Special Education: Individual Education Program
The Virginia IEP system grew out of a need for school divisions to have a streamlined IEP process. At its core, the Virginia IEP System will provide functionality as an IEP writer and compliance tool that will afford educators the functionalities necessary to facilitate IEP meetings, develop IEP’s, monitor student progress and gather and submit data for state reporting purposes.
Goals for a Streamlined Process
Beginning in 2013, the Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) sought to gain a greater understanding of the IEP landscape, to understand the resources and needs of local school divisions and to investigate trends and ongoing efforts at the national level. The project team interviewed and surveyed national and local leaders and conducted focus group meetings to gain local perspectives on the challenges Virginia public school divisions face; to uncover best practices among divisions and states and to capture recommendations for system capabilities and requirements. During this process, several common themes emerged:
- Data Reporting: Compiling and submitting state reports is extremely time consuming
- Compliance: Developing IEPS that are compliant with both state and federal requirements is difficult without a standardized state-recommended IEP form.
- System Costs: Costs for online IEP systems used in Virginia range between $11-30 per student
- Inter-district IEP Transfers: Transferring IEPs between different systems is extremely difficult or impossible.
Benefits of a Statewide IEP System in Virginia
Based on best practices research and engagement with school division representatives, a statewide IEP system could provide:
- Streamlined inter-division IEP transfer process
- Uniform online system training and professional development
- Improved data-driven decisions
- Increased compliance with the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) and Virginia regulations and statutes
Standards-Based IEP – Traditionally, IEPs have focused on a student acquiring basic academic, access and/or functional skills and have had little relationship to a specific academic area or grade-level expectations. In contrast, the process used to develop a Standards-Based IEP is directly tied to the state’s content standards. Both the student’s present level of performance and some of the annual IEP goals are aligned with and based on the state’s grade-level standards which creates a program that is aimed at getting the student to a proficient level on the state standards. The change to using standards-based IEPs has been supported by the 2004 reauthorization of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) that emphasizes access to the general education curriculum for students with disabilities; and the federal assessment regulations issued in 2007 under the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) that permit states to implement an alternate assessment based on modified academic achievement standards (AA-MAS).
More about Standards-Based IEP.
In response to requests from special education professionals across the commonwealth, VDOE is pursuing the development of a statewide online IEP system.
- Sample IEP Form (Word)
- Sample Transition IEP Form (Word)
- Calculation Tool for Least Restrictive Environment (LRE)
- Extended School Year Services (PDF)
- Your Family's Special Education Rights – Virginia Procedural Safeguards Notice (PDF)
- Transfer Of Rights For Students with Disabilities Upon Reaching The Age Of Majority In Virginia (PDF)
- Spanish (PDF)
- Regulations Governing Special Education Programs for Children with Disabilities in Virginia (PDF)
- Alternative and Alternate Assessments– Virginia schools administer alternative and alternate assessments to measure the achievement and progress of students with special needs.
- Medicaid and Schools – School divisions can submit reimbursement claims to Medicaid for some services provided to students.
- Transition Services for Students with Disabilities
- The U.S. Departments of Education's Office of Special Education Programs
- A Guide to the Individualized Education Program (USED)
- Special Education and Rehabilitative Services (OSERS)
- Office for Civil Rights
- Office of Special Education Programs (USED)