A teacher sits with a young student.

Current as of September 2019

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This short article addresses the component of the IEP we’ll call “service delivery.” The language at §300.320(a)(7) states the IEP must include:

(7) The projected date for the beginning of the services and modifications described in paragraph (a)(4) of this section, and the anticipated frequency, location, and duration of those services and modifications.

This is where the details are specified about the services that a child with a disability will receive—the when, where, how often, how long of service delivery. The service delivery statement in the IEP should include:

  • how often the child will receive the service(s) (number of times per day or week);
  • how long each “session” will last (number of minutes)
  • where services will be provided (in the general education classroom or another setting such as a special education resource room); and
  • when services will begin and end (starting and ending dates).

The model IEP form developed by the Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) at the U.S. Department of Education (2006) suggests the format shown below as a means of recording this information.

Service, Aid or Modification Frequency Location Beginning Date Duration

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Considering Extended School Year (ESY) Services

The IEP team should also consider whether or not a child needs to receive services beyond the typical school year. This is called Extended School Year or ESY services. Some children receiving special education services may be eligible for ESY services. States and LEAs typically have guidelines for determining eligibility for ESY. Whether or not a child needs ESY in order to receive a free appropriate public education (FAPE) is a decision that is made by the IEP team.

Want to know more about ESY? Here is an online resource to get you started:

Extended School Year Services

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U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs. (2006). Model IEP form. Washington, DC: Author. Available online at: http://IDEA.ed.gov/static/modelForms

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Would you like to read about another component of the IEP?

If so, use the links below to jump there quickly.


Present Levels
How is the child currently doing in school? How does the disability affect his or her performance in class? This type of information is captured in the “present levels” statement in the IEP.

Annual Goals
Once a child’s needs are identified, the IEP team works to develop appropriate goals to address those needs. Annual goal describe what the child is expected to do or learn within a 12-month period.

Benchmarks or Short-Term Objectives
Benchmarks or short-term objectives are required only for children with disabilities who take alternate assessments aligned to alternate achievement standards. If you’re wondering what that means, this article will tell you!

Measuring and Reporting Progress
Each child’s IEP must also contain a description of how his or her progress toward meeting the annual goals will be measured and when it will be reported to parents. Learn more about how to write this statement in this short article.

Special Education
The IEP must contain a statement of the special education and related services and supplementary aids and services to be provided to the child, or on behalf of the child. This article focuses on the first element: a statement of the special education that will be provided for the child.

Related Services
To help a child with a disability benefit from special education, he or she may also need extra help in one area or another, such as speaking or moving. This additional help is called related services. Find out all about these critical services here.

Supplementary Aids and Services
Supplementary aids and services are intended to improve children’s access to learning and their participation across the spectrum of academic, extracurricular, and nonacademic activities and settings. The IEP team must determine what supplementary aids and services a child will need and specify them in the IEP.

Program Modifications for School Personnel
Also part of the IEP is identifying the program modifications or supports for school personnel that will be provided. Read more here.

Extent of Nonparticipation
The IEP must also include an explanation of the extent, if any, to which the child will not participate with nondisabled children in the regular class and in other school settings and activities. Read how this connects to IDEA’s foundational principle of LRE.

Accommodations in Assessment 
IDEA requires that students with disabilities take part in state or districtwide assessments. The IEP team must decide if the student needs accommodations in testing or another type of assessment entirely. In this component of the IEP, the team documents how the student will participate.

Service Delivery   (you’re already here!)
When will the child begin to receive services? Where? How often? How long will a “session” last? Pesky details, but important to include in the IEP!

Transition Planning
Beginning no later than a student’s 16th birthday (and younger, if appropriate), the IEP must contain transition-related plans designed to help the student prepare for life after secondary school.

Age of Majority
Beginning at least one year before the student reaches the age of majority, the IEP must include a statement that the student has been told about the rights (if any) that will transfer to him or her at age of majority. What is “age of majority” and what does this statement in the IEP look like?

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