The Individualized Education Program (IEP) is a written statement of our plan to provide your child with a Free and Appropriate Public Education (FAPE) in the Least Restrictive Environment (LRE).

If you need assistance, including interpretation and translation, to understand your child’s IEP, please inform the IEP team. At your request, the IEP will be translated and an interpreter will be provided.

Least Restrictive Environment

This means that your child will be in schools and classrooms with non-disabled peers for as much of the day as possible. This is important because more time with non-disabled peers results in

  • Higher scores on math and reading tests;
  • Fewer absences from school;
  • Fewer referrals for disruptive behavior; and
  • Better outcomes after high school.


The IEP team, which includes you, will determine if your child is eligible for special education services and requires an IEP.

Eligibility for Preschool-Age Children

  • Read Moving to Preschool:

Eligibility for School-Age Children

Eligibility cannot be based on:

  • A lack of appropriate instruction in reading;
  • A lack of appropriate instruction in math; or
  • Limited English proficiency.

If your child is not eligible, an IEP will not be developed. Instead, information from the evaluation will be given to the principal of your child’s school. The principal can work with staff to help your child.

Disability Classifications

Students must be eligible for one of the 13 disability classifications as defined by the New York State Education Department’s Regulations of the Commissioner of Education: Part 200.


A developmental disability, significantly affecting verbal and nonverbal communication and social interaction that adversely affects educational performance. It is generally evident before age three. Other characteristics associated with autism are:

  • Engagement in repetitive activities and stereotyped movements
  • Resistance to environmental change or change in daily routines
  • Unusual responses to sensory experiences


A student with a hearing impairment that is so severe that the student is impaired in processing linguistic information through hearing, with or without amplification, that adversely affects the student’s educational performance.


A student with both hearing and visual impairments, the combination of which causes severe communication and other developmental and educational needs that cannot be accommodated in special education programs only for students with deafness or students with blindness.

Emotional Disturbance

A student who exhibits one or more of the following characteristics over a long period of time and to a degree that adversely affects the student’s educational performance:

  • An inability to learn that cannot be explained by intellectual, sensory, or health factors
  • An inability to build or maintain satisfactory relationships with peers and teachers
  • Inappropriate types of behavior or feelings under normal circumstances
  • A generally pervasive mood of unhappiness or depression
  • A tendency to develop physical symptoms or fears associated with personal or school problems

Hearing Impairment

An impairment in hearing, whether permanent or fluctuating, that adversely affects the student’s educational performance but is not included under the definition of deafness in this section.

Intellectual Disability

A student with significantly sub-average general intellectual functioning, existing concurrently with deficits in adaptive behavior and manifested during the developmental period that adversely affects that student’s educational performance.

Learning Disability

A disorder in one or more of the basic psychological processes involved in understanding or in using language, spoken or written, which manifests itself in an imperfect ability to listen, think, speak, read, write, spell or to do mathematical calculations. The term does not include learning problems that are primarily the result of visual, hearing or motor disabilities; of intellectual disability; of emotional disturbance or of environmental, cultural or economic disadvantage. The term does include such conditions as:

  • Perceptual disabilities
  • Brain injury
  • Minimal brain dysfunction
  • Dyslexia
  • Developmental aphasia

Multiple Disabilities

A student with concurrent impairments (such as intellectual disability–blindness, intellectual disability–orthopedic impairment, etc.), the combination of which causes educational needs that cannot be accommodated in a special education program solely for one of the impairments. The term does not include deaf-blindness.

Orthopedic Impairment

A severe orthopedic impairment that adversely affects a student’s educational performance. The term includes impairments caused by:

  • Congenital anomaly (clubfoot, absence of some member, etc.)
  • Disease (poliomyelitis, bone tuberculosis, etc.)
  • Other causes (cerebral palsy, amputation and fractures or burns which cause contractures)

Other Health Impairment

A student with limited strength, vitality or alertness, including a heightened alertness to environmental stimuli that results in limited alertness with respect to the educational environment, that is due to chronic or acute health problems, including but not limited to a heart condition, tuberculosis, rheumatic fever, nephritis, asthma, sickle cell anemia, hemophilia, epilepsy, lead poisoning, leukemia, diabetes, attention deficit disorder or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, or Tourette syndrome, which adversely affects that student’s educational performance.

Speech or Language Impairment

A student with a communication disorder, such as stuttering, impaired articulation, a language impairment or a voice impairment that adversely affects that student’s educational performance.

Traumatic Brain Injury

A student with an injury to the brain caused by an external physical force or by certain medical conditions such as stroke, encephalitis, aneurysm, and anoxia or brain tumors with resulting impairments that adversely affect that student’s educational performance. The term includes open or closed head injuries or brain injuries from certain medical conditions resulting in mild, moderate or severe impairments in one or more areas, including cognition, language, memory, attention, reasoning, abstract thinking, judgment, problem solving, sensory, perceptual and motor abilities, psycho-social behavior, physical functions, information processing and speech. The term does not include injuries that are congenital or caused by birth trauma.

Visual Impairment

An impairment in vision including blindness that, even with correction, adversely affects that student’s educational performance. The term includes both partial sight and blindness.

Contents of the IEP

The IEP must contain information about your child and the educational program designed to meet his or her unique needs. This information includes:

Present Levels of Performance

A description of how your child is currently doing in school. This includes:

  • Evaluation results
  • Academic achievement
  • Social development
  • Physical development
  • Management needs

If your child requires an accessible school building this will also be noted in this section. Find out more about the accessibility of DOE buildings:

Measurable Annual Goals

Academic, social, behavioral, and/or physical goals that can be reasonably accomplished in a school year.

Progress Reporting

A description of how your child’s progress will be measured and how you will be informed of that progress.

Recommended Special Education Programs and Services

A list of the programs and services your child will receive. This includes when they will begin, how often they will be provided, where they will be provided (in the classroom or some other school location), and how long they will be provided for.

Participation with Students without Disabilities

The extent to which your child will participate in the general education class and other school activities with non-disabled peers.

Participation in State and District-Wide Assessment

If your child will participate in State and district-wide assessments:

  • The IEP must list what, if any accommodations will be provided.
  • The IEP must specify if your child will be held to standard or modified promotion criteria. If modified promotion criteria are recommended, the IEP must describe that criteria.

If your child will not participate:

  • The IEP must state how your child’s progress will be measured including the New York State Alternate Assessment (NYSAA) Program.

Find out More

Diploma Objective

The IEP must state if your child is working toward a diploma (and, if so, which) and/or a commencement credential. Find out more:

Transition Services

Transition services must be part of the first IEP that will be in effect when your child is 15 years old. This refers to a coordinated set of activities, services, and supports that will support your child's movement from school to post-school activities with the goal of continued education, employment, and independent living.


If your child is an English Language Learner and requires English as a New Language (ENL) and/or bilingual services, this will be noted in the IEP. The language of instruction and service will also be listed on the IEP.

Consenting to Services

After the IEP is developed, we will ask you for written permission to start services. We will not arrange for any services to be provided until we receive your informed consent to do so.

You can withdraw your consent for special education services at any time. After withdrawing consent, you have the right to change your mind. If you later decide you want your child to be evaluated for special education services, you must write a new referral letter and give it to the school, CPSE, or CSE.

Annual Review

After your child has received special education services, an IEP meeting is held at least once each year to review your child’s progress. This is called an annual review. During the annual review the team will:

  • Discuss your child's progress toward his or her goals
  • Review the special education services provided
  • Determine services and goals for the following year

You may also request an IEP meeting. You should make that request in writing to your school, CPSE or CSE.


A reevaluation must be completed once every three years, unless you and the DOE agree in writing that it is not necessary. This is called a Mandated Three-Year Reevaluation (formerly called a Triennial).

If new assessments are needed, you will be asked to provide consent. Consent means you are giving your permission for an evaluation to determine continued eligibility.

All written reports will be shared with you when the reevaluation is completed. The IEP team will meet again to determine if any part of the IEP needs to be changed based on this new information:

A reevaluation can also be requested by you or school staff, but will not take place more than one time a year unless you and the DOE agree otherwise in writing.

Back to Top