Individualized Education Program (IEP)
An IEP defines the individualized objectives of a child who has been determined to have a disability or requires specialized accommodation, as defined by federal regulations. The IEP is intended to help children reach educational goals more easily than they otherwise would. In all cases the IEP must be tailored to the individual student’s needs as identified by the IEP evaluation process, and must especially help teachers and related service providers (such as paraprofessional educators) understand the student’s disability and how the disability affects the learning process.
The IEP describes how the student learns, how the student best demonstrates that learning and what teachers and service providers will do to help the student learn more effectively. Developing an IEP requires evaluating students in all areas related to the suspected disabilities, simultaneously considering ability to access the general curriculum, considering how the disability affects the student’s learning, forming goals and objectives that correspond to the needs of the student, and choosing a placement in the least restrictive environment possible for the student.