A parent, guardian or the school can initiate the process for an Individual Education Plan (IEP) for a child.   A request by a parent or guardian for an IEP determination must be:

  1. Written – making verbal requests can create lots of problems.  The school is required to complete the evaluations and conduct an IEP meeting within 90 days of the request from the parent or guardian (NC 1503-4.4)
  2. Specifically request an IEP determination – if the request is vague, the school may choose to select the type of evaluation they want to make.
  3. List the reasons for the IEP – list the child’s conditions or symptoms (visually impaired, impulsiveness, attention problems, etc.)


The first step is to determine if the child has a disability within the meaning of the Individual with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).  In order for this to occur, testing must be completed.  Tests can include vision screening, hearing screening, psychoeducational evaluation (IQ tests, Woodcock Johnson test, etc.), physical therapy and occupational therapy.  Testing cannot be performed by the school without the parent’s or guardian’s consent.  Consent must be in writing.  The consent must contain the parameters of the testing proposed.

The parent or guardian are entitled to copies of the test results and reports.  Once the testing has been completed a determination meeting must be held.