Individual Education Plans (IEP)






In Regulation 181/98, entitled Identification and Placement of Exceptional Pupils, principals are required to ensure that an Individual Education Plan (IEP) is developed for each student who has been identified as exceptional by an Identification, Placement, and Review Committee (IPRC), within 30 school days of the student being placed in a special education program.


(1)    The board shall promptly notify the principal of the school at which the special education program is to be provided of the need to develop an individual education plan for the pupil in consultation with the parent and, where the pupil is 16 years of age or older, the pupil.        

(2)    The Individual Education Plan must include,  

                               (a) specific educational expectations for the pupil;

(b) an outline of the special education program and services to be received by the pupil; and

(c) a statement of the methods by which the pupil’s progress will be reviewed.

(3)    Where the pupil is 14 years of age or older, the Idividual Education Plan must also include a plan for transition to appropriate post-secondary school activities, such as work, further education, and community living.

(4)    Subsection (4) does not apply in respect of a pupil identified as exceptional solely on the basis of giftedness.

(5)    In developing the Individual Education Plan, the principal shall,                         

                              (a) consult with the parent and, where the pupil is 16 years of age or older, the pupil; and

                              (b) take into consideration any recommendations made by the committee (IPRC) or the Special Education Tribunal, as the case may be, regarding special education                   programs or special education services.

(6)    In developing a transition plan under subsection (4), the principal shall consult with such community agencies and post-secondary educational institutions as he or she considers appropriate.

(7)    Within 30 school days after placement of the pupil in the program, the principal shall ensure that the plan is completed and a copy of it sent to a parent of the pupil and, where the pupil is 16 years of age or older, the pupil. 


The principal shall ensure that the individual education plan (IEP) for a pupil is included in [the pupil’s Ontario Student Record (OSR)], unless a parent of the pupil has objected in writing.

***Please check the Special Education Master Plan for additional information on IEPs

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IEPs should also be prepared for students who are receiving special education programs and services but who have not been formally identified as exceptional.

An IEP is …

  • a summary of the student’s strengths, interests, and needs, and of the expectations for a student’s learning during a school year that differ from the expectations defined in the appropriate grade level of the Ontario curriculum;
  • a written plan of action prepared for a student who requires modifications of the regular school program or accommodations;
  • a tool to help teachers monitor and communicate the student’s growth;
  • a plan developed, implemented, and monitored by school staff;
  • a flexible, working document that can be adjusted as necessary;
  • an accountability tool for the student, his or her parents, and everyone who has responsibilities under the plan for helping the student meet his or her goals and expectations;
  • an ongoing record that ensures continuity in programming; and
  • a document to be used in conjunction with the provincial report card.

An IEP is not …

  • a description of everything that will be taught to the student;
  • an educational program or set of expectations for all students;
  • a means to monitor the effectiveness of teachers; or
  • a daily plan.

The following is a sample checklist, listing the information that should be included in an IEP.

Important information to be included in an IEP (Sample Checklist)

  • Student’s strengths and needs as recorded on the statement of decision received from the IPRC.
  • Relevant medical/health information.
  • Relevant formal (standardized) assessment data.
  • Student’s current level of educational achievement in each program area.
  • Goals and specific expectations for the student.
  • Program modifications (changes to the grade level expectations in the Ontario curriculum).
  • Alternative programs.
  • Accommodations required (supports or services that will help the student access the curriculum and demonstrate learning).
  • Special education and related services provided to the student.
  • Assessment strategies for reviewing the student’s achievements and progress.
  • Regular updates, showing dates, results and recommendations.
  • Transition plan (if required).

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The IEP Process (Overview of the IEP Process). The principal assigns to one teacher primary responsibility for coordinating the development, implementation, and monitoring of the student’s IEP.


1. Gather Information

  • Review the student’s records (including the previous IEP and IPRC statement of decision)
  • consult with the student, parents, school staff and other professionals
  • Observe the student
  • Review the student’s current work
  • Conduct further assessments, if necessary
  • Consolidate and record information


2.  Set the Direction

  • Establish roles and responsibilities
  • Establish a collaborative approach (including the student and parents)

3.  Develop the IEP

  • Identify and record the student’s strengths and needs
  • Identify goals and expectations
  • Determine strategies and resources
  • Develop a transition plan
  • Establish a monitoring cycle

4. Implement the IEP

  • Share the IEP with the student, parents, school staff, and other professionals (providing a copy to parents and to the student, if 16 or older)
  • Put the IEP into practice
  • Continuously evaluate the student’s progress
  • Adjust goals, expectations, and strategies as necessary

5. Review and update the IEP

  • Update the IEP periodically (at least once per reporting period)
  • Review and update the IEP at year end and when the student transfers to another school
  • Store the IEP in the Ontario Student Record


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IEP Initiation Date:  indicate the commencement date of the program

Developed by:  indicate the person(s) involved in developing the IEP (e.g. teacher, support personnel)

Special Education Services: record services, as defined in Section 1 of The Education Act (e.g. resource and support personnel)

Personalized Special Instructional Equipment: indicate personalized equipment used by the student in the school setting

Related Health Issues: indicate medical conditions that may affect learning

Areas of Strength and Need: indicate the student’s main strengths, needs and preferred learning style, as determined through assessments

Program Description: indicate the percentage of curriculum modification, and of teacher and educational assistant support

Assessment Data: include relevant assessment data from informal and formal assessment, including date, source, and results

General Classroom Accommodations: indicate specific supports or services that differ from what is provided to other students in the classroom that will help the student access the curriculum and demonstrate learning (refer to EQAO accommodations)

Program Area: identify the curriculum area of focus

Goal(s): describe what the student might be expected to accomplish in a program area by the end of the school year

Current Achievement Level: indicate the current level of achievement in relation to program expectations; this is the mark taken off the last June’s report card

Methods of Progress Review: indicate the methods by which achievement will be reviewed and evaluated

Transition Plan: for students 14 years and older, indicate appropriate plans for post secondary activities such as work, further education, community living

IEPs - Dispute Resolution:

The IEP development process is ongoing in consultation with parents.  Parents are invited to be active participants in the development, review and revision of IEPs.  If a dispute occurs, the school principal, in collaboration with support staff, will continue to consult with parents to find common solutions.

Should the dispute continue, the special education special assignment teacher will act as a resource mediator.  Should concern continue, the Program Services Director will attend a hearing and render a decision regarding the IEP. 

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Windigo Education Authority Special Education Handbook