IEP Review Process

June 14, 2016

When a child is struggling in school there is a formal process that can find out what the problem is and how to best make accommodations, both in the classroom and out, to deal with the issue. This help and process is known as special education. If the team of special educators determines that extra help is needed then an Individual Education Plan is created. There are five important steps to the IEP process that every parent should understand. These include:

  1. Referral for a Special Education Evaluation
  2. The Evaluation
  3. Determining Eligibility
  4. Writing the Individual Education Program
  5. The IEP Meeting
  6. The Annual Review

Once a family has gone through this rather lengthy process, initially the review process is the step that you will revisit each year along with retesting every three years. The IEP team must review the child’s IEP at least once a year, or more often if the parents or school request it. One purpose of this review is to see whether the child is achieving his or her annual goals. Parents can make suggestions for changes, can agree or disagree with the IEP, and agree or disagree with the placement. The team must revise the child’s individualized education program, if necessary, to address:

  • the child’s progress or lack of expected progress toward the annual goals and in the general curriculum;
  • information gathered through any reevaluation of the child;
  • information about the child that the parents share;
  • information about the child that the school shares (for example, insights from the teacher based on his or her observation of the child or the child’s classwork);
    the child’s anticipated needs; or
  • other matters

If parents do not agree with the IEP and placement, they may discuss their concerns with other members of the IEP team and try to work out an agreement. There are several options including additional testing, an independent evaluation, or asking for mediation, or a due process hearing. They may also file a complaint with the state education agency.

For more information read Understanding the IEP Process