This page will answer questions commonly asked by students and parents.
- What is the purpose of an IEP?
- Why are participants in the IEP conference asked to sign the cover page of the IEP document?
- What is the difference between an accommodation and a modification?
- What is the difference between an instructional class and an inclusion class?
- What is the difference between an Eligibility Determination Conference and an IEP Conference?
- Is it possible to revise an IEP?
- Why is a regular education teacher invited to the IEP, Eligibility Determination, and 504 Conferences?
What is the purpose of an IEP?
An IEP, or Individualized Education Program,
creates a written record that(1)identifies a student's strengths
and needs, (2) ensures that the student receives a free
appropriate public education in the least restrictive
environment, (3) establishes annual goals and benchmarks for that
student and (4) identifies any accommodations, modifications,
and/or related services that the student needs to help him/her
reach those goals.
Why are participants in the IEP conference asked to sign the cover page of the IEP document?
Your signature on the IEP cover page indicates
that you were present at the meeting, not that you agree with
everything written in the document. Any participant at the
meeting who disagrees with the IEP Team decisions is allowed to
write a dissenting opinion that is attached to the IEP document.
What is the difference between an accommodation and a modification?
Accommodations involve adapting instructional strategies or the
classroom environment. Examples include: allowing a student extra
time for assignments or assessments, assigning a student a seat
near the teacher, allowing a student to use his notes during a
test, reading a test for a student.
Modifications are greater or more significant changes that affect
actual content or curriculum of the class. Examples include:
changing the content on a homework or classroom assignment so
that it is at the student's istructional level, reducing the
number of test items or modifying some ot the test questions,
grading on a modified grading scale.
What is the difference between an instructional class and an inclusion class?
An instructional class, also known as self-contained or separate
instruction is a smaller class that is appropriate for students
who require more one-on-one support and whose educational or
behavioral needs cannot be met in the regular education or
inclusion class. The instructional class is more restrictive
because students with IEPs are not integrated with their non-
Inclusion classes, also known as Team-Taught classes, integrate a
small group of about eight students with IEPs in a regular
education class. These classes are taught by two teachers, one
regular education and one special education teacher, who
colloborate and work as a team to instruct all the students.
What is the difference between an Eligibility Determination Conference and an IEP Conference?
An Eligibility Determination Conference is held following a full,
individual evaluation (with the parent's signed consent) to
determine if a student is eligible to receive special education
services. This conference could be for an initial eligibility or
for a three year reevaluation. If the student is determined to be
eligible, an IEP is developed and written by the team. An IEP
Conference is held annually because an IEP is written for one
Is it possible to revise an IEP?
Yes. IEP revisions can be made with the parent's permission.
Parents can decide to attend a formal IEP Revision conference
with a full IEP team or they may waive a full team meeting and
participate over the telephone in an IEP revision meeting with
the Case Manager and the student's Case Provider. Please note
that IEP revisions involve minor changes, such as adding or
deleting an accommodation. Major changes, such as changes in the
students LRE placement, require a new IEP meeting.
Why is a regular education teacher invited to the IEP, Eligibility Determination, and 504 Conferences?
A regular education teacher is invited to all IEP, Eligibility and
504 Plan Conferences. The regular education teacher that is
invited is one of the student's classroom teachers, someone who is
familiar with the student's academic skills. The regular
education teacher is an integral part of the IEP Team. He/She
will provide information about the student's attendance, classroom
behavior, strengths, needs, and present level of academic and
functional performance. The teacher may also provide examples
of interventions used that were effective. At Eligibility
Determination Conferences the regular education teacher helps
determine whether the student is eligible for special education
or 504 Plan services.