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Special Education

Guidance for Implementing IDEA 2004

The IEP

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Statutory Language: Individualized Education Plans, And Educational Placements - On the left side we have provided you with the actual language from the statute. All of the bolded language is new language. The right side contains the summary of the new provisions, which includes important key points, some special notes to consider, relevant state requirements and more user-friendly language.

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Key Points - Team Meetings: - We have highlighted for you the five new provisions that impact Team meetings.

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Reference Sheet for Team Membership - We have developed this Reference Sheet for Team Membership in order to assist you in being able to identify the role that needs to be represented at your next scheduled IEP Team meeting after July 1, 2005.

Please note that planning needs to be done far enough in advance of the scheduled Team meeting so that you can clearly communicate to the parents 1) the purpose of the team meeting; 2) the required roles that must be filled during that meeting; 3) obtain the written consent from the parent, if needed; and so you can 4) obtain written input from the Team members.

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Key Points - IEP Development and Progress Reporting - We have highlighted for you the four new provisions that impact IEP Development and Progress Reporting.

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Implementation Guide (Revised: September, 2008) - This is an updated version of the "IEP 2000 Writing Guide". We have provided you with this guide to assist you in seeing how the new provisions can be reflected on and incorporated into the information you record on students' IEPs. We have included on it both the relevant new provisions and "Implementation Guidance" you can use to incorporate these changes.

You will notice that IEP 3 and IEP 4 contain sections that suggest you see the Transition Planning Form for guidance related to transition services, goals and courses of study.

We have also included on IEP 2 and IEP 3 reminders to include peer-reviewed research when possible regarding specially designed instruction; and also on IEP 3 a suggestion to consider completing a Functional Behavior Assessment and developing a Behavior Intervention Plan when appropriate in the case where a student's behavior impedes the at student's or other's learning and you are considering utilizing positive behavioral interventions and supports.

Notice that on IEP 1, IEP4 and IEP 8 we have reminded you that the new provision that says "beginning not later than the IEP to be in effect when the student is 16" means that for a practical matter it is the student's IEP at age 15 we are looking to contain this information since most likely this is the IEP the student will be on when she or he turns 16. The intent is to forward plan for the student and not to wait until she or he turns 16 to then start transition planning.


Using the Transition Planning Form and IEP

Use the Transition Planning Form (TPF) 28M/9 for all students with IEPs who are 14-22 years of age. The TPF (28M/9) is a mandated form that is maintained with the IEP in the student's file but is not part of the IEP. The TPF is a flexible discussion guide that encourages the entire IEP Team to work together to assist the student in making a smooth transition to adult life.

Although the Department mandates that the TPF must be used by the Team to guide the transition planning discussion, what is written on the TPF itself does not spell out specific responsibilities for what will occur; the TPF is a planning tool and not the transition plan itself. Once the TPF is complete, the Team uses the TPF to create the transition plan that is formally documented in the IEP, specifying the services that the school will provide.

This inclusive planning process does not require that all identified actions will be the responsibility of the school's special education program. Instead, the entire Team - parents, the student, general education services, other agencies, community partners, and special education services - all work together to provide opportunities that will help the student to gain skills and move closer toward achieving the student's postsecondary goals (i.e., the student's vision for life after high school).

The Team should discuss and complete the TPF before completing the IEP form.

The students' postsecondary goals should be recorded on page one of the TPF in the "Post-Secondary Vision" box. Once the TPF is complete, the IEP Team transfers the postsecondary goals to the Vision Statement on IEP 1.

Also on page one of the TPF, the Team documents the student's disability-related skills that may require annual IEP goals and/or related services. There is no requirement that every disability-related need have a corresponding annual IEP goal. One year's IEP should contain only those annual IEP goals that a student can reasonably be expected to accomplish in one year's time. The TPF and IEP must be updated every year.

Discussing and mapping out the Action Plan on page two of the TPF can help the team to fully understand and articulate the intersection between the student's postsecondary goals, the student's skills and disability-related needs, and the supports and services that the student requires in order to achieve his/her desired postsecondary outcomes.

For a more comprehensive discussion of the TPF and IEP, please see Technical Assistance Advisory SPED 2013-1 and Technical Assistance Advisory SPED 2014-4.

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Guidance on Using IDEA Funds for Instructional Support Services (Early Intervening)


Last Updated: March 12, 2015
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