IEP Checklists (federal law version)

  • Special Education Process
  • IEP Participant Checklist

Special Education Process in a Nutshell:

I. Referral for Initial Case Study Evaluation (“CSE”) Made

A. A referral may be made for any child suspected of having a disability.

B. Referrals may be made by the school district personnel, parents, or other persons having primary care and custody of the child.,

II. District Decides Whether to Conduct CSE

A. The school district must decide whether or not to conduct the CSE. If they decide not to conduct a CSE, the district must notify the parents, in writing, and explain their reasoning.

B. Parental consent for initial CSE required prior to CSE. If the school district proposes to conduct a CSE, the district must provide notice of their intent and obtained informed consent from the parent or legal guardian of the child before conducting the evaluation. Furthermore, if the parent refuses consent for the evaluation or fails to respond to a request to provide consent, the school district may utilize mediation or file for due process to pursue the initial evaluation, so long as such action is consistent with State law regarding parent consent.

III. Initial Evaluations

A. The initial evaluation will be conducted within 60 days of receiving parental consent, unless State law establishes a timeframe within which the evaluation must be conducted.

B. The relevant time frame does not apply if the child transfers to another district prior to the completion of the evaluation. In such cases, the school district has to make sufficient progress to ensure a prompt completion of the evaluation and the parent and the new school district shall agree on a specific time the evaluation shall be completed. In addition, if the parent repeatedly fails to produce the child for the evaluation, the relevant time frame does not apply.

IV. Conference Held – To determine Eligibility

A. Group of qualified professionals and the parent of the child must determine whether the child is a child with a disability.

B. The district must provide a copy of the evaluation report to the parents.

C. If the parent disagrees with the evaluation, the parent may request an independent evaluation at public expense. If the district feels their evaluation was appropriate and they do not want to pay for an independent evaluation the district must file for due process to show its evaluation is appropriate. A parent is only entitled to one independent evaluation at public expense each time the school district conducts an evaluation with which the parent disagrees.

IV. Initial Special Education Eligibility Determined

A. Eligibility is determined by a majority of team members. If a determination is made that a child has a disability and needs special education services, an Individualized Education Plan (“IEP”) must be developed for the child.

V. Initial IEP Developed by IEP Team

A. The Federal Regulations mandate that an IEP meeting must be held within “30 days” of the determination that the child needs special education and related services. According to the definition in Section 34 C.F.R. 300.11 “day” means calendar unless otherwise specified.

B. As soon as possible following the development of the IEP, special education and related services should be made available to the child according to the child’s IEP.

C. The school district must obtain informed consent from the parent of a child before providing the initial provisions of special education and related services to the child. If the parent refuses to consent for services the district may not use mediation or due process procedures in order to obtain agreement or a ruling that services may be provided to the child.

VI. Initial Special Education Placement Decision Made

A. Placement is considered by the team, which includes the parents, and the placement decision must be based on IEP goals and objectives.

B. Parental consent for initial placement must be obtained by the school district prior to placement. A district may not request a due process hearing to override parental lack of consent.

VII. Annual Review of IEP

A. A review of the IEP must be held at least annually to determine whether annual goals for the child are being achieved.

B. Parental notification, or record of reasonable attempts to notify parent, is required by the district prior to any IEP meeting.

C. A parent may request an IEP meeting at anytime (within reason) if desired.

VIII. Three-Year Reevaluation

A. A reevaluation may be conducted at anytime, but must be conducted at least every three years.

B. A reevaluation may not occur more than once a year, however, unless both the parent and school district agree otherwise.

C. A reevaluation must occur at least every three years, unless the parent and school district agree that a reevaluation is unnecessary.

D. Parental consent must be obtained for any reevaluation. If the parent refuses to consent the school district, may, but is not required, to pursue the reevaluation through the mediation or due process procedures previously mentioned to override consent. If the district can demonstrate that it made reasonable efforts to obtain consent, but the child’s parent failed to respond, then informed parental consent is not required in order to conduct the reevaluation.

IX. Transfer Students

A. If a child with a disability transfers from a school district from within the same State, the new district must provide a free and appropriate public school district (“FAPE”), including services comparable to those described in the child’s IEP, until the district either adopts the previous district’s IEP or develops, Adopts AND implements a new IEP. If the child is from another district within the state, the receiving district may adopt the IEP developed by the prior school district without an IEP meeting if the parent indicates satisfaction with the IEP and the district feels the IEP is appropriate.

B. If a child with a disability transfers from a school district from another State, the new district must provide a free and appropriate public school district (“FAPE”), including services comparable to those described in the child’s IEP, until the district conducts an evaluation pursuant to the applicable procedures and develops, adopts and implements a new IEP, if appropriate. In other words, if the child transfers from out of state, the district must conduct an evaluation of the child.

X. Miscellaneous

A. The IDEA requires prior written notice to parents whenever a district proposes to change, or refuses to change, a child’s evaluation, identification, placement or the provision of the free and appropriate public education (“FAPE”) program.

B. Parents are entitled to request a due process hearing whenever they have a complaint regarding the evaluation, identification, placement, or the provision of FAPE of the child.

C. Parents must be notified of the student’s progress toward IEP goals as regularly as non-disabled students are notified of progress.

D. At any time after the annual IEP review, the parent and school district can agree not to convene an IEP meeting to make an amendment to the child’s IEP and instead may develop a written document to amend of modify the child’s current IEP.

Checklist of Required IEP Team Members

The following participants are required for a valid IEP team meeting:

  • The parents of a child with a disability (or guardian/surrogate);
  • At least one regular education teacher of such child ( if the child is, or may be, participating in the regular education environment);
  • At least one special education teacher, or where appropriate, at least one special education provider of such child;
  • A representative of the local educational agency who is qualified to provide, or supervise the provision of, specially designed instruction, is knowledgeable about the general education curriculum, and is knowledgeable about the availability of resources of the LEA;
  • An individual who can interpret the instructional implications of evaluation results who may be a member of the team described in the roles of other individuals;
  • At the discretion of the parent or agency, other individuals who have knowledge or special expertise regarding the child, including related services personnel as appropriate **; and
  • Where appropriate, the child with the disability (attendance of minor child totally within discretion of parent or guardian). If a purpose of the IEP meeting will be the consideration of post-secondary goals for the child and the transition services needed to assist the child to reach those goals, then the school district must invite the child.

**Please note: Related services (ie: Occupational Therapy, Physical Therapy, Counseling, Adapted Physical Education) personnel are not required to attend IEP meetings. However, if a child with a disability has an identified need for related services, it would be appropriate for the related services personnel to attend the meeting or otherwise be involved in developing the IEP.