WHAT IS AN IEP?
An individualized educational plan is a legal document directed under the IDEA federal regulations and state code.
WHEN DO I NEED AN IEP?
When a student has a learning disability according to the classifications under IDEA.
HOW DO I KNOW WHICH GOALS AND OBJECTIVES MY CHILD'S IEP MUST HAVE?
These are determined by the present levels of academiic performance and functioning. One must know what a child is capable of doing currently in each area of study to be able to form and develop the goals and objectives and benchmarks (short-term objectives) . The goals are a part of the state's core curriculum content standards (CCCS).
WHO SHOULD ATTEND AN IEP MEETING?
All service providers, the special education teacher, the general education teacher, the school psychologist, the LDT-C, the social worker. A school representative and any one person who may be knowledgeable of the student and that the parent wishes to bring to the meeting.
HOW MANY DAYS DO I HAVE TO REVIEW AN IEP?
On an annual IEP you have 15 days to review. Remember that if you do not sign, the IEP becomes valid even without your signature. However, during an initial IEP a parent MUST sign before it becomes valid and effective. During an initial IEP, the parents have the right to file for a due process hearing if in disagreement. Do not sign an IEP until you are satisfied with the IEP and are in agreement with the school district.
WHAT IF I AM NOT SATISFIED WITH THE SCHOOL EVALUATIONS?
You are entitled to request independent educational evaluations. Note that if the school district is not in agreement, they may file within 20 days for a due process hearing.If the school district agrees, they will make available a list of providers (parents can choose a different provider outside of list) and allow for the IEE without undue delay.
WHO CAN I BRING TO THE IEP MEETING?
You are entitled to bring whomever you want to accompany you to the IEP meeting, but you must first provide that information on the 10 day notice to the school district.
WHAT IS AN ADVOCATATIVE EDUCATIONAL CONSULTANT?
Unlike an advocate, who only represents a parent or a student at IEP meetings, an advocatative educational consultant has extensive experience in the special education process, has been a school employee, drafts goals, objectives, and benchmarks for the student. In other words, they can help develop an IEP from beginning to end and are knowlegeable in school and special education laws and are able to train teachers and administrators.
WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN AN IEP AND A 504 PLAN?
An IEP is mostly for students who may have physical disabilities, but who also have a learning disability. A 504 Plan are for students who may or may not have a physical disability, but who have a disability, but do not have a learning disabiloity. However, all students IEP and 504 recipients are both protected by the American with Disabilities Act (ADA).
MAY I RECORD THE IEP MEETING?
Yes, you have the right to do so, but as a professional courtesy please give notice to school district so they may also record. If for any reason the school district denies you the ability to record, then stop the meeting and consult with an attorney or an advocate.The regulations under IDEA and state code allow for the recording as do also the Wire Tapping Laws of NJ as a participant of the meeting.