IEP Guide for Parents

A teacher or parent may refer a student for an evaluation if they have a concern about the student.  Parents should request a referral through their child's teacher, guidance counselor, or curriculum coordinator.  Teachers report their concerns to the designated staff person at their school.

Before your child receives special education services, the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) requires that he or she have an evaluation.  This evaluation includes information from parents, any special medical concerns, and may include specific tests.  You must give your consent in writing before the evaluation can take place.  The results of the evaluation will be used to determine if your child is eligible for special education and related services.

After your child receives an evaluation, you will be contacted within 30 days to schedule a conference and discuss the results.  The regular classroom teacher, a special educator, an administrative representative (LEA), and the evaluator should be present to discuss the test results and what they mean for your child.  Remember that you are an equal partner in your child's education.  Before the conference, make a list of questions you want to ask.  You will be encouraged to describe how your child performs at home, and to discuss his or her interests.  It may be helpful to share information about things that work well with your child, and how he or she learns best.  You have real knowledge about your child that no one else on the team has.  You may bring a spouse, a relative, an educational advocate, or a friend with you to the conference.

At the conclusion of the conference, the entire team will consider the South Carolina guidelines for special education and determine if your child has a disability that qualifies for special education services.  Florence District One provides a variety of placement models for each disability to best serve your child.  You will be asked to sign an eligibility form and indicate whether or not you agree with the team's recommendations.  You will also be given a copy of the evaluation results.

When a child is determined eligible for special education and related services, they are entitled to an IEP.  An IEP, or Individualized Education Program, is a written plan for the special education of a child with a disability.  It describes your child's present level of performance, current strengths and weaknesses, and determines what is needed for educational success.

For more information on special education services and your rights, you can refer to the Parents' Guide to Special Education Services in South Carolina.