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“Admission, Review and Dismissal /Individual Education Plan MEETING”. An Overview of the ARD/IEP. David Keithley, Director of Special Education Stephanie Gain, Educ. Diagnostician T RINITY ISD SPECIAL EDUCATION DEPT.

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admission review and dismissal individual education plan meeting

“Admission, Review and Dismissal /Individual Education Plan MEETING”

An Overview of the ARD/IEP

David Keithley, Director of Special Education

Stephanie Gain, Educ. Diagnostician




  • A Guide to the Admission, Review, and Dismissal Processis a resource to help parents and families of students who are, or may be, eligible for special education supports and services take a more active part in planning their student’s educational program. This guide, written in English and Spanish:
    • Explains how an individualized educational program (IEP) is developed,
    • Explains parents’ rights and responsibilities in the process, and
    • Provides information that will help parents and families participate fully in their student’s ARD meeting

The Procedural Safeguardsdocument addresses the specific rights and responsibilities of the parent in the special education process under the IDEA. The document, written in English and Spanish, defines common terms and explains specific rights related to activities and areas that impact a student’s educational program and services.

  • Parents will receive a copy of the Procedural Safeguards with the following activities:
    • Initial referral for evaluation
    • Each notification of an ARD meeting
    • Reevaluation of the student
    • Receipt of a request for due process hearing.
the ard process basic terms and abbreviations
THE ARD PROCESS Basic Terms and Abbreviations

ARD: The letters stand for Admission, Review, & Dismissal committee. This is the name of the committee responsible for making the educational decisions for a student. The parents, or adult students, are members of the ARD committee.

IEP: The letters stand for Individual Education Plan.This is the plan written by the ARD Committee and describes the services that a student will receive from special education.

When is an ARD meeting necessary?

An ARD is needed for initial placement or any time the school staff or parents feel a change is needed in a student’s special education program. The IEP must be reviewed at least once a year, but an ARD meeting may be held at other times. For example, an ARD will need to be held to review additional assessment.

When is written notice required for an ARD meeting?

Parents are entitled to receive their written notice at least five school days before the meeting is scheduled to take place.

When may the requirement for written notice be waived?

Sometimes it might be necessary to have an ARD meeting without waiting for the written notice but such situations should not happen very often. This usually happens if there is an emergency but parents can refuse to waive the notice requirement.

Can an ARD meeting be held without the parent?

Parents are strongly encouraged to attend and be involved in their child’s ARD meeting. Great efforts are made to schedule the ARDs during times that are convenient to both the parents and the school. In cases where the parents can not attend, they usually have given permission for the school to proceed without them.



  • If parents cannot attend the meeting, they may participate by phone; however, the ARD committee must allow just as much participation using the speaker function of the phone, and the signed notice is still required.
At a minimum, the committee must include the following:

A representative from the local school district administration, someone designated and authorized to commit the district’s resources to implement the IEP. Often, the building principal or assistant principal serve in this role.

A teacher from general instruction

A teacher from special education

The student’s parents, guardian, or designated representative

The student, when appropriate

  • A representative of the special education assessment team
  • Other specific types of professionals for students with specific disabilities (for example, a professional certified in education of the deaf, when a student with auditory impairment is being considered), or when other specialized needs (for example, vocational instruction or Limited English Proficiency) will be discussed.
  • Participants should have some knowledge of the child to be discussed or some other involvement in the decisions being considered, and should bring student data to the ARD.
assessment reports discussed
Assessment Reports Discussed

The special education assessment reports are the basis for making all decisions in the ARD committee meeting. The reports describe the individual student’s educational competencies and needs as well as recommendations. A comprehensive individual assessment must be done at least every three years.

If the parents have testing from other professionals, it is a good practice to share the information with school personnel prior to an ARD in order for them to understand the information and consider it at the ARD.

The student’s IEP must be based on his/her educational needs, not on what everybody else in the class gets.

The IEP must address all of his/her educational needs. This may include academic subjects (i.e., reading, writing, and math), as well as extracurricular activities, related services (like physical therapy or special transportation), and others. If the student needs special help in order to participate in the regular education classes, those special help needs (often called modifications) must be included in an IEP.

The IEP is a one-year plan and is written to cover one year. The goals in the IEP should be based on student achievement data and what the student is expected to achieve in each area of need at the end of the school year.

The IEP must begin by stating how the student is currently doing in each area. This must be based on testing or other assessment information.

The IEP must have measurable goals and objectives. This means that the IEP must set out the steps (objectives) the student must complete to reach the annual goal.

The IEP must set out the amount of time that the student will spend getting each service in special education, including related services. This should be specific information such as "45 minutes twice a week,” AND NEVER "as needed." The IEP must state the position of the person who will provide each service, such as the special education teacher or physical therapist (specify location frequency and duration)

The IEP must set out a schedule for how and when the school district will measure the student’s progress and how the student’s parents will be regularly informed of progress. Goals and objectives must be reviewed every year, but they can be reviewed more often.

The minutes are not a transcript or word-for-word account; they are a summary of the issues and questions raised and discussed during the meeting. These notes definitely should include:

Requests for services or other changes in the IEP which the parents bring to the discussion

Any proposals , offers of services or other changes to the IEP proposed by the school

Any statement of denial or refusal by the school or parents

Any relevant information or comments about the discussion and whether a decision was made or not

Recommendations for accommodations and state assessments


An ARD meeting may be taped by the school district, the parents, or the student, as long as the participants are aware and/or agree the meeting is being recorded.

  • An ARD report should be an objective and full account of the business conducted in the meeting.
  • NOTE: To ensure an effective and precise ARD/IEP summary ,it is best practice for an Administrator or a voting member of the ARDC to inscribe deliberation meeting notes.
The goal of the ARD is to have parents, students, and school personnel feel like equal partners in developing the IEP.

The ARD forms include a signature page where the participants sign that they participated in the meeting. They also indicate whether they agree or disagree with the decisions. When the parents disagree with the IEP, they will be offered the chance for a recess of the meeting for not more than 10 days, during which all members will have the opportunity to get additional information they might need in order to reach an agreement. Before the ARD ends, members should agree on a time to reconvene.

Best Practice is for our Parents and Teachers in our district receive a copy of the ARD document/IEPs within the week.

before the ard
Before the ARD
  • Build a Positive Relationship with the Parent/Members of the ARDC
  • Plan ahead/Thoughts on Paper
  • Know the Reason for the ARD/IEP meeting
  • Provide copies or data of any student testing (i.e. TPRI, benchmarks, spelling tests, etc.)
  • Don’t hesitate to ask questions!
during the ard
During the ARD
  • Find a way to personalize your student (successes vs. challenges)
  • Speak in a courteous manner and a conversational tone
  • Modifications/Accommodations & IEPs (do they match what is happening in your classroom?)
  • Don’t hesitate to ask questions during the ARD!
after the ard
After the ARD
  • Review the IEPs, Modifications/Accommodations, Behavior Plan, etc.
  • Place ARD document copies in a secure and easily accessible location
  • Talk to your student if necessary
  • Don’t hesitate to ask questions!
an overview
An Overview
  • The major differences between IDEA and Section 504 are in the flexibility of the procedures. For a child to be identified as eligible for services under Section 504, there are less specific procedural criteria that govern the requirements of the school personnel. Schools may offer a student less assistance and monitoring with Section 504 because there are fewer regulations by the federal government to instruct them, especially in terms of compliance.
  • In contrast, a child identified for services under IDEA must meet specific criteria. The degree of regulation is more specific in terms of time frames, parental participation, and formal paperwork requirements. IDEA also addresses the special education of students with disabilities from preschool to graduation only (from ages 3 to 21). Section 504 covers the lifespan and safeguards the rights of persons with disabilities in many areas of their lives, including employment, public access to buildings, transportation, and education.
i identification idea
I. Identification (IDEA)
  • In order for children with disabilities to receive services, they must by identified and then determined to be eligible for these services. Under IDEA guidelines, school districts are required to identify and evaluate all children suspected of having a disability whose families reside within the district.
  • Covers all school-aged children who fall within one or more specific categories of qualifying conditions (i.e., autism, specific learning disabilities, speech or language impairments, emotional disturbance, traumatic brain injury, visual impairment, hearing impairment, and other health impairments).
  • Requires that a child's disability adversely affects her educational performance.
identification 504
Identification (504)
  • Covers individuals who meet the definition of qualified "handicapped" person -- for example, a child who has or has had a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits a major life activity or is regarded as handicapped by others. (Major life activities include: walking, seeing, hearing, speaking, breathing, learning, working, caring for oneself, and performing manual tasks.)
  • Does not require that a child need special education to qualify. Note: Students who are ineligible for services or are no longer entitled to services under IDEA (e.g., kids with LD who no longer meet IDEA eligibility criteria) may be entitled to accommodations under Section 504.
ii evaluation idea
II. Evaluation (IDEA)
  • Requires that the child be fully and comprehensively evaluated by a multidisciplinary team.
  • Requires informed and written parental consent.
  • Requires a reevaluation of the child at least once every three years, or if conditions warrant a reevaluation, or if the child's parent or teacher requests a reevaluation.
  • Provides for independent evaluation at the district's expense if parents disagree with first evaluation.
  • Does not require reevaluation before a significant change in placement.
evaluation 504
Evaluation (504)
  • Evaluation draws on information from a variety of sources and is documented.
  • Decisions about the child, evaluation data, and placement options are made by knowledgeable individuals. Such decisions do not require written consent of the parents, only that the parents are notified.
  • Requires "periodic" reevaluation.
  • No provisions made for independent evaluation at school's expense.
  • Requires reevaluation before a significant change in placement.
iii ieps placement services idea
III. IEPs/Placement/Services (IDEA)
  • Requires an individualized education program (IEP).
  • "Appropriate" education means a program designed to provide "educational benefit" for a person with disabilities.
  • Placement may be any combination of special education and general education classrooms.
  • Provides related services, if required. Related services may include speech and language therapy, occupational therapy, physical therapy, counseling services, psychological services, social services, and transportation.
  • Parent or guardian must be notified and participate (if possible)
iii placement services 504
III. Placement/Services (504)
  • Does not require an IEP, but does require a plan.
  • "Appropriate" means an education comparable to the education provided to those students who are not disabled.
  • Placement is usually in a general education classroom. Children can receive specialized instruction, related services, or accommodations within the general education classroom.
  • Provides related services, if needed
  • Parent/Guardian does not need to attend; must notify if plan developed

Feel Free to contact our Special Education Office!!

David Keithley, Director of Special Education

(936) 594-3569 ext. 1053

Stephanie Gain, Educational Diagnostician

(936) 594-3569 ext. 1050