When an Identification, Placement, and Review Committee (IPRC) identifies a student as an exceptional pupil, the principal must ensure that an Individual Education Plan (IEP) for that student is developed and maintained. An IEP must be developed with input from the parent(s)/guardian(s) and from the student if he or she is sixteen years of age or older. An IEP must be developed within thirty days of the placement of an exceptional pupil in a particular program. The parents/guardian(s) must be provided with a copy; the student must also be given a copy if he or she is sixteen years of age or older. An IEP may also be prepared for students who require accommodations, program modifications and/or alternative programs, but who have not been identified as exceptional by an IPRC.
An IEP identifies the student's specific learning expectations and outlines how the school will address these expectations through appropriate accommodations, program modifications and/or alternative programs as well as specific instructional and assessment strategies. The learning program provided for the student is modified on the basis of the results obtained through continuous assessment and evaluation. The IEP for an exceptional pupil who is fourteen years of age or older and who is not identified solely as gifted must also contain a plan for the transition to postsecondary education, or the workplace, or to help the student live as independently as possible in the community. In developing or reviewing the student's IEP, consideration must be given to any recommendations made by the IPRC concerning special education programs and services that may be particularly appropriate for meeting the student's needs.
To assist teachers and other support professionals in developing Individual Education Plans for exceptional pupils, the ministry has published The Individual Education Plan (IEP), A Resource Guide, 2004.
It is anticipated that, with appropriate special education programs and/or services, many students with special needs (whether formally identified or not), will be able to achieve the grade-level learning expectations of the provincial curriculum. The IEP will document any accommodations that are considered to be necessary for each exceptional pupil to succeed. Some students may require modifications to the learning expectations of the provincial curriculum in keeping with their special needs. Such students may be provided with modified expectations. A small number of students may require alternative expectations in order to succeed. Alternative expectations are those that are not derived from the expectations set out in ministry curriculum policy documents. Further guidance on curriculum adaptation and modification for exceptional pupils can be found in Ontario Secondary Schools, Grades 9 to 12.