What Is an Individual Education Plan?

An IEP is a written plan describing the special education program and/or services required by a particular student. It identifies learning expectations that are modified from or alternative to the expectations given in the curriculum policy document for the appropriate grade and subject or course, and/or any accommodations and special education services needed to assist the student in achieving his or her learning expectations. For additional information on creating or understanding the IEP, use the following Ontario Ministry of Education link:


The IEP can have a variety of focuses from academics, accommodations to behaviour and/or social skills. It is essential for students who have been identified as exceptional through the IPRC process. They are also used for students to whom the board feels require special education programs or support to meet curriculum expectations. The IEP is developed within the first 5 weeks of school. It is critical for teachers to seek out as much data about a student as possible (report cards, previous IEP, formal and informal assessments, OSR and any other diagnostic assessments that you are able to complete with a student).

The IEP is drafted by the classroom teacher (usually with support of a school’s Special Education Resource Teacher) and then shared with the parent/guardian for their feedback and finally signed and becomes the legal document by which a student is assessed. It is a detailed document that requires a lot of time to create. It is revisited after each assessment period and adjusted according the progress or lack of progress a student has made toward the target expectations.

This is a critical component to helping each and every child be successful as it epitomizes the need to teach to each child’s needs and not just to a curriculum standard. I highly advise that teachers take the time to familiarize themself with the IEP process.


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