Understanding The IEP Process: Transportation’s Role Presented By: Jamie Warrington, ESE Transportation Specialist, FDOE P.J. Hope, Director of Transportation, Dixie District Schools 20th Annual Lake Yale Leadership Training March 28 – 31, 2011 Eustis, Florida What is an IEP? “Individualized Education Program” means a written statement for each child with a disability that is developed, reviewed and revised in accordance with the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). A legally binding document that instructs a school district in what a student with disabilities needs to be successful in school. The IEP Team The Individualized Education Plan (IEP) team consists of the students’ parents, school personnel, and anyone else that is involved in the daily instruction and support services for the student. Writes the IEP for the students’ educational plan. The Process: The initial IEP is written prior to entering school for the first time, in most circumstances. IEP’s are often reviewed and/or revised when a student transfers in from another district or state. The existing IEP from the other district or state remains in effect until the receiving district either accepts or re-writes the IEP. The Process (con’t): The student’s IEP Team is identified, and a meeting is planned. The IEP Team members are invited. This should include Transportation, if the student will be receiving transportation as a related service. Once the meeting is convened, the team begins discussing what the student will need to be successful in school. Related Services: Food & Nutrition PT/OT Speech Therapy Transportation Parent’s Role: The parent(s) of the student are an important player in the IEP process. Parents know their children the best. Parents know the educational, medical and psychological background of the student. Sometimes tend to feel that they are entitled to some services because the student is ESE. Teacher’s Role: Interpret existing IEP requirements (if appropriate). Assist in the development of a daily schedule for the student while at school. Provide options and ideas. Ensures that the IEP is adhered to. School’s Role: Provide needed services. Maintain IEP and any supporting documentation. Review the IEP annually, or within the designated time stated within the IEP. Ensure that the students’ needs are being met, and to modify as needed and within the scope of IDEA. Transportation’s Role: Provide relevant information and suggestions to the IEP Team regarding the transportation needs of the student. Participate with an open mind and willing to compromise regarding the students’ transportation needs. Agree to only feasible, economic and realistically attainable goals. Transportation’s Role (con’t): Provide professional and knowledgeable insight into geography of proposed bus stop location (bring supporting documentation to the IEP meeting). Provide a realistic time frame for implementation of specialized transportation (within the federal law). Writing The IEP: Identify the students’ disability or disabilities. Identify the academic needs of the student and what classes and activities the student needs, ensuring that there is no violation of Free and Appropriate Public Education (FAPE). Basic “core” information is noted in the beginning of the multi page IEP. Writing The IEP (con’t): The IEP Team then moves on to the behavioral needs of the student, identifying potential issues and steps to be taken to correct it (sometimes a separate document called a Behavioral Intervention Plan). The IEP Team then addresses the Related Services section of the IEP, identifying the needed non-academic support services. Writing The IEP (con’t): If applicable, the dietary needs of the student are written into the IEP. If applicable, the transportation needs of the student is written into the IEP. Usually the last portion of the IEP document is notes, instructions, and any comments, oppositions, future ideas, IEP review date and IEP team members, titles and signatures. Transportation As A Related Service Basic transportation needs are identified. AM/PM Bus Stop location(s). Equipment needs (Lift bus, Safety Vest, CSRS, A/C, tinted windows, etc.). Bus Attendant or Monitor needs. If applicable, the seating location for the student on the bus. Any add-on safety items not standard for the bus (Padded windows, etc.). IEP Overview The IEP document itself is legally binding and considered a Federal document. Violations of the IEP are a violation of Federal Law. A properly written IEP will contain all the information needed to answer any questions that anyone would ask (ie: auditor, lawyer, receiving school district, etc.). IEP Overview (con’t) IEP is confidential. Complete IEP should be maintained at the school. Transportation Request Forms are not “legal” parts of the IEP. They should be considered addendums or supporting documentation. IEP Overview (con’t) Transportation should maintain the Transportation Request Form and a copy of the Related Services section of the IEP. All documents must be secured and in a locked location.