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The Individual Education Plan (IEP)

An IEP is...

  • a plan which describes the program and/or services, based on a student's strengths and needs, which is required by the student to learn and demonstrate their learning

  • a record of the accommodations needed by a student to achieve learning expectations

  • a document which identifies modified or alternative learning expectations

    • modified expectations are based on the curriculum, alternative expectations are not

  • a tool to help meet stated goals and expectations

An IEP is not...

  • a description of all material to be taught in classes

  • a list of teaching strategies regularly used within a classroom

  • a record of all learning expectations

  • a lesson plan

Components of the IEP

Exceptionality - only included for those students who have been identified by the Identification, Placement, and Review Committee (IPRC) as exceptional (i.e., behaviour, learning disabillity, mild intellectual disability, blind and low vision, etc.)

IPRC Placement - outlines the committee's decision regarding the student's placement. This may include the regular classroom with indirect support (teacher receives consultation support), with resource assistance (in class support from the special education teacher), or with withdrawal assistance (student spends a portion of their day outside of the regular class with special education teacher). The placement may also include a special education class with partial integration (regular class for at least one instructional period) or special education class full time.

Reason for Developing An IEP - an IEP is developed for those students who are identified by the IPRC or for those who require special education programs or services, but are not identified by the IPRC. In this case, the principal deems that a student's achievement will be assess based on modified expectations and/or that the student regularly requires accommodations.

Health Support Services - are services required regularly by a student to be able to attend school. These services might include tube feeding, lifting, tioletting, etc.

Individualized Equipment - equipment or electronic products/systems that are required by a student to maintain, increase, or improve their ability to learn and demonstrate their learning.

Assessment Relevant to the IEP - assessment documentation which provides information (i.e., on cognitive abilities) that will assist in determining and developing a student's educational program.

Area of Strength - strengths may include preferred learning styles, acquired learning skills, and strength in areas of cognitive processing and communication. It may also be appropriate to include personal characteristics, interests, or non-academic achievements.

Area of Need - indicate the need for a special education program and/or service. Needs may include cognitive and/or processing challenges or skills deficits affecting a student's ability to learn.

Subjects/Courses or Alternative Program - outlines whether the student will require an accommodated program, a modified program, or alternative program.

  • An accommodated program refers to a program in which instructional, environmental, and assessment accommodations, human supports, and/or specialized equipment are required by a student.

  • A modified program refers to a program in which changes are made to learning expectations for a course to meet a student's needs. This may include developing expectations for a different grade level (increasing or decreasing number and complexity of expectations).

  • An alternative program refers to a program developed to help a student develop knowledge or skills that are not outlined in the Ontario curriculum

Planned Human Resources (Teaching/Non Teaching Support Staff) - outline the supports required by a student to achieve expectations. These supports might include special education teacher, classroom teacher, educational assistant, board psychologist, or outside support hired by a parent or guardian.

Program Exemptions or Course Substitutions - outlines which programs or courses a student is not required to participate along with a rationale for the exemption or substitution.

Provinical Assessments - only included for students if they are in a testing year. It outlines the accommodations permitted during participation in a provincial assessment and may only include those that are used during regular classroom practice.

Secondary School Goal - the choice selected depends on the student's pathway. Choices include Certificate of Accomplishment, Ontario Secondary School Diploma, and Ontario Secondary School Certificate.

Accommodations - the instructional, environmental, and assessment strategies, supports, and equipment required by a student to learn and demonstrate their learning.

Instructional Accommodations - teaching strategies required by a student to access, and progress through, the curriculum.

Environmental Accommodations - physical changes or supports to the classroom and/or school.

Assessment Accommodations - adjustments to assessment activities and methods required by the student to demonstrate their learning.

Transition Plan - plan outlining the student's goals and objectives beyond secondary school (i.e., work, further education, community living).

Ministry of Education. (2004). The Individual Education Plan (IEP): A Resource Guide. Queen's Printer for Ontario.