IEP & Instruction

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An individualized education program (IEP) is a written statement designed to meet a student’s unique needs and must be in effect:

  • at the beginning of each school year;
  • before special education and related services are provided for a student; and
  • as soon as possible after a parent consents to the IEP.

The IEP is a very important document for students with disabilities and for those who are involved in educating them. The IEP should provide information specific to the student and improve teaching, learning and results. Each student's IEP describes, among other things, the educational program that has been designed to meet their unique needs. State and federal regulations provide information on what must be included in the IEP, but do not specify any required form.

There are federal and state requirements for the IEP Team and content, which are provided in the Regulations Governing Special Education Programs for Children with Disabilities in Virginia (PDF).

Revisions to Regulations Governing Special Education Services for Children with Disabilities in the Commonwealth of Virginia

In 2021, the Virginia General Assembly passed several pieces of legislation that necessitated revisions to the Regulations Governing Special Education Programs for Children with Disabilities in Virginia (8 VAC 20-81-20 et seq.) (the Virginia Regulations). Accordingly, on September 23, 2021, the Virginia Board of Education approved the revisions to be effective November 24, 2021. The required revisions related to the Individualized Education Program (IEP) are summarized as follows:

  • If a school division develops a draft Individualized Education Program (IEP) prior to a scheduled IEP meeting, it shall provide such draft to the parents at least two business days in advance of such IEP meeting.

The text of the revisions are located on the Virginia Regulatory Town Hall website. Please note that an updated version of the Regulations Governing Special Education Programs for Children with Disabilities in Virginia (PDF) with the changes incorporated will be forthcoming. Refer to Superintendent’s Memo #330-21 (PDF) for more information.

IEP Online Training Modules

The free IEP online training modules focus on the development of a standards-based IEP and can be used as an individual or group training tool.

IEP Resources 

In support of Legislative requirements, the VDOE developed Models for Developing High Quality Present Level of Academic and Functional Performance Descriptions and Goals in a Standards-Based Individualized Education Program (PDF). This technical assistance document provides supplementary guidance on developing Present Levels of Academic and Functional Performance (PLAAFP) descriptions, goals, and objectives in a Standards-Based IEP, and includes examples of PLAAFPs and goals based on disability categories, as well as suggestions for professional development activities.

Learning Disabilities in Mathematics Resources

The Learning Disabilities in Mathematics page includes information and resources, as well as two VDOE companion guides: 

Co-teaching Mathematics Instructional Plans (MIPs)

Co-teaching Mathematics Instructional Plans – These plans utilize the six common co-teaching approaches, and contain suggestions as to how co-teachers can effectively utilize the expertise of each teacher to enhance lessons and activities in a co-taught classroom.

Self, Health, and Relationship Education (SHaRE) Consideration Guidelines

Legislation passed during the 2020 Virginia General Assembly session requires Individualized Education Program (IEP) Teams to consider the need for age-appropriate and developmentally appropriate instruction related to sexual health, self-restraint, self-protection, respect for personal privacy, and personal boundaries of others (§22.1-217.03). Under this legislation, the VDOE has developed guidelines to support IEP Teams in considering the need for this instruction when developing IEPs for students with disabilities.

Inclusive Practices Partnership Project

The Inclusive Practices Partnership Project was established in order to “recognize outstanding schools and/or educators who have developed programs that have been designed to ensure students with disabilities, especially those with more significant academic and behavior needs, have access to inclusive education with their peers in general education settings”. 

Visit the Inclusive Practices page for:

  • Videos
  • Webpages & Blogs
  • Demonstration Sites
  • Resources