IEP Preparation Tool

PHP has designed an IEP Preparation Tool to help parents organize their thoughts and records before attending an IEP meeting, so that ideally they enter the meeting feeling prepared. The tool was designed for parents whose children currently have an IEP. If you are well-versed in the IEP process, you may move directly to the IEP Prep Tool.

Otherwise, it is recommended that you read the following information first. The information below will assist you in understanding the purpose of an Individualized Education Plan (IEP) and the laws that support special education.Each public school child who receives special education and related services must have an Individualized Education Program (IEP).

Each IEP must be designed for one student and must be a truly individualized document. The IEP creates an opportunity for teachers, parents, school administrators, related services personnel, and students (when appropriate) to work together to improve educational results for children with disabilities.

The IEP is the cornerstone of a quality education for each child with a disability. To create an effective IEP, parents, teachers, other school staff--and often the student--must come together to look closely at the student’s unique needs.

These individuals pool knowledge, experience and commitment to design an educational program that will help the student be involved in, and progress in, the general curriculum.

The IEP guides the delivery of special education supports and services for the student with a disability. Without a doubt, writing--and implementing--an effective IEP requires teamwork. (from Guide to the Individualized Education Program created by Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services, US Department of Education, 2000)

  • Appendix A to the IDEA says— “The IEP meeting serves as a communication vehicle between parents and school personnel, and enables them, as equal participants, to make joint, informed decisions regarding—
  • the child’s needs and appropriate goals;
  • the extent to which the child will be involved in the general curriculum and participate in the regular education environment and State and district-wide assessments; and
  • the services needed to support that involvement and participation, and to achieve agreed-upon goals. Parents are considered equal partners with school personnel in making these decisions, and the IEP team must consider the parents’ concerns and the information that they provide regarding their child . . .” 34 CFR Appendix A to Part 300—Notice of Interpretation,

II. Involvement of Parents and Students, question 9, 1st paragraph. The process of developing your child’s IEP involves two main things:

(1) the IEP meeting(s), where you, your child (at times), and school staff members together decide on an educational program for your son or daughter; and

(2) the IEP document, which puts the decisions from that meeting in writing. Among other things, this document lists the services and supports your child will receive.

At the IEP meeting the team will develop, review, and/or revise the IEP document. You and the other team members will work to create an IEP that is educationally appropriate and that everyone can agree on.

We encourage parents to understand their child’s legal rights to special education, by attending trainings at Parent Training and Information Centers (PTI) located throughout the United States. Each state is home to at least one parent center. The following link will take you to the website that has links to all the Parent Training and Information Centers. 

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