See our list of commonly used acronyms
For additional guidance, see the Maine State IEP Procedural
Can the text fields of the IEP be expanded to accommodate all required information?
Each of the state-required forms, including the IEP, is available upon request from the Department in Word format, which will allow the fields to be expanded.
Would it be possible for Adori to develop the forms in portrait format as opposed to landscape?
The state-mandated forms must not be altered, therefore, the IEP must remain in landscape format.
When writing a new IEP, must the special education teacher and regular education teacher of the child write the IEP together?
The components of the IEP should be determined at the IEP meeting which must include a regular education teacher if the student is, or may be, participating in the regular education environment.
Why doesn't the IEP cover page include the type of meeting?
It is on the Written Notice and the Advance Written Notice of IEP/IFSP Team Meeting.
May a SAU extend an annual review if it cannot meet before the date on which a transfer student moves in and the group wants some time to access the student before the SAU assess annual goals?
SAUs are not allowed to extend an annual review date. Please refer to MUSER §IX.3.B.(5)(a)(i) and (ii) on the topic of IEP’s for children who transfer SAUs.
What about transfers from out-of-state who were residentially placed. How do you do a comparable IEP while evaluating?
The SAU should contact the sending district and placement to review the factors of the child’s safety within the specifics of the current placement. The receiving SAU should then move expeditiously to review evaluation data, determine if any additional evaluations are needed and develop an IEP which proposes the new placement.
If the IEP Team meets on a date significantly earlier than the annual review date and fully reviews the IEP, does the IEP that results from that meeting still retain the original annual review date?
There is a distinction between a meeting to amend the IEP and a meeting to review the IEP. If the meeting is to discuss only one or more elements of the IEP, but not a full review of the entire IEP, then any changes that result are amendments and the annual review date stays the same. If, on the other hand, the meeting involves a full review of the entire IEP, then the IEP Team may determine that the IEP that results from the meeting gets a new effective date and annual review date.
How may the IEP Team develop an IEP at an annual review meeting in the spring for the student’s program that will go into effect at the beginning of the following school year? May the IEP Team determine that the effective date of the IEP is not until September?
It is permissible for the IEP Team to develop an IEP that will not go into effect until some weeks or months into the future. Note, however, that the delayed implementation date will not affect the annual review date or the IEP expiration date, both of which must be within 364 days of that meeting. This is true even though it means that the IEP developed at that meeting will be in effect less than one year. For example, if the IEP Team meets on April 25, 2014, develops an IEP and determines that the effective date of the IEP will be Sept. 1, 2014, the annual review date will be April 24, 2015 (not Aug. 31, 2105) and on that date the IEP will expire. Alternatively, the IEP Team could develop an IEP to be implemented within seven days of the receipt by parents of the WN (or sooner if agreed to by parents), but that contains two lines for each of the services and related services - one that runs from date of IEP to Aug. 31 and one from Sept. 1 to date of expiration. A second alternative is to hold another IEP Team meeting closer to the start of the school year and fully review the student’s IEP at that time. This will change the annual review date to 364 days from the date of that subsequent meeting and bring the IEP start date into line with that date. As a matter of best practice, long delays between the development and implementation of an IEP should be avoided since by the time the IEP goes into effect the information considered by the IEP Team at the meeting will no longer be current.
For amended IEPs, do you change the date on the IEP cover page?
The effective date and annual review date stays the same. Page 1 of the IEP has a place to record the date(s) of the amendment(s).
Do we have to reconsider all components of the IEP when amending it?
No, it is permissible for the IEP Team to focus only on the components of the IEP being considered for amendment.
With an IEP amendment, do you complete the Written Notice and also issue a new IEP?
You must issue a Written Notice and write the amendment(s) on the previous IEP.
In IEP Section 1, “Parent Information” – shall the SAU merely put names or must the SAU also put addresses?
As much parent information as is available to the SAU should be provided in this space.
May Developmental Delay be used in Section 2 of the IEP for a student in Kindergarten?
Yes, if your SAU allows it. Please reference MUSER §VII.D for the definition and time line for Developmental Delay.
Consideration of special factors, Section 3.C: must a SAU provide an interpreter for ELL students?
If the child is limited English proficient and a child with a disability, the team must consider whether an interpreter is required.
Section 3.E: Speech/Language consultation with all teachers in our program on curriculum, instruction and literacy impacts all students, even students who are not identified as speech/language. Do we need to cite this in the IEP?
If the service is for all children, then the service is part of the general curriculum and would not be on an IEP. If the team determines that a specific eligible child needs consultation, then the team would reflect the consultation on that child’s IEP.
Section 3.F: Must the SAU check “Yes” if the technology used by the child is technology provided to all students, i.e., calculators, access to computers?
Yes, if the child needs the technology as a result of the child’s disability. The IEP must document the individual child’s needs, even when those needs are being met through regular education programming.
Where in the IEP do we report results of recent state and local assessment?
This information, when helpful to the Team developing the IEP, is recorded in the “Results” sections of Section 4.A, B and/or C.
Where are "student interests" best documented?
They should be included under "Strengths" in one of the Goal sections, unless the discussion is about interests as they relate to post-secondary goals and that should inform the development of Section 8.
Are Goals and Objectives no longer needed unless a student is taking alternate assessments?
Goals are needed for ALL students. Short-term objectives are required for students taking an alternate assessment aligned with alternate achievement standards.
Could you clarify what functional performance and functional goals might be for students who are not in life skills programs (e.g., students with LD)? Can you provide examples?
The definition in Chapter 101 states, "Functional performance means how the child demonstrates his/her skills and behaviors in cognition, communication, motor, adaptive, social/emotional and sensory areas.” Some functional goals might focus on executive functioning, work habits, time management, behavior management, or OT, PT or SLP-related needs. There may be children who do not require functional goals.
Functional performance- Does this cover performance away from school/classroom (Example: transitions; home-to-school peer relationships; athletics; cafeteria)?
The functional needs of the child include any activities during the school day, including bus transportation.
Do we need to reference the MLR or tie goals to MLR for all children in special education or does this only apply to grades 9-12?
Goals should be tied to MLR for children 5-20 and to the Early Learning Guidelines for children 3-5.
How specific do IEP goals need to be in terms of how they reflect Maine's Learning Results (MLR) standards?
The Department has issued a policy statement regarding standards-based IEP goals: http://maine.gov/doe/proficiency/standards/policystandardsbasedIEPgoals.pdf
How many goals should be included in an IEP for each special education area we are teaching?
There is no specific number, but there must be at least one goal for each identified area of need. The IEP Team should develop goals that are appropriate, measurable and attainable for the student in one year.
Should goals be developed for each content area which the student is being taught?
Goals should only be developed to address those needs created by the student’s disability. For example, a student in a history class may need a goal related to his/her reading disability, but would not need a goal addressing the history content.
When Social Work Services are listed in Related Services, are social workers responsible for generating goals for the IEP?
If there is an instructional purpose to this service, the IEP Team, with input from the social worker, would develop one or more goals for the service.
If a student is receiving transportation as a related service, must there be a goal corresponding to that service?
Please see the Department’s dispatch on this topic: http://mainedoenews.net/2014/03/12/additional-guidance-on-transportation-inclusion-in-iep/.
Do related services providers have responsibility to develop short-term objectives for students who take the alternate assessment?
No. Short-term objectives are only required for content areas in which the student is being assessed using an alternate assessment.
Are short-term objectives written for students with Intellectual Disability who are not taking alternate assessment?
IEP short-term objectives are only required for those students who are taking alternate assessment based on alternate achievement standards. The IEP team could add objectives if local policy allows.
May a SAU decide to develop short-term objectives for all children who are identified under Chapter 101 and attend the SAU’s public schools?
Yes, a SAU may decide to do that. The SAU must be aware that it is exceeding MUSER. If a SAU decides to do that, it would be advisable to add a statement about the decision to develop short-term objectives for all children attending the SAU’s public schools in the SAU’s special education policy.
If a student with disabilities who has always taken alternate assessments is a 12th grader, do short-term objectives still need to be used?
Short-term objectives are required in the year that the child is being assessed using alternate assessments in grades 3-8 and grade 11. A SAU may choose to develop short-term objectives in the year in which the child is not taking alternate assessments. [Please see the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services letter to Pat Kelly, August 24, 2007].
How often must the SAU measure progress?
The IEP Team decides on the frequency of IEP progress reports per MUSER §IX.3.A.(1)(c). Progress reporting must be no less frequent than academic progress reporting for the general education program. Best practice would have progress reports running concurrently with the issuance of report cards.
If a student drops out or non-attends, are we obligated to report progress towards goals?
Not attending and dropped out are handled differently. If the student has formally dropped out of school, the SAU is no longer required to provide FAPE. If the student has not been attending school, the SAU should attempt to discover why the student is not attending and convene an IEP team meeting to consider whether the student's placement and programming are appropriate. Be sure that the school has completed its obligation regarding the truancy statute in order to try to get the student to attend. Please review 20-A MRSA § 5001-A.2.B. on the exceptions to compulsory attendance.
Do all classroom modifications have to be listed separately in Section 5 of the IEP?
Yes, they should all be listed.
Where on the IEP do you put an educational technician service that is provided in the general environment for part or all of the day?
That would be put in Section 5 of the IEP.
Where would we reference provision of assistive technology?
If assistive technology is needed as a service, the IEP team would address this in Section 6 of the IEP. If the child needs an assistive technology device, the IEP team would address this in Section 5 of the IEP.
If the classroom modification is not needed every time, how do you write the frequency?
If the team determines that the modification is appropriate on an "as needed basis," then write “As needed” in the frequency column.
In the frequency of services on the IEP, may an SAU use "as determined by teacher and student"?
Not with reference to Special Education Services and Related Services in Section 6. “As needed” may be used as the frequency for supplementary aids and services in Section 5.
Please clarify Section 6: Speech and language in special education services vs. speech and language as a related service.
When the speech-language disability is the child’s sole or primary disability, the child is eligible for speech and language services as special education instruction. When it accompanies some other disability and the child needs speech and language services to benefit from special designed instruction to address that disability, then the child would receive those services as a related service.
When does a SAU use “Consultation” under Special Education Services in section 6?
When the consult service being provided would be listed as a special education service if it were provided directly to the child, then it would be listed under “Consultation.” This would include, for example, consult provided by a special education teacher to a regular education teacher. Consult services provided by a PT or OT, on the other hand, would be listed as a related service under “Other.”
If there are consultants from Baxter Outreach who provide consult services to SAUs, where should they be listed on the IEP?
This service should be listed as a related service under “Other” in Section 6.
On the new IEP, section 6, could Specially Designed Instruction say “in Math,” “in Reading,” “in Writing”, etc., so we can know in what content area the instruction is being provided?
If the IEP team wishes to articulate the specially designed instruction in the above skill areas, it may do so.
Head Start has a home-based program. Can that be considered as an educational setting to a child 3-5 years of age? Also, would the SAU document reasons in Section 7 of the IEP?
A home-based Head Start setting for a 3-5 year old is considered a home placement and would be a restrictive setting on the least restrictive environment continuum as stated at MUSER §X.2.C(1)(c). A center-based Head Start program is considered an inclusive early childhood program as long as it includes at least 50% non-disabled children and is a less restrictive a setting than the home for this age range. CDS would document the reason for the more restrictive setting in Section 7.
In the IEP, why is secondary transition listed last? It needs to be considered BEFORE Goals and Objectives.
The text box just before Section 4 (“Measurable Annual Goals”) directs that Section 8 (“Post-Secondary Transition Plan”) be completed before Section 4 when the child is in the 9th grade or is at least 16 years old.
Will we have to include pages 8 and 9 for students 3 years of age through 9th grade?
After Section 7, the IEP states: "If your child's IEP does not require a Post-secondary Transition Plan (Section 8), this will be the last page of your child’s IEP."
If the student's IEP goal plans are to stay in school until 20, does the transition plan still begin at 9th grade - does it continue for 3 or 4 years?
The transition plan must be developed when the student is in 9th grade or turns 16 (whichever is sooner), and must be updated annually until the student exits school.
If there is an area that does not need to be addressed on the transition plan, how is that indicated on the plan?
“N/A” may be an appropriate response for Sections 8C and G, and for “Independent Living Skills Goal” in Section 8D.
Post-Secondary goals - define? What are post-secondary goals?
The post-secondary goals are goals that the child will achieve after the child graduates from high school with a regular education diploma or ages out.
Do post-secondary transition goals need to be measurable?
Yes. While the school unit is not required to do the measurement, the U.S. Office of Special Education Programs requires each state to develop a method of collecting data to see if students with disabilities, after graduating from high school, actually achieve their post-secondary goals.
In IEP Section 9, may the SAU write in the projected date that the child will be informed of the transfer of rights?
No. If the child has not been informed yet, then “N/A” would be written here. The only date that may be written is the date the child was actually informed.
If rubrics or charts are mentioned in the goals as a way to measure the goal, do they need to be attached?
Attachment is not required, however, best practice would be to attach them so that parents and Team members would be able to easily reference them.
For a student who has a behavior intervention plan ("BIP"), must the plan document be attached to the student's IEP?
The Student's IEP must indicate provision of a BIP as a supplementary aid in Section 5, which in turn should be referenced in Section 3.B. It is not required, however, that the BIP be attached to the IEP. Doing so arguably makes the BIP a part of the IEP, therefore requiring an IEP Team meeting before changes can be made. Such a requirement would conflict with the nature of the BIP as generally a fluid document, subject to revision on an ongoing basis as the staff learns more about what works and doesn't work for the student or as the student's behavior or modifications change.
Does the Summary of Performance form need to be physically attached to the IEP?
No, the Summary of Performance is a separate document given to the student and not part of an IEP.
Which staff members should be informed of an initial IEP or amendments to an existing IEP?
Section IX.3.B.(4)(a) and (b) states, "Each SAU must ensure that the child’s IEP is accessible to each regular education teacher, special education teacher, related services provider and any other service provider who is responsible for its implementation and each teacher and provider described in paragraph (3)(a) a of this section is informed of his or her specific responsibilities related to implementing the child’s IEP and the specific accommodations, modifications and supports that must be provided for the child in accordance with the IEP."