Frequently Asked Questions
Frequently Asked Questions about Individual Education Plans (IEP’s)
Q: What is an IEP?
A: An IEP is the written document reviewed each year that determines the services, accommodations and modifications that your child will receive. If a service or accommodation is written into the IEP, your child must receive it.
Q: Who needs an IEP?
A: Every child who receives special education services in a publically funded school, including publically funded charter schools.
Q: How often are IEP meetings held?
A: IEP’s are held at least once a year but if you have a concern you can request a meeting at any time. Click here to see a Sample Letter for requesting an IEP.
Q: Who decides what goes into my child’s IEP?
A: The IEP team, comprised of the parents or guardians, the student, your child’s teachers, a general education teacher, and someone from the district decide what goes into your child’s IEP. The team may also include others at the request of the parents or the school.
Q: What happens at an IEP meeting?
A: The team meets in order to:
- Describe where your child is now in terms of academic and functional performance areas
- Develop long-term goals for your child to achieve during the year
- Identify short-term steps for your child to help accomplish the goals
- Deciding how the team will know when the child has met the goals
- Identify special instruction and related services that your child will receive in order to help them meet the goals including the amount of time your child will receive specialized instruction
- Accommodations that will help your child meet the goals
Q: Can I request additional time for my child’s IEP meeting?
A: You may table a meeting to request additional time to complete an IEP.
Q: How should I prepare for the IEP meeting?
A: Gather all of your child’s records and evaluations, make a list of questions or concerns you would like to discuss, identify a person (Family member/friend) to take notes during the IEP meeting,
Frequently Asked Questions About Evaluations
Q: Can parents request an evaluation for special education services?
A: Initial evaluations must be completed within 60 calendar days of the time that you give permission to evaluate. Here is a Sample Letter requesting an evaluation
Q: When are re-evaluations conducted?
A: Once every 3 years.
Q: What if I disagree with the evaluation results?
A: Parents have the right to obtain an independent educational evaluation (IEE) conducted by a qualified outside specialist not at no cost to the parent. See Sample Letter requesting an Independent Educational Evalution.
Q: Do I still need an evaluation if my child already has a diagnosis?
A: An educational evaluation is not the same as a diagnosis by a medical professional. Schools typically require their own evaluations but may use some testing information from outside professionals.
Q: Does my child’s disability qualify them for special education?
A: The Individuals with Disabilities Act (IDEA) defines 13 disabilities may qualify a child for special education.
- Emotional disturbance
- Hearing impairment
- Intellectual disability
- Multiple disabilities
- Orthopedic impairment
- Other health impairment (including ADHD)
- Specific learning disability (including dyslexia, dyscalculia and dysgraphia, and other learning issues)
- Speech or language impairment
- Traumatic brain injury
- Visual impairment, including blindness
Q: What if my child is not found eligible for special education services?
A: Children who are not eligible for special education services may still receive services through a 504 Plan, which provides services and accommodations to children with disabilities or other medical conditions.
Frequently Asked Questions About Special Education Timelines
The following timelines are mandated by the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), a federal law authorizing a free and appropriate education for every child regardless of the type or severity of their disability.
Q: How long do school districts have to evaluate my child for special education?
A: 60 days from the time you give permission for the evaluation.
Q: How often do IEP Meetings happen?
A: At least once a year or more often if you or an IEP team member requests a meeting.
Q: When does re-evaluation take place?
A: At least every 3 years.