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1.8: The Individualized Education Program

  • Page ID
    178788
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    The multidisciplinary team (MDT) is required to develop an IEP for each student receiving special education and related services. The purpose of an IEP is to provide an appropriate education that meets the specialized needs of each student. The MDT includes a representative of the local education agency, the classroom teacher, the special education teacher, parents or guardians, a person who can interpret the instructional implications of evaluation or assessment results, and, when appropriate, the student.

    Depending on the student’s needs, the MDT also includes professionals from related services (e.g., social workers, speech and language pathologists, psychologists, and occupational therapists) and may include other professionals or specialists, such as doctors. Each IEP must include the following information:

    • The student’s present levels of academic achievement and functional performance, including how the disability affects the student’s involvement in the general education curriculum.
    • Measurable annual goals, including short-term benchmarks or objectives.
    • Special education and related services to be provided to the student, as well as any modifications or other supports. This may include additional school personnel such as paraprofessionals.
    • An explanation of the extent, if any, to which the student will participate with nondisabled students in the general education classroom and in other school settings or activities.
    • Individual modifications for the administration of statewide or districtwide assessments or an explanation of why those assessments are inappropriate for the student and what alternative methods will be used to assess the student.
    • A projected date for the beginning of services and their anticipated frequency, location, and duration.
    • In Illinois, by age 14 1/2, the IEP must contain transition services designed to help the student prepare for postsecondary education, vocational education, employment, continuing and adult education, and independent living (Smiley et al., 2022).
    Activity \(\PageIndex{1}\): Exploring IEP Forms

    Directions: Most states provide teachers with IEP template forms. Explore the forms on the Illinois State Board of Education website. Why do you think this documentation is important?


    Smiley, L. R., Richards, S.B., & Taylor, R. (2022). Exceptional students: Preparing teachers for the 21st century (4th ed.). McGraw Hill. 


    This page titled 1.8: The Individualized Education Program is shared under a CC BY 4.0 license and was authored, remixed, and/or curated by Diana Zaleski (Consortium of Academic and Research Libraries in Illinois (CARLI)) .