Laws & Guidance SPECIAL EDUCATION & REHABILITATIVE SERVICES
OSEP Policy Documents Regarding the Education of Infants, Toddlers, Children and Youth with Disabilities

Individualized Education Programs

Disclaimer: Letters issued prior to Dec. 3, 2004, may not be consistent with the IDEA, as revised by P.L. 108-446. Letters issued prior to Aug. 14, 2006 may not be consistent with the final regulations for Part B published on that date at 71 Federal Register 46540. Readers are advised to consult with the current statute and final regulations.

Section 607 Reports as published in the Federal Register.

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Letter to New England Juvenile Defender Center President Christopher Northrop
May 21, 2013
Topic: Individualized Education Programs
Section of IDEA:
Part B—Assistance for Education of All Children with Disabilities; Section 614—Evaluations, Eligibility Determinations, Individualized Education Programs, and Educational Placements
MS Word (32KB) | PDF (69KB)


Letter to Dear Colleague
June 19, 2013
Topic: Individualized Education Programs
Section of IDEA:
Part B—Assistance for Education of All Children with Disabilities; Section 614—Evaluations, Eligibility Determinations, Individualized Education Programs, and Educational Placements
MS Word (32KB) | PDF (69KB)


Letter to Carol Ann Heath
August 21, 2009
Topic: Individualized Education Programs

Letter denying the request to waive the requirement for a measurable postsecondary goal in employment for students with disabilities who have severe medical conditions and developmental needs and denying the State’s request to exclude data on this population of students when reporting on the relevant State Performance Plan/Annual Performance Report indicator.
MS Word (42KB) | PDF (215KB)


Redacted letter
March 31, 2008
Topic: Individualized Education Programs

Letter clarifying that Part B of IDEA does not require that public agencies obtain parental consent within a specific time period when a child is referred for an evaluation.
MS Word (23KB) | PDF (134KB)


Redacted letter
March 31, 2008
Topic: Individualized Education Programs

Letter regarding how public agencies meet the requirements for notifying parents of the individuals who will be attending meetings of their child's IEP Team.
MS Word (23KB) | PDF (134KB)


Letter to Ronald Caplan
March 17, 2008
Topic: Individualized Education Programs

Letter regarding when it is appropriate to invite a representative of any participating agency likely to be responsible for providing or paying for transition services to an IEP Team meeting involving the consideration of the child's postsecondary goals and the transition services needed to assist the child in reaching those goals.
MS Word (23KB) | PDF (134KB)


Letter to Nan Gray
March 17, 2008
Topic: Individualized Education Programs

Letter regarding the requirement to obtain the consent of the parents or a child who has reached the age of majority prior to inviting a representative of any participating agency that is likely to be responsible for providing or paying for transition services to an IEP Team meeting involving the consideration of the child's postsecondary goals and the transition services needed to assist the child in reaching those goals.
MS Word (23KB) | PDF (134KB)


Letter to Linda Boswell
September 4, 2007
Topic: Individualized Education Programs

Letter regarding translation of IEP documents into a parent's native language.
MS Word (23KB) | PDF (134KB)


Letter to Pat Kelly
August 24, 2007
Topic: Individualized Education Programs

Letter clarifying when benchmarks or short term objectives must be included in the IEPs of students with disabilities who take alternate assessments aligned to alternate achievement standards.
MS Word (23KB) | PDF (134KB)


Letter to Suzy Arents
August 22, 2007
Topic: Individualized Education Programs

Letter clarifying that a private nonprofit entity has no obligation to develop IEPs for students with disabilities who have withdrawn from the public school program and who seek literacy services directly from a private nonprofit entity.
MS Word (23KB) | PDF (134KB)


Redacted letter
July 19, 2007
Topic: Individualized Education Programs

Letter regarding a State's proposed rules that relate to IEPs and other requirements in Part B of IDEA.
MS Word (23KB) | PDF (134KB)


Letter to Ms. Barbara Trader
October 19, 2006
Topic: Individualized Education Programs

Letter clarifying that the IDEA, while requiring the individualized education program team (IEP Team) to consider the use of positive behavioral inte rventions and supports, does not include a prohibition on the use of aversive behavioral interventions and that the decision whether to allow IEP Teams to consider the use of such interventions is a decision left to each state.
MS Word (32KB) | PDF (107KB)


Letter to Luther Jones, Esq.
June 6, 2006
Topic: Individualized Education Programs

Letter regarding when amendments to individualized education programs (IEPs) become effective and when the provisions of a prior IEP or subsequent IEP govern.
MS Word (23KB) | PDF (134KB)


Letter to Dr. Robin Jarvis
October 25, 2005
Topic: Individualized Education Programs
Letter regarding challenges faced by Louisiana in providing special education and related services to students with disabilities displaced by Hurricane Katrina, the flexibility that Louisiana has to establish state timelines for evaluating these students, and application of the requirements in Part B of IDEA relating to IEPs for transfer students; and informing Louisiana of specific extensions of the timelines for submission of documentation relating to its Federal Fiscal Year 2003 Annual Performance Report under Part B of IDEA and its SPP granted under the Secretary's transition authority in section 303 of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act of 2004.
MS Word (28KB) | PDF (134KB)


Letter to Dr. Melody Bounds
October 25, 2005
Topic: Individualized Education Programs

Letter regarding challenges faced by Mississippi in providing special education and related services to students with disabilities displaced by Hurricane Katrina, application of the requirements in Part B of the IDEA relating to individualized education programs (IEPs) for transfer students, and issues relating to waiver of other applicable requirements in Part B of IDEA; and informing Mississippi of a specific extension of the timeline for submission of its state performance plan (SPP) granted pursuant to the Secretary's transition authority in section 303 of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act of 2004.
MS Word (27KB) | PDF (120KB)


Letter to Ms. Kristen M. Serwecki
February 28, 2005
Topic: Individualized Education Programs

Letter regarding the role of a parent who is the subject of a protective order in the individualized education program (IEP) process, including whether a parent representative can attend an IEP meeting as a member of the IEP team in this circumstance.
MS Word (32KB) | PDF (115KB)


Letter to Mr. Karl A. Wilson
December 15, 2004
Topic: Individualized Education Programs
Letter responding to the state's interpretation of Utah State Office of Education Special Education Rule III.I.10, regarding documentation of accommodations necessary for students to have access to regular education, and clarifying that those accommodations must be included in the individualized education programs of students with disabilities who are eligible for services under Part B of IDEA.
MS Word (30KB) | PDF (90KB)


Letter to Daniel W. Morse, Esq.
October 2, 2003
Topic: Individualized Education Programs

Letter clarifying that a Section 504 plan that does not meet the specific individualized education program (IEP) requirements of Part B of the IDEA may not be used to substitute for an IEP.
MS Word (27KB) | PDF (136KB)


Letter to Ms. Rita Byrd
August 28, 2003
Topic: Individualized Education Programs

Letter clarifying that Federal regulations do not address the public agency's responsibility to make an employee of the agency, including a student's former teacher, available for IEP meetings.
MS Word (25KB) | PDF (82KB)


Redacted letter
July 25, 2003
Topic: Individualized Education Programs

Letter regarding which parties are responsible under the IDEA for developing, reviewing, and, if appropriate, revising the IEP and clarifying that the decision as to who is responsible for putting IEP team decisions in writing is made by the public agency.
MS Word (31KB) | PDF (138KB)


Redacted letter
June 4, 2003
Topic: Individualized Education Programs

Letter regarding the audio or video recording of IEP meetings.
MS Word (23KB) | PDF (334KB)


Letter to Sonja D. Kerr, Esq.
April 2, 2003
Topic: Individualized Education Programs

Letter clarifying that neither the IDEA nor the final regulations:

  1. address the ''write-up'' of the IEP (whether or not parents must be physically present when the IEP is written is a state issue), or
  2. prohibit the parties from using an IEP developed during a conciliation conference or from making offers of settlement or submitting such settlement offers to a hearing officer or court.

MS Word (23KB) | PDF (97KB)


Letter to Ms. Susan Given
February 4, 2003
Topic: Individualized Education Programs

Letter regarding factors that States may use in determining when extended school year services are appropriate under Part B.
MS Word (33KB) | PDF (73KB)


Letter to Honorable Dennis Moore
November 21, 2002
Topic: Individualized Education Programs

Letter regarding issues related to the graduation of a student with a disability, including transition planning, transition services, reevaluations and procedural safeguards.
MS Word (39KB) | PDF (128KB)


Letter to Dr. Anthony E. Sims
June 27, 2002
Topic: Individualized Education Programs

Letter clarifying that, although the Part B ''at no cost'' requirement does not preclude incidental fees normally charged to nondisabled students or their parents as part of the regular education program, it would be impermissible for a public agency to charge parents a fee for extended school year services if summer school services, for which incidental fees are charged, are not a part of the extended school year services provided to the student.
MS Word (63KB) | PDF (88KB)


Letter to Honorable Hillary Rodham Clinton
July 23, 2001
Topic: Individualized Education Programs
Letter clarifying that although federal rules do not disallow the presence of an attorney at an IEP meeting, participation by an attorney could create a potentially adversarial atmosphere and should be strongly discouraged.
MS Word (35KB)


Letter to Marilyn Shepherd, Ed.D.
July 2, 2001
Topic: Individualized Education Programs
Letter clarifying issues regarding the presence of media at individualized education program (IEP) meetings, including that, although parents or the agency have the discretion to invite individuals who have knowledge or special expertise regarding the child to participate at IEP meetings, members of the news media are not there as IEP team members who have knowledge or special expertise regarding the child and his or her specific IEP development in accordance with Part B, and their presence as observers during discussions of sensitive issues could be potential injurious to the interest of the child.
MS Word (24KB) | PDF (124KB)


Letter to Honorable Jo Ann Emerson
April 16, 2001
Topic: Individualized Education Programs

Letter agencies to provide eyeglasses to a student and the procedural safeguards available to parents who disagree with the content of their child's individualized education program.
MS Word (28KB) | PDF (174KB)


OSEP memo 00-19
June 30, 2000
Topic: Individualized Education Programs

Letter regarding guidance on the Part B IEP requirements for children with disabilities, including preschool-aged children.
MS Word (28KB) | PDF (174KB)


Letter to Robert B. Cormany
May 26, 2000
Topic: Individualized Education Programs

Letter regarding the use of school counselors as public agency representatives on the IEP team.
MS Word (28KB) | PDF (174KB)


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Last Modified: 10/02/2014