Additional State and School-System Content
States and school systems have a great deal of flexibility about the information they require in an IEP.
Some states and school systems have chosen to include in the IEP additional information to document their compliance with other state and federal requirements. (Federal law requires that school districts maintain documentation to demonstrate their compliance with federal requirements.)
Generally speaking, extra elements in IEPs may be included to document that the state or school district has met certain aspects of federal or state law, such as:
- holding the meeting to write, review and, if necessary, revise a child's IEP in a timely manner;
- providing parents with a copy of the procedural safeguards they have under the law;
- placing the child in the least restrictive environment; and
- obtaining the parents' consent.
IEP Forms in Different Places
While the law tells us what information must be included in the IEP, it does not specify what the IEP should look like.
No one form or approach or appearance is required or even suggested.
Each state may decide what its IEPs will look like. In some states individual school systems design their own IEP forms.
Thus, across the United States, many different IEP forms are used. What is important is that each form be as clear and as useful as possible, so that parents, educators, related service providers, administrators, and others can easily use the form to write and implement effective IEPs for their students with disabilities.