This Q&A, issued by the US Department of Education on December 7, 2017, is an important document to read and understand if your child is on an IEP. We suggest printing a copy and adding it to your student’s binder. We will also put a link on our website to it for future reference.
A few key points:
With the decision in Endrew, F., the Court clarified that for all students, including those performing at grade level and those unable to perform at grade level, a school must offer an IEP that is “reasonably calculated to enable a child to make progress appropriate in light of the child’s circumstances.” This standard is different from, and more demanding than, the “merely more than de minimis” test applied by the Tenth Circuit. As the Court stated, “[t]he goals may differ, but every child should have the chance to meet challenging objectives.”
What does “reasonably calculated” mean?
The “reasonably calculated” standard recognizes that developing an appropriate IEP requires a prospective judgment by the IEP Team. Generally, this means that school personnel will make decisions that are informed by their own expertise, the progress of the child, the child’s potential for growth, and the views of the child’s parents. IEP Team members should consider how special education and related services, if any, have been provided to the child in the past, including the effectiveness of specific instructional strategies and supports and services with the student.
What actions should IEP Teams take if a child is not making progress at the level the IEP Team expected?
If a child is not making progress at the level the IEP Team expected, despite receiving all the services and supports identified in the IEP, the IEP Team must meet to review and revise the IEP if necessary, to ensure the child is receiving appropriate interventions, special education and related services and supplementary aids and services, and to ensure the IEP’s goals are individualized and ambitious.