Development of the IEP

What's Required

The district must ensure that an IEP be in effect for eligible children with disabilities on their third birthday in compliance with the ARD Committee frameworks (CFR 300 300.101(b) and 19 TAC 89.1035(a) ). If a child's third birthday occurs during the summer, the child's ARD committee must determine the date when services will begin (CFR 300.301(b)). The ARD committee must comply with the Least Restrictive Environment (LRE) framework. Home instruction may be used for young children (ages three through five) when determined appropriate by the ARD committee (19 TAC 89.63(c)(2)(B)).

The IEP is a written statement for each child with a disability that includes the following information:

  • a statement of the child's present levels of academic achievement and functional performance (34 CFR 300.320(a));

  • how the child's disability affects involvement and progress in the general education curriculum (34 CFR 300.320(b));

  • measurable annual goals, including academic and functional goals designed to meet the child's needs that result from the child's disability to enable the child to be involved in and make progress in the general education curriculum;

  • a description of how the child's progress will be measured and when the progress will be provided;

  • a statement of the special education and related services and supplementary aids and services, program modifications or supports that will be provided to the child (34 CFR 300.320 (a));

  • an explanation of the extent, if any, to which the child will not participate with nondisabled children in the regular class;

  • a statement of accommodations that are necessary to measure the academic achievement and functional performance of the child on State and district wide assessments;

  • if the child must take an alternate assessment instead of a regular State or district wide assessment of student achievement, a statement of why the child cannot participate in the regular assessment and why the particular alternate assessment selected is appropriate;

  • the projected date for the beginning of the services and the anticipated frequency, location, and duration of the services;

  • for students age 14 and older, appropriate measurable postsecondary goals based upon age appropriate transition assessments related to training, education, employment, and, where appropriate, independent living skills; and the transition services needed to assist the child in reaching those goals;

When developing the IEP, the ARD committee must consider (34 CFR 300.324):

  • The strengths of the child;

  • The concerns of the parents for enhancing the education of their child;

  • The results of the initial or most recent evaluation of the child;

  • The academic, developmental, and functional needs of the child.

Additional information can be found here: US DOE Topical Brief on Individualized Education Plans (IEP)

What We Do

The Individualized Education Program (IEP) is developed by the ARD Committee.  The IEP must include certain information about the child and the educational program designed to meet his or her unique needs.


Present Levels of Academic Achievement and Functional Performance

Developing the IEP begins with a careful analysis of the student's present levels of academic achievement and functional performance, including:

  • How the child's disability affects that child's involvement and progress in the general education curriculum 

  • For preschool children, as appropriate, how the disability affects the child's participation in age-appropriate activities 

NOTE: There should be a direct relationship between the annual goals and the present level of academic achievement and functional performance. 


Standards-Based Measurable Annual Goals 

A standards-based IEP is "a process and document that is framed by the state standards and that contains goals aligned with, and chose to facilitate, the student's achievement of state grade-level academic standards".

Implications for Practice:

  • Continue emphasis on knowledge of enrolled grade level curriculum to ensure drafting of goals which are aligned with enrolled grade level TEKS

  • Draft annual goals and short term objectives/benchmarks (when appropriate) in standards-based format aligned to enrolled grade level TEKS

  • Utilize TEA Curriculum Framework and Vertical Alignment documents as a resource for enrolled grade level curriculum standards


Because students with disabilities are included in the statewide assessment system, they must have access to the general education curriculum that is tested using this system. This access may be with or without accommodations and can include alternate assessments; however, due to these requirements, all students must have standards-based goals. Standards-based goals are defined as annual, measurable goals aligned to enrolled grade level TEKS or Pre-Kindergarten Guidelines. 


The IEP must include a statement of measurable annual goals, which relate to:

  • Meeting the student's needs that result from the student's disability to enable the student to be involved in and progress in the general curriculum AND 

  • Meeting each of the student's other educational needs that result from the student's disability.

Each measurable annual goal must contain each of the following components: 

  • Timeframe: Identifies the amount of time in the goal period and is usually specified in the number of weeks or a certain date for completion

  • Conditions: Describe the specific resources that must be present for a child to reach the goal. The condition of the goal should relate to the behavior being measured

  • Behavior: Represents an action that can be directly observed, measured and monitored

  •  Criterion: Identifies how much, how often, or to what standard the behavior must occur in order to demonstrate that the goal has been met

Every student receiving special education services must have at least one measurable annual goal. 

  • All students whose course content is modified and/or who take alternate assessments aligned to alternate assessment standards must have both annual goals and short-term objectives/benchmarks. 

In the development of standards-based measurable annual goals for a student, the ARD Committee should:

  • Specify the specially designed instruction that the student requires to achieve his/her annual goal(s)

  • Develop strategies that will assist the student in achieving his/her annual goal(s) 

Functional and Transition Goals
TSD staff will develop goals to address both functional and transitional skills for each student as is age appropriate.