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The IEP Team

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What is an IEP team?

The IEP team is a group of people who come together at an IEP meeting in order to develop, review and revise a student’s IEP.

Each member of the team has a clearly defined role.  Although the individuals in a school may change from meeting to meeting, the roles remain the same.

The members are knowledgeable or have special expertise about the student and the special education services, activities and supports that could benefit the student.

The LEA or AEA must ensure that the IEP team for each child with a disability includes the following:

  • The parents of the child;
  • Whenever appropriate, the child with a disability;
  • At least one general education teacher of the child if the child is, or may be, participating in the general education environment;
  • At least one special education teacher of the child or, where appropriate, at least one special education provider of the child;
  • An LEA representative who:
    • Is qualified to provide, or supervise the provision of, specially designed instruction to meet the unique needs of children with disabilities;
    • Is knowledgeable about the Iowa Core Curriculum; and
    • Is knowledgeable about the availability of resources of the public agency.
  • An individual who can interpret the instructional implications of evaluation results
  • At the discretion of the parent or the agency, other individuals who have knowledge or special expertise regarding the child, including related services personnel as appropriate; and
  • Outside Agency Representatives for Transition Planning, if appropriate.

NOTE: A person may serve in more than one role. For example, the special education teacher may also be the LEA representative, or the person who can interpret evaluation results.

IEP Team Member: Parent

The parents of a child with a disability are equal participants with school personnel in developing, reviewing and revising the IEP.

Parents:

  • Provide critical information about their child’s abilities, interests, preferences and history;
  • Participate in the discussion about their child’s need for special education services, activities and supports; and
  • Join with the other IEP team members in deciding:
    • how their child will be involved and progress in the general education environment;
    • how their child will participate in state and district-wide assessments;
    • what services, activities and supports the district and AEA will provide to their child; and
    • what setting those services, activities and supports will be provided.
281--Iowa Administrative Code 41.30
Surrogate Parents

The rights of children must be protected when:

  • no parent can be identified;
  • the district or AEA cannot locate a parent;
  • the child is a ward of the state; or
  • the child is an unaccompanied homeless youth.

In these cases the AEA must:

  • have a method for determining whether a child needs a surrogate and
  • assign an individual to act as a surrogate for the parents.

The surrogate parent may represent the child in all matters related to the identification, evaluation, and educational placement of the child, and the provision of a free appropriate public education (FAPE) to the child.

281--Iowa Administrative Code 41.519

IEP Team Member: Student

A student under the age of 13 could attend his or her IEP meeting if the parent(s), district or AEA agree it is appropriate.

Students age 13-21 must be invited to the IEP meeting when the purpose of an IEP meeting is the consideration of needed transition services. If the student does not attend, the district or AEA takes other steps to ensure the student’s preferences and interests are considered.

Should a student attend their IEP meeting?

If possible, the district, AEA, and parent should discuss the appropriateness of the student’s participation before a decision is made.

This discussion should help determine whether or not the student’s attendance will be:

  • helpful in developing the IEP;
  • directly beneficial to the student; or
  • both.
Prior to the IEP meeting, the student is provided with instruction regarding what an IEP is and how to participate.
What if a student is 18 years old?

Iowa Rules state that procedural rights will be transferred to a student with disabilities who:

  • has reached his or her 18th birthday,
  • has married, or
  • is incarcerated in an adult or juvenile correctional institution (state or local)

If a student who has turned 18 has been found to be incompetent by the courts, rights remain with the parents.

Transfer of Rights

If procedural rights are transferred from the parents to the student, the district/AEA ensures that the student has the same right to participate in IEP meetings as set forth for parents.

However, at the discretion of the student or district/AEA, the parents may attend IEP meetings as an individual who has “knowledge or special expertise regarding the child.”

281--Iowa Administrative Code 41.520

IEP Team Member: General Education Teacher

The general education teacher participating in a student’s IEP meeting should be the teacher who is, or may be, responsible for providing services, accommodations, adaptations, modifications or supports for the student.

If the student has more than one teacher, the district designates the teacher or teachers to participate in the IEP meeting. In a situation which all of the student’s teachers do not participate in the IEP meeting, the district is encouraged to seek input from teachers who did not attend.

The district/AEA ensures that every teacher who does not attend the meeting is informed of the results of the meeting and the required responsibilities as described on the IEP.

The general education teacher must participate, to the extent appropriate, in the development, review, and revision of the IEP for the student.

The general education teacher:

  • participates in discussions about how best to teach the student;
  • provides expertise regarding the general education curriculum and environment;
  • assists in determining:
    • appropriate positive behavioral interventions and strategies;
    • special education services, activities and supports needed by the student;
    • support for school personnel; and
    • assists in designing a program for the student that assures FAPE.

When IEPs are written for support services only, the teacher role is filled by the general education teacher of the child.

IEP Team Member: Special Education Teacher or Service Provider

The special education teacher or service provider participating in a student’s IEP meeting is the person who is, or will be, responsible for implementing the IEP.

Special education service providers, such as speech-language pathologists, physical therapists or occupational therapists, etc., provide specially designed instruction.

IEP Team Member: General Education Teacher When Student is Aged 3 to 5

The involvement of the general education teacher is also important in considering the review and development of an IEP for children aged 3 though 5 receiving early childhood special education services.

If a district provides preschool services to nondisabled children, the requirements apply as they do in the case of children with disabilities in grades K-12.

If a district does not provide preschool services to nondisabled children, the district must designate an individual who is qualified to serve nondisabled children of the same age.

When a district makes kindergarten available to nondisabled children, a general education kindergarten teacher could appropriately be the general education teacher who participates in an IEP meeting for a kindergarten-aged child who is, or may be, participating in the general education environment.

IEP Team Member: LEA Representative

The district representative at the IEP meeting must be qualified to provide or supervise the provision of specially designed instruction to meet the unique needs of students with disabilities.

This representative must be:

  • knowledgeable about the Iowa Core Curriculum;
  • knowledgeable about the availability of resources of the local educational agency;
  • possess the authority to commit agency resources; and
  • be able to ensure that services described in the IEP will be provided.

Dual roles for team members are appropriate.

IEP Team Member: Interpreter of Evaluation Results

An individual capable of interpreting the instructional implications of evaluation results must also be a member of the IEP team. This individual can be the special education teacher, the LEA representative, the general education, support or related services personnel, or other individuals invited by the public agency or parents already in attendance at the IEP meeting.

IEP Team Member: Persons Invited at the Discretion of Parents or Public Agency

At the discretion of the parent or agency, other individuals who have knowledge of or special expertise regarding the student may be invited to participate at the IEP meeting.

Other individuals may include:

  • related services personnel
  • employers
  • medical specialists
  • private counselors
  • independent evaluators

There is no provision for denying the participation of individuals such as representatives of teacher organizations or attorneys at IEP meetings, but they must have knowledge or special expertise regarding the child. The interests of the student should be the central focus of the meeting, not the interests of the school or a specific teacher.

IEP Team Member: Outside Agency Representatives for Transition Planning Transition services should be coordinated with other agencies as a part of the IEP for students 14 years of age and older. When transition services must be coordinated with agencies other than the school, representatives of agencies that might be appropriate must be invited to the IEP meeting. Individual student needs, strengths, interests and preferences determines the need and appropriateness of representation of outside agencies. Input must be received prior to the meeting if the agency representative cannot attend.

 

Printed from the Iowa Department of Education website on April 16, 2014 at 2:06am.