"Each public school child who receives special education and related services must have an Individualized Education Program (IEP). Each IEP must be designed for one student and must be a truly individualized document. The IEP creates an opportunity for teachers, parents, school administrators, related services personnel, and students (when appropriate) to work together to improve educational results for children with disabilities. The IEP is the cornerstone of a quality education for each child with a disability.
To create an effective IEP, parents, teachers, other school staff--and often the student--must come together to look closely at the student's unique needs. These individuals pool knowledge, experience and commitment to design an educational program that will help the student be involved in, and progress in, the general curriculum. The IEP guides the delivery of special education supports and services for the student with a disability. Without a doubt, writing--and implementing--an effective IEP requires teamwork."
Here it is in easy-to-understand, non-government speak:
It is a meeting that special education students have once a year. Everyone who gives services to the student is generally in attendance: teacher, physical therapist, speech pathologist, occupational therapist, and many more. There is usually also someone there representing the school district, parents, school psychologist, could be just about anyone (parent's attorney?)
At this meeting a document (contract?) is created which spells out what the IEP team would like the student to learn. It has goals and objectives. Blah, blah, blah.
IEP meetings can be very intimidating, especially if you are the only one wearing jeans.