(See Overview in the Introduction for more information on the SPP.)
To describe who is required to participate in the development of a child's individualized education program (IEP) and what type of information each participant can, at a minimum, contribute.
The following terms are defined as they are used in rules 3301-51-01 to 3301-51-09 and 3301-51-11 of the Administrative Code:
(32) IEP team
"Individualized education program team" or IEP team means a group of individuals described in paragraph (I) of rule 3301-51-07 of the Administrative Code that is responsible for developing, reviewing or revising an IEP for a child with a disability.
(42) Parent means:
a) A biological or adoptive parent of a child but not a foster parent of a child;
b) A guardian generally authorized to act as the child’s parent, or authorized to make educational decisions for the child (but not the state if the child is a ward of the state);
c) An individual acting in the place of a biological or adoptive parent (including a grandparent, stepparent, or other relative) with whom the child lives, or an individual who is legally responsible for the child's welfare; or
d) A surrogate parent who has been appointed in accordance with rule 3301-51-05 of the Administrative Code.
e) Except as provided in paragraph (B)(42)(f) of this rule, the biological or adoptive parent, when attempting to act as the parent under this rule and when more than one party is qualified under this rule to act as a parent, must be presumed to be the parent for purposes of this chapter of the Administrative code unless the biological or adoptive parent does not have legal authority to make educational decisions for the child.
f) If a judicial decree or order identifies a specific person or persons under paragraphs (B)(42) (a) to (B)(42)(c) of this rule, to act as the parent of a child or to make educational decisions on behalf of a child, then such person or persons shall be determined to be the parent for purposes of this rule.
(65) Ward of the state
Ward of the State means a child who, as determined by the state where the child resides, is:
(H) Definition of individualized education program
As used in this rule, the term “individualized education program” or "IEP" means a written statement for a child with a disability that is developed, reviewed, and revised in a meeting in accordance with paragraphs (H) to (L) of this rule.
(I) IEP team
The school district must ensure that the IEP Team for each child with a disability includes:
(I) IEP team
(2) Transition services participants
(D) Transition from Part C early intervention
A school district is responsible for the following activities related to transition for a child receiving "Help Me Grow" early intervention services under Part C of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, as amended by the Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act of 2004, December 2004 (IDEA):
(L) Development, review, and revision of IEP
(c) Requirement with respect to regular education teacher
A regular education teacher of a child with a disability, as a member of the IEP team, must to the extent appropriate participate in the development of the IEP of the child, including the determination of:
The IEP team must include:
At least one of the child's regular education teachers, if the child is, or may be, participating in the regular education environment;
If a child is not participating in regular education and is receiving home instruction, or is in a separate facility with only children with disabilities, there is no requirement for a regular education teacher at the IEP meeting. However, if the child will be returning to the regular education classroom in the near future, the district may want to include at the IEP meeting the teacher of the classroom to which the child will be assigned.
The parents are vital members of the IEP team and equal participants with school personnel in developing, reviewing and revising the IEP for their child. Parents have a personal stake in their child's future and can keep the team focused on future planning and the long-term needs of their child. With their knowledge of their child's strengths, weaknesses, interests, learning styles, and likes and dislikes, parents can help the team develop an appropriate IEP that will meet the unique needs of their child.
Only biological or adoptive parents, guardians, a person acting as a parent or a surrogate parent can serve as parents at an IEP meeting. If the parents are divorced, the custodial parent is considered the parent unless another person has educational rights. If more than one person is qualified to act as a parent, the biological or adoptive parent is qualified to be the parent unless he or she does not have legal authority to make educational decisions for the child.
If the child is a foster child, a ward of the state or in the custody of a public child-welfare agency, the agency responsible for the child (i.e., children's services, the caseworker, the court system, youth services, corrections) should be contacted by the intervention specialist or an administrator to determine who has the legal authority to make educational decisions for the child. If the entity that has the legal authority to make educational decisions for the child is a public or private agency that is providing care or supervision of the child, then the district of residence must appoint a surrogate parent. A public or private agency that cares for the child cannot be the "parent" under IDEA.
If the parent or guardians cannot be located, if the child is a ward of the state or if the child is an unaccompanied homeless youth, a surrogate parent may be needed. The district first determines if the child needs a surrogate parent. The school district of residence is responsible for assigning a surrogate parent as soon as possible but no later than 30 days of the date it is determined that the child needs the service. The juvenile judge may appoint a surrogate parent for a ward of the state. The surrogate parent represents the child in all aspects of the provision of FAPE including identification, evaluation and placement. (See Procedural Safeguards - 5.6 Surrogate Parents).
The role of the parents is to:
Due to the emphasis on the child's involvement and progress in the general education curriculum, the regular education teacher has an important role. At least one or more regular education teachers must be present if the child participates or may be participating in the regular education environment. The regular education teacher should be the teacher who is responsible for implementing a portion of the IEP, so the teacher can participate in discussions about how the child learns and can best be taught. If the child has more than one teacher, the district may ask the parents which teacher or teachers they would like to have invited to the IEP team meeting. The district should take the parents' input into consideration when it decides which regular education teacher or teachers to invite to the meeting. The attending regular education teacher or intervention specialist should seek input from teachers who will not be attending. The IEP team must ensure that any teacher who will be providing services is informed of the results of the meeting and receives a copy of the IEP.
The role of the regular education teacher, at a minimum, is to:
If the child has more than one intervention specialist, the school district may ask the parents which intervention specialist they would like to have invited to the IEP team meeting. The district should take the parents' input into consideration when it decides which intervention specialist or intervention specialists to invite to the meeting. This intervention specialist should be either the individual providing special education services to the child or the individual who is responsible for implementing the IEP. Other special education providers could be individuals providing a related service, such as speech and language therapy, occupational therapy or physical therapy. The attending intervention specialist(s) should seek input from teachers who may not be attending. The IEP team must ensure that any teacher who will be providing services is informed of the results of the meeting and receives a copy of the IEP.
The role of the intervention specialist is to:
Because an important part of developing an IEP is considering a child's need for related services, a related service provider is often involved as an IEP team member and shares his or her special expertise about the child's needs and how his or her own professional services can address those needs. The related service provider should be the individual who is, or may be, responsible for providing the related service. The parents or the school district may invite a related service provider to be a member of the IEP team. The IEP team must ensure that any related service provider who will be providing services to a child is informed of the results of the IEP meeting and receives a copy of the IEP.
The role of the related service provider, at a minimum, is to:
A special education administrator is generally the representative of the school district.
The district may also designate another district member of the IEP team, such as the building administrator, to serve as the agency representative if he or she is:
The school district representative must know what resources the school has available and who has the power to commit the resources needed so the services can be provided as described in the child’s IEP. The district representative, who may be the district special education director or supervisor, should attend all meetings including the following:
For annual reviews in which there is no issue pending, the building principal or a member serving another role on the team may represent the district. When the school principal represents the school district, he or she should assist the intervention specialist in facilitating the IEP meeting and checking all components of the IEP, including:
The role of the school district representative is to:
An individual who can interpret the instructional implications of the evaluation results must be included in the IEP team. This individual is essential to the IEP team because interpretations of data are necessary to formulate measurable, specific goals unique to the child. This may be a team member serving another role, such as the intervention specialist, related service provider, regular education teacher, district representative or other role.
Other roles of the individual who can interpret implications of evaluation results are:
These roles do not belong solely to the individual who interprets implications of the evaluation results. The parents and other IEP team members may also contribute to these roles.
Individuals who have knowledge or special expertise about the child are determined by the party who invites the individual to be a member of the IEP team. An invited person must know the child or have special expertise regarding the child's needs and strengths. (NICHY Building the Legacy Training Curriculum on IDEA Module 12).
If behavioral or mental health issues are a concern, the team should consider inviting someone with expertise in this area. This might be a school support person, such as a counselor, psychologist or mental health practitioner. Or the parent may choose to invite an outside psychologist or psychiatrist.
The role of other individuals who have knowledge or special expertise regarding the child is to provide information concerning:
A parent mentor may be invited to attend meetings to provide support and information to educational personnel and/or families. A parent mentor is a parent of a child with a disability employed by a school district to assist educational personnel and families by providing training, support and information services.
A state IEP facilitator may be invited to meet with the IEP team. A trained facilitator:
If transition service needs or postsecondary goals are being discussed, a representative of any agency likely to provide or pay for transition services must be invited, to the extent appropriate and with the consent of the parents or the child at the age of majority. These agencies may include, but are not limited to, county boards of MR/DD, Ohio Rehabilitation Services Commission (ORSC), Social Security, Children’s Services, juvenile or family court, Job and Family Services, and similar agencies. The purpose is to collaborate with these agencies to provide services as needed for the transition to post-school life.
At the initial IEP, when a child was previously served under Part C, at the parents' request, a Part C service coordinator or other representatives of the Part C system would provide information that would assist in the smooth transition of services.
If the child is in foster placement, the district where the biological or adoptive parents reside is responsible for ensuring an IEP is written and FAPE is provided to the child. The district where the child is placed must invite a representative from the district in which the biological or adoptive parents reside.
Whenever the team determines it is appropriate, the child should be an active participant in the IEP meeting. If children participate in their own IEP, they can share their interests and information about themselves and set their own goals, laying the foundation for the development of self-determination and self-awareness. Older children may lead their own IEP meeting. As appropriate, until the child reaches the age of majority and unless the rights of the parents to act for the child are terminated or otherwise limited, the parents are able to determine whether the child should attend an IEP meeting.
The child must be invited whenever appropriate and must be invited when the purpose of the meeting is to:
If the child does not attend the IEP meeting, the school district should take other steps to ensure that the child's preferences or interests are taken into consideration.
The rights of parents transfer to the child at age 18. Once these are transferred to the child, the child has the same right to participate in the IEP meetings and decisions that the parents have.