Timeline for Starting Special Education Services for Your Child
 
 
Step 1: You tell the school administrators that you are interested in getting an individualized    Education Plan (IEP) for your child and let them know that you want your child to be evaluated.
¨ You may have to wait for up to 45 school days for your child to be tested.
¨ It may take longer to test your child if your request is made near school breaks (e.g., Spring or   Winter Break) or at the end of the year.
 
 
Step 2: Eligibility meeting. The members of the school special education team, you, your child (if age-appropriate) and teachers who know your child will hold a meeting to talk about the results of the testing and decide if your child is eligible for an IEP.
¨ Make sure that your school has a letter for your child's doctor before or during this meeting.
¨ You child will not qualify for the Other Health Impaired (OHI) eligibility if the school is not informed of your child's health status. A letter from a physician is required.
 
 
Step 3: Initial IEP Meeting. The special education coordinator will schedule a time to have your child’s first IEP Meeting. During this meeting, goals will be set for your child to achieve. The goals will be based on your child’s testing results, schoolwork and behavior, and medical status and needs.
¨ Sometimes schools will combine the eligibility and initial IEP meetings.
¨ The school will already know the information that they need regarding all of these areas except medical status and needs. Please be sure to provide the school with all of the information that they need to meet your child’s medical needs.
¨ Make sure all of your child’s medical and academic needs are listed on the IEP.
¨ The IEP is an agreement between your family and the school If you do not agree with all of it, do not sign it. It is okay to ask for a few extra days to review it or discuss it with someone else. If you don't’ sign the IEP at the meeting, it is very important to remember that the plan will not start until you sign it.
 
 
Step 4: Starting your child’s IEP. Your child’s IEP should go into effect as soon as it is signed.
¨ If you have any questions, concerns, or problems with the IEP, you can request that the school hold another meeting.
¨ You can ask for a new meeting at any time. 
 
 
Step 5: Annual updates. Your school’s special education coordinator will be contacting you at least once every year to set up a meeting to discuss your child’s progress with his/her IEP.
¨ This meeting is a time to get answers to any q questions that you have.
¨ Again, make sure that all of your child’s medical needs are listed on the IEP.            
¨ Be sure to tell the school if there have been any changes in your child’s medical needs Make sure all of the information on the IEP is current and up-to-date.
 
 
Step 6: Reevaluation. Your child will be re-tested every three years that he/she has an IEP. The testing is a way to make sure that the school is making progress toward any educational/academic goals. Even if your child does not have any academic program, the evaluations must happen for your child to keep the IEP.
 
 
Step 7: Managing problems. Hopefully, you will not have any programs with your child’s IEP. If you do, many services exist to help you.
¨ Mediators can help to resolve disagreements between your family and the school. If you would like to work with a mediator, please ask the special education coordinator at your child's school.
¨ The State Department of Education has advocates who can help you, and the Board of Education also has services available.
¨ If your conflict with the school cannot be helped, you can take steps for Due Process with the school. Helpful people at the Department of Education or the Board of Education can tell you what you need to know about this process.
 
 
                                    Oklahoma Board of Education: 405-521-3308
 
                                    Oklahoma Department of Education: 405-521-3301
 

Differences between the 504 Plan and an individual education plan:
Services Provided
IEP
504
Provides medical accommodations
YES
YES
Provides accommodations for emotional problems
YES
NO
Provides educational/academic accommodations
YES
NO
School receives federal money for implementation
YES
NO
School can get in trouble for not following accommodations
YES
YES
Services provided throughout the lifetime
NO
YES
Student must be tested to obtain services
YES
NO
Disability must affect educational performance
YES
NO
Students receiving services will receive special education services
YES
NO
Requires re-evaluation before changes in placement can occur
NO
YES
Requires re-evaluation at least once every three years
YES
NO
Placement decisions require written parental consent
YES
NO
May provide speech, physical therapy, counseling services
YES
NO
Provides due process hearings if unsatisfied with accommodations
YES
YES
Must have annual meetings
YES
NO
Parents may request meetings to discuss concerns at any time
YES
YES
School may be asked to provide a 2nd, independent evaluation
YES
NO


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