The Individualized Education Program is an individual plan to meet your child's special education needs. The IEP is the primary mechanism for parental participation in the special education process, and serves as the agreement between the local school district and the parents to provide required services.
The IEP will describe your child's special education programs and the related services he/she will receive, and it will include:
The school district needs to receive consent before the student's initial program can be implemented. Thereafter, on an annual basis parents are invited to participate in all revisions to the IEP.
The classification of students is described in code and should be based on the evaluations of the Child Study Team, information from the parents, and other specialists. If your child meets the eligibility requirements to receive special education and related services, he/she will be classified as "Eligible for Special Education and Related Services.
A student shall be determined eligible if:
Disabilities listed in N.J.A.C. 6A:14-3.5 are:
1. Auditorily Impaired
3. Emotionally Disturbed
4. Intellectually Disabled (Mild, Moderate, Severe)
5. Communication Impaired
6. Multiply Disabled
7. Orthopedically Impaired
8. Other Health Impaired
9. Preschool Disabled
10. Specific Learning Disabled
11. Traumatic Brain Injury
12. Visually Impaired
Once a referral is received, the parents/guardians will be invited to a meeting that will be scheduled within twenty (20) days. The meeting is called an Identification Meeting because it will identify what information is needed to determine if your child has a disability and needs special education. Participants at this meeting include the classroom teacher, CST, and the parent. Others who may be of benefit for this discussion may also be invited to participate, and you can bring people who have knowledge of your child that could be helpful in this decision-making process. If an evaluation is needed, then you will be informed of the evaluations that will be done and the procedures that will be used. You will receive a summary of the evaluation plan which is contained in the written notice.
Copies of the Special Education Code (N.J.A.C. 6A:14) and the Due Process Rules in N.J.A.C. 1:6A will be given to you.
Your written permission to (consent) is required before the initial assessments by the Child Study Team can begin. After you sign consent to evaluate your child, the evaluations, eligibility determination, and the initiation of the IEP (if eligible) shall be completed within ninety (90) calendar days.
Once your consent is given, the team will conduct the evaluations agreed upon, with the purpose of gathering information about your child's physical health (if necessary), social-emotional well being, and academic and/or cognitive abilities to assess area(s) identified as potential disabilities. This will be done through observations, assessments, interviews with your child's teachers and the parents, review of records, and informal measures.
After the evaluations are completed, you will receive copies of the reports and you will be invited to an eligibility meeting to have the evaluations explained. The participants at this meeting will consist of the parents, teacher(s), Child Study Team member(s), and student where appropriate. Parents can bring other individuals with knowledge or special expertise to the meeting.
The program or placement of your child should be determined after your child's needs have been identified and goals and objectives have been established. A full continuum of alternative placements shall be considered to meet the needs of s student from the least restrictive to the most restrictive type of placements including instruction in a regular class with supplementary aids and services, resource programs, self contained classes, out-of-district placements, hospital bound, or home instruction. To the maximum extent appropriate, students with disabilities are educated with children who are not disabled. Placement is provided in appropriate educational settings as close to home as possible.
The following are suggestions that may be helpful in preparing for an IEP meeting:
Special Education Resources
Parental Rights In Special Education: https://www.state.nj.us/education/specialed/form/prise/prise.pdf
N.J.A.C. 6A:14, SPECIAL EDUCATION (Code): https://www.state.nj.us/education/code/current/title6a/chap14.pdf
Related services are a variety of educational services that are provided to students with disabilities to enable them to make progress in their special education program. Related services are listed in the IEP. These might include: