Frequently Asked Questions
[+] How frequently must IEP meetings be held?
IDEA says that each school system must hold a meeting not less than once a year to review and, if appropriate, revise each child’s IEP. The legislative history of the law makes it clear that there should be as many meetings a year as any one child may need. The Missouri State Plan for Special Education Revised 2005 allows for amendments/addendums to make changes to the IEP without a meeting, if all parties agree.
[+] Must IEPs be reviewed or revised at the beginning of each year?
No. The basic requirement in the regulations is that IEPs must be in effect at the beginning of each school year. IEP meetings must be conducted at least once each
year to review and, if necessary, revise the IEP of each child with a disability.
However, periodic reviews may be held anytime during the year, including at the end of the school year, before the new school year, or just on the anniversary date of the last IEP meeting. Parents are required to be informed about the educational progress of their child as often as parents of children without disabilities.
[+] How long should IEP meetings be?
There is no prescribed length for IEP meetings. In general, meetings will be longer for initial placements and for children who require a variety of complex services and will be shorter for children who require only a minimum amount of services. It is expected that sufficient time will be allowed for the meetings to ensure meaningful parent participation.
[+] May IEP meetings be tape-recorded?
The use of tape recorders at IEP meetings is not addressed by either IDEA or regulations. Although taping is clearly not required, it is allowed at the option of either the parents or the school system.
[+] Must related services personnel attend IEP meetings?
If a child with a disability has an identified need for related services, at the discretion of the parent or school system, the related services personnel would attend the meeting or otherwise be involved in developing the IEP. The school system should ensure that a qualified provider of that service either attends the meeting or provides a written recommendation concerning the nature, frequency and amount of service to be provided to the child.
[+] Is the IEP a commitment to provide services?
Yes. The IEP of each child with a disability must include all services necessary to meet the child’s identified special education and related service needs. All services in the IEP must be provided in order for the school system to be in compliance with
[+] Does the IEP include only special education and related services or does it describe the total education of the child?
The IEP is required to include those matters concerning the provisions of special education and related services, the extent that the child can participate in regular education programs, and how the child will be involved and progress within the regular education curriculum.
[+] If adaptations and modifications are necessary for a child with a disability to participate in a regular education program, must they be included in the IEP?
Yes. If supplementary provisions to the regular education program are necessary to ensure the child's participation in the program, they must be described in the child’s
[+] Can the school system personnel have the IEP completed when the IEP meeting begins?
No. It is not permissible for a school to present a completed IEP to parents before there has been a full discussion with the parents of the child’s need for services and what services the school will provide to the child. IDEA defines the IEP as a written statement developed in any meeting with the school system representative, the teacher, the parent, and if appropriate, the child.
It would be appropriate for staff to come prepared with evaluation findings, statements of present levels of educational performance, and a recommendation regarding annual goals, short-term instructional objectives, and the kind of special education and related services to be provided. However, the school personnel must make it clear to the parents at the beginning of the meeting that the services proposed are only recommendations for review and discussion with the parents.