What are the steps in developing a student's IEP?

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Step 1:

Referral for Special Education Services

A referral is a written statement that goes to the TEAM Chairperson at the building where the student is enrolled (or would be enrolled if attending Ashland Public Schools). The referral indicates that a parent, teacher or other professional believes that a student may have a disability that adversely affects educational performance. 

Parents and Teacher Assistance Teams should:

  • Describe in writing the specific reason for the referral, including any behaviors that may impede learning of the child or others.
  • Clearly support each reason, using test results, observation and anecdotal information.
  • Describe how the suspected disability affects the child's ability to be involved in the general education curriculum.
  • Describe attempts to remediate the learning problem or state why such attempts have not been tried (teachers only).
  • Teachers are required to review the DCAP (District Curriculum Accommodation Plan) checklist and document interventions.


Step 2: 

Student Evaluation

An evaluation is an assessment of a student, using a variety of tests and techniques, to determine whether a student has a disability that requires special education services. 

Parents and teachers should:

  • Provide specific examples as evidence of the child's learning problem.
  • Provide information on behaviors of the student that may be related to the suspected disability.


Step 3:

Individualized Education Program

If the student is eligible for special education, the student’s Special Education TEAM develops an IEP to meet the unique educational needs of the child. 

Parents and teachers should:

  • Participate in all meetings to develop, review and/or revise a child's IEP.
  • Help determine positive behavioral strategies for the child.
  • Help determine annual goals and objectives and how they will be measured.
  • Help determine specific programs, services, accommodations, modifications and supports to help the child meet his or her goals and objectives and be involved in the general education curriculum.
  • Help determine how parents will be informed about their child's progress during the school year.
  • Help determine test accommodations.
  • Help determine where programs and services will be provided.


Step 4: 

Implementation of the IEP

Implementation means providing the programs and services included in the Individualized Education Program immediately following parental consent to the IEP. 

Parents and teachers should:

  • Review the IEP and ask questions if it includes information you do not understand.
  • Implement program modifications and instructional accommodations, if required to do so.
  • Contact the TEAM Chairperson ASAP whenever a student is not progressing toward meeting the goals and benchmarks as stated in his/her IEP. A TEAM meeting will be scheduled to discuss the student’s progress and redevelop more appropriate goals and benchmarks.


Step 5: 

Annual Review of the IEP

At least annually, the TEAM must review, and revise, each student's IEP. 

Parents and teachers should:

  • Prior to the review, thoroughly review the child's current IEP.
  • Provide any information about the child that will help the TEAM understand the current needs of the child.
  • Help determine changes to programs, services, accommodations, modifications and supports in the IEP to reflect the unique needs of the child and to help the child meet his or her annual goals and to progress in the general education curriculum.


Step 6:


At least once every three years, the committee must re-evaluate the student to determine if the student continues to have a disability and continues to need special education.

Parents and teachers should:

  • Review the child's performance since the last evaluation.
  • Make recommendations on what tests, if any, should be administered.
  • Ask questions about evaluation information that is unclear.