The Individualized Education Program (IEP) is a written statement of our plan to provide your child with a Free and Appropriate Public Education (FAPE) in their Least Restrictive Environment (LRE).

Please speak with your IEP team if you would like an interpreter at your child's IEP meeting, or if you would like a translation of your child's IEP, assessments, or notices.

Least Restrictive Environment

This means that your child will be in schools and classrooms with non-disabled peers for as much of the day as appropriate. This is important because more time with non-disabled peers results in

  • Higher scores on math and reading tests;
  • Fewer absences from school;
  • Fewer referrals for disruptive behavior; and
  • Better outcomes after high school.


The IEP team, which includes you the parent, will determine if your child is eligible for special education services and requires an IEP.

Eligibility for Preschool-Age Children

Eligibility for School-Age Children

Eligibility cannot be based on:

  • A lack of appropriate instruction in reading;
  • A lack of appropriate instruction in math; or
  • Limited English proficiency.

If your child is not eligible, an IEP will not be developed. Instead, information from the evaluation will be given to the principal of your child’s school. The principal can work with staff to help your child.

Disability Classifications

Students must be eligible for one of the 13 disability classifications as defined by the New York State Education Department’s Regulations of the Commissioner of Education: Part 200.


A developmental disability, mainly affecting a child’s social and communication skills. It can also impact behavior and covers a wide range of symptoms.


A student with a hearing impairment is unable to hear most or all sounds even with a hearing aid.


A student with both severe hearing and vision loss. Communication and other developmental and educational needs are so unique that programs for students with deafness or with blindness cannot meet their needs.

Emotional Disability

A student who exhibits one or more of the following characteristics over a long period of time and to a degree that adversely affects the student’s educational performance:

  • An inability to learn that cannot be explained by intellectual, sensory, or health factors
  • An inability to build or maintain satisfactory relationships with peers and teachers
  • Inappropriate types of behavior or feelings under normal circumstances
  • A generally pervasive mood of unhappiness or depression
  • A tendency to develop physical symptoms or fears associated with personal or school problems

Hearing Impairment

A student with a hearing loss not covered by the definition of deafness. This type of hearing loss can change over time.

Intellectual Disability

A student with significantly below average intellectual ability and adaptive (life) skills. A student may also have poor communication, self-care and social skills.

Learning Disability

This is an umbrella term that covers learning challenges that impact a student’s ability to read, write, listen, speak, reason or do math.

Multiple Disabilities

A student with more than one condition that creates educational needs that cannot be met in a program designed for any one disability.

Orthopedic Impairment

An orthopedic impairment means that a student lacks function or ability in their body; for example, cerebral palsy.

Other Health Impairment

This is an umbrella term that covers conditions that limit a student’s strength, energy or alertness. One example is ADHD which impacts attention..

Speech or Language Impairment

A student with a communication disorder, such as stuttering, impaired articulation, a language impairment or a voice impairment that makes it hard for a student to understand words or express themselves.

Traumatic Brain Injury

A student with an injury to the brain caused by an accident or some kind of physical force.

Visual Impairment

A student whose eyesight impacts their educational performance. Any vision problem that cannot be corrected by eyewear qualifies, including partial sight and blindness.

Contents of the IEP

Your child’s IEP includes information about him/her, and the unique strengths and needs that are considered to develop a plan of the appropriate special education supports and services that will allow your child to access, participate and progress in the general education curriculum. The following are major sections of the IEP:

Present Levels of Performance

A description of how your child is currently doing in school. This includes:

  • Evaluation results
  • Academic achievement
  • Social development
  • Physical development
  • Management needs

If your child requires an accessible school building this will also be noted in this section. Find out more about the accessibility of DOE buildings.

Measurable Annual Goals

Academic, social, behavioral, and/or physical goals that can be reasonably met in a school year.

Progress Reports

A description of when you will receive updates on your child’s progress.

Recommended Special Education Programs and Services

A list of the programs and services your child requires in order to access, participate and progress in the general education curriculum. This includes the date the programs and services will begin, how often they will be provided, where they will be provided (in the classroom or another school location), and the length of each session.

Participation with Students without Disabilities

The extent to which your child will participate in general education classes and other school activities with his/her non-disabled peers.

Participation in State and District-Wide Assessment

This section identifies if your child will participate in the same State and district-wide assessments that are given to general education students or if your child will participate in alternate assessments for students with severe cognitive disabilities. Regardless of the type of assessment in which your child participates, s/he may have testing accommodations.

Diploma Objective

The IEP identifies the diploma type your child is working toward or if s/he will work towards a commencement credential instead.

Find out more:

Transition Services

Transition services are included on the first IEP that will be in effect when your child is 15 years old. Transition services include a coordinated set of activities, services, and supports that will support your child's movement from school to post-school life with goals of education, employment, and independent living as appropriate.


If your child is a multilingual or English Language Learner and requires English as a New Language (ENL) and/or bilingual services, this will be noted on the IEP. The language of instruction and service is included on your child’s IEP.

Consenting to Services

After the IEP is developed, the IEP team will ask you for written permission to start services. We will not arrange for any services to be provided until we receive your informed consent to do so.

You can withdraw your consent for special education services at any time. After withdrawing consent, you have the right to change your mind. If you later decide you want your child to be evaluated for special education services, you must write a new referral letter and give it to the school, CPSE, or CSE.

Annual Review

At least once a year, an IEP meeting must be held to discuss a student’s IEP including:

  • Progress toward his or her goals
  • Review of the appropriateness and effectiveness of the special education services provided to determine the services and goals for the following year

In addition to the required annual review, a review of the current IEP can be requested by you in writing to your school, CPSE or CSE.


A reevaluation must be completed once every three years, unless you and the DOE agree in writing that it is not necessary. This is called a Mandated Three-Year Reevaluation (formerly called a Triennial).

If new assessments are needed, you will be asked to provide consent. Consent means you are giving your permission for assessments to be conducted.

All written reports will be shared with you when the reevaluation is completed. The IEP team, including you, will meet to review the IEP recommendations given the new information.

A reevaluation can also be requested by you or school staff, but will not take place more than one time a year unless you and the DOE agree otherwise in writing.