Don't Be Afraid of the Letters I.E.P.

posted 3/20/24 -- Your child’s teacher has expressed concerns about his development and now you’ve heard those three intimidating letters: I.E.P.

Fear not. Those letters could be the keys to success for you and your child. The Individualized Education Plan (IEP) process is designed to create a support system around the student and empower parents and teachers to help them succeed.

An IEP is a legal document, unique to each child, which allows the local school district to provide specialized instruction, support and services to children who may need additional assistance in certain areas to strengthen skills.

What is the Process?

Head Start provides a number of different screenings which will be discussed between teacher and parents. Concerns expressed - by either you or the teacher - may warrant evaluation by specialists and referrals to your local school district. The school district representative will interview parents about the child’s health, development and the concerns they have. They will also assess the child at play and make observations. The school district representative will decide whether to move forward with the referral process.

The next step will be a team meeting. You, your Head Start teacher, the school district’s psychologist, and possibly other staff will develop a plan and set goals for your child. The services your child will receive and a schedule for them will also be determined at that point.

If your child qualifies for an IEP, a teacher from your local school district will provide services at their Head Start site. Having early intervention support can truly impact your child’s transition into kindergarten and set them up for success at an early age.

Remember, YOU are your child’s first teacher, and you have the power and support to give them a Head Start to be successful! If you have further questions about your child’s development or referral, please reach out to Julie Charles, Disabilities Manager at 440-204-3124.