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New School ABC and IEP
By Christina M. Price, M. Ed

Back to school means ABC, and for students with special needs it also means IEP (Individualized Education Plan). Students identified with special needs can have exceptionalities on either ends of the abilities spectrum, and require specially designed educational services.

IEPs are developed to support the success of a student’s individual educational and functional goals. When a child is deemed appropriate for special education services, a multidisciplinary team will meet and an IEP will be developed. IEP team members must include a parent or guardian and an education administrator. Other people who may be part of the IEP team are: special education teacher, regular education teacher, student – ages 14 years or older, transition coordinator – if student is 14 years of age or older, other school and agency personnel, and any other individuals the parents wish to invite. Parental involvement is essential, because they offer extremely valuable information for the other team members. An IEP is designed to ensure that the student receives the most appropriate educational instruction and services by planning out the “who, what, where, when, why and how”. Content areas covered in an IEP meeting may include:

  • student demographics
  • academic and functional performance
  • daily tasks
  • behavior
  • transition services
  • student participation in state and local assessments
  • educational goals and objectives
  • need for related services
  • modifications
  • specially designed

IEP meetings take place annually. Parents or any team member may request a meeting if changes or updates are needed regarding the student’s placement, goals or services. The average meeting is approximately one to one and a half hours.

The more the team members learn about the student, the more specific the plan will be to help the student succeed.

Christina M. Price, M. Ed., is the Assistance Education Director at the New Story Indiana School located in Indiana Pennsylvania. New Story schools and services help children with severe and complex emotional and behavioral challenges throughout Pennsylvania and Ohio. For more information, visit www.newstory.com.

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