Documents and Paperwork—IEP/Special Education Process

Notices, Forms, and Letters

  • The IEP: a form that is used to create a comprehensive, individualized education plan for a student with a disability
  • The Prior Written Notice (PWN): informs parents of each step of the special education process (proposed or refused)
  • Mee ting Notice: states when, where and who will be at meeting
  • Final Notice of Recommendation (FNR): a formal offer of special education services sent after an IEP Meeting
  • Letters and correspondence between parents and Committee on Special Education (CSE)/IEP Team: creates a timeline and a written record of correspondence 



Evaluations can all come from a single source, (the Committee on Special Education/CSE team/ school based IEP team) or many sources (independent evaluators, doctors, private therapists). Information from independent, qualified professionals and Department of Education teams is often combined to create a deeper understanding of the student. Evaluations should be done in every area of suspected disability.*

*Note: Evaluations from CSE/IEP teams are not conducted by physicians and do not result in a diagnoses. The purpose of CSE/IEP team evaluations is to determine if a student can be “classified” as having an “educational disability.” This is a necessary step in establishing eligibility for special services, and is sufficient in many cases. Parents who wish to obtain deeper knowledge to determine if their child has an actual diagnosis (such as dyslexia, ADHD, bi-polar disorder etc.) may decide to arrange independent evaluations. Independent evaluations may be used as part of the IEP process and for creating treatment plans with a private doctor.


Other Information

  • Social history written up by the Social Worker from the CSE/IEP team based on information from parents about the child’s early life to provide context
  • Classroom observation that describes how the student functions in school
  • Copies of the child’s annual physical exam, hearing and vision tests obtained by parents
  • Results of any specific intervention or at-risk service the student received
  • Report cards and samples of student work
  • Writ ten statement from a doctor, including the diagnoses and any symptoms of the diagnoses or medical condition that impact on a child’s participation in school
  • Medical accommodation form for specialized transportation, if needed
  • Prog ress notes from school therapists and teachers and private providers (tutors, therapists, psychiatrists, social workers)
Learning and School, Education resources and programs, Preschool and younger, Special education, Parenting and Advocacy, Advocacy, Your young person's disability
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