How To Use This IEP Checklist
This information was provided by the Disability Rights of Mississippi.
IDEA (The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, as Amended) requires that a written individualized education program (IEP) be developed for each child to meet his/her educational needs. Every child needing special education must have an IEP, and it must be reviewed and updated at least once a year by the IEP committee.
This IEP checklist is designed to help parents and advocates become knowledgeable members of their children's IEP committees. Look it over before going to the IEP meeting. It will help you to prepare questions for the teachers and other school representatives.
The checklist is divided into three sections with questions to answer before, during and after the IEP meeting. Answering the "before" questions will necessitate your looking back over past records and evaluations and will help you organize your thoughts and feelings so you can better communicate your goals for your child.
"During" questions are based on federal regulations. "Yes" answers to all eight should yield a meeting and, hence, an IEP which conforms to law as well as to your personal goals for your child.
"After" questions are intended to help you monitor your child's program throughout the year. Remember, you are your child's best advocate. If you know your child's rights, then you will be better able to negotiate with the school to ensure that your child will not miss out on important services to which he or she is entitled.
You should never be coerced or intimidated into accepting an IEP you feel is inappropriate. If you have questions during any phase of the IEP process, contact Disability Rights of Mississippi. Once your case has been opened, you'll be assigned an education advocate who will work with you to resolve any problems.
Before The IEP Meeting
1. Consider the long-term goals you have for your child. (Circle ones that apply)
Go to college
Obtain a GED and/or a vocational diploma
Obtain a special education certificate and as many life skills as possible
Work full-time independently
Work with support from a job coach, either full-time or part-time
Not work at all
Live completely independently after schooling is complete
Live in a supervised apartment or group home or other supportive living situation
Live with a family member
Live in a residential facility
2. Are there specific skills that my child could learn during the next year that would help me at home?
3. Is this my child's first IEP/placement in special education? If so, has it been completed within 30 days of the day he/she was ruled eligible for special education?
4. Is this subsequent IEP (not the first one)? If so, was it completed within one year of the day the last one was completed?
5. Was I given Written Prior Notice (WPN) for the IEP meeting and was I given and opportunity to re-schedule if the proposed time/date were inconvenient for me?
6. If a draft IEP had been developed, was I given an opportunity to view if before the meeting?
During The IEP Meeting
1. Are the appropriate persons here?
An agency representative (someone from the school system who is qualified to provided or supervise the provision of special education, is knowledgeable of the general curriculum and the resources of the district, including special education)
A special education teacher
A regular education teacher, if participation in any regular education activities is appropriate for your child
One or both parents
My child, if appropriate
Other persons that either the school or I requested
2. Does the proposed IEP contain the following in understandable terms?
A statement of my child's present level of performance including how his/her disability effects progress in the general (regular) curriculum
A statement of measurable annual goals including benchmarks for measuring progress
A statement of the special education and related services and program modifications and support for school personnel that will be provided for your child in order that he/she can meet the annual goals and participate with other children with disabilities and/or students without disabilities to the fullest extent possible
A statement of how progress toward the annual goal will be measured and how I will be informed o f the progress
The projected date for the beginning of the services and modifications described in the IEP and duration of those services
If my child is 14, or older, a statement of transition services my child needs to prepare him/her for life after school
If my child is 16, a statement of transition services including, when appropriate, a statement of interagency responsibilities and needed linkages
3. Was consideration given to the following:
My child's behavior and need for positive behavior intervention if behavior has been a problem in the past
Language needs of my child if he or she has limited use of English
Instruction in Braille if my child is blind and the IEP committee determines that's appropriate
My child's need for assistive technology
4. Is the information being given to me in understandable language and am I given an opportunity to ask questions?
5. Am I encouraged to contribute significant information about my child?
6. Am I a fully participating member of the IEP team?
7. Am I willing to give formal consent to the services described in the IEP?
8. If I am unwilling to give formal consent, are my rights concerning Due Process explained, and am I invited to another meeting to try to resolve the outstanding issues?
After The IEP Meeting
1. Was I given a copy of the IEP?
2. Were services agreed to in the IEP meeting provided without undue delay after the IEP meeting?
3. Did I receive periodic progress reports at least as often as regular education students received report cards, letting me know what progress was being made on IEP objectives?
4. Given my child's disability, am I satisfied with the rate of progress?