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Special Education

Guidance for Implementing IDEA 2004

Key Points for IDEA-2004:
IEP Development and Progress Reporting

  1. Measurable annual goals
    • A requirement has been added that the statement of measurable annual goals includes academic and functional goals.
    • Beginning not later than the first IEP to be in effect when the student is 16, the IEP must include appropriate measurable postsecondary goals based upon age appropriate transition assessments related to training, education, employment, and, where appropriate, independent living skills.

    Implementation Guidance:
    • Academic and functional goals should continue to be skill-based, measurable and based upon individual student needs in order for the student to make progress.
    • For the first IEP to be in effect when a student turns 16, the IEP must include measurable post-secondary goal(s) that will help the student reach his/her post-secondary vision as outlined in the Vision Statement (IEP 1).
      • Note: For most students this IEP will be written and implementation begun while the student is age 15.

  2. Objectives and short-term benchmarks
    • Objectives and/or benchmarks are still required for students with significant cognitive disabilities.
    • New Requirement: For all students with disabilities, a narrative description of how progress towards meeting annual goals is measured.

    Implementation Guidance:
    • Teams may choose to write the description of how progress is measured in a narrative form or may meet the requirement through continuing to use objectives and benchmarks that include a clear description of how progress will be measured.

  3. Periodic progress reporting requirements
    • The IEP must include when periodic progress reports will be provided.

  4. Transition requirements
    • Required transition services beginning at age 14 have been eliminated.
    • Beginning no later than the first IEP to be in effect when the student turns 16, the IEP must include:
      • Appropriate measurable post-secondary goals based upon age-appropriate transition assessments related to training, education, employment, and, where appropriate, independent living skills; and
      • Transition services needed to assist the student in reaching the post-secondary goals, including courses of study.

    Implementation Guidance:
    • The transition services and courses of study must be linked directly to the vision statement on IEP 1 and appropriate goals on IEP 4.
    • See the Transition Planning Form for guidance related to transition services and courses of study.
    • For most students the IEP will be written and implementation begun while the student is age 15, so that it meets the requirement of the IEP "in effect when the student turns 16."



Last Updated: March 12, 2015
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