How to Read the Page Numbers in Your IEP
You’re in your annual meeting and a teacher says, “On IEP 4..” You turn to the fourth page.
You’re looking at a list of accommodations. The teachers are talking about annual goals.
What is going on? Why aren’t they looking at the fourth page? Welcome to the world of IEPs.
As the photos above show, “IEP4” is written at the bottom, as if it were the fourth page of the IEP. “Page 4 of 30” is also written, as if this were the fourth page of a 30-page IEP. You count, and neither page is actually the fourth page of the IEP.
You’re right. Neither page number describes the fourth page of the IEP. Well sometimes it does.
The teacher was referring to the fourth section of the IEP, not the fourth page. That’s what “IEP4” means.
We teachers do this. We don’t mean to mess you up. We think in terms of sections because each one is so different from the others. And for some reason, our terminology uses “IEP” and not “section.” So the fourth section, “Current Performance Levels/Measurable Annual Goals” is called “IEP4.”
“Wait,” you say. “I thought the whole thing was an IEP.” Once again, you’re right, but.. Every specialty has its jargon.
If a teacher is talking about the fourth page of the IEP, s/he will probably say, “Page 4” or “the fourth page of the IEP.”
And the “Page 4 of 30”? That refers to the number of pages that were printed at one time. Often, the cover letter that came with your IEP was part of that printing, so the letter is page 1. Your IEP might not start until page 4.
To make it even crazier, I have sometimes made a change to a section in the middle of an IEP. In order to send to the parent, I have reprinted that section, and then inserted the revised section into the rest of the IEP. I really should print the whole thing again – and most of the time I do – so that the parent doesn’t go from page 5 of 30 to page 1 of 2, then back to page 7 of 30. But sometimes I just don’t want to kill any more trees.
So that’s the scoop on your IEP pagination. If each section is only one page and if this was the only document printed at the time, then the numbers at the bottom will be the page numbers of the IEP. Otherwise, you need look around the table to make sure you know what the teachers are talking about. Or your could sound very knowledgable about these distinctions and ask what the teacher means.
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