• Individualized Education Program (IEP)

    • IEPs fall under the federal law, The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).  This law makes a free and appropriate public education (FAPE) available to eligible children with disabilities from birth through age 21. 


    • Children eligible could receive early intervening services between ages 0 through 2, and special education and related services between ages 3 and 21.


    • IDEA ensures that all children with disabilities can receive FAPE that emphasizes special education and related services, designed to meet their unique needs and prepare them for post-secondary education, employment and independent living. 


    • The child must first have a disability within one of the 13 disability categories, and the disability must impact the child’s educational performance and/or their ability to learn and benefit from the core general education curriculum. 


    • IEP is the roadmap for a child’s education at school through specialized instruction, and must address all of the student’s areas of need.


    • Services are provided at no cost to families.


    • Eligibility for an IEP is reviewed at least every three years as required by IDEA.


    • The IEP is to be reviewed annually before the current IEP expires as required by IDEA.


    How to request an IEP

      • Families interested in having their child evaluated for eligibility for an IEP under IDEA should put their request in writing to the school’s Special Education Administrator (SEA), High School Assistant Principal of Student Services, their Building Principal, Assistant Principal or even classroom teacher. 
    • For example:  I am writing to request an IEP evaluation for my child ___________ because I have the following concerns (please be as specific as to what your concerns are and how they impact your child.).

    • The school IEP team then has 14 school days to make a determination on if they intend to conduct an evaluation, or if they do not plan to conduct an evaluation. This timeline can be extended if it is agreeable to the family. 


    • Once the team makes the decision in conjunction with parent(s)/guardian(s) input regarding the evaluation, the team then has 60 school days to complete the evaluation, once parent(s)/guardian(s) have given written consent to conduct the evaluation.  


    • At the end of the evaluation, the team, in conjunction with parent(‘s)/guardian(‘s) input, will determine if the child meets the requirements outlined in IDEA to receive an IEP.  If the team agrees that the child is eligible for special education and related services, an IEP will be drafted and proposed to the parent(s)/guardian(s) for consideration and input.  This is the plan that outlines the child’s unique educational needs, IEP goals, and services the student will receive, based on the data collected during the evaluation process. 


    • Parent(s)/guardian(s) will be required to consent to the initial implementation of the IEP, but do not need to consent annually. The initial consent is in place unless a parent(s)/guardian(s) chooses to revoke consent for all services, which they can do at any time. 

    Notice of Procedural Safeguards for Parents/Guardians of Students with Disabilities: 

    • School District U-46 encourages all of our families to be fully informed of the rights afforded to them through IDEA. Parent(s)/guardian(s) should be provided access to a copy of the Procedural Safeguards at least annually.


    • A copy of the Procedural Safeguards in 12 languages can be found on the ISBE website HERE.
      • A copy can also be obtained from your building SEA or High School Assistant Principal of Student Services.

    Students with disabilities who do not qualify for an individualized education program, as required by the federal Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, may qualify for services under Section 504 of the federal Rehabilitation Act of 1973 if the child (i) has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities, (ii) has a record of a physical or mental impairment, or (iii) is regarded as having a physical or mental impairment. 

    At the District level, Individual Education Plans are overseen by the Specialized Student Services Department. Specifically, including the Director of Specialized Student Services and the Assistant Directors for Operations, and Instruction and Compliance. If you have questions and/or concerns that cannot be addressed at the Building level, please contact the Specialized Student Services Department at 847-888-5000 extension 5065.

504 vs. IEP
IEP Evaluation Timeline