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

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Initial Elgibility (Student Ages 3-21)

Page 3 of the Statewide IEP form and format is to be used for:

• Child transitioning from a local Infants and Toddlers Program ON or AFTER the child’s third birthday; and
• Students ages three (3) through 21 NOT transitioning from a local Infants and Toddlers Program.

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]
 

Reason(s) for Delay of Initial Evaluation

The student's initial evaluation is required to occur within 60 days of the date of parental consent for evaluation [State Performance Plan Indicator 11]. If there is a delay in meeting this required compliance timeline, the IEP team must document the reason for the delay.

Select one of the following, if applicable:

• Eligibility not determined due to withdrawal, i.e., transfer, dropout, parent withdrew consent.

• Initial evaluation for student, ages 3-21

  • Parent repeatedly failed or refused to make the child available
  • Student is enrolled after 60-day timeframe began and prior to determination by LSS. Receiving LSS made sufficient progress to complete the evaluation and parent and LSS agreed to a specific time to complete the evaluation (All conditions must be met)
  • Parent requested delay - Parent and IEP team extend the timeframe by mutual written agreement
  • School/Facility Closure
  • Inclement weather
  • Other:
    • Child not available (not parent failure)/child refusal
    • Paperwork error
    • Staffing issues
    • Inconclusive testing results
    • Other, please specify: _________________________

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.
 

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

ON a child’s third birthday or AFTER, IF Initial evaluation was delayed, a child with a current IFSP is determined eligible for special education and related services, AND the family chose for their child to continue to receive early intervention services through an IFSP.

Date Local School System was Notified of Parent Decision to Request Services through an IEP

Enter date local school system was notified of the family's choice for their child to receive Part B special education and related services through an IEP.

Date Extended IFSP Services Ended

Enter date a child’s Extended IFSP Services ended.  Complete ONLY when a child’s Extended IFSP Services end.

Date of Initial IEP Development

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

An IEP team shall obtain written parental consent before the initial provision of special education and related services to the student. (Statewide IEP, pg 26, “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

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, 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.

If the parent fails to respond or refuses consent to the initial provision of special education and related services, the public agency shall not provide special education and related services to the student and will not be considered in violation of the requirement to make FAPE available in accordance with 34CFR§300.
 

Two Scenarios for Initial Eligibility, Age 3-21

1. Student Received Services through an Extended IFSP and is Transitioning to Part B after Age 3 and Prior to Kindergarten Age

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. Yellow dates should match the dates that were filled in when the child entered Extended Part C Option and had Initial Eligibility (Prior to Age 3) information entered.
3. Green dates should be filled in.
4. Red dates should not be filled in.
5. 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.

2. Student’s Initial Evaluation is After Third Birthday

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 required if (“Date of initial evaluation” – “Date of parent consent for initial evaluation:” > 60 days)