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Timelines for individualized education program assessments

If your child has been referred for a special education assessment, there are certain deadlines that must be met.

Here are some of the basic deadlines for activities affecting special education programs in California:

Once your child has been referred for an assessment to determine whether they are an individual with exceptional needs and to determine their educational needs, a proposed assessment plan must be developed within 15 calendar days, not counting certain school holidays. Once you have received the proposed assessment plan, you have at least 15 calendar days to arrive at a decision.

Once these determinations have been made, an individualized education program (IEP) team meeting must occur within 60 days of receiving your consent for the assessment.

Once it is determined that a child needs special education and related services, a meeting to develop an initial IEP must be conducted within 30 days. The IEP shall be implemented as soon as possible after the IEP meeting.

After the assessment, any required IEP must be developed within 60 calendar days, not counting certain days, from the receipt of your written consent for an assessment, unless you agree in writing to an extension.

IEP goals must be reviewed annually

The IEP team shall review the student’s IEP periodically, but at least annually. If your child is age 16 or older, they must be invited to attend the IEP team meeting.

No later than age 16, and annually thereafter, the IEP shall include appropriate, measurable post-secondary goals and transition services needed to help the student reach those goals.

Beginning no later than age 16 and annually thereafter, a statement of needed transition services must be included in the student’s IEP.

No later than a year before the student turns 18, the IEP shall contain a statement that the student has been informed of their rights, if any, that will transfer to the student upon reaching 18.

The IEP program team must meet at least once a year to review the student’s IEP, their progress, the appropriateness of the placement and to make necessary revisions. The local educational agency must maintain procedures to ensure that the IEP team reviews the student’s IEP periodically (but at least once a year) to determine annual goals and whether they are being achieved.

Read the second blog post in this series to learn more. If your child is being assessed for special education, contact Leigh Law Group for advice and assistance.