In order to make sure that children receive the proper education they need in Pennsylvania, schools sometimes provide them with additional services. It is important to know that a child is progressing with the assistance of these services, which is why the Individualized Education Program (IEP) exists. Continue reading and reach out to an experienced Pennsylvania special education attorney to learn more.
What is an IEP?
An IEP is a document with the information about a special education child and the school’s plan to ensure they are receiving “meaningful educational progress.” This is not a one size fits all document. Every child is evaluated to understand their specific needs and an IEP is created accordingly. This should include descriptions of the types of support they will receive, how much time they will spend utilizing these special services each day, and the types of aids and accommodations that are used.
Who Can Receive an IEP?
Under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), eligible children with disabilities are entitled to a free appropriate public education (FAPE). This includes an IEP. In order to determine eligibility in Pennsylvania, a child must have one of the following disabilities:
- Emotional disturbance
- Hearing impairment
- Intellectual disability
- Multiple disabilities
- Orthopedic impairment
- Other health impairment
- Specific learning disability
- Speech or language impairment
- Traumatic brain injury
- Visual impairment
It is important to note that the child must also be determined as needing modified instruction to support their learning in the classroom.
Who Creates an IEP?
An IEP is created by a team of individuals, including the following parties:
- The student’s parents/legal guardian
- At least one of the student’s general education teachers
- At least one special education teacher
- A representative of the local educational agency (LEA)
- Someone who can explain the evaluation results
- Others who know or have worked with the student (at the request of the parent or LEA)
What is the IEP Process?
Once a child’s parents agree to and sign the Notice of Recommended Educational Placement, each member of the IEP team should be notified and prepared to implement the document. The written IEP should detail how the child’s progress will be monitored. In addition to this, the document should be reviewed by the team at least once a year to evaluate and make necessary modifications. Parents can request to meet with the IEP team if they have any questions or concerns. If they do not see eye-to-eye with the district, free mediation is also offered through the Office of Dispute Resolution.
Contact our Firm
Anderson, Converse & Fennick is an experienced law firm in York County, Pennsylvania focusing on Education Law, Family Law, Estate Planning, and Civil Litigation matters. If you need a knowledgeable attorney that will effectively represent your interests, contact Anderson, Converse & Fennick today.