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This article will provide you with a roadmap to changes in IEPs and IEP meetings under IDEA 2004.
Content of IEPs
Some requirements for the contents of IEPs changed. Others remained the same.
Levels of Performance. In IDEA 97, IEPs were
required to include a statement of the childs present
levels of educational performance
Goals. Under IDEA 97, IEPs were required to include
a statement of measurable annual goals, including benchmarks
or short-term objectives. IDEA 2004 eliminated the requirements
for benchmarks and short-term objectives in IEPs - except
that the IEPs of children who take alternate assessments must include
a description of benchmarks or short-term objectives.
IDEA 97 required IEPs to include a statement about how the childs
progress toward the annual goals would be measured, how the childs
parents would be regularly informed about their childs
progress toward the annual goals, and whether the childs
progress was sufficient.
Education and Related Services.
IDEA 2004 includes important new language about research-based
and Alternate Assessments. IDEA
2004 contains new language about individual appropriate accommodations
on state and district testing and new requirements for alternate
Congress made extensive changes to the legal requirements for transition.
IDEA 97 required a statement of transition services needs
(beginning at age 14) and a statement of needed transition services
for the child (beginning at age 16). The statement of transition
services needs at age 14 was eliminated.
When Members May Be Excused from IEP Meetings
member of the IEP team may be excused from attending an IEP
meeting if the members area of curriculum or service will not
be discussed or modified and if the parent and school agree.
team shall consider special factors for children:
The law about educational placements is in Section 1414(e). Parents are members of the team that decides the childs placement. The decision about placement cannot be made until after the IEP team, which includes the parent, reaches consensus about the childs needs, program, and goals.
the law is clear on this issue, the childs label
often drives decisions about services and placement, leading school
personnel to determine the childs placement before the IEP meeting.
Reviewing and Revising the IEP
must be reviewed at least once a year to determine if the child
is achieving the annual goals. The IEP team must revise the IEP
Revising IEP by Agreement, Without an IEP Meeting
2004 changed the process by which IEPs can be amended or modified.
If the parent and school agree to amend or modify the IEP,
they may revise the IEP by agreement without convening an IEP meeting.
Alternative Ways to Participate in Meetings
School meetings do not have to be face-to-face. IEP and placement meetings, mediation meetings, and due process (IEP) resolution sessions may be convened by conference calls or videoconferences. (Section 1414(f))
In-State and Out-of State Transfers
If a child transfers to a district in the same state, the receiving school must provide comparable services to those in the sending districts IEP until they develop and implement a new IEP. If a child transfers to another state, the receiving district must provide comparable services to those in the sending districts IEP until they complete an evaluation and create a new IEP. (Section 1414(d)(2)(C))
IDEA 2004 at Wrightslaw will help you find answers to your questions. How the site is currently organized:
Wrightslaw: Special Education Law, 2nd Edition (ISBN: 978-1-892320-16-2) by Peter Wright and Pamela Wright is available in two formats. The book includes: