Policy 7640

Student Individualized Education Program (IEP): Development and Provision

Development of Individualized Education Program

The Board of Education directs that the Committee on Special Education (CSE) or Committee on Preschool Special Education (CPSE) shall have prepared a written statement (program) for each child with a disability.

Such an Individualized Education Program (IEP) will be developed by the CSE or CPSE upon referral, and reviewed or revised, whichever is appropriate, for every child with a disability at least annually or in the event that the program no longer appears to be appropriate to meet the student’s needs and ability level.

The District shall ensure that each student with a disability has an IEP in effect at the beginning of each school year.

Functional Behavioral Assessments/Behavioral Intervention Plans

A functional behavioral assessment (FBA) is an integral part of the evaluation and reevaluation of a student with a disability which should be used throughout the process of developing, reviewing and revising a student’s IEP when the student’s behavior impedes learning of the child or others. The FBA is the process of determining why a student engages in challenging behavior and how the student’s behavior relates to the environment. An FBA for a student with a disability is an evaluation requiring parental consent, pursuant to Commissioner’s Regulation 200.5(b).

The FBA provides a baseline of the student’s problem behaviors with regard to frequency, duration, intensity and/or latency across activities, settings, people and times of the day and includes:

  • a) The identification of the problem behavior,
  • b) The definition of the behavior in concrete terms,
  • c) The identification of the contextual factors that contribute to the behavior (including cognitive and affective factors), and
  • d) The formulation of a hypothesis regarding the general conditions under which a behavior usually occurs and probable consequences that serve to maintain it.

The FBA must, as appropriate, be based on multiple sources of data such as structured interviews, behavior ratings scales, standardized assessments and checklists. It must include, but is not limited to:

  • a) Information obtained from direct observation of the student;
  • b) Information from the student, the student’s teacher(s) and/or related service providers; and
  • c) A review of available data and information from the student’s record and other sources including any relevant information provided by the student’s parent.

The FBA cannot be based solely on the student’s history of presenting problem behavior.

The CSE/CPSE will ensure that functional behavioral assessments, when appropriate, are conducted and reviewed to:

  • a) Identify supplementary aids and services, modifications and/or related services appropriate to address the identified behaviors to promote the student’s involvement and progress in the general curriculum;
  • b) Determine a student’s eligibility for special education services;
  • c) Develop the IEP which includes behavioral goals and objectives and positive behavioral supports and strategies.

In the case of a student whose behavior impedes his/her learning or that of others, the CSE/CPSE shall consider strategies, including positive behavioral interventions and supports and other strategies to address that behavior. The need for a behavioral intervention plan (BIP) shall be documented on the IEP and such plan shall be reviewed at least annually by the CSE/CPSE. In addition, regular progress monitoring of the frequency, duration and intensity of the behavioral interventions shall be conducted at scheduled intervals, documented and reported to the parents and CSE/CPSE.

A behavioral intervention plan may not include the use of aversive interventions or time out rooms except in accordance with specific Board policy regulating these techniques.

Individual Evaluations

Parental consent must be provided for an initial evaluation. If such consent is not received within thirty (30) calendar days of receipt of the referral, the CSE/CPSE Chairperson will document all attempts made to obtain the consent and, if appropriate, advise the Board of its right to utilize the due process procedures to conduct an evaluation without parental consent.

Unless a referral is withdrawn, an individual evaluation at no cost to the parent will be completed by the CSE/CPSE within sixty (60) calendar days after written parental consent has been obtained or a parental refusal to consent is overridden, unless:

  • a) An extension is mutually agreed to by the parent and the CSE/CPSE for the following situations:
    • 1. Transfer students: A student enrolls in the District after sixty (60) days and prior to a determination by the student’s previous school district as to whether the student has a disability, but only if the new school district is making sufficient progress to ensure a prompt completion of the evaluation and the parent and the new district agree in writing to a specific timeframe for completion; or
    • 2. Students suspected of having learning disabilities; or
  • b) The parent or student repeatedly fails or refuses to produce the student for evaluation.

No student shall be required to obtain a prescription for a drug or other substance identified as a controlled substance by the federal Controlled Substances Act as a condition of receiving an evaluation.

The individual evaluation will include a variety of assessment tools and strategies, including information provided by the parent. The purpose of the evaluation is to gather relevant functional, developmental and academic information that may assist in determining whether the student is a student with a disability and the content of the student’s IEP. This shall include information relating to enabling the student to participate and progress in the general education curriculum (or for a preschool child, to participate in appropriate activities).

As part of any evaluation, a group that includes the CSE/CPSE and other qualified professionals, as appropriate, shall review existing evaluation data on the student including evaluations and information provided by the parents of the student, current classroom-based assessments, local or state assessments, classroom-based observations, and observations by teachers and related services providers. In addition, the group will consider information about the student’s physical condition, social or cultural background, and adaptive behavior.

On the basis of that review, and input from the student’s parents, the group shall identify what additional data, if any, are needed to determine:

  • a) Whether the student has or continues to have a disability;
  • b) The present levels of academic achievement and related developmental needs of the student, including:
    • 1. Academic achievement, functional performance, and learning characteristics;
    • 2. Social development;
    • 3. Physical development; and
    • 4. Management needs.
  • c) In the case of a reevaluation of a student, whether the student continues to need special education; and
  • d) Whether any additions or modifications to the special education services are needed to enable the student to meet the measurable annual goals set out in the IEP of the student and to participate, as appropriate, in the general education curriculum.

If additional data are not needed, the District must notify the parents of that determination and the reasons for it and of the right of the parents to request an assessment to determine whether, for purposes of services provided in accordance with law and Commissioner’s Regulations, the student continues to be a student with a disability and to determine the student’s educational needs. The District is not required to conduct the assessment unless requested to do so by the student’s parents.

The determination that a student has a learning disability will be made in accordance with the procedures outlined in Section 200.4(j) of Commissioner’s Regulations.

Individual Re-evaluations

A CSE/CPSE shall arrange for an appropriate re-evaluation of each student with a disability:

  • a) If the District determines that the educational or related services needs, including improved academic achievement and functional performance of the student warrant re-evaluation;
  • b) If the student’s parent or teacher request a re-evaluation;
  • c) At least once every three (3) years, unless the District and the parent/person in parental relation agree in writing that such re-evaluation is unnecessary.

A re-evaluation shall not be conducted more frequently than once a year unless the parent and the District representative appointed to the CSE/CPSE agree otherwise.

The re-evaluation will be conducted by a multi-disciplinary team or group of persons, including at least one teacher or other specialist with knowledge in the area of the student’s disability. The re-evaluation shall be sufficient to determine the student’s individual needs, educational progress and achievement, the student’s ability to participate in instructional programs in regular education and the student’s continuing eligibility for special education. The results of any re-evaluations must be addressed by the CSE/CPSE in reviewing, and as appropriate, revising the student’s IEP.

To the extent possible, the District shall encourage the consolidation of re-evaluation meetings for the student and other CSE/CPSE meetings for the student.

Amendments to the IEP

Amendments to the IEP made after the annual review by the CSE/CPSE may be made by reconvening the CSE/CPSE and rewriting the IEP or by developing a written document to amend or modify the student’s current IEP, provided that:

  • a) The parents/persons in parental relation request an amendment to the IEP and the District and parents/persons in parental relation agree to the amendment in writing; or
  • b) The District provides the parents/persons in parental relation a written proposal to amend a provision or provisions of the IEP conveyed in language understandable to the parents/persons in parental relation in their native language or other dominant mode of communication, informs and allows the parents/persons in parental relation the opportunity to consult with the appropriate personnel or related service providers concerning the proposed changes, and the parents/persons in parental relation agree in writing to the amendments.

If the parents/persons in parental relation agree to amend the IEP without a meeting, they shall be provided prior written notice (notice of recommendation) of the changes to the IEP and the Committee notified of the changes. If the changes are made by rewriting the entire IEP, the District shall provide the parents/persons in parental relation a copy of the rewritten IEP. If the amendment is made without rewriting the entire document, the District shall provide a copy of the document that amends the IEP or, upon request, a revised copy of the entire IEP with the amendments incorporated.

Use of Recording Equipment at IEP Meetings

The Board of Education shall allow recording equipment to be used at meetings regarding individualized education programs for students with disabilities.

Provision of Individualized Education Program

The Board of Education directs that the Superintendent/designee(s) establish administrative practices and procedures to ensure that each regular education teacher, special education teacher, related service provider and/or other service provider who is responsible for the implementation of a student’s IEP is provided with either a paper copy of the IEP or is able to access a student’s IEP electronically (including amendments to the IEP) prior to the implementation of such program. Such individuals responsible for the implementation of a student’s IEP shall be notified and trained on how to access such IEP electronically. For purposes of this policy, “other service provider” means a representative of another public school district, charter school, Board of Cooperative Educational Services (BOCES) or school enumerated in Education Law Articles 81, 85 or 89 where the student receives or will receive IEP services. Further, the District will designate at least one school official who shall be responsible for maintaining a record of the personnel who have received IEP copies for each student.

Any copy of a student’s IEP shall remain confidential in compliance with the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, and District policy regarding confidentiality of student records; and shall not be disclosed to any other person other than the parent of such student, except in accordance with federal and state laws and/or regulations. Appropriate training and information will be provided to designated school personnel, as applicable, to ensure the confidentiality of such information. Procedures will be established to ensure that copies of students’ IEPs are stored in secure locations and retrieved or destroyed when such professionals are no longer responsible for implementing a student’s IEP.

The Chairperson of the CSE, CSE subcommittee, or CPSE shall designate for each student one or, as appropriate, more than one professional employee of the School District with knowledge of the student’s disability and education program who will be responsible to, prior to the implementation of the IEP, inform each regular education teacher, special education teacher, related service provider, other service provider, supplementary school personnel (i.e., a teaching assistant or a teacher aide as defined in Commissioner’s Regulations), and other provider and support staff person of his/her responsibility to implement the recommendations on a student’s IEP, including the responsibility to provide specific accommodations, program modifications, supports and/or services for the student in accordance with the IEP. In selecting the professional staff person(s), the Chairperson could select him/herself for this responsibility, another administrator, or a teacher, related service provider or other professional based on the particular circumstances of the student’s disability and education program.

The School District shall also ensure that each teaching assistant, teacher aide and each other provider responsible for assisting in the implementation of a student’s IEP has the opportunity to review a copy of the student’s IEP (including amendments) prior to the implementation of such program. Further, each teaching assistant, teacher aide and such other provider responsible for assisting in the implementation of a student’s IEP shall have ongoing access to a copy of the IEP, which may be the copy provided to the student’s special education teacher or the teacher or related service provider under whose direction the supplementary school personnel or other provider works. However, the District may, at its discretion, provide a copy of the IEP to teaching assistants and/or teacher aides.

A copy of a student’s IEP shall be provided to the student’s parents at no cost to the student’s parents.