Connecticut’s New IEP, An Overview by Special Education Attorney

The Connecticut State Department of Education (CSDE), Bureau of Special Education is about to roll out the implementation of Connecticut’s new Individualized Education Plan (IEP). The new IEP will be effective July 1, 2022.

Connecticut’s new IEP has many changes. Some are minor. Other changes are significant. This article explains all the changes to the CSDE’s new IEP in order for the reader to more fully understand the new format and how best to continue to advocate for their child’s IEP to provide a free appropriate public education (FAPE).

Student Information: The student information page will continue to provide general background information about the student. It will continue to list the following information:

  • Student Name
  • Meeting Date: the calendar date that the Planning and Placement Team (PPT) meeting was held.
  • SASID: All school districts each student with a unique “State Assigned Student Identification Number” (SASID).
  • Date of Birth
  • Parent Name
  • Current Grade: This is the student’s grade that the student is in on the date of the meeting (“Meeting Date).
  • Primary Disability: The new IEP format will no longer list all the IDEA’s 13 special education eligibility categories. It will, however, state the eligibility category for the student.
  • Current Enrolled School: This is the school in the district that the student attends.
  • School Next Year: This is the school where the student’s services will be for the next school year.
  • Most Recent Evaluation Date: This is the date of record that the latest evaluations were conducted to determine or re-determine special education eligibility.
  • Next Reevaluation Date: This is the date of record refers to date that the students next triennial evaluations are due to further determine the student’s re-eligibility for special education.
  • Most Recent Annual Review Date: This is the date of record where the latest annual review PPT meeting was held to review the student’s progress towards IEP goals and objectives.
  • Next Annual Review Date: This the date of record where the next annual review PPT meeting will take place to review the student’s progress towards IEP goals and objectives.
  • Reason for Meeting: This section will explain the purpose of the meeting. Unfortunately, the new IEP format will not list all the reasons as in the former IEP format. The reasons to hold a PPT meeting typically include but are not limited to: review referral for special education, plan for evaluations/reevaluations, determine eligibility, determine continued eligibility, development of the IEP, review or review the IEP, conduct annual review, transition planning, manifestation determination, and other.

IEP Amendment Information: This section of the new IEP will contain more details in what, if any, revisions, and /or amendments are made to a student’s current IEP. Any sections of the IEP that are amended will state the section name within the new IEP that a change has been made.

PPT Members: The are only minor formatting changes to this page of the new IEP.

PPT Recommendations: The PPT recommendations page only contains minor formatting changes.

PPT Meeting Summary: The new IEP will not contain a PPT Meeting Summary page. Rather, this will be available as a separate document. The PPT Meeting Summary page us often used to encapsulate the discussion that occurs at the PPT meeting to include parental concerns.

Prior Written Notice: The purpose of Prior Written Notice (PWN) is to provide written communication to the parents of the actions that has been proposed or refused by the PPT. Regulations of Connecticut State Agencies Section 10-76d-8(a)(5) provides the legal definition of PWN, which states:

Written notice required by this subsection may be provided to the parents at the PPT meeting where such PPT proposes to, or refuses to, initiate, or change the child’s identification, evaluation, or educational placement of the child with a disability or the provision of a free appropriate public education to the child with a disability. If such notice is not provided at the PPT meeting, it shall be provided to the parents of the child with a disability, or to the parents of a child who may be eligible for special education and related services, not later than ten days before the PPT proposes to, or refuses to, initiate or change the child’s identification, evaluation or educational placement of the child or the provision of a free appropriate public education to the child. R.C.S.A. Sec. 10-76d-8(a)(5).

Unfortunately, the new IEP format will not contain a PWN page within the IEP. Rather, the PWN will be a separate document, apart from the new IEP and will be significantly different.

Parent and Student Input: The new IEP will provide parent and student input separately for academic achievement and functional performance.

Present Levels of Performance and Impact Statement: Present levels information will be collected for each Goal Area and be printed with the annual goals related to the goal area. The Present Level of Educational Performance is a summary describing the student’s current achievement in the areas of need as determined by an evaluation. It specifically addresses the student’s strengths, effective teaching approaches, and interventions to enable student success.

Transition Planning: The transition planning page will have minor formatting changes. In Connecticut, transition planning begins no later than age 14 or earlier. There will be new sections including:

  • Transition Planning – Student Preferences
  • Transition Planning – Transition Assessments
  • Transition Planning – Postsecondary Outcome Goal Statements (PSOGS)
  • Transition Planning – Course of Study

Transfer of Rights: The IDEA requires that at least one year prior to reaching the age of majority (18), the student be informed of his/her rights under the IDEA that will transfer to him/her at age 18. The changes that will be made within the new IEP will include the upload of supporting documentation for cases in which parental rights do not transfer.

Annual Goals and Short-Term Objectives: Measurable annual goals and short-term objectives should align with the student’s present levels of academic and functional performance. Annual goals and short-term objectives should relate directly to the student’s concerns and needs. Short-term Objectives will include a schedule for progress monitoring and a “by when” date for the achievement of objectives. Related CT Core Standards (or ELDS) will be included for Academic Goals. Associated related services will be indicated.

Accommodations and Modifications: The “Supplementary Aids and Services” page will now include IEP Accommodations, Modifications, Assistive Technology, and direct Adult Support. Specific locations/classes will be selected for each accommodation and modification.

Statewide Assessments: Individualized statewide assessment information will be included based on each student’s grade, type of assessment, and need for designated supports or accommodations, which for Smarter Balanced will be submitted directly to the testing vendor on behalf of the district.

ELP Assessments: The ELP Assessment information will be required if the student has been identified as an English Learner.

Districtwide Assessments: The name of the district assessment(s) will be included.

Alternative Assessment Eligibility Form and Justification Statement: While technically not part of the IEP, the Alternate Eligibility Assessment Form is built into the CT-SEDS process flow with minor formatting changes.

Special Factors Information: Special Factors Information is included in the Special Considerations section near the beginning of the IEP

Progress Reporting: The progress report page only has minor formatting changes. The new IEP will continue to report how the PPT plans to monitor a student’s progress towards his/her goals and objectives.

Exit Criteria: Will be remained to “Anticipated Exit Criteria.” Typically, there are several ways a student exits from an IEP – (1) ability to success in regular education without special education support, (2) graduation, or (3) upon reaching the age of 22.

Information on IEPs and Secondary Transition: This section will now include the resources section within the new IEP. Documents will also be made available to parents via the new parent portal or can be printed and emailed.

Special Education and Related Services Grids: The new IEP page will be revised to include the list of instruction sites for each special education and related service goal and objective.

Special Education and Related Services – Extended School Year (ESY): If needed, ESY services will be documented separately outside of the new IEP format.

Transportation: The new IEP will provide for three separate categories of specialized transportation, if needed.

Special Education Hours and Time with Non-Disabled Peers (TWNDP): The new IEP will provide more specificity for TWNDP and will also display different years if an IEP is in effect over two different school years.

Justification Statement for Removal from General Education Setting: Minor formatting changes will be made within the new IEP.

LRE Checklist: The “Least Restrictive Environment” (LRE) checklist will not be built into the Connecticut Special Education Data System (“CT-SEDS”) process workflow. According to the CSDE, CT-SEDS adaptive electronic Individual Education Program (IEP) document is being designed to improve format and flow of information with intuitive, easy to use displays. The new system will include a “parent portal” for families to access their student’s IEP and other important information as well as a language translation feature to ensure that parents receive information in their native language.  The new and improved document will also assist planning and placement teams (PPTs) in navigating the special education process, leading to the development of high-quality IEPs for Connecticut’s students.

Required Data Collection: Minor changes.

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES: Below is a preliminary collection of additional resources our firm has gathered to assist families in further understanding the new IEP format:

CSDE New IEP Resources link:

CSDE New IEP Template:

Side-by-Side Comparison of the Current Connecticut IEP and the New IEP:

New IEP – Supplementary Aides and Services:—Supplementary-Aids-and-Services-_-Accomm_Mod_AT-Examples.pdf

CPAC Youtube video explaining the new IEP:

CT-SEDS Overview with Bryan Klimkiewicz 

Bureau of Special Education Update from Bryan Klimkiewicz, CSDE Special Education Division Director:

Forte Law Group –

For more information, you can also schedule a free 15-minute call with a member of Forte Law Group here.