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What Parents Need to Know About Individualized Education Plans (IEPs)

October 18, 2023

IEP image

"Happy Fall and Back-to-School!" by Angela Kelly, JMCC Family Engagement Consultant

If you are new to the world of Individualized Education Plans (IEP) or are familiar with the process and appreciate a review, this information is for you!

An IEP is a specialized plan specific to your child and their learning abilities that is used as a guideline by their teacher, educational assistant and other staff to maximize your child's educational experience. Read more:

A meeting is held to create and/or review the IEP. This meeting often includes school personnel, you, the parent or legal guardian, therapists involved with your child, possibly your child and any other person supporting you and your child who may be beneficial in proposing content for the IEP.

Communication is key with educational staff involved with your child, so it is helpful to know your rights and responsibilities during meetings! Here is a valuable acronym to remember when creating educational goals for your child to be included in their IEP: SMART.

S - SPECIFIC goals
T - TIME BOUND goals

Once the IEP has been created, take a copy home and review it before signing it. Once it has been signed, that is an indication that you are in agreement with the plan and it will go into effect as the school team and your child begins the educational journey. Review of the IEP typically happens each year as your child moves from grade to grade but you can make an appointment with the educational team at any point during the school year to change or review your child's IEP.

There is a great article by The Mighty called "What to Expect in Your First IEP Meeting" if you would like more information. Although this is a US based article, the information is still relevant. Please visit:

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