The IEP is the Cornerstone of the Special Education Process

  • Ensures a strategic and coordinated approach to address each student’s unique needs related to his/her disability.

  • Guides the provision of specially designed instruction.

  • Supports the student’s participation and progress in the general education curriculum.

  • Incrementally prepares student for post-secondary learning and adult living.

  • Identifies how resources need to be configured to meet the needs of its students with disabilities.

  • Provides information on the effectiveness of the district’s special education programs and services.

Speaker Notes:

Slide 4: The IEP is the Cornerstone of the Special Education Process

  • The IEP is the cornerstone of the special education process.

  • It is a strategic planning document that should be far reaching in its impact.

  • An IEP identifies a student’s unique needs and how the school will effectively address those needs.

  • It identifies how specially designed instruction will be provided in the context of supporting students in the general education curriculum and in reaching the same learning standards as nondisabled students.

  • For each student, the IEP identifies how the student will be incrementally prepared for post-secondary learning and adult living.

  • Collectively, IEPs guide how the special education resources of a school will be configured to meet the needs of the students with disabilities in that school. By this we mean that after the annual reviews of students in the district are completed, the district needs to review its resources to ensure the availability of appropriate services to meet the needs of the students (e.g., consultant teacher services, resource room teachers, related service providers, etc.).

  • IEPs also provide an important accountability tool for school personnel, students and parents. By measuring students’ progress toward goals and objectives, schools should use IEPs to determine if they have appropriately configured how they use their resources to reach the desired outcomes for students with disabilities and whether the instruction provided through the special education programs and services is effective in helping students reach their annual goals and in improving results for students with disabilities.