An IEP is:

  • a written plan describing the special education program and/or services required by a particular student, based on a thorough assessment of the strengths and needs that affect the student's ability to learn and to demonstrate learning;
  • a working document that contains the transition plan, a detailed and coordinated plan that helps to ensure that a student has supports in place to facilitate educational transitions;
  • a record of any accommodations needed to help the student achieve the learning expectations identified in the IEP, given the student's identified learning strengths and needs;
  • a working document that identifies learning expectations that are modified from the expectations for the regular grade level in a particular subject or course, as outlined in the Ministry of Education's curriculum policy documents, if modifications are required;
  • a working document that identifies alternative expectations, if required, in areas not represented in the Ontario curriculum;
  • a record of the teaching strategies specific to modified and alternative expectations and of assessment methods to be used to determine the student's progress towards achieving these expectations;
  • a working document that is developed at the beginning of a school year or semester or at the start of a placement and that is reviewed and adjusted throughout the reporting period;
  • an accountability tool for the student, the student's parents, and everyone who has responsibilities under the plan for helping the student meet the stated goals and learning expectations as the student progresses through the Ontario curriculum.

See Appendix E-3 for a detailed checklist of all the components of an IEP.

An IEP is not:

  • a description of everything that will be taught to the student;
  • a list of all the teaching strategies used in regular classroom instruction;
  • a document that records all of the student's learning expectations, including those that are not modified from the regular grade level curriculum expectations;
  • a daily lesson plan.