An individualized education plan (IEP) is a written document that describes the specialized educational program for a child to address their special education needs. The IEP is developed by an IEP team which includes the child’s special education teacher(s), district psychologist, district administrator, resource specialist, the child’s parent, guardian, or education surrogate parent. The IEP describes the special education services determined to be in the best interest of the child by the team.
The person with the student’s educational rights, in most cases the parent or guardian, may request that an IEP meeting be convened to determine if special education services are needed. However, teachers, other district personnel, and community members may also refer a child for an assessment. When a request for an IEP meeting has been made, the school district has 15 business days to respond to the request, another 15 business days to convene a Student Study Team, and another 50 business days to perform an evaluation and assessment by several district personnel including a district psychologist as well as convene an IEP meeting with the IEP team.
The school district, its personnel, and the IEP team have responsibility for providing a student with an IEP and the approval of a specialized education path. The IEP is valid when the parent/guardian or surrogate parent signs the written document.