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IEP & 504 Information

documents IEP and 504 Information

The following list contains frequently asked questions regarding IEPs and 504s.

1.  What is an IEP?
IEP stands for “Individualized Education Program”.   An IEP is an important legal document. It spells out your child’s learning needs, what services s/he qualifies for and how your child’s progress will be measured.

2.  What is the difference between a 504 and an IEP?
In general, 504 plans are most appropriate when the student has a physical disability that does not directly interfere with his/her ability to learn. Students who require a wheelchair or auditory enhancements but who otherwise can access the educational curriculum often find that a 504 plan protects their rights well.

When a student’s disability is cognitive, emotional, intellectual or developmental, however, a 504 plan is rarely adequate. Such students usually require curriculum modifications and “specially designed instruction” that come only with an IEP.

When a student has a learning disability, developmental delay, ADD/ADHD or another condition that directly impacts learning and behavior, it is very likely s/he is eligible for an IEP and his/her parents should not accept a 504 in its place.

3.  How do I prepare for my child’s CPSE meeting?
Special education decisions are based on data.  As such, it is important to keep documents that clearly demonstrate issues your child may be struggling with.  This can include things like:  your child’s three-year evaluation report, current Individualized Education Plan (IEP), discipline reports, progress reports, report cards, doctor’s reports, class work, etc.  (Some parents find this IEP Checklist helpful when preparing for their child's CPSE meeting.)

4.  Should I meet with my child’s teacher before the CPSE meeting?
We highly recommend you reach out to your child’s teacher before attending your CPSE meeting.  It is very important that you and your child’s teacher are consistent in what you present to the district.  You must be unified in the designation of your child’s deficits so s/he secures proper assistance from the district.


For further assistance please contact the main office.

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