IEP Evaluation

Do-It-Yourself IEP Evaluation Tool

Follow these guidelines:

  • Have a copy of your child’s IEP in front of you.
  • Begin by determining if your child’s IEP has the eight required elements (listed in detail below) specified by the federal regulations (IDEA-2004).
  • Use a highlighter and mark the eight critical areas within your child’s IEP.
  • Once you highlight the eight areas, apply our examples to your child’s IEP. It’s a good sign if the areas are similar.

If your IEP seems vastly different from our examples below, consider scheduling a meeting with your child’s IEP team to review IEP goals and IEP objectives appropriate for your child.


1. Every IEP must have “present levels of academic achievement and functional performance.”

Well written example:
Lucy can speak in complete sentences and has age appropriate conversational vocabulary. She likes to participate in class, raising her hand to answer questions. She seldom needs clarification for directions and can stay on task during an assignment ( up to 10 minutes). Student often responds very rapidly and when she does, her speech is somewhat hard to understand. If the listener is familiar with the student and the subject matter, then she may be more understandable. She needs constant reminders to slow her speech down especially when she is working in a group with her peers. Per the reports of her teachers and parents, Lucy’s speech disability appears to greatly impact her educational setting during general  conversational settings, peer interactions, and understanding of expectations.

Non-Example:
Scaled score of 7 on WAIS-IV Vocabulary subtest
Earned 3 A’s and 1 B last year in English class


2. Every IEP must have “measurable annual goals.”

Well written example:
Give direct, specialized instruction over a nine week period, Lucy will increase her speech clarity to 80% with no more than 1 prompt during 5 individual small group setting activities.

Non-Example:
By May, 2012, student will demonstrate speech clarity to 80% accuracy with 1 prompt in 3 out of 5 trials in a small group activity.


3. Every IEP must have a “process for measuring progress toward the annual goals.”

Well written example:
Lucy will learn and apply self monitoring tools to slow down her speech during peer activities. Evaluations will occur in general and special education settings. General education teachers, special education teachers, and paraprofessionals will report progress monthly.

Non-Example:
Student will repeat the phrase or sentence at a slower rate.
Student will use /sh/, /ch/, and /j/ sounds correctly in short conversations.


4. Every IEP must contain statements related to “special education, related services, supplementary aids, and services based on peer-reviewed research to the extent practical and program modification or supports for school personnel.”

Well written examples:
Accommodations, Assistive technology, Community Experiences, Post School Life Objectives, Program Modifications, Specialized Curriculum, Supports for School personnel, Accessible Formats
Services are what a child needs in order to progress in the general education curriculum or least restrictive environment. Special education services, activities and supports are provided to students with IEPs in order for individual to:

– Advance appropriately toward attaining the annual goals;

-Be involved and progress in the general curriculum;

-Be educated and participate with other individuals with disabilities and nondisabled students;

-Participate in extracurricular and other nonacademic activities; and

-By age 14, pursue the course of study and post-high school outcomes (living, learning and working)

Non-Example:
Leaving this area blank.
Using vague terms such as “when or as needed, on demand, as necessary, based on current best practices.”


5. Every IEP must have “an explanation of the extent, if any, to which the child will not participate with nondisabled children.”

Well written example:
The IEP team determines the services required to address the individual’s needs and the environments where these services will be provided. The IEP team is responsible for ensuring:
Supports are available to teachers and other personnel that allow individuals with disabilities to be educated with their nondisabled peers;
All areas of special education, support and related services are considered;
All Least Restrictive Environment (LRE) decisions are documented on the IEP form;
Least Restrictive Environment is considered at least annually. However, an individual’s needs may change and need to be reconsidered more frequently by the IEP team;
The IEP includes an explanation of the extent, if any, to which the individual will not participate with nondisabled individuals in the general education settings and in extracurricular and nonacademic activities; and
The Least Restrictive Environment is determined with consideration of any potentially harmful effect on the individual, the individual’s peers, and the quality of services that he or she needs.

Non-Example:
All services are provided in the self-contained classroom.
The student will participate in general education activities as appropriate.
All services are provided in the general education classroom with the exception of when services are provided in special education.
The student will participate in field trips with general education students.


6. Every IEP must have “appropriate accommodations that are necessary to measure academic achievement and functional performance of the child on state and district-wide assessments as well as a statement of any needed alternative assessments on a particular state or district-wide assessment.”

Well written example:
The decision regarding how a student participates in district-wide assessment should be based on whether:
-The child has a significant cognitive disability.
-The student cannot generalize knowledge and skills across educational settings.
-The grade level content and complexity has been adjusted significantly.
-The instructional methodology for the student is significantly different from that used with grade level peers.

Non-Example:
The participation in district-wide assessment decision should not be based on such things as:
Expectations and poor performance;
Low achievement in general education;
Poor attendance; or
Location where the child receives services.


7. Every IEP must have “the projected date for the beginning of services and modification, the anticipated frequency, location and duration of these services and any modifications.”

Well written example:
Start date: 10/10/12 Location: Mrs. Smith’s 4th grade class; Mr. Harris’ Special Ed Resource Room; All general education specials

Frequency: daily; twice weekly Duration: 30 minutes/day; 60 minutes/week

Non Example:
Start date: ASAP
Location: special education
Frequency: as needed / intensive and immediate
Duration: twice a week


8. Every IEP must have “a statement that by age 16 measurable postsecondary goals, based on age appropriate transition assessments, are developed. These are related to training, education, employment and where appropriate independent living skills and transition services needed to help the child to reach goals. There must be a statement related to transfer of right no later than one year before child reaches age of majority.”

Well written example:
Desired school/post-school outcome:
Student will continue attending high school in the Excel Program. She will learn skills that should allow her to function independently in a job setting. Student would like to work as a massage therapist or work at a radio or TV station.

Non Example:
Student will graduate with assistance and live independently. Student will locate resources to find a job.