IEP Process for APE

Managing the IEP Process.pptx

Legal Information

The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) 2004, 34 C.F.R.300.39(b)(2) specifically includes physical education under the definition special education as “specially designed instruction, as appropriate to the needs of the eligible child under this part, the content, methodology, or delivery of instruction to address the unique needs of the child that result from the child’s disability”.

  • Adapted Physical Education (specially designed physical education) is Special Education and should follow the same guidelines, policies, procedures, and regulations.

  • Students may not be exempt or waived based on having a disability or health condition. IDEA 2004 requires that students with disabilities receive physical education services, specially designed if necessary.

  • Students should not be taken out of general physical education or receive specially designed physical education unless they are found eligible for adapted physical education services and it is prescribed in the child’s IEP.

  • Physical education is a direct service (Academic Area) and can be a stand alone area on the IEP. This means the physical education teacher or adapted physical education teacher can be the case manager of the IEP, when the student doesn't have a cognitive delay. This typically occurs for students that have orthopedic impairments and where the student's needs can not be met in a 504 plan. Related services (occupational therapy, physical therapy, vision services, etc.) can not stand alone and need a direct service in at least one area to have an IEP.

More Information Can Be Found at Wrightslaw

Electronic Code for Federal Regulations for IDEA


The process of universal observation to collect data that will facilitate decisions and foster appropriate instructional practice for all students.

Sec. 300.302
The screening of a student by a teacher or specialist to determine appropriate instructional strategies for curriculum implementation shall not be considered to be an evaluation for eligibility for special education and related services.

Referral Process / Authorization for Assessment

APE Referral Process.pdf
Referral Form .docx
Authorization for Assessment.docx


Choosing the Tools to Use

Section 1414 (b) (2)

(2)Conduct of evaluation

In conducting the evaluation, the local educational agency shall—

  • (A) use a variety of assessment tools and strategies to gather relevant functional, developmental, and academic information, including information provided by the parent, that may assist in determining—

    • (i) whether the child is a child with a disability; and

    • (ii) the content of the child’s individualized education program, including information related to enabling the child to be involved in and progress in the general education curriculum, or, for preschool children, to participate in appropriate activities;

  • (B) not use any single measure or assessment as the sole criterion for determining whether a child is a child with a disability or determining an appropriate educational program for the child; and

  • (C) use technically sound instruments that may assess the relative contribution of cognitive and behavioral factors, in addition to physical or developmental factors.

Section 1414 (b) (3)

  • (i) are selected and administered so as not to be discriminatory on a racial or cultural basis;

  • (ii) are provided and administered in the language and form most likely to yield accurate information on what the child knows and can do academically, developmentally, and functionally, unless it is not feasible to so provide or administer;

  • (iii) are used for purposes for which the assessments or measures are valid and reliable;

  • (iv) are administered by trained and knowledgeable personnel; and

  • (v) are administered in accordance with any instructions provided by the producer of such assessments;

Observation as Part of the Evaluation Process

Sec. 300.310
(a) The public agency must ensure that the child is observed in the child’s learning environment (including the regular classroom setting) to document the child’s academic performance and behavior in the areas of difficulty.

(c) In the case of a child of less than school age or out of school, a group member must observe the child in an environment appropriate for a child of that age.

Timeframe to Conduct the Evaluation

Sec. 1414(a)(1)C)(i)(1)

(l) to determine whether a child is a child with a disability (as defined in 1401 of this title) within 60 days of receiving parental consent for the evaluation, or, if the State establishes a timeframe within which the evaluation must be conducted, within such timeframe; and

(ll) to determine the educational needs of such child.

Parent Fails to Give Consent or Refuses to Respond

Sec. 300.300(b)(3)

(3) If the parent of a child fails to respond to a request for, or refuses to consent to, the initial provision of special education and related services, the public agency—

(i) May not use the procedures in subpart E of this part (including the mediation procedures under §300.506 or the due process procedures under §§300.507 through 300.516) in order to obtain agreement or a ruling that the services may be provided to the child;

(ii) Will not be considered to be in violation of the requirement to make FAPE available to the child because of the failure to provide the child with the special education and related services for which the parent refuses to or fails to provide consent; and

(iii) Is not required to convene an IEP Team meeting or develop an IEP under §§300.320 and 300.324 for the child.


Adapted physical education may be required for students with disabilities when their disability significantly impacts their ability to make sufficient progress to meet age or State-approved grade-level standards (34 CFR §300.11(a)(5)(ii)(A)).

Students with an identified disability should be found eligible based on multi-confirming data sources.

  • A standardized assessment tool that has been determined valid and reliable.

  • Plus one or more of the below examples

    1. Teacher observation of the student's performance in physical education

    2. Standard-based data

    3. Collaboration

    4. Daily Anecdotal notes

Eligibility is determined when the students performance directly impacted by the identified disability is either

  • 2 or more years below the child's chronological age

  • 25% or greater discrepancy between the child's chronological age and the age equivalency

  • 1.5 standard deviations or greater below the mean

Evaluation and Eligibility Determination Resource - Cornell Law School

Adapted Physical Education Compared to School-Based Physical Therapy

Sample Formal Assessment Write-ups / Blank Forms

Sample TGMD Assessment Report.pdf
BLANK TGMD Assessment Report Format.docx
Assessment Report.pdf
Assessment Report.docx

Developing the Individualized Education Program (IEP)

Annual Review


Sec. 300.323(d)

(d) Accessibility of child’s IEP to teachers and others. Each public agency must ensure that—

(1)The child’s IEP is accessible to each regular education teacher, special education teacher, related services provider, and any other service provider who is responsible for its implementation; and

(2) Each teacher and provider described in paragraph (d)(1) of this section is informed of—

(i) His or her specific responsibilities related to implementing the child’s IEP; and

(ii) The specific accommodations, modifications, and supports that must be provided for the child in accordance with the IEP.

Guide to Effective & Appropriate APE Services on the IEP

A Parent’s Guide to APE on the IEP.pdf

The IEP process can be confusing for parents.

To the left is a guide for parents and other professionals to support a better understanding of adapted physical education and what is indicated on the IEP. It supports in guiding parents questions to ask.

Excusal Form

IDEA (2004) requires that all IEP team members attend IEP meetings unless provided written permission from the parents.

Section 1414 (d) (1) (C) (ii)

A member of the IEP Team may be excused from attending an IEP meeting, in whole or in part, when the meeting involves a modification to or discussion of the member’s area of the curriculum or related services, if—

  • (I) the parent and the local educational agency consent to the excusal; and

  • (II) the member submits, in writing to the parent and the IEP Team, input into the development of the IEP prior to the meeting.

(iii) Written agreement and consent required

A parent’s agreement under clause (i) and consent under clause (ii) shall be in writing.

Section 1414 (d) (1) (C) (i) - Attendance not necessary

A member of the IEP Team shall not be required to attend an IEP meeting, in whole or in part, if the parent of a child with a disability and the local educational agency agree that the attendance of such member is not necessary because the member’s area of the curriculum or related services is not being modified or discussed in the meeting.

To the left is a sample blank excusal form.

Sample Excusal Form

Excusal Form.docx

Delivery of Services

A continuum of adapted physical education services provides students the opportunity to receive instruction in the least restrictive environment (LRE). LRE is defined as providing instruction to students with disabilities in the general education setting to the maximum extent appropriate. Students with disabilities should only be removed from the general education setting when they are unable to achieve a satisfactory education in that environment with supplemental aids and services based on the nature and severity of their disability (20 U.S.C. 1412 (a)(5)(A) Special Education).

A strong preference within Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) 2004, is that students with disabilities are educated in the least restrictive environment. The lowest level of restriction to an environment is the neighborhood school in the general education setting. Least Restrictive Environment (LRE) means to the maximum extent possible, each student with a disability must be educated with students without disabilities. This is unless the nature or severity of the disability is such that education in the general environment with the use of supplementary aids, program modifications, supports, and services cannot be achieved satisfactorily. Therefore, general physical education should always be considered as the first placement option. The flow chart below illustrates methods of delivery of service.

*Note: Some areas throughout the country provide unique learning settings that may not be listed on this sheet. It is important to explore the learning opportunities and settings provided in your specific local education agency (district, county, township, school).

Delivery of Service.pdf

Progress Report

Section 1414 (d) (1) (A) (i) (III) / Sec. 300.320(a)(3)

(III) a description of how the child’s progress toward meeting the annual goals described in subclause (II) will be measured and when periodic reports on the progress the child is making toward meeting the annual goals (such as through the use of quarterly or other periodic reports, concurrent with the issuance of report cards) will be provided;

A short paragraph describing the specific gains/difficulties the student is demonstrating towards attaining his/her goal and objectives. The reported information is based on formative (ongoing) data collection.

Progress is typically documented

  • 4 times per year for K – 12th grade

  • 2 – 3 times per year for Pre-school

Progress is typically marked by one of these indicators:

  • Achieved

  • Making Sufficient Progress

  • Not Making Sufficient Progress

  • Newly introduced skills

  • Not yet Introduced

Re-evaluation / Triennial IEP Meetings

Sec. 300.303

(a) General. A public agency must ensure that a reevaluation of each child with a disability is conducted in accordance with §§300.304 through 300.311—

(1) If the public agency determines that the educational or related services needs, including improved academic achievement and functional performance, of the child warrant a reevaluation; or

(2) If the child’s parent or teacher requests a reevaluation.

(b) Limitation. A reevaluation conducted under paragraph (a) of this section—

(1) May occur not more than once a year, unless the parent and the public agency agree otherwise; and

(2) Must occur at least once every 3 years, unless the parent and the public agency agree that a reevaluation is unnecessary.

Parental Consent for Reevaluation

Sec. 300.300(c)

(1) Subject to paragraph (c)(2) of this section, each public agency—

(i) Must obtain informed parental consent, in accordance with §300.300(a)(1), prior to conducting any reevaluation of a child with a disability.

(ii) If the parent refuses to consent to the reevaluation, the public agency may, but is not required to, pursue the reevaluation by using the consent override procedures described in paragraph (a)(3) of this section.

(iii) The public agency does not violate its obligation under §300.111 and §§300.301 through 300.311 if it declines to pursue the evaluation or reevaluation.

(2) The informed parental consent described in paragraph (c)(1) of this section need not be obtained if the public agency can demonstrate that

(i) It made reasonable efforts to obtain such consent; and

(ii) The child’s parent has failed to respond.

At least every 3 years, the IEP team must meet to discuss continued eligibility for special education services.

Planning Meeting

During the planning meeting, the team members will:

  • Review prior reports

  • Discuss present levels of performance

  • Discuss if any dramatic changes have occurred to impact student performance

  • Consider if there are diagnostic questions that would warrant formal testing to occur.

If no team member has a diagnostic questions regarding if the student continues to be eligible for special education services under the currently identified disability; the team can move into a determination meeting.

If a team members does have a diagnostic question and is in need of updated testing, parental authorization for assessment will be requested.

  • Team members administering a test will have 60 days from the signed authorization to conduct the assessment and reconvene for the determination meeting.

Sample diagnostic questions:

  1. The student has been showing wonderful improvements. Does the student's performance continue to be impacted by his/her disability and does he/she continues to have the performance gap for eligibility for adapted physical education services?

  2. The student has been in the hospital for the prior month followed by receiving interim instructional services (home and hospital services) for a period of time. Has the student's time missed had an impact on his present performance level? Testing will be conducted to gain updated data on student performance.

Determination Meeting

If no team members conducted an assessment, the team typically moves from a planning meeting into a determination meeting (but it is not ideal). The determination meeting (review of the results) must occur with in 90 days of the signed permission.

If testing occurred, those team members who conducted the assessments will report their results and the IEP will be amended or updated as necessary to address the current needs of the student.

  • Those who conducted an assessment will provide their recommendations for the IEP team to discuss.

Blank Re-evaluation Planning Meeting Report

Re-Evaluation Form.docx

Secondary Transition

Sec. 300.43

(a) Transition services means a coordinated set of activities for a child with a disability that—

(1) Is designed to be within a results-oriented process, that is focused on improving the academic and functional achievement of the child with a disability to facilitate the child’s movement from school to post-school activities, including postsecondary education, vocational education, integrated employment (including supported employment), continuing and adult education, adult services, independent living, or community participation;

(2) Is based on the individual child’s needs, taking into account the child’s strengths, preferences, and interests; and includes—

(i) Instruction;

(ii) Related services;

(iii) Community experiences;

(iv) The development of employment and other post-school adult living objectives; and

(v) If appropriate, acquisition of daily living skills and provision of a functional vocational evaluation.

(b) Transition services for children with disabilities may be special education, if provided as specially designed instruction, or a related service, if required to assist a child with a disability to benefit from special education.

Transition Planning starts no later than the first IEP of a student 16 years of age. Some States regulations starts the transition planning no later than the 14 years of age (i.e.: Maryland).