Developing and & Approving the IEP

Within 30 days of determining that your child is eligible, the IEP team must meet to begin to draft an Individualized Education Program (IEP). Sometimes this happens at the same meeting the team determines eligibility and sometimes it’s broken into two meetings. The IEP must be reviewed and revised at least annually, and must be in place by the beginning of each school year. Below is a list of the required components of an IEP.

  • Child’s present levels of academic achievement and functional performance in the general education curriculum
  • How your child’s disability affects his/her involvement and progress in the general curriculum, or in appropriate preschool activities
  • Measurable Annual Goals
  • Benchmarks or short-term objectives (unless the parent determines they are not needed for one or more of the goals)
  • A statement of how progress towards annual goals will be measured, how and when parents will be provided periodic reports of progress, including whether the progress is sufficient to meet the annual goal by the end of the school year
  • An explanation of the extent, if any, child will not participate with children who do not have disabilities in the regular class and activities, including extracurricular and nonacademic activities
  • The special education, related services and other supports (including supports for school personnel) that will provided to your child, or on behalf of your child, to enable him/her to advance towards his/her annual goals, progress in the general curriculum, participate in extracurricular and nonacademic activities, and be educated and participate with children who do not have disabilities
  • Modifications and/or accommodations
  • Date for services to begin
  • Frequency, location & duration of the services
  • The length of the school year and school day required to implement the IEP
  • Appropriate accommodations to state or district-wide assessments. (If the Team determines that your child cannot participate in the state or district-wide assessments, and needs to take an alternative assessment, a statement of why the child cannot participate and why the alternate assessment selected is appropriate for the child must be included in the IEP)
  • Individuals or service providers responsible for implementing the IEP
  • A statement of the party/parties financially responsible for implementing the IEP (the school district)
  • Parent and of LEA (school district) signatures approving the IEP

Frequently Asked Questions

If a parent disagrees with the IEP they have some choices in how to respond. Parents can always request another IEP meeting to discuss their concerns with the team. In NH, your written parental consent for the IEP is required on every IEP.  When consent for the IEP or other document is requested parents can respond by giving consent, refusing consent or giving partial consent.  Except for the child’s first IEP,  if parents don’t respond, they have given what is called implied consent. If it’s the initial IEP, and parents don’t respond (sign), this means that they have failed to provide consent and are refusing special education services. Therefore, it’s important to respond in some way.

In NH your written parental consent for the IEP is required on every IEP. So if it’s a revision of the IEP and you don’t sign it and don’t respond at all, you have given what is called implied consent. Therefore, it is important that you respond in some way. Visit here to view information on resolving disagreements.

Before looking at your child’s IEP, you should read the evaluations and evaluation reports because they form the foundation of the IEP. Click here to view strategies and a list of questions to address your child’s needs.

It is best to be proactive when your child begins to get in trouble in school. To assist the IEP team in understanding and supporting your child’s behavioral needs, parents may request that a Functional Behavioral Assessment (FBA) be done the first time your child is suspended or has behaviors in school.  The IEP team can use the information from the FBA to create a Behavior intervention plan (BIP) to address the behavioral issues in a positive manner. Click here for more information.

No. Your district is likely using the NH Special Education Identification System (NHSEIS) model IEP format which is an on line format. While this format does have drop down menus, these are just suggestions. IEP goals are based on individual child needs not on a predetermined set of services or goals. Therefore, if a child requires a service or goal, the IEP team has the ability to customize those fields.

Yes. If the team has agreed to make a change without an IEP team meeting, you may a copy of the IEP with the changes incorporated so that you will have the most recent copy of the IEP for their records.

The parent and school district may jointly agree to excuse an IEP Team member from all or part of an IEP meeting if:

  • They agree that the individual’s attendance is not necessary because that person’s area of expertise is not being discussed at the meeting; or
  • The meeting does involve that person’s area of expertise, but the parent and LEA consent to the excusal and the member submits input into the development of the IEP in writing to the parent and the IEP Team prior to the meeting.

In either case, the parent must agree to the excusal in writing before the meeting occurs. Parents must also be notified 72 hours prior to the meeting or as soon as it is expected that a team member may need to be excused.

Additional Components

The IEP team must consider your child’s strengths, the parents’ concerns for their child’s education, and the following “special factors” when developing the IEP.

    • If a child has limited English proficiency, the language needs of the child, as they relate to the IEP
    • If a child is blind or visually impaired, instruction in Braille must be provided, unless the team determines that it would be inappropriate
    • The communication needs of the child must be considered. For a child who is deaf or hearing impaired, that includes the opportunity for direct communication with peers and staff and for instruction in the child’s mode of communication and at the child’s academic level.
      The child’s need for assistive technology devices and services are to be considered.
    • If a child’s behavior impedes his/her learning, or that of others, appropriate strategies, including positive behavioral interventions, strategies, and supports to address the behavior need to be implemented

If anyone on the IEP team has concerns regarding the behavior of a child with a disability, a functional behavioral assessment should be requested as part of an initial or reevaluation, to ensure the team has appropriate information to develop/revise the IEP.  For more information on behavior and the IEP.

When your child reaches 14, there are transition planning components that a required to be part of the IEP.

  • Beginning at age 14 (or younger, if determined appropriate by the IEP team), the IEP must include a statement of transition service needs, which focus on the student’s course of study

Beginning at age 16 (or younger, if determined appropriate by the IEP team), the IEP must include:

    • measurable post-secondary goals
    • statement of needed transition services, including, if appropriate, a statement of the interagency responsibilities or any needed linkages

At least one year before the student reaches the age of majority (18 in New Hampshire), a statement that he/she has been informed of the rights that will transfer to him/her at age 18.

Visit here for more detailed information on transition.