Individual Education Process
The IEP Process:
- Initial IEP meeting
- Annual IEP meeting
- Triennial IEP meeting
- Manifestation Determination IEP meeting
56303. A pupil shall be referred for special educational instruction and services only after the resources of the regular education program have been considered and, where appropriate, utilized.
Upon the recommendation for a referral for assessment (e.g. through an SST process) a school district has 15 calendar days to develop an assessment plan for the parents (not counting calendar days between the pupil’s regular school sessions, or vacations longer than 5 school days, unless the parent agrees, in writing, to an extension.
A parent has 15 calendar days, from when they receive the assessment plan, to arrive at a decision. (CA. Ed. Code 56043)
Initial IEP Meeting
The purpose of the initial IEP meeting is 1) determine if the child being assessed meets eligibility criteria as having a disability, and 2) determine the educational need of the child.
An initial IEP meeting must have the following present at the meeting: Parent, General Education Teacher, a Special Education Teacher, and a School Administrator. Also, when there are evaluations being completed, there must be personnel who can interpret such assessments, such as, a School Psychologist, a Speech and Language Pathologist, a School Nurse, an Occupational Therapist, an Adaptive PE teacher, a Physical Therapist, as well as other personnel relevant to the development of the IEP.
If the child is determined to be eligible, as a child with a disability, the assessments as well as observation, and input will determine the educational needs of the child.
Once the child’s educational need is determined, goals can be developed in those areas. The goals should cover all areas of need that were identified in the evaluation process.
Services will then be determined, based on the goals. For example, a child with certain articulation needs in speech may be addressed with Speech and Language services, typically delivered from a Speech and Language Pathologist (SLP), or a Speech and Language Pathologist Assistant (SLPA).
The educational setting is determined based on the child’s needs, goals, and services. Typically, the general education class with support is considered first; however, a child with more intensive needs may need to have those addressed with services in another setting, such as a special day class, county-run program, nonpublic school, or in some cases, a residential placement.
Additional information regarding initial evaluations and IEP meetings.
56302.1. (a) Once a child has been referred for an initial assessment to determine whether the child is an individual with exceptional needs as defined in Section 56026 and to determine the educational needs of the child, these determinations shall be made, and an individualized education program meeting shall occur, within 60 days of receiving parental consent for the assessment in accordance with subparagraph © of paragraph (1) of subsection (a) of Section 1414 of Title 20 of the United States Code.
(b) The 60-day time period does not apply to a local educational agency if either of the following occurs:
(1) A child enrolls in a school served by the local educational agency after the relevant time period has commenced but prior to a determination by his or her previous local educational agency of whether the child is an individual with exceptional needs. The exemption of this paragraph applies only if the subsequent local educational agency is making sufficient progress to ensure a prompt completion of the assessment, and the parent and subsequent local educational agency agree to a specific date by which the assessment shall be completed.
(2) The parent of a child repeatedly fails or refuses to produce the child for the assessment.
56304. (a) The parents or guardians of a pupil who has been referred for initial assessment, or of a pupil identified as an individual with exceptional needs, shall be afforded an opportunity to participate in meetings with respect to the identification, assessment, and educational placement, pursuant to Section 56342.5 and subdivisions (b) and © of Section 56341.5, of the pupil and with respect to the provision of a free appropriate public education, as provided in Section 300.501 of Title 34 of the Code of Federal Regulations.
Annual IEP Meeting
Once a child is determined to be eligible and the parents have consented to an Individualized Education Program, the IEP team, and relevant members will meet annually to:
To review a pupil’s progress, the individualized education program, including whether the annual goals for the pupil are being achieved, the appropriateness of the placement, and to make any necessary revisions, pursuant to subdivision (d) of Section 56343. The local educational agency shall maintain procedures to ensure that the individualized education program team reviews the pupil’s individualized education program periodically, but not less frequently than annually, to determine whether the annual goals for the pupil are being achieved, and revises the individualized education program as appropriate to address, among other matters, the provisions specified in subdivision (d) of Section 56341.1, pursuant to subdivision (a) of Section 56380.
Triennial IEP meeting
Once a child is determined to be eligible, a reassessment must be conducted within 3 years, and no sooner than 1 year from the previous/initial evaluation, unless the parent and school district agree, in writing, that one is not necessary.
Manifestation Determination IEP meeting
Discipline for children with IEP’s has a few items to be aware of. First, school personnel need to determine if a change of placement has occurred with the child. Secondly, if a change of placement has occurred, a Manifestation Determination IEP meeting must occur within 10 days from the determination of a change of placement.
Federal regulations (§300.530) state:
School personnel under this section may remove a child with a disability who violates a code of student conduct from his or her current placement to an appropriate interim alternative educational setting, another setting, or suspension, for not more than 10 consecutive school days (to the extent those alternatives are applied to children without disabilities), and for additional removals of not more than 10 consecutive school days in that same school year for separate incidents of misconduct (as long as those removals do not constitute a change of placement under § 300.536). §300.530 (b)(1)
After a child with a disability has been removed from his or her current placement for 10 school days in the same school year, during any subsequent days of removal the public agency must provide services to the extent required under paragraph (d) of this section. §300.530 (b)(2)
When a child is removed from his placement for 10 days in a school year, or 10 consecutive school days that constitute a pattern, it is considered a “change of placement”, and subsequent removals past 10 days would require a Manifestation Determination IEP meeting. (§300.536)
Manifestation determination. (1)Within 10 school days of any decision to change the placement of a child with a disability because of a violation of a code of student conduct, the LEA, the parent, and relevant members of the child’s IEP Team (as determined by the parent and the LEA) must review all relevant information in the student’s file, including the child’s IEP, any teacher observations, and any relevant information provided by the parents to determine—
(i) If the conduct in question was caused by or had a direct and substantial relationship to, the child’s disability; or
(ii) If the conduct in question was the direct result of the LEA’s failure to implement the IEP. [§300.530 (e)]
Special circumstances. School personnel may remove a student to an interim alternative educational setting for not more than 45 school days without regard to whether the behavior is determined to be a manifestation of the child’s disability if the child—
- Carries a weapon to or possesses a weapon at school, on school premises, or to or at a school function under the jurisdiction of an SEA or an LEA;
- Knowingly possesses or uses illegal drugs, or sells or solicits the sale of a controlled substance, while at school, on school premises, or at a school function under the jurisdiction of an SEA or an LEA; or
- Has inflicted serious bodily injury upon another person while at school, on school premises, or at a school function under the jurisdiction of an SEA or an LEA.
- [300.530 (g)]