Individualized Education Program (IEP)
An Individualized Education Program is a process that outlines the learning goals for a student with disabilities and the services a school must provide the student in order to meet those goals. This process is recorded in written form on the IEP document.
An IEP is developed to meet the individualized needs of each student. The educational services are provided at no cost to the family.
The federal Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) governs the rules for IEPs in every state. In addition, Delaware also has its own set of regulations with which the IEP process must comply. Every IEP must include:
- A thorough analysis of how the student is presently performing in school
- The student’s educational goals
- A list of services the student will receive, including how often and for how long
- Transition services for students of transition age
- Any accommodations, supports, and services needed for the child to be successful in the general education curriculum
- Whether the child will participate in the state wide assessment with/without accommodations
- The extent to which an eligible school aged child will be included in the general education environments
- The extent to which an eligible preschool aged child will be included in natural environments
The DDOE supports the development of Standards Based IEPs through the WRITES initiative. This initiative focuses on aligning student IEP goals and assessments to the Common Core State Standards (CCSS).
The IEP Team
An IEP is created by an IEP Team. Under IDEA, an IEP team must include:
- The student’s parent(s) or guardian(s)
- A student if the student is of transition age
- At least one of the child’s general education teachers
- At least one special education teacher
- A specialist who can interpret evaluation results
- A Career and Technical education teacher or coordinator if student is participating in a Career-Tech Ed program
- A district representative with authority over special education services
Prior Written Notice
Parents and guardians must receive written notice before school proposes to initiate or change the identification, evaluation, or educational placement of the child . This is called Prior Written Notice.
Use of Public Benefits or Insurance
Schools are required to provide special education and related services to a student at no cost. However, schools may ask parents or guardians to use a child's or family’s public benefits or insurance for reimbursement of services. If a school makes this request, the school must provide – in writing to a parent or guardian - information about a student’s rights and protections under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). This authorization is voluntary.
If a parent or guardian agrees to use a child or family’s public benefits or insurance for reimbursement of services, the parent or guardian must provide – in writing to the school – their consent.
Transfer of Rights / Age of Majority
The following information will assist in the discussion of Transfer of Rights upon an individual reaching Age of Majority to assure that children with disabilities who have reached age 18 have an identified decision-maker, which may be the child with a disability, to exercise their educational rights.
- SB 180 – Age of Majority
- Decision-Making After Attainment of Age 18
- Educational Decision Making After Attainment of Age 18 – Form
- Voluntary Grant of Authority - Form
IEP Forms and Resources
- Addendum to Notice of Meeting | En Espanol | Haitian Creole
- Consent for the Initial Provision of Special Education and Related Services | En Español
Transition IEPs (Grades 8-12)
By at least age 14 or 8 th grade, IEPs must include transition planning. Transition planning prepares students for their future after high school and through adulthood.
Rights, Mediation and Dispute Information
Explains student and family rights when receiving education services for students with disabilities in Delaware. Provides information on requesting mediation or submitting an official dispute against the State of Delaware, a school district or a charter school to resolve disagreements.
For more information on IEPs in Delaware, please contact the Office of Exceptional Children Resources at 302-735-4210.