Individualized Education Plans


Individual evaluation

An individual evaluation means any procedures, tests, or assessments, including observations, given individually to your child to find out whether he or she has a disability and/or to identify his or her special education needs. The term does not include basic tests given to groups of children in a school, grade or class. Evaluators within the Shenendehowa School District use a number of Standardized Tests.

The results of the evaluation must be shared with you. When the CSE or CPSE has conducted an evaluation for determining your child’s eligibility for special education, you must be provided a copy of the evaluation report and documentation of determination of eligibility. In addition, if you are the parent of a preschool child, the CPSE must also give you a copy of the summary report of the findings of the evaluation.

Independent educational evaluation

An independent educational evaluation (IEE) of your child means a procedure, test, or assessment done by a qualified examiner who does not work for Shenendehowa or other public agency responsible for the child’s education. You may get an IEE at district expense if you disagree with the evaluation arranged for by Shenendehowa. “At district expense” means that the school district pays for all of the tests.

If you ask Shenendehowa to pay for the IEE, the school district may ask, but not require, you to explain the reason why you object to the district’s evaluation. Shenendehowa may not unreasonably delay either providing the IEE or initiating an impartial hearing to defend the district’s own evaluation. The IEE must be obtained under the same criteria, including the location of the evaluation and the qualifications of the examiner, as the criteria Shenendehowa uses when it initiates an evaluation.

You have the right to:

  • receive, when you ask Shenendehowa for an independent educational evaluation, information about where an IEE may be obtained and the school district’s criteria under which the evaluation is obtained including the location of the evaluation and the qualifications of the evaluator.
  • obtain an IEE at district expense. If you ask for the IEE to be at district expense, Shenendehowa may ask for an impartial hearing to show that its evaluation is appropriate. If the impartial hearing officer finds that the district evaluation is appropriate, you have the right to obtain and submit an IEE to the CSE or CPSE, but the district does not have to pay for it.
    have an IEE at district expense if the impartial hearing officer asks for this evaluation as part of an impartial hearing.
  • have the results of an IEE discussed by the Committee as part of its review and in the development of your child’s individualized education program (IEP). The results of the IEE can be used as evidence at an impartial hearing.

Individualized Education Program (IEP)

If your child is eligible for special education services and/or programs, the Committee (of which you are a member) must meet to develop a plan to meet your child’s unique needs.  This plan is called an Individualized Education Program (IEP). Some of the requirements of the IEP are listed below.

  • Your child’s name and his or her disability.
  • Your child’s current abilities, needs, and evaluation results.
  • Goals and objectives for your child to meet this school year (annual goals).
  • Special equipment your child may need in school.
  • Information about the special education programs or services your child will receive (what services, how often and how long they will be provided). These services should help your child meet his or her goals; and support your preschool child’s participation in appropriate activities; or your school-age child’s involvement and progress in the general education curriculum.
  • • Special ways, if any, your child will take tests (such as a longer time to take tests)
  • Program modifications for your child.
  • Supports for your child’s teachers to help implement your child’s IEP.
  • How and when you will receive reports on your child’s progress.
  • For teenagers, transition planning and services.
  • Where services will be provided to ensure that programs reflect the least restrictive environment. After the consideration of all other IEP components, the Committee determines the recommended placement. Placement may be in a public school, Board of Cooperative Educational Services (BOCES), approved private school, State-operated school, State-supported school or a Special Act School District. Placement decisions must be based on the child’s strengths and needs and reflect consideration of whether the child can achieve his or her IEP goals in a regular class with the use of supplementary aids and services and/or modifications to the curriculum. (The IEP must explain the extent, if any, to which your child will not be in regular education programs.)

The IEP development process should consider:

  • your child’s strengths;
  • your concerns for your child’s education;
  • the results of your child’s individual evaluation;
  • the results of any State or district-wide tests or assessments; and
  • any unique needs related to your child’s disability (such as communication needs, behavior, etc.)

The IEP should evolve from a discussion that begins with how your child is doing in school (current level of functioning). From that base, the Committee should agree on the goals your child should be working toward. The Committee will discuss the supports and services and modifications that the child needs to reach those goals. The Committee will also determine where those special education services will be provided (location and placement). The location where services will be provided and the student’s placement must be in the least restrictive environment. For preschool children with disabilities, special education services can be delivered where you have arranged for day care or in a regular educational setting arranged by the parent.

Least Restrictive Environment

Your child’s education must be in the least restrictive environment or “LRE.” LRE means that placement of students with disabilities in special classes, separate schools, or other removal from the regular educational environment occurs only when the nature or severity of the disability is such that, even with the use of supplementary aids and services, education cannot be satisfactorily achieved. In all cases, special education services should be provided in the least restrictive environment. Each year your child’s IEP should be developed to ensure that:

  • your child’s placement is based on his or her IEP.
  • your child’s placement is as close as possible to his or her home school. Unless your child’s IEP requires another arrangement, your child should be educated in the school he or she would have attended if he or she did not have a disability.
  • when making a decision about LRE, the Committee considers any possible harmful effect on your child or the quality of the services that he or she needs.
  • your child is not removed from education in a regular classroom with other children of the same age only because the general curriculum needs to be modified.

Shenendehowa’s Committee on Special Education or the Committee on Preschool Special Education will use a process for determining the least restrictive environment and continuum of programs and services.

Process For Determining The Least Restrictive Environment For Individual Students*

  • Develop a student profile that includes the student’s strengths, weaknesses, and needs. Data sources should include standardized test scores, behavioral observations, parental input, teacher input, and input from other professionals as necessary (e.g., speech and language therapist, occupational therapist).
  • Develop appropriate goals for the student based on the needs identified in his/her profile.
  • In accordance with the regulations set forth in IDEA, the following factors should be examined when considering the degree to which a student can be successful in the regular classroom: the degree to which the student can achieve his/her goals in the regular classroom with supplementary aides and services, any unique benefits the student might receive from remaining in regular education classes, and all of the items listed on the LRE checklist. These factors should be examined each time a student’s program is reviewed. Once these factors have been examined, identify the point on the continuum of services at which the student will be able to achieve his/her IEP goals.
  • Communicate clearly and on an ongoing basis with parents throughout this process.

*Consistent with our district philosophy, students with special needs will be educated to the greatest extent possible with their non-disabled peers.