Maryland Statewide Individualized Education Program (IEP) Process Guide July 2014  

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Initial Eligibility (Prior to Age 3)

Page 2 of the Statewide IEP form and format is ONLY for use for children under the age of 3
AND receiving early intervention from a local Infants and Toddlers Program


Under Maryland’s Early Childhood Intervention and Education Service Model, the Part B
eligibility determination outcomes are:


1. Children who are determined not eligible for Part B preschool special education and
related services; and
2. Children who are determined eligible for Part B preschool special education and
related services and will receive early intervention services under an IFSP; and
3. Children who are determined eligible for Part B preschool special education and
related services and will receive special education and related services under an IEP.
 

Prior to receiving services under Part B of IDEA or services through an Extended IFSP, an
Individualized Education Program (IEP) team must determine whether a child is a child with a
disability or developmental delay who requires special education and related services, in
accordance with Code of Maryland Regulations (COMAR) 13A.05.01.06B. This is referred to
as the eligibility determination. To make this eligibility determination, the local school system
or public agency is required to assess and evaluate the child within 60 calendar days of the
parent’s consent to evaluate the child.
 

To conduct an evaluation, the local school system or public agency must first conduct an
assessment. In accordance with COMAR 13A.05.01.03B(3), an assessment is the process
of collecting data to be used by the IEP team to determine a student's need for special
education and related services. Following an assessment, it is the responsibility of the child’s
IEP team to conduct the evaluation. In accordance with COMAR 13A.05.01.03B(25), an
evaluation is the process of an IEP team and other qualified professionals, as appropriate,
meeting to review information from the child’s parent, existing data, results of assessment
procedures used to determine whether a child has a disability, and the nature and extent of
the special education and related services that the child needs.

Eligibility as a Student with a Disability

Indicate:
YES – If IEP team determines the student is a student with a disability requiring the provision of special education services;
NO – If the IEP team determines the student is NOT a student with a disability requiring the provision of special education services.
[34 C.F.R. §300.306(c)]

Indicate Primary Disability

Although it is possible that a student may have more than one disability, enter the disability most indicative of the student’s primary disability. A student evaluated and determined by an IEP team to be a student with a disability or a student with a developmental delay, who, because of the disability requires special education and related services as listed below:
• Autism,
• Deaf-blindness,
• Deafness,
• Developmental delay, for students three through seven,1
• Emotional disability,
• Hearing impairment,
• Intellectual disability,
• Multiple disabilities,2
• Orthopedic impairment,
• Other health impairment,
• Specific learning disability,
• Speech or language impairment,

• Traumatic brain injury, or
• Visual impairment, including blindness
 

 

NOTE:
1 Please refer to local policies, procedures, and practices relative to students with a developmental delay.
2 1. Specify each disability from any of the three categories of disabling conditions the student’s IEP team identifies as concomitant that causes such severe educational problems that the student cannot be accommodated in special education instructional services solely for one of the impairments.
Cognitive includes: Autism, Emotional Disability, Intellectual Disability, Specific Learning Disability, Speech or Language Impairment, and Traumatic Brain Injury.
Sensory includes: Deaf-Blindness, Deafness, Hearing Impairment, and Visual Impairment including Blindness.
Physical includes: Orthopedic Impairment, and Other Health Impairment.
2. Concomitant means happening or existing along with or at the same time as something else.
3. A student is not required to be identified as a student with an intellectual disability as one of the disabilities.

[34 C.F.R. §300.300.8]

Document Basis for Decision(s) (required)

A required text field for an IEP team to provide additional information to document the basis of the IEP team’s decision. If addressed properly, documentation will meet requirements of prior written notice (PWN), in accordance with 34 C.F.R. §300.503 and COMAR 13A.05.01.12, PWN includes:
• A description of the action proposed or refused;
• An explanation of why the public agency proposes or refuses to take the action;
• A description of the options the public agency considered and the reason the options were rejected;
• A description of each assessment procedure, test, record, or report the public agency uses as a basis for the proposal or refusal;
• A description of any other factors relevant to the proposed or refused action;
• A list of sources a parent may contact to obtain assistance in understanding the provisions of IDEA; and
• If an action proposed by a public agency also requires parental consent, a public agency may provide notice at the same time it requests consent.

[20 U.S.C §1415; 34 C.F.R. §300.503; COMAR 13A.05.01.12]

Date of Parent Consent for Initial Evaluation

A public agency must obtain written parental consent before conducting assessment procedures, if additional data is needed to determine the student’s initial eligibility for special education services under IDEA. An IEP team must complete an initial evaluation to determine the student’s eligibility for services as a student with a disability within 60 (calendar) days of receiving parental consent.

NOTE:
Identify the date of parental consent and compare that date to the date of the IEP team’s determination of the student’s eligibility for services. There should be no more than 60 calendar days between the two dates. If the date of the IEP team meeting to determine the student’s eligibility for initial services under IDEA exceeds 60 calendar days from the date of parental consent to conduct assessments, the IEP is required to provide an explanation for the delay that resulted in noncompliance. Refer to Reasons for Delay.

• If a student is a ward of the State and not residing with a parent, reasonable efforts shall be made to obtain parental consent (does not include a student with a foster parent). Parent consent is not required if the parent cannot be found, parental rights have been terminated, or a judge has appointed an individual with educational authority. As a ward of the State, the student may require the appointment of a parent surrogate.

[34 C.F.R. §300.300COMAR 13A.05.01.06]

Date of Initial Evaluation

A student with a suspected disability who may need special education shall be referred, in writing, by a parent of a student or a public agency to an IEP team. The written referral begins an overall 90-day timeline for completion of the initial evaluation. Within this timeframe the student’s initial evaluation must be completed within 60 calendar days of parental consent to conduct assessments.

[34 C.F.R. §300.300COMAR 13A.05.01.06A]

Date of Parent Consent - Continue Early Intervention Services through an IFSP at age 3

Before the age of three, if a child with a current IFSP is determined eligible for special education and related services, the child’s family may choose for their child:
• The Maryland Extended IFSP Option – The child and family would continue to receive early intervention services with an educational component that promotes school readiness and incorporates preliteracy, language, and numeracy skills through an IFSP until the child enters kindergarten, or is eligible to enter kindergarten under Maryland law; or

• Special education preschool services through an Individualized Education Program (IEP) as a student with a disability.

Date of Initial IEP Development

Complete only if the child is determined eligible for Part B preschool special education and related services and the child’s family chose for their child to receive special education and related services through an IEP.

The IEP must be developed within 30 days of the date the student is determined eligible and in need of specialized instruction under IDEA.

[34 C.F.R. §300.323(c); COMAR 13A.05.01.08A(1)]

Date of Parent Consent for Initiation of Services

Complete only if the child is determined eligible for Part B preschool special education and related services and the child’s family chose for their child to receive special education and related services through an IEP.

An IEP team shall obtain written parental consent before the initial provision of special education and related services to the student. (Statewide IEP, pg 21, “Consent for Initiation of Services”)

[ 34 C.F.R. §300.300(b); COMAR 13A.05.01.13B(1)]

NOTE:
IDEA prohibits a public agency from providing special education and related services to the student if the parents fail to respond or do not provide consent to initiate services. The IDEA gives parents the ultimate choice as to whether their student should receive special education and related services. IDEA relieves public agencies of any potential liability for failure to convene an IEP team meeting or for failure to provide the special education and related services for which consent was requested but withheld. Beyond consent for initiation of services, parental consent for services is not required.

[34 C.F.R. §300.300(b)(4); COMAR 13A.05.01.13B(2)-(5)]

Date of Initial IEP in Effect

Complete only if the child is determined eligible for Part B preschool special education and related services and the child’s family chose for their child to receive special education and related services through an IEP.

A public agency shall ensure that an IEP is in effect before special education and related services are provided to the student with a disability within its jurisdiction.

A public agency shall have an IEP in effect for a student with a disability at the beginning of a school year. A public agency shall implement the student’s IEP as soon as possible after the meeting where the IEP is developed or revised. Exceptions include:
• When the meeting occurs during the summer or a vacation period;
• When there are circumstances that require a short delay, such as arranging for the provision of transportation.

NOTE:
If the student’s IEP is in effect AFTER the student's third birthday, the IEP team is required to explain WHY the effective date of the student IEP violates federal and State requirements.

Each public agency, as applicable, will participate in transition planning conferences arranged by the designated local Infants and Toddlers Program.

[34 C.F.R. §300.124; COMAR 13A.05.01.08A(2)]

NOTE:
Incarcerated in an adult correctional facility includes a student, 6-21 years old, who receives special education in State or local correctional facilities, including:
• Short-term detention facilities (community-based or residential), or
• Correctional facilities.

Transition from Infants and Toddlers (Part C) to Preschool (Part B)

Indicate:

YES – If the student is a toddler, between 30 – 36 months of age, transitioning from Part C to Part B as a student with a disability or developmental delay.

NO – For all other students.

Each local school system shall convene an IEP team meeting to determine if a student in transition from a Local Infants and Toddlers program (LITP) has a disability that requires the provision of special education and related services.

NOTE:
• If the child is determined eligible for preschool special education services and the child’s family does not choose the Extended IFSP Option, the child will be referred to the local school system IEP team for the development of an IEP to address the child’s special education and related services needs.
• For children exiting Part C at age three who are determined to be eligible for Part B services, and the child’s family does not choose the Extended IFSP Option, an IEP must be developed and in effect on or before the student’s third birthday.
• If the IEP team meeting occurred after the student’s third birthday, the IEP team must document the reason for the delay.
• The date of the initial IEP development and the date of the initial IEP is in effect may be the same or different, but in no case beyond the date of the student’s third birthday, unless good cause for the delay is documented. Refer to Reason for Delay.

Therefore all steps in the process – eligibility determination, and if found eligible, development of the IEP, and parental consent for initiation of services – must be completed prior to the actual date the child turns three years of age.

Reason(s) for Delay of Initial Evaluation

Select one of the following, if applicable:

• Eligibility not determined due to withdrawal of consent, moved from district, child unavailable as a result of chronic condition or illness;

• Initial Evaluation prior to age 3:

  • Parent repeatedly failed or refused to make the child available
  • Parent refusal to provide consent caused delay in evaluation or initial services
  • Parent requested delay - Parent and IEP team extend the timeframe by mutual written agreement
  • School /Facility Closure
  • Inclement weather
  • Other:
    • Staffing issues
    • Paperwork error
    • Inconclusive testing results
    • Other, please specify: _____________________________

NOTE:
The IEP team must document the reason for delay when:
• The student transitioning from Part C to Part B’s IEP is NOT developed AND in effect on or before the student's third birthday. [State Performance Plan Indicator 12]

School Closure

NOTE:
School Closure is applicable only in the event that the school is closed for an entire day or part of a day for unanticipated reasons such as, but not limited to, power outage, water outage, natural disaster, or other exceptional circumstance, as determined necessary by the local school system or public agency. In the event of such a closure, the school is expected to facilitate and maintain communication with the parent to reschedule the meeting at a mutually agreeable time for the parent and school. If this rescheduled meeting occurs beyond the required timeline, the IEP team is to document that the parent was notified of the:

• Local school system’s/Public agency’s need to reschedule the meeting beyond a compliance timeline as a result of the unexpected school closure; and
• Any compliance timeline standards.

It is advised that all meetings be initially scheduled well within established timelines to allow for the possibility of an unexpected need to reschedule a meeting.

Inclement Weather

NOTE:
Inclement Weather is applicable only in the event that the school is closed for an entire day, delays the opening of school, or dismisses school early as a result of severe weather, as determined necessary by the local school system or public agency. In the event of school being closed, delayed opening or early dismissal, the school is expected to facilitate and maintain communication with the parent to reschedule the meeting at a mutually agreeable time for the parent and school. If this rescheduled meeting occurs beyond the required timeline, the IEP team is to document that the parent was notified of the:

• Local school system’s/Public agency’s need to reschedule the meeting beyond a compliance timeline as a result of the unexpected delay in opening school or the early dismissal; and
• Any compliance timeline standards.

It is advised that all meetings be initially scheduled well within established timelines to allow for the possibility of an unexpected need to reschedule a meeting.

Two Applicable Scenarios Initial Eligibility PRIOR to Age 3

1.  Student is transitioning from C to B and getting an IEP at age 3 (Fill out left hand column)

1. Choose “Yes” to “Is this student transitioning from Infants and Toddlers (Part C) to Preschool (Part B) and receiving services through an IEP?”
2. Green dates should be filled in.
3. Red dates should not be filled in.
4. Reason for delay required if “Date of initial evaluation” > “Third Birthday”

 

2. Student was in Part C, found eligible for B, and is Continuing Early Intervention Services through an IFSP at age 3

1. Choose “No” to “Is this student transitioning from Infants and Toddlers (Part C) to Preschool (Part B) and receiving services through an IEP?”
2. Green dates should be filled in.
3. Red dates should not be filled in.
4. Reason for delay should not be filled in because eligibility determination must be made by age 3 and no later for child to take part in Extended Part C Option.
5. This child is Eligibility 6. The rest of the IEP would not need to be filled out.

Extended IFSP

Reason(s) for Delay of IEP in Effect by Age 3

Select one of the following, if applicable:

• Eligibility not determined due to withdrawal of consent, moved from district, child unavailable as a result of chronic condition or illness;

• Initial IEP in effect by age 3:

If IEP not in effect by age 3, indicate reason for delay:

  • Parent repeatedly failed or refused to make the child available
  • Parent refusal to provide consent caused delay in evaluation or initial services
  • Parent requested delay - Parent and IEP team extend the timeframe by mutual written agreement
  • School /Facility Closure
  • Inclement weather
  • Other:
    • Staffing issues
    • Paperwork error
    • Inconclusive testing results
    • Other, please specify: _____________________________

NOTE:
The IEP team must document the reason for delay when:
• The student transitioning from Part C to Part B’s IEP is NOT developed AND in effect on or before the student's third birthday. [State Performance Plan Indicator 12]

School Closure

NOTE:
School Closure is applicable only in the event that the school is closed for an entire day or part of a day for unanticipated reasons such as, but not limited to, power outage, water outage, natural disaster, or other exceptional circumstance, as determined necessary by the local school system or public agency. In the event of such a closure, the school is expected to facilitate and maintain communication with the parent to reschedule the meeting at a mutually agreeable time for the parent and school. If this rescheduled meeting occurs beyond the required timeline, the IEP team is to document that the parent was notified of the:

• Local school system’s/Public agency’s need to reschedule the meeting beyond a compliance timeline as a result of the unexpected school closure; and
• Any compliance timeline standards.

It is advised that all meetings be initially scheduled well within established timelines to allow for the possibility of an unexpected need to reschedule a meeting.

Inclement Weather

NOTE:
Inclement Weather is applicable only in the event that the school is closed for an entire day, delays the opening of school, or dismisses school early as a result of severe weather, as determined necessary by the local school system or public agency. In the event of school being closed, delayed opening or early dismissal, the school is expected to facilitate and maintain communication with the parent to reschedule the meeting at a mutually agreeable time for the parent and school. If this rescheduled meeting occurs beyond the required timeline, the IEP team is to document that the parent was notified of the:

• Local school system’s/Public agency’s need to reschedule the meeting beyond a compliance timeline as a result of the unexpected delay in opening school or the early dismissal; and
• Any compliance timeline standards.

It is advised that all meetings be initially scheduled well within established timelines to allow for the possibility of an unexpected need to reschedule a meeting.