The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) requires that specific topics be covered in an Individualized Education Program (IEP) meeting. The IEP team consists of general education teachers, special education teachers, a psychologist or counselor, administrators, parents/guardians, speech therapist, occupational therapist, and on occasion, the student and student advocate. Typically, a special education teacher serves as the case manager and is responsible for inviting attendees to the meeting and coordinating the meeting according to policies and regulations. Effective communication, interpersonal skills, problem solving skills, and data-driven decision-making are all prerequisites to facilitating a successful IEP meeting. Often, a school district will provide a checklist for teams to follow when developing and discussing the IEP to help ensure all responsibilities are met.
View “FIEP: A Facilitated IEP Meeting,” paying special attention to the structure and collaborative nature of the meeting, the specific components of the IEP, and ways that the meeting demonstrates adherence to laws and ethical principles that govern special education. Note when viewing this example meeting that the administrator is the facilitator rather than the special education teacher, who would typically lead the meeting.
In a 1,000-1,250 word essay, articulate your knowledge of IDEA and the IEP process. The essay should address the following:
Summarize IDEA. Include discussion of professional practice standards and how these are used to guide the special education teacher in ensuring key components of the law such as free appropriate public education (FAPE), appropriate evaluation, least restrictive environment (LRE), and procedural safeguards are upheld (approximately 250 words).
Explain the importance of collaboration between members of the IEP team. Include discussion about who should be included on the IEP team, how parents and students participate in decision-making, which IEP team members’ attendance is required and which is optional, and how CEC Ethical Principles and Professional Practice Standards guide collaboration and execution of the IEP process (approximately 250 words).
Describe the IEP process. Explain what IDEA indicates must be done before, during, and after an IEP meeting. Include discussion of why executing the IEP process according to the established standards is essential to avoid due process disputes (approximately 250-500 words).
Identify the major components of the IEP and explain why each is important. Discuss the specific legal, ethical, and policy responsibilities related to developing the IEP to ensure it meets the educational, developmental, and medical services requirements for students with disabilities and their families. (approximately 250 words)
Consider what you saw in “FIEP: A Facilitated IEP Meeting” and describe the key takeaways you will consider as a new teacher participating in the IEP process (approximately 100 words).