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Individual Education Plan (IEP)    

What is an Individual Education Plan?
  

The Individual Education Plan, often called the IEP, is a written plan that is created for your child, in consultation with you.

It includes:

  • The special education program/services required by your child, based on a thorough assessment of his/her strengths and needs;
  • A record of the accommodations (strategies/supports) needed to help your child achieve his/her learning
    expectations;
  • The learning expectations, or goals, created for your child that differs from grade-level expectations, also known as modifications; and,
  • Alternative expectations, if required, in program areas not represented in the Ontario curriculum.

The IEP is continuously monitored throughout the year and must be formally reviewed and updated at each reporting period.

Who has an IEP?   

  • Every student identified as exceptional by an Identification Placement and Review Committee (IPRC);
  • Students whose school principal, with input from regular classroom teacher (RCT), special education staff and/or parents/guardians, determines that his/her achievement will be assessed on the basis of modified expectations; and,
  • Students who regularly require accommodations for instructional or assessment purposes.

When is the IEP created?   

  • For students who have been formally identified through the IPRC process, an IEP must be created within 30 school days following the IPRC.
  • For students who have previously existing IEPs, a current IEP must be created within 30 school days from the start of each school year.

What is the parent’s role?    

Your input is invaluable in fostering the achievement and success of your child. As a parent/guardian, you are encouraged to:

  • Provide relevant information about your child;
  • Work together with school staff to develop goals for your child’s IEP;
  • Review the draft copy of the IEP and provide feedback to school staff; and,
  • Maintain open communication with school staff regarding your child’s IEP.

Transition planning    

What is transition planning?
All students experience many changes or “transitions” as part of their school life. These include big “T” transitions, such as entry into school, changing grades, moving from elementary school to high school and leaving school. Small “t” transitions are the day to day changes, such as moving from the classroom to the yard or the gym, changing subjects and tasks and changes to the regular class routines. Many students with special education needs (SENs) find such transitions to be particularly challenging and require additional preparation and support through the
transition. Such support is described in a number of ways, including in the individual education plan (IEP) and other documents.

When is a transition plan needed?
PPM 156, Supporting Transitions for Students with Special Education Needs, states that: “A transition plan must be
developed for all students who have an IEP, whether or not they have been identified as exceptional by an identification, placement and review committee (IPRC) and including those who are identified as exceptional solely on the basis of giftedness.” The transition plan is developed as part of the IEP. The school teams in Simcoe County work collaboratively with parent/guardian(s), students, and community agencies to support students’ transitions throughout their school career. 

Parent’s role in transitions
You are an important advocate for your child and can help to create an appropriate transition plan. Creating goals for your child’s plan may seem challenging at first, however if you think about adult goals in terms of education, jobs, living choices and social activities it will make sense when you help your child’s teacher set realistic mini goals each year as you will be working toward your child’s future quality of life.

Ask yourself these three questions:  

  1. Where is my child presently?
  2. Where are they going?
  3. How do we get them there?

Attend transition meetings if you can. Transition team members may include:

  • Parent/guardian(s);
  • Student, if deemed appropriate;
  • Principal, or designate;
  • Regular Classroom Teacher (RCT);
  • Special Education Resource Teacher (SERT);
  • Community agencies; and,
  • Board support staff.

Make sure that what you discuss in the meetings is reflected on the transition page of your child’s IEP. Finally, end your meeting with a follow up meeting date to review your child’s progress and make changes to goals if necessary. Review your child’s transition plan at least once per school year.