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Special Education

IEP Improvement Project

Massachusetts IEP Improvement Project Logo
Have you read an IEP?
Have you attended an IEP meeting?
Have you taught any students with IEPs?

Welcome to the improveIEP Information Center.
We would like to hear from you. Email your suggestions and comments anytime to

It's time! Massachusetts is revising the Individualized Education Program (IEP) Form. Your hands-on IEP experience is vital to the IEP Improvement Project. Your perspectives and suggested solutions to common issues will drive this revision process.

A broad and deep engagement strategy is a priority in order to achieve an updated, meaningful and user-friendly form that works well for all educators, families and students. Activities to gather your input will occur throughout the project. These data will be collected to guide the planning, development, and implementation of an improved IEP Form. The more you are involved in those opportunities the more useful you will find the end product. For that reason we invite you to visit this page regularly for updates and get involved!

Our ultimate goal is to prepare all students to succeed in the world that awaits them after high school.
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Effectively Meet User Needs

Respond to IEP user's articulated needs and priorities.

  • Craft an easy to use, step-wise format

  • Update content

  • Include guiding questions

  • Explicitly connect sections for easy planning

  • Provide a structure for coherent service delivery planning

Investigate Technological Opportunites

Investigate the possibility of an optional online web-based application, protected by SIMS-level security, and aligned with local SIS and state SIF that benefits:

  • Families — Increase parent/professional partnerships: simplify the IEP development process; improve family engagement; and reduce unnecessary conflict

  • Administrators/Educators — Improve strategic data systems: augment resources for root cause analysis and school effectiveness; and automate state and federal data collection activities

  • DESE — reduce district data collection activities and related resources

  • OSEP — collect valid and reliable data

Improve Form and Function

Achieve high expectations for both form and function.

  • Structure the IEP to facilitate: performance in the Learning Standards and results driven accountability (RDA); consistent compliance requirements; and student level progress monitoring

  • Universally design the IEP to: naturally support users and increase instructional time; and minimize use of the additional information section to retro-fit for current initiatives and requirements

  • Clearly articulate age and disability related needs and service responsibilities

  • Plainly reflect the planning and decision making process throughout the IEP

  • Integrate non-academic needs and the life of the school

  • Meaningfully engage all educators, families, and students

  • Improve outcomes for students with disabilities

The ultimate goal of the IEP Improvement Project is to ensure that students with disabilities have the best possible access to general curriculum content and the skills to participate in all aspects of the school.

Embedded in our goal are these expectations:

  • That teachers will know how to respond to the needs of students with disabilities and will use that knowledge to proactively work with students across the coursework and life of the school.
  • That students with disabilities will gain the knowledge and skills to prepare themselves effectively for postsecondary opportunities, career training options, economically viable careers, and healthy, productive lives.
  • That families of students with disabilities will understand the key aspects of how the student learns and what families can expect will be provided to their sons and daughters during the course of the school year.

The Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (ESE) is making improvements to the IEP form. DESE is soliciting public comment through written form. Opportunities to provide input will continue to be announced through links on this webpage. Written comments may be submitted by email to: or by mail to: Special Education Planning and Policy Development Office Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education 75 Pleasant Street Malden, MA 02148. Attn: IEP Revision

Last Updated: May 3, 2018

Contact Us

Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education
75 Pleasant Street, Malden, MA 02148-4906

Voice: (781) 338-3000
TTY: (800) 439-2370


Disclaimer: A reference in this website to any specific commercial products, processes, or services, or the use of any trade, firm, or corporation name is for the information and convenience of the public and does not constitute endorsement or recommendation by the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.