The Individual Education Plan (or IEP) is a written plan describing the special education program and/or services required by a particular student, based on a thorough assessment of the student’s strengths and needs – that is, the strengths and needs that affect their ability to learn and to demonstrate learning.
The IEP lists the accommodations needed to help the student achieve their learning expectations. The accommodations are divided into three categories: those required for instruction, for the environment, and for assessment purposes.
The IEP identifies specific learning expectations for those students who are working on a modified program (i.e. not the regular curriculum expectations as outlined in the Ontario Curriculum for their grade), as well as the strategies and assessment methods that will be used in order to meet those expectations.
An IEP is required for any student identified as exceptional by an Identification, Placement and Review Committee (IPRC).
An IEP may be developed for a student who has not been formally identified when a school team, in collaboration with the parents, deems it to be necessary.
Consultation with the parents, the school team, and other support staff is a continuous process throughout both the development and the implementation of the IEP.
An IEP is not…
An IEP does not describe everything that will be taught, nor list all of the resources and strategies that will be used as part of the regular classroom instruction.
What an IEP can do…
An IEP can help a student learn the curriculum in a more manageable way and successfully meet realistic expectations that reflect his/her learning needs.
What an IEP cannot do…
An IEP cannot “cure” or fix the difficulties experienced by the student. He/she must still demonstrate a willingness to strive toward the successful completion of the expectations outlined in the IEP.