Special Education and IEP

The initial IEP is your introduction to the special education process. Before this meeting, your district may send you paperwork to fill out, request and review documents from previous/ current service providers, and formally assess your child. The school/district will contact you to schedule the IEP meeting. You are allowed to invite people that can support you in this process (i.e. Family members, service coordinators etc.). You should let your IEP team know who will be attending the meeting with you when you sign the meeting notice so that necessary accommodation can be made. You are also allowed to request assessment reports before the meeting. This will allow you to review and make note of concerns or errors on the reports before the meeting. If you need to record the meeting, you should notify your IEP team 24 hours prior to the meeting.

In the IEP meeting, School staff, parents, and other invited team members come together to discuss, develop, and review your child’s IEP. During the meeting, all the assessment reports will be discussed. You are encouraged to ask questions and contribute to the discussion. Your input is very important for the accuracy of these reports. Using the information from the report, the team will establish eligibility for special education and identify present levels of performance. The present levels of performance will guide the development of goals that your child will be working on for the next year. The goals will generate the services. Placement options, Inclusion, Accommodations, Modifications, and Assistive Technology are all part of the discussion for this meeting. Again, your input is very crucial at every step of this process.

Once, the meeting is completed you have the right to take the IEP document home to review it once again before signing it or you can sign the IEP there. Remember that you must sign the IEP document to start the services documented. If you disagree with any part of the IEP document, you can still sign in agreement with the components of the IEP except the part you are disagreeing on. This will allow you to start the services that you are agreeing with until you resolve your disagreement.  

Your child’s teacher should be your first person of contact. However, your child’s School Psychologist, Assistant Principal, related service providers such as Speech Pathologist, Case Carrier/Manager or Special Education Coordinators are all people that can help answer your questions. It is a good idea to have a list with all the names, titles, and contact information for the individuals that assist your child in his/her special education. This may change every year, so you must update the information annually.  

The Difference Between IEPs and 504 Plans

Both Individualized Education Programs (IEPs) and 504 plans can offer formal help for K–12 students with disabilities. They’re similar in some ways but quite different in others. This chart compares them side-by-side to help you understand the differences.  

https://scdd.ca.gov/wp-content/uploads/sites/33/2018/03/The-Difference-Between-IEP-and-504-Plans.pdf

Early Start

Commonly asked questions about Early Start and their responses can be found here.

Special Education and IEP

  1. What should I expect from my initial IEP?

The initial IEP is your introduction to the special education process. Before this meeting, your district may send you paperwork to fill out, request and review documents from previous/ current service providers, and formally assess your child. The school/district will contact you to schedule the IEP meeting. You are allowed to invite people that can support you in this process (i.e. Family members, service coordinators etc.). You should let your IEP team know who will be attending the meeting with you when you sign the meeting notice so that necessary accommodation can be made. You are also allowed to request assessment reports before the meeting. This will allow you to review and make note of concerns or errors on the reports before the meeting. If you need to record the meeting, you should notify your IEP team 24 hours prior to the meeting.

 

In the IEP meeting, School staff, parents, and other invited team members come together to discuss, develop, and review your child’s IEP. During the meeting, all the assessment reports will be discussed. You are encouraged to ask questions and contribute to the discussion. Your input is very important for the accuracy of these reports. Using the information from the report, the team will establish eligibility for special education and identify present levels of performance. The present levels of performance will guide the development of goals that your child will be working on for the next year. The goals will generate the services. Placement options, Inclusion, Accommodations, Modifications, and Assistive Technology are all part of the discussion for this meeting. Again, your input is very crucial at every step of this process.

 

Once, the meeting is completed you have the right to take the IEP document home to review it once again before signing it or you can sign the IEP there. Remember that you must sign the IEP document to start the services documented. If you disagree with any part of the IEP document, you can still sign in agreement with the components of the IEP except the part you are disagreeing on. This will allow you to start the services that you are agreeing with until you resolve your disagreement.  

 

  1. Who do I need to talk to about my child special education services?

 

Your child’s teacher should be your first person of contact. However, your child’s School Psychologist, Assistant Principal, related service providers such as Speech Pathologist, Case Carrier/Manager or Special Education Coordinators are all people that can help answer your questions. It is a good idea to have a list with all the names, titles, and contact information for the individuals that assist your child in his/her special education. This may change every year, so you must update the information annually.  

 

  1. What is the difference between Section 504 plan and IEP?

 

The Difference Between IEPs and 504 Plans

 

Both Individualized Education Programs (IEPs) and 504 plans can offer formal help for K–12 students with disabilities. They’re similar in some ways but quite different in others. This chart compares them side-by-side to help you understand the differences.  

 

https://scdd.ca.gov/wp-content/uploads/sites/33/2018/03/The-Difference-Between-IEP-and-504-Plans.pdf

 

 

 

  1. What is core curriculum and alternate curriculum?

General education CORE curriculum is the curriculum that is offered to all students. This curriculum is based on grade level standards and has its requirements. Not all students are able to access the general education core curriculum.  

Alternate curriculum is designed for students who have difficulty accessing the general education core curriculum without significant modifications to the core curriculum.  

 

  1. What is the difference between accommodations and modifications?

 

Accommodations are adjustments made to the learning environment/ material to fulfil the learning needs of the student. Here are some examples of accommodations.  

 

  • Changing delivery of learning material in a more accessible manner is accommodation. For example: If a student has difficulty reading, it is reasonable accommodation to offer audiobooks to minimize barriers in accession the curriculum. Frontloading and scaffolding are additional examples of accommodations.  

 

  • A change in the way a student complete assignments or work is another way to provide accommodation. For example: If a student has difficulty with handwriting a book report, typing it can be offered as form of accommodation.  

 

  • Rearranging the learning environment to fit the student’s need. For example: Preferential seating can be offered as form of accommodation for student who is sensitive to noise to have access to seating seat in a less noisy area of the classroom.  

 

  • Providing time flexibility of work completion is another way to provide accommodation. For example: A student with processing challenges may be given additional time to complete work or test.  

 

  1. What is the timeline for a new assessment?

 

Your child’s school/district has 15 days to respond to your request for assessment and provide you with an assessment plan. It is always advisable to put your request in writing. Once you receive the assessment plan, you must review, sign, and submit it to your child’s school as soon as possible. From the day you submit the signed assessment plan, your child school/ district has 60 days to complete requested assessments and hold an IEP meeting to discuss the outcome. The 60-day timeline doesn’t include weekend and holidays.  

 

After If you sign the IEP, the services should start immediately after. There will be annual IEP review once a year.  

 

  1. How do I get an aide support for my child?

If your child has behavior that is impeding learning, a Functional Behavior Analysis must be conducted to examine why the behavior is occurring, frequency of occurrence, and the intensity. The data collected in this process will help guide the IEP team in identifying the appropriate support for your child which can include a behavior aide.