Special Education

Questions and Answers on Individualized Education Program (IEP) Development, The State's Model IEP Form and Related Documents -
General Questions on the State-Developed Form

The following questions and answers address some of the important issues raised by requests for clarification of the federal and State requirements for IEPs.  This document will periodically be updated.  This guidance does not impose any requirements beyond those required under applicable law and regulations.  This document supersedes any previously issued guidance on this topic.

If you have questions regarding the IEP form and related requirements, you may submit them to the following mailbox:  SEFORMS@nysed.gov.

    1. When must the new IEP form be used?
      IEPs developed for the 2011-12 school year, and thereafter, must be on the State form.  The 2011-12 school year starts on July 1, 2011.
    2. May a school district add ‘drop-down’ options in fields that are open text fields on the State’s IEP form?

      The IEP form developed by the State provides open text fields to allow the Committee on Special Education (CSE) and Committee on Preschool Special Education (CPSE) to enter student-specific information.  The State has provided drop-down choices in the IEP only where there is State regulation or policy to guide those choices.  The drop-down options provided by the Department on the State form may not be modified.

      The school district could add ‘drop-down’ options on the IEP form for other sections of the IEP where the district is seeking consistency in the wording of recommendations provided that the choices are consistent with State policy and provided that district-added drop-down choices do not limit the CSE or CPSE from making other recommendations outside the drop-down choices in order to meet the individualized needs of the student.

      Any school district wishing to add drop-down options to the IEP form should carefully review the State’s guidance related to these sections of the IEP to ensure consistency with State policy.  http://www.p12.nysed.gov/specialed/publications/iepguidance.htm.

    3. Does the projected date of IEP implementation only need a month and a year?  The example says September 2010?
      The projected date an IEP is to be implemented should include the month, day and year.  The example provided in Attachment 3, General Directions to Use the State’s Model Individualized Education Program (IEP) Form, is ‘September 7, 2010’.
    4. Can the font size, margins and font style in the IEP be modified?
    5. Can we put page numbers on the IEP form?
    6. What training will be available to district staff on the use of the State’s forms?
      The New York State Education Department (NYSED) will be offering extensive training opportunities for school personnel on use of the State’s IEP, meeting notice and prior written notice forms.  Scripted PowerPoint presentations with accompanying examples, questions and answers and guidelines will be posted on NYSED’s website to provide wide access to professional development from individual computers.  This will provide no-cost access to information and training.  In addition, each of the State’s Regional Special Education Technical Assistance Support Centers (RSE-TASC) are planning multiple and comprehensive regional training sessions to address the scope of training needed for individualized education program (IEP) development and the meeting notice and prior written notice requirements.
    7. Aside from being a new form, does the State IEP form create new requirements for the content of an IEP?
    8. Can districts include “Headers and Footers” on the IEP form? (Added 4/11)
      Yes.  Districts may include headers and footers in the IEP form, at local discretion.
    9. Can a district put the school letterhead on the forms? (Added 4/11)
    10. Can a district put the child’s name at the bottom of each page of the IEP when using the State’s IEP form? (Added 4/11)
    11. Please verify the letterhead/district identifying information section of the new IEP.  In our district, the CSE and CPSE are housed in two different buildings and have two different chairs.  In the past, we have each had our own IEPs with our own letterhead/information on the top.  My question is, is it appropriate for us to have two separate IEPs on Clear Track as long as the only difference is the letterhead, or do we need to make a combined letterhead that lists both addresses, etc., so that both the CSE and CPSE are using the exact same IEP?  (The concern with this is that it might be confusing for some parents.) (Added 4/11)
      The district may insert district-identifying information on school-age and preschool student’s IEPs in the manner it deems most appropriate.
    12. Can districts bold certain sections of the IEP and/or add a little more space between items of the IEP?  For instance in the Present Level Statements, the introductory statements above each area for Present Levels, Strengths and Needs - bold those?  Then, where the comment would begin below that, insert an extra line space or two to make it stand out more? (Added 4/11)
    13. Will the State’s IEP form be translated into other languages? (Added 4/11)
      No. There is no requirement for an IEP to be provided in the parent’s native language or other mode of communication.  A district must, however, take whatever action is necessary to ensure that the parent understands the proceedings at the meeting of the CSE, including arranging for an interpreter for parents with deafness or whose native language is other than English.  If the district uses the IEP as part of its prior written notice to the parent, it must ensure that the entire notice, including the IEP, is provided in the native language of the parent, unless it is clearly not feasible to do so. 
    14. Does SED have a sample of a Model IEP . . . not just a blank form, but an IEP that addresses a fictional student . . . this would be a great help if we could see the “whole picture” now that we have studied all the components.  Are sample IEPs created for the Alternate Assessment, 12:1:1, 6:1:1, 8:1:1, 8:1 (inclusion) and 12:1:4 student available? (Added 4/11)
      The Department has provided examples as to how different sections of an IEP are completed (Attachment 3 found at http://www.p12.nysed.gov/specialed/formsnotices/IEP/directions.htm), but they are not a composite of one student.  It would be inappropriate to have sample IEPs based on the special class size recommendations for students.
    15. Will there be upcoming training on the State’s IEP form? (Added 4/11)

      Regional Trainers from New York State’s Regional Special Education Technical Assistance Support Centers (RSE-TASC) are conducting ongoing regional information and training sessions on the use of the State’s IEP form.  For more information about available upcoming training dates, please contact a local RSE-TASC. (http://www.p12.nysed.gov/specialed/techassist/rsetasc/locations.htm)

      In addition, on October 21, 2010, SED posted three PowerPoint presentations on the IEP form for public access as well as an extensive question and answer document on development of an IEP using the State’s IEP form. These training materials may be accessed at http://www.p12.nysed.gov/specialed/formsnotices/IEP/training/home.html.

    16. In the annual goal sections of the State IEP, it is noted that the table and/or rows should be duplicated as needed.  How is this done? (Added 4/11)
      The State’s IEP form posted on the Department’s website is ‘lock protected’ in order for the form fields to function properly. In order to duplicate the table/rows, the form must be unlocked. To do so, go to ‘Tools’, ‘Options’ and click on ‘Security’ and follow the directions to unlock the form.  Upon duplicating the table/rows, be sure to lock the form again to ensure proper function of the form and retention of information added to the form. 
    17. After reviewing the IEP forms, there is nothing resembling a "Conference Results" page where participants sign that they were at the IEP meeting.  Expected participants are listed on the Meeting Notice.  On the "Conference Results" page of NYC IEPs, participants sign that they were at the meeting, not necessarily agreeing with the IEP.  Are signatures required on the State forms?  Would this be added to the optional Student Information Summary? (Added 4/11)
      Signatures of participants at IEP meetings are not required to be documented in the IEP. The district should, however, maintain a record of meeting participants who attended the meeting.  This information could be documented on the optional Student Information Summary form.
    18. Are meeting minutes a required part of the IEP?  If so, can they be attached to the IEP? (Added 4/11)
       No. Meeting minutes document discussions and decisions made at the meeting and provide a written record of the meeting. Meeting minutes should be referenced to ensure IEPs include recommendations made at the meetings and to provide information for prior written notice, but they are not part of the IEP and may not substitute for appropriate documentation of recommendations in the IEP form itself.  There is nothing that would prohibit a district from providing a copy of meeting minutes to the parent along with a copy of the IEP.
Last Updated: April 14, 2011