IEP Information

Contents of the IEP


IEP stands for “individualized education program.” An IEP is a written statement for a child with a disability that is developed, reviewed, and revised in a meeting in keeping with certain requirements of law and regulations. These requirements are discussed in this section.

The Big Picture

Before diving into the specifics of what must be included in an IEP, it’s important to consider the “Big Picture” of the IEP—its purposes, how it serves as a blueprint for the child’s special education and related services under IDEA, and the scope of activities and settings it covers.

The IEP has two general purposes: (1) to establish measurable annual goals for the child; and (2) to state the special education and related services and supplementary aids and services that the public agency will provide to, or on behalf of, the child. When constructing an appropriate educational program for a child with a disability, the IEP team broadly considers the child’s involvement and participation in three main areas of school life:

  • the general education curriculum,
  • extracurricular activities, and
  • nonacademic activities.

By general education curriculum, we mean the subject matter provided to children without disabilities and the associated skills they are expected to develop and apply. Examples include math, science, history, and language arts.

When we talk about extracurricular activities and nonacademic activities, we’re referring to school activities that fall outside the realm of the general curriculum. These are usually voluntary and tend to be more social than academic. They typically involve others of the same age and may be organized and guided by teachers or other school personnel. Examples: yearbook, school newspaper, school sports, school clubs, lunch, recess, band, pep rallies, assemblies, field trips, after-school programs, recreational clubs.

The IEP can be understood as the blueprint, or plan, for the special education experience of a child with a disability across these school environments.