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(4.55) Can a school district use draft IEP or computer-generated IEP?

(4.55) Can a school district use draft IEP or computer-generated IEP?

Yes, the district can use a draft IEP or computer-generated IEP.  However, the law does not allow the district to present a completed, prewritten IEP for approval without a full discussion of your child’s needs. This would violate your right to participation in the IEP process. [34 C.F.R. Sec. 300.322.] Sometimes, in order to save time, school personnel prepare suggested goals or meet with the parent before the IEP meeting. This is permitted only if it does not prevent team members (especially parents) from providing input. A draft IEP can be beneficial, whether prepared by you or the district, as long as it is discussed and revised, as needed, at an IEP meeting.

Like a handwritten IEP, a computerized IEP cannot be completed in advance and must be individualized or revised at the IEP meeting to specifically address all of your child’s needs. Make sure that goals, objectives, and other language stored in the computer or pull-down menu terms are not automatically made part of the IEP. The language or descriptions used in the IEP should specifically focus on your child’s individual needs and services.

Similarly, the district may not refuse to include a requested goal, service or service description in the IEP for reasons such as: (1) it does not appear in the pull-down menu; (2) there is not an appropriate “field” on the computerized form; or (3) there is not enough space on the form. A handwritten or computerized addendum can always be added to the IEP. District refusal to allow your input undermines your right to participate in the IEP meeting.