IEP Meeting Agenda with Descriptors

I. Introductions of participants with roll call to ensure all required members are in attendance

Participants in the ARD meeting introduce themselves with their position title and describe their role at the meeting for the record.  Parents are provided their procedural safeguards and an explanation of deliberations is provided.

Documentation of Translation (if the parent/guardian speaks a language other than English)
For parents who are not English speakers, an interpreter is provided by the school district so that the parents are fully informed of all discussions taking place at the IEP meeting and are able to participate fully. In addition, the ARD/IEP meeting should be digitally recorded. A copy of the recording should be provided to the parent with the IEP at the end of the ARD/IEP meeting.

II. Verify Notice of ARD/IEP Meeting (ck. Waiver)/Verification of Receipt of Procedural Safeguards

Parents/Guardians must receive an ARD/IEP notice a minimum of five school days prior to the meeting being conducted. However, the parents/guardians have the right to wait five school days prior to the actions discussed in an ARD/IEP meeting being implemented.

The Procedural Safeguards address the specific rights and responsibilities of the parent in the special education process under the IDEA. The document, written in English and Spanish, defines common terms and explains specific rights related to activities and areas that impact a student’s educational program and services.

Parents will receive a copy of the Procedural Safeguards for the following activities:
  • Initial referral for evaluation
  • Each notification of an ARD meeting
  • Reevaluation of the student
  • Receipt of a request for due process hearing.

III. Purpose Of ARD/IEP Meeting (Annual ARD/IEP Meeting, Brief ARD, 3 year Evaluation, etc)
  • Annual ARD/IEP MeetingThe annual review is a meeting to develop, review and/or revise a student's Individualized Educational Program (IEP). Although a student's IEP can be reviewed and revised anytime throughout the year, all Individualized Educational Programs are reviewed annually and adjustments are made to ensure appropriate supports are in place to ensure access to the general curriculum.
  • Amended ARD/IEP Meeting:
  • Brief ARD/IEP Meeting:
  • Triennial ARD/IEP MeetingThe triennial review is a meeting to review the full and individual evaluation conducted every three years for a student who receives special education services.  This meeting also determines a student’s need for continued special education services.
IV. Review of Assessment Data & Determination of Eligibility

Any new evaluation information or data that has been gathered that may impact IEP decisions is reviewed with the ARD/IEP Committee. Information that may be included:
    • Full and Individual Evaluation 
    • Other Evaluations (Consider need for additional evaluation) 
    • Vocational Assessment 
    • Parent Information, including your concerns 
    • School Personnel Information 
    • Other Professional Information (including other agencies)

A student is only eligible to receive special education services if he/she has a disabling condition that meets the federal definition of disability and has an educational need for special education or related services. 
    • At every ARD meeting, it is required that the student’s eligibility be reviewed.  
    • When new evaluation information is reviewed for a student a new eligibility may be determined or eligibility may be removed. 
 Even when a “federally defined disability” is determined, the student's disability may not require special education or related services and therefore, eligibility may not be met (see Diagnosis vs. Disability – Defining Eligibility).

V.  Review of Transition Information (for students ages 14 and up)

Transition services are a coordinated set of activities designed to help a child move from school to post-school activities. Most typical students begin planning for their future high school and post secondary life in 7th grade. Therefore:
      • For children age 14 or older, a transition plan must be developed. 
      • A Transition Plan can be developed at an earlier age if the ARD committee determines it is needed. 
For more information on Transition Planning, see the Texas Transition Network.

VI. Development of Present Levels of Academic Achievement and Functional Performance (PLAAFP)

The PLAAFP explains what the student is currently able to do, the student's strengths and weaknesses, and areas of critical need. Present Levels are linked to the child’s IEP goals and how the student accesses the grade level curriculum (Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS)). Present Levels must include how the disability affects involvement and progress in the general curriculum.  All identified areas of critical need must be addressed in the IEP.

Areas to be addressed in the PLAAFP:

1. Eligibility/FIE/Cognitive
2. Language/Communication
3. Emotional/Behavioral/Social
4. Physical/Orthopedic/Motor/Sensory
5. Academic/Functional/Vocational
6. Needs of a critical nature
7. Type of Accommodations/Modifications

VII. Review of Retiring Goals & Objectives and Proposal of New Goals & Objectives

  • The special education case manager reviews the student’s progress on academic and behavioral goals and objectives with the IEP committee and indicates whether the goals and objectives have been mastered, will continue with revisions, or be discontinued.
  • Goals and ObjectivesMeasurable IEP goals are developed based on what the committee agrees the child should learn in the next year. Annual goals should be designed to meet the child’s needs and enable them to make progress in the general curriculum.
  • Behavior Intervention Plan (BIP)
    • Students may require the development of a Behavior Intervention Plan to address the prevention of undesirable behaviors that are due to their disability and to replace those behaviors with desired behaviors. The BIP must include Positive Behavior Supports and may include parent or in home training to assist the student in generalizing behaviors in all settings. The BIP is a part of the student’s IEP.
    • If a student is unable to follow the Student Code of Conduct due to the nature of their disability, this should be included in the BIP.

  • Graduation PlanIn Texas, there are four graduation program options and multiple endorsements.  For more information see TEA State Graduation Requirements. 
Note: Senate Bill 673 allows students with disabilities to participate in graduation ceremonies after four years of high school even if they plan to stay in school longer. 
  • Transition Plan: A transition plan is the section of the Individualized Education Program (IEP) that outlines transition goals and services for the student. The transition plan is based on a high school student's individual needs, strengths, skills, and interests. Transition planning is used to identify and develop goals which need to be accomplished during the current school year to assist the student in meeting his post-high school goal.

VIII. Address the Need for Intensive Interventions/SSI or Accelerated Instruction (IPI) (if applicable)

When a student does not meet standard on state assessment, the ARD/IEP committee must design an intensive program of instruction to support the student in attaining a standard of annual growth on the basis of the child's IEP; and If applicable, to carry out the purposes of the Student Success Initiative. 

IX.  Determination of Accommodations/Modifications
  • Accommodations are developed to provide equal access to students with disabilities.  An accommodation changes HOW the TEKS content will be taught, made accessible, or assessed. Accommodations can be used school wide to address the needs of all students. However, if it is needed for the individual student to make progress it should still be included in the IEP.
  • A modification changes WHAT is being taught. the TEKS content, is being modified by either a change in what the student is expected to learn or reducing the concepts to be learned. 

X. Determination of State and District Assessments, Participation Requirements, and Accommodations

The ARD committee will review the state or district tests that are taken at the student’s grade level and determine which assessment (STAAR, STAAR A, or STAAR ALT 2) the student will participate in. 

The committee will also decide which accommodations, if any, will be used during these assessments:
  • The IEP committee must determine appropriate ways to provide the student access to the tested content without invalidating the purpose of the assessment. 
  • Accommodations must be used routinely, effectively, and independently (as appropriate) in class to determine if the student qualifies for the accommodation for the state assessment. 

XI.  Consideration of District and Campus Assessments with Allowable Accommodations

The ARD/IEP committee will review which district tests are offered at the student’s grade level and then determine which assessment the student will participate in. The committee will also decide which accommodations or modifications, if any, will be used. 

XII.  Review LPAC and TELPAS data (if applicable)

The ARD/IEP committee, in conjunction with the LPAC, will determine if an English Language Learner (ELL) receiving special education services should not be assessed in reading, writing, listening, and/or speaking for reasons associated with the student’s particular disability. Participation must be considered on a domain-by-domain basis. The reason for not assessing the student must be well-supported and documented in the student’s individualized education program (IEP) by the ARD/IEP committee and in the student’s permanent record file by the LPAC.

XIII.  Least Restrictive Environment (LRE) Determination and Related Services

The determination by the ARD/IEP Committee of what services to provide are based on a number of factors, including assessment data, present levels of academic achievement and functional performance, current IEP Goals/Objectives and more. The Committee has the responsibility of reviewing all data, both quantitative and qualitative, to develop an appropriate array of supports and services for each student.

The ARD/IEP committee will discuss the services that have been tried, considered, and provided previously and whether they were successful or unsuccessful. If an instructional arrangement was unsuccessful, the committee must discuss why it didn't work, and note that information in the minutes. They should also discuss additional options for instructional settings and the implications that these decisions may have on the student's academic and emotional well being. The committee will also discuss the reasons why a student needs to be educated outside of the general education classroom (when applicable).

Placement is determined using the Least Restrictive Environment provisions in IDEA.  The ARD/IEP committee must specify the appropriate instructional arrangements/setting based on the child's individual needs and IEP from the following:  Mainstream, specially designed instruction, in-class support, out-of-class support, speech services, vocational adjustment classroom/program, self contained, off campus, non public day school, homebound,  residential care and treatment facility, state school,.  

Removal from Home Campus 
Students should be educated on the same campus that they would attend if they did not have a disability unless the ARD committee determines that services cannot be provided on the home campus.  If a student is being removed from the home campus, the reason why will be documented here.

The purpose of related services is to support students so that they benefit from their education. 
Related services include (but are not limited to):
    • occupational and physical therapy
    • music therapy
    • orientation and mobility
    • Speech/Language 
Related services are for educational benefit and do not address the medical needs of a child based on their disability. When outlining related services, Frequency (how often), Duration (amount of time) and Location of where services will be anticipated to be provided (Place) must be discussed and documented.  

Ensure all committee members understand if the service will be consultative or direct:
    • Consultative - When the provider observes the student and gives a plan to the teacher to implement. 
    • Direct - When the student receives services from the related service provider.

XIV. Consideration of Extended School Year (ESY)  

For every student with a disability, the ARD committee should discuss whether there is a need for ESY services. The need for Extended School Year services is not limited to categories or disabilities, and should be individualized. 

XV. Considerations of Supplemental Aids and Services (Autism Supplement, Visual Impairment Supplemental, and Communication Supplement)

In Texas, there are additional services and areas that need to be addressed for students with autism, auditory impairments, and/or visual impairments. Most school districts have a separate form that is completed to address specific needs for these students.  Click here for more information on the Strategies for Consideration for students with Autism or the Visual Impairment Supplement.

XVI. Read Deliberations and Assurances, 5 Day waiver of services and collect signatures

Deliberations are a summary of the decisions, and concerns raised during the development of the student's IEP and/or discussed in the ARD meeting. These notes include:
  • Requests for services or other changes in the IEP which the parents bring to the discussion
  • Any proposals or offers of services or other changes to the IEP proposed by the school
  • Any statement of denial or refusal by the school or parents
  • Any relevant information or comments about the discussion and whether a decision was made or not
An ARD/IEP meeting may be taped by the school district, the parents, or the student, as long as the participants in the meeting are informed that a tape is being made.

An ARD/IEP report should be an objective and full account of the business conducted in the meeting.


If a student is being removed from the general ed. classroom for any time during the day, the committee must state what effect, if any, it will have on the student. Also the committee must document if the student will not be able to participate in other extracurricular or non-academic activities.
  • Consider Opportunity to Participate. The IDEA assures students with disabilities that they will be able to participate in the same activities as their non-disabled peers and they may not be discriminated against based on their disability. 
  • Consider Potential Harmful Effects. Potential harmful effects must be discussed at the ARD/IEP meeting and typically include: a lack of opportunity for appropriate role models, stigmatization, isolation from peers, decreased self esteem, decreased access to the instructional opportunities available in integrated settings, diminished access to full range of curriculum, lack of opportunity for social interaction and others.

5 Day Prior Written Notice to Implement Services

The parent has a right to be given information in writing.  The notice must be given to the parent at least 5 school days in advance.  The parent has a right to information in writing when the school proposes to OR refuses to initiate or to change.

The parent has a right to be given information in writing prior to the ARD/IEP meeting.  When the IEP paperwork drafts are presented to parents 5 days prior to the ARD/IEP meeting, the IEP may go into effect immediately after the drafts are finalized.  If a parent does not receive the draft paperwork, they will be given the opportunity to take the paperwork home after the conclusion of the ARD/IEP meeting and the IEP does not go into effect for 5 days.  This will give case managers the opportunity to distribute IEP paperwork to the student's teachers and hold conversations regarding what the teachers are responsible for as well as prepare the student for the changes that are going to take place.

If ARD/IEP documents are not sent home 5 days prior to the ARD/IEP meeting and the parent agrees to waive the 5 day notice, then the campus may begin providing services as outlined in the new IEP immediately following the ARD/IEP meeting.  Staff should consider the amount of changes that the student will incur with the newly developed program when deciding to move forward with immediate implementation.  If supports will require training for staff, or the student will need instruction specific to the changes, then the ARD/IEP committee should consider using the 5 days to properly prepare all stakeholders for the student's program changes.  They will then have 5 working days from the ARD/IEP meeting before implementing the new plan. 

ARD/IEP Committee members sign in agreement 
    • If all parties agree to the students IEP, the parent may wave the 5 day prior written notice period and agree to the new plan beginning immediately or they may state that they want the program to begin after the 5 day written notice period
    • If all parties do not agree to the students IEP, a recess may be called to give disagreeing parties the opportunity to gather more information prior to making a final decision.  If agreement has not been reached after the recess period has ended, the school must implement the IEP that is determined appropriate for the student. 
      • The school must give the parent prior written notice that this is what will happen. 
      • Reasons for the disagreement must be stated in the IEP. 
      • The disagreeing party may write their own statement about the disagreement, if so chosen. 
      • If an agreement cannot be reached, the disagreeing party may request a mediation, file a special education complaint with TEA, or ask for a due process hearing (Procedural Safeguards).

XVII. Consent for Initial Placement (if appropriate)

The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) states the school district has achieved informed consent if:
    • The parent has been fully informed in their native language or other mode of communication, of all information about the action for which they are giving consent.
    • The parent understands and has agreed in writing to that action
    • The parent understands that the consent is voluntary on their part and they know they may withdraw their consent at any time.