The initial Identification, Placement and Review Committee (IPRC) for a student may take place at any time in the year, but the annual Review typically takes place at the end of the school year, in April, May or June. Legally, the parents or legal guardian must be invited to the IPRC meeting and you should attend this important meeting. The IPRC Statement of Decision is a legal document recognizing that your child is exceptional and that special education programs and services are required to meet your child’s needs.
The IPRC meeting is the result of a process that has included discussions about your child’s needs and the placement, programs and services that are available to help your child. You may have attended a school team meeting, and in some cases, an Individual Education Plan (I.E.P.) may have been developed. The discussion at the IPRC should not be a surprise, as it is based on your child’s strengths and needs which have been determined through assessments. The decisions on identifying the child as exceptional, and the placement for next year, have usually been agreed in advance of the IPRC.
The school will send you an invitation to attend the IPRC and you should plan to attend the meeting. The IPRC is a legal process and the decisions made by the IPRC require the school board to meet the student needs and provide the placement determined by the committee. If you are not satisfied with the decisions you are entitled to appeal the decisions through the school board and, eventually, a tribunal. In addition, the strengths and needs documented by the IPRC will form the basis of the I.E.P. which must be developed, for the student.
The IPRC decisions on identification and placement must be reviewed each year. For many students, the exceptionality will be unchanged and the placement in a regular class will continue in the next grade. The school board may send you an invitation that includes the option to waive your right to hold an IPRC review meeting. The waiver does not change your child’s identification or placement and only cancels the meeting. You should consider very carefully before waiving your rights to have a meeting. By attending the meeting you are showing your interest in your child and remaining engaged with the school staff. You will have an opportunity to discuss your child’s current situation and plans for next year.
When changes in your child’s identification or placement are being considered it is especially important that you attend the IPRC. In some cases your child’s needs may have changed significantly and a different category of exceptionality may be considered. New assessments may have determined that your child meets the criteria for a different exceptionality, for example testing in Grade 3 has determined your child has a Learning Disability, or is Gifted. Your child’s changing health may have resulted in increased physical challenges, or deterioration in their vision or hearing. At the IPRC these needs can be documented, and, if necessary, the exceptionality changed.
A new placement may be considered if your child is eligible for a special program in a self-contained class, such as a class for students with learning disabilities or developmental disabilities. Or your child may be facing a move to a new school at the end of Grade 6 or Grade 8. When changes are being considered you should plan to attend the IPRC be part of these important decisions.
Remember, your participation in the IPRC process, and any decisions made, will support your child’s success at school.
For more information check the Ministry of Education Website section on The Identification, Placement and Review Committee at:
http://www.edu.gov.on.ca/eng/general/elemsec/speced/identifi.html and Highlights of Regulation 181/98 – The identification, Placement and Review Committee http://www.edu.gov.on.ca/eng/general/elemsec/speced/hilites.html.