Preparing for an IEP

Use these questions to focus your thoughts and those of other IEP team members.
Teaching Strategies:
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Updated on: September 17, 2001
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  • What does my child do well?
  • What does my child struggle with?
  • What are my long-range goals for my son or daughter?
  • What skills would increase the independence of my son or daughter?
  • What goals would strengthen us as a family?
  • Are there transportation or mobility issues?
  • What do I want the school to do for my child?
  • What particular things do I want the school to report to me about?
  • What should I know to be able to support my child's progress at school and at home?
  • How and when are good times for the school to contact me when this is necessary?
  • What if there is an emergency or crisis?
  • How can I communicate with the school? Should I send notes? Who and when should I call?
  • What information should I give to the school on an ongoing basis?


  • What am I good at doing?
  • What is hard for me to do?
  • What do I like to do?
  • What do I want to accomplish right now? What skills will I need? How might I get them? What help will I need?
  • What works well for me in the general education class? Am I experiencing any problems?
  • What do I want to be when I grow up?

    Evaluation Person

  • What are the student's strengths?
  • What are the implications of the evaluation results for the student's educational program?
  • Has the parent been given copies of all evaluations prior to the meeting?
  • Has the parent had a chance to discuss these evaluations with relevant personnel?

    Agency Representatives Involved in Transition Planning

  • What do I know about the strengths and goals of this student?
  • Starting at age 14 (or earlier), what course of study will help the student reach her long-term goals?
  • What services can my agency offer?
  • What am I authorized to offer and what kinds of commitments am I authorized to make on behalf of my agency?
  • How might my agency cooperate or link with other agencies to provide support?

    Other People Invited by the Parents or the School

  • What are the student's strengths?
  • What are the student's interests?
  • How do I think that this student learns best?
  • Under what circumstances have I observed this student being successful?
  • What kinds of support would help this student be successful in the future?
  • How can I help?

    A final consideration when preparing for the meeting: When it is time to reevaluate a student, the IEP team now may decide if it needs additional information about the student. In other words, the team is no longer required to complete a "full and comprehensive" evaluation of student factors that had been assessed before. If the team decides that no new information is needed, then it must notify the parents and tell them that they have the right to a full and comprehensive evaluation if they want one.

    Excerpted from The IEP Team Guide by the Council for Exceptional Children.