The IEP Cycle
The IEP (Individualized Education Program) process is a shared responsibility of the community, the family, and the school. The development of an IEP is also part of a cycle that begins with a particular child. The cycle has the following steps:
1. Referral: The cycle begins when either a parent or a teacher notices that a student is struggling with some aspect of his schooling and requests that he be referred for potential special education services. A committee then meets to decide whether the student's difficulties are severe enough to warrant a formal evaluation. The parent must give permission for the child to be evaluated. In addition, a parent must be invited to this and any other meeting regarding the identification, evaluation, or placement of the student. In this regard, a meeting means a "prearranged event" and not an unscheduled or informal conversation among school personnel.
2. Evaluation: Evaluations must be conducted by a multidisciplinary team. Many different methods, tests, and materials are used to evaluate children. The purpose is to understand the student's strengths and needs. The team may look at issues such as educational performance, medical history, social interactions at school and at home, psychological evaluations, and other factors. Any information provided by the parent must be considered by the team.
3. Eligibility: Once the data have been gathered, a parent and a team of professionals meet to discuss the results of the evaluation and decide if the student has a disability. Definitions of disabilities, such as hearing impairments, emotional disturbances, and specific learning disabilities, are spelled out in state and federal laws. If the student is found eligible, then the committee must decide if he, because of his disability, needs special education.
4. Development: If the student is found eligible for special education, then the IEP team is formed and meets to develop the IEP.
5. Implementation: After the IEP has been developed, the student's special education program and services begin.
6. Annual review: The IEP team reviews the student's IEP at least once a year to discuss whether he is meeting his goals, to set new goals and objectives, and to revise the educational program and services as necessary.
This cycle is an orderly one that is required by law. The process is designed to assure that children receive the services they need, as well as to provide legal protection for the rights of children with disabilities and their families.
Provided in partnership with The Council for Exceptional Children.
Asian-Pacific-American Heritage Month
May is Asian-Pacific-American Heritage Month! Don't overlook this opportunity to study and enjoy activities about the history and culture of Asian-Pacific American communities.
The recent rash of tornadoes in Oklahoma, which killed at least two dozen people, may have your students wondering why such natural disasters occur, how they may be affected by them, and what they can do to help. Use these resources to teach the geography of Oklahoma and the Southwestern United States, to explain tornadoes, and to discuss the resulting crises with your class.
Top 10 Galleries
Explore our most popular Top 10 galleries, from Top 10 Behavior Management Tips for the Classroom and Top 10 Classroom Organization Tips from Veteran Teachers to Top 10 Free (& Cheap) Rewards for Students and Top 10 Things Every Teacher Needs in the Classroom. We'll help you get organized and prepared for every classroom situation, holiday, and more! Check out all of our galleries today.
May Calendar of Events
May is full of holidays and events that you can incorporate into your standard curriculum. Our Educators' Calendar outlines activities for each event, including: Backyard Games Week (5/23-29) and Memorial Day (5/27). Plus, celebrate Asian-Pacific-American Heritage Month, Clean Air Month, and Physical Fitness & Sports Month all May long!
Common Core Lessons & Resources
Is your school district adopting the Common Core? Work these new standards into your curriculum with our reading, writing, speaking, social studies, and math lessons and activities. Each piece of content incorporates the Common Core State Standards into the activity or lesson.