The IEP must be developed for each student with a disability within thirty (30) calendar days after eligibility determination. The IEP must be developed before actual placement, and initiation of special education and related services. No special education and related services can be provided prior to the development of the IEP. Finally, all IEPs must be reviewed at least annually by the IEP committee. A parent or a teacher may request reviews of the IEP more frequently.
Composition of the IEP Committee
The IEP committee must be composed of at least the following:
School Administratoror Designee. A representative of the school division, other than the student's teacher, who is qualified to provide or supervise the provision of special education;
Student'sTeacher. At the initial IEP meeting, this refers to the student's classroom teacher, or if the student does not have a teacher, a teacher qualified to teach a student of that age. At subsequent IEP meetings, this may be the student's special education teacher;
Parent/Legal Guardian or Surrogate Parent. Parents must be given the opportunity to participate in the development of their child's IEP; however, they may choose not to attend the IEP meeting. If they so choose, then the other IEP committee members should meet and develop the IEP.
Student. The student should participate when appropriate in developing the IEP. This is especially true at the secondary level when developing goals and objectives and transition services. Remember the IEP is to meet the unique educational needs of the student.
At an initial IEP meeting, the Committee must include a member of the evaluation team or someone knowledgeable about the evaluation procedures used with the student and the results of the evaluation.
Transition services must be addressed on the IEPs of students who are 14 years old and older. They may also be addressed at a younger age when appropriate. Whenever transition services and planning are being considered at an IEP meeting, then the following people must also be invited to participate in the development of the IEP:
The Student. If the student chooses not to attend the IEP meeting, it is required that the student be given alternative opportunities to have input into the transition plan and service decisions. The committee must document that the student's preferences and interests have been obtained and are considered when determining the needed transition services.
Adult ServiceAgencies. If an agency is likelv to be providing or paying for a transition service for the student, then a representative of that agency must be invited to attend the IEP meeting. If no representative can physically participate, then the committee must seek alternative ways of obtaining their input into the decisions. For example, individual communication or telephone conference calling can be used to meet this requirement.
At all IEP meetings the school division must ensure that the parents understand the proceedings. This includes the arrangements for an interpreter for parents who are deaf or parents whose native language is other than English.
NOTE: An IEP, by regulation, can not be developed with only the special education teacher and parent present. A school administrator or designee must be present at all IEP meetings along with all other required personnel. Additional participants in the IEP meeting may include the following:
general (regular and vocational) teacher(s)
therapist (e.g., Physical, Occupational, Speech)
vocational evaluator guidance counselor representatives of community agencies (e.g., Community Service Boards, Rehabilitation Counselors)
pupil personnel staff
others at the discretion of the school and/or parent
While not mandated under Individuals with Disabilities Education Act,* it is strongly recommended that regular and vocational teachers be participants in the development of the IEP. Ongoing collaboration between teachers is imperative to the success of a student's performance in regular and vocational education classes. Therefore, the individual managing the IEP should review or provide a copy of the student's IEP with those regular and vocational teachers who were unable to attend the IEP meeting as soon as possible following development of the IEP.
* Under the Carl D. Perkins Vocational and Applied Technology Education Act of 1990 and Virginia Department of Education's Regulations Governing Vocational Education, the IEP for students with disabilities enrolled in occupational preparation programs must be developed cooperatively by special education and vocational education representatives.
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