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IEP Overview

One of the provisions of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) includes the requirement that students receiving special education services are provided with an Individualized Education Program (IEP). To ensure that their individual needs are met, the IEP outlines specialized instruction, supports, and services that a student will receive via special education. The document is customized for each eligible student, and it is developed in partnership with caregivers and students (when applicable). The IEP is created during the initial eligibility meeting and updated each year thereafter during the annual review.

An IEP typically includes the following information.

- Assessment results
- Present performance levels
- Annual goals and how progress will be measured
- Services provided
- Modifications
- Accommodations
- Time in general education and special education settings

In Massachusetts, students 14 years of age and older who are eligible for special education services are also provided with a transition plan. This is an opportunity for schools, caregivers, and students (when applicable) to plan for a student’s need for transition services. The transition plan is updated annually with the IEP, and it informs the development of IEP goals.

More information regarding the IEP can be accessed on DESE’s website via the following link.