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Standards-Based Individualized Education Program (SBIEP) Resource Brief

According to guidance provided by the Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services (OSERS) on November 16, 2015, in the form of a “Dear Colleagues” letter, an Individualized Education Program (IEP) must be aligned with state standards to ensure that high expectations and rigorous academic standards are maintained for all students with disabilities (OSERS, 2015).  In support of this guidance, the Virginia Department of Education has revised its document around SBIEPs (March, 2016), as provided on its website.

High expectations for students eligible for IEPs are critical for moving students with disabilities to an on-time graduation with a standard diploma.  During development of an IEP, the team must consider grade-level standards, relevant data, academic demands, functional needs, and student strengths.  Appropriately written goals matched with delivery of specially designed instruction that is evidence based will help to ensure this outcome will be met (Indicator 1).

To assist in understanding the desired outcome, and construction of SBIEPs, the Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) provides video trainings and documents on its website. The Training and Technical Assistance Center at the College of William and Mary (TTAC WM) also provides articles to support appropriate SBIEP construction and alignment with the guidance provided by OSERS and VDOE.   Below are links to the online resources to assist in your exploration of this information for your own practice.


VDOE IEP and Instruction: Standards-Based IEP

TTAC Link Lines Articles

Designing Meaningful IEPS – Crafting the PLoP

Designing Meaningful IEPs – Selecting and Writing Annual Goals and Objectives 

Designing the IEP: Measuring and Reporting Progress Toward Mastery of Annual Goals 

Describing Specially Designed Instruction, Related Services, Supplementary Aids and Services, and Program Modifications in the IEP 

Implementing Specially Designed Instruction in the General Education Classroom 


Yudin, M. K., & Musgrove, M. (2015, November 16).  “Dear colleagues” letter regarding standards-based individual education programs. Washington, DC: United States of Department of Education,  Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services;

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