This item appeared in the Principals' Weekly.
All IEP recommendations must be determined by, and designed to address, the student’s individual needs. Recommendations cannot be based on the services currently offered in your school, budget considerations, availability of staff or space limitations, if those services do not meet the student’s needs in their least restrictive environment (LRE). As noted in the SOPM, each student’s IEP recommendation must be made by a duly constituted team, whose members may not be selected for the purpose of ensuring a particular recommendation or discouraging IEP team members from expressing their opinions on the student’s needs. If you believe you are unable to fully implement a current or incoming student’s IEP, you must request assistance from your BCO administrator of special education (ASE). For more information on the provision of special education programs and services, review the “Placement” section of the Standard Operating Procedures Manual (SOPM), beginning on page 95.
Under DOE policy, a student’s IEP can only be changed without holding an IEP meeting in limited circumstances, which are outlined in “Amending the IEP Without a Meeting” on page 92 of the SOPM. Amendments to IEPs completed through this process can only take place after discussion with the parent and receipt of the signed “Waiver of IEP Meeting to Amend IEP.” This process cannot be used when a change is being made to the student’s program recommendation, or when a change to the IEP requires the participation of the school psychologist on the IEP team. You should share this information with your staff (teachers, clinicians, administrators, and related-service providers), so that they can become familiar with these procedures.
To ensure that you use the most current version, it is recommended that you and your staff access the online version of the SOPM, instead of printing or downloading it and saving it locally.
For feedback and suggested updates to the SOPM, email SpecialEducationSOPM@schools.nyc.gov. For questions, contact your supervisor of school psychologists or BCO administrator of special education (ASE).