter, please don’t hesitate to call our office at (203) 221-3100. We offer free consultations to all new clients.