Understanding the new IEP, 2011

The updated New York State Individualized Education Program (IEP) form plays a critical role in ensuring that every student with a disability gets the specific supports and services he or she needs to learn and achieve. Please scroll down for answers to common questions:

Why has the state developed a new IEP form? 

The state developed a new form to help IEP teams focus on services that are most important for your child and to reduce variation of IEP forms across the state. The expectation is that IEPs will be more individualized to each student while at the same time held to the same standards across New York State.

What do the changes in the new IEP promote?

  • Meaningful opportunities for parents/families to participate in the development, review and revision of the IEP, including specific questions aimed at parental input.  Parents remain vital members of the IEP team;
  • Seeing special education as a service, rather than a place where students are sent, by focusing on services and accommodations that will enable a student to be successful in their least restrictive environment;
  • The appropriate preparation of students for their transition to further education, employment, and independent adult living, by focusing on the development of meaningful postsecondary measurable goals and a coordinated set of transition activities.

What are some differences between the previous form and the new one?

  • The new IEP form contains the same basic information as the previously used NYC IEP form; however, there are some differences.
  • The sequence of the information is designed to guide the IEP team through the proper IEP development process. This means that the new IEP should flow more logically beginning with levels of student performance, then the identification of goals, followed by recommendations on how to assist the student in achieving these goals, and finally the identification of the least restrictive environment where the student will achieve success.
  • The IEP is now electronic (created using a secure web-based case management system) and the pages will flow, leaving as much room as needed to fill out each section. As a result, sections will no longer correspond to specific pages.

All IEPs have the same basic components:

·  Identifying Information

·  Present Levels of Performance and Individual Needs

·  Measurable Annual  Postsecondary Goals/Transition Needs

·  Measurable Annual Goals, including Short-Term Objectives and Benchmarks (when appropriate)

·  Reporting Progress to Parents

·  Recommended Special Education Programs and Services

·  Coordinated Set of Transition Activities

·  Participation in State and District-Wide Assessments

·  Participation with Students without Disabilities

·  Special Transportation

·  Placement Recommendations

What is the Special Education Student Information System (SESIS)?

A secure web-based case management system for students with IEPs.  All new IEP documents will be created and maintained in this system.  As has always been the case, all team members, including parents, will continue to be actively involved throughout the IEP development process.