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Frequently Asked Questions: Individualized Education Program

Can the excusal form be used only for IEP meeting participants, or may it be used for the review of existing data (RED) meeting and eligibility determination meeting?

Members should not be excused from review of existing data meetings or eligibility meetings.  The circumstances involved in an IEP team member being excused are very specific.  Those circumstances do not pertain to the RED meeting or eligibility meetings.  IEP team attendance, including the circumstances when IEP team members may be excused, can be found in Federal Regulations 300.321(e).  Required members for eligibility teams are listed in Federal Regulation 300.306: “…a group of qualified professionals and the parent of the child.”  The eligibility team for a specific learning disability must include:” (a) 1) the child’s regular teacher, or 2) if the child does not have a regular teacher, a regular classroom teacher qualified to teach a child of his or her age; or 3) for a child of less than school age an individual qualified by the SEA to teach a child of his or her age; and (b) at least one person qualified to conduct individual diagnostic examinations of children, such as a school psychologist, speech-language pathologist, or remedial reading teacher.”

Must transportation be addressed on every IEP?

Yes, transportation must be addressed as a related service.  The IEP team must document in the IEP their decision as to the child’s need for transportation.

Is it permissible to use goals from the bank of goals provided in the SEAS IEP program? Are they written correctly?

The Department does not monitor or endorse the IEP goals written by SEAS or any other privately owned organization serving as a special education resource.  Each team is responsible for developing IEPs based on the individual needs of the students.  More information on appropriate goals may be found in the Standards and Indicators Manual, Indicator 200.810.

Are independent living skills activities only required for students with severe disabilities?

No. Think about any of the skills that adults use every day to successfully do the things we need to do.  Consider whether a particular disabled child is prepared to do the things that he/she needs to do to manage his/her own welfare.  Whether a child needs independent living goals and what those are will be very different for each individual.  There are resources for quality transition planning on the Compliance webpage.

If a student indicates he wants to join the military after graduation, but changes his mind after graduation, is the school responsible if the postsecondary goal is not met?

No, the school district is responsible for providing transition services that are “focused on improving the academic and functional achievement of the child with a disability to facilitate the child’s movement from school to post-school activities.”  (Federal Regulations 300.43)   If the school district has provided transition services that were based on the child’s needs, taking into account the child’s strengths, preferences, and interests, and has prepared him to reach the postsecondary goals in his IEP, the school district cannot be held responsible if he/she changes his/her mind about what to do after graduation.  Quality transition planning that begins early in the child’s academic career and uses age appropriate transition assessments to guide transition planning, and which routinely checks and reassesses the child’s postsecondary goals, is vitally important.  A key part of the process should be providing the child with a rich variety of community experiences that allow him to learn first-hand about several vocations that he may have interest in pursuing to help him narrow his focus as graduation draws nearer.