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Beaverton School District
Beaverton School District

Beaverton Schools

Individualized Education Programs

Commonly referred to as an IEP, an individualized education program is a written plan that is designed for any student who receives special education and related services. IEPs are required for every special education student under the federal Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, or IDEA. The IEP describes the goals that are set for the student over the course of the school year and spells out any special supports needed to help achieve those goals. Parents/guardians are an important part of the IEP process.

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What to expect at the first IEP meeting?

Required Team Members:
  • Parent/Guardian (IDEA definition of “parent” is biological or adoptive parent, foster parent, legal guardian, an individual acting as a parent in place of biological or adoptive parent with whom the child lives, or a surrogate parent)

  • General Education Teacher(s)

  • Case Manager (IEP team member person who responsible for managing your student’s IEP, communicates with you about meetings, sends you copies of paperwork)

  • District Representative (IEP team member who is knowledgeable about the student, IDEA process, District resources, and potential determination of supports)

Optional Team Members:
  • Related Service Providers (Speech and Language Pathologist, School Psychologist, Occupational Therapist, Physical Therapist, Vision Specialist, Autism Consultant, Deaf and Hard of Hearing Teacher)

  • Other District Staff (Counselor, Building Administrator, Special Education Facilitator)

Prior to the Meeting:
  • Meeting Notice explaining the date and time of the meeting as well as the meeting participants

  • You may receive the draft of the IEP beforehand

During the meeting:
  • Someone will be designated the note taker

  • You will be offered a copy of your parental safeguards

After the meeting:
  • Within 10 school days of the meeting you will receive final copy of the IEP

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What does an IEP contain?

The IEP is a written document created for each child that qualifies for special education. 

It has specific information about your child and the education program designed to meet these needs, including:

  • Present levels of Academic Achievement and Functional Performance

    • Student strengths and areas of need

    • Parent/family concerns

  • Goals

  • Services, including related services (e.g. speech and language, occupational therapy, physical therapy, psychologist services)

  • Accommodations and/or modifications

  • Supports from School Personnel-consultation services from a variety of providers

As a parent you will attend this meeting with teachers and other school staff who know your child, have participated in the evaluations, and/or will be providing services to your child. You are a legally required member of the IEP team and your input is valuable. At the IEP meeting, you should:

  • Share how your child learns and what their interests are

  • Listen to what other team members think your child needs to work on at school and share suggestions

  • Report on whether the skills your child is learning at school are being used at home

  • Ask questions of all team members

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Placement & Least Restrictive Environment

During each annual IEP meeting, IEP teams will discuss and select a Special Education Placement for students.  This placement should be in the Least Restrictive Environment.

Least restrictive environment (LRE) is a guiding principle in the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). LRE plays a critical role in determining not only where a student will spend her time in school but also how special education services will be provided. Specifically, the LRE requirement within IDEA necessitates that:

  • Students with disabilities receive their education alongside their peers without disabilities to the maximum extent appropriate
  • Students should not be removed from the general education classroom unless learning cannot be achieved even with the use of supplementary aids and services

LRE is determined on a case-by-case basis during the development of a student’s individualized education program (IEP). During this process, the IEP team—a multidisciplinary group of professionals and the student’s parents—discuss what individualized program of instruction and related services (also referred to as services and supports) the student requires based on her present levels of performance and areas of strengths and needs. These services and supports should enable the student to:

  • Make progress toward meeting identified academic or functional annual goals
  • Take part in these activities with other students, both with and without disabilities
  • Be involved and make progress in the general education curriculum, as well as to participate in extracurricular (e.g., drama club) and other non-academic (e.g., a school football game) activities 

Continuum of Placements for Students

Least restrictive; general education class, special education class, most restrictive; hospital/residential

Because LRE is determined by the student’s individualized program of instruction and related services rather than by setting, IDEA requires that school districts create a continuum of alternative placement options. This continuum represents a range of educational placements in which an IEP can be implemented to meet the individual needs of students with disabilities. These placement options range from the least restrictive setting (i.e., general education classroom) to the most restrictive ones (e.g., residential facility).

Placement options are fluid. A student might receive some services in one setting and other services in a different setting. Further, placements can change over time based on factors such as changes in a student’s progress or needs. For some students, the general education classroom is not necessarily the least restrictive setting.

IEP Service Areas