The Identification, Placement and Review Committee (IPRC) process is usually started after the school has been supporting your child for some time and when it is clear that the student needs additional supports or accommodations, or the classroom program needs to be modified or the student needs an alternative program.
The purpose of the IPRC is for a committee of school staff to determine if the student is exceptional and meets the criteria for identification under one of the five areas of exceptionality. If the student is identified as exceptional, the committee will consider and recommend the best placement to meet their needs. The IPRC decisions of identification and placement must be reviewed annually.
The IPRC process is determined by Regulation 181/98 of the Education Act. The Regulation includes description of the IPRC process, the roles and responsibilities of the school and the rights of the parent/guardian to request and IPRC and appeal the decisions of identification and placement.
For students with physical disabilities the strengths and needs of the child may have been identified as an infant or preschooler. In these cases the IPRC process may occur in kindergarten, especially if the student requires significant changes to the classroom environment or program. For most other students with physical disabilities it will occur when it becomes clear that the student needs accommodation, modifications or an alternative program.
Schools and classroom teachers are constantly assessing students and their progress. When concerns are identified the first step may be a meeting between the parent and the teacher. If help is needed, from other school staff, a school team meeting may be held and the parent will be invited to attend. A school team meeting may lead to referrals for further assessments, the development of an Individual Education Plan or consideration for an Identification, Placement and Review Committee.
Under Regulation 181/98 parent/guardians must be invited to the IPRC and it is recommended that they make every effort to attend. The discussion at the IPRC should not be surprising to the family as there should have been many meetings and conversations with the family before the IPRC.
Tips for Preparing for the initial IPRC or Annual Review
The Identification, Placement and Review Committee (IPRC) may be called by the school or requested by the parent. In either case there should have been school team meetings and discussion with the family about the student’s strength and needs well before the IPRC is held.
Before the IPRC:
- Attend any prior meetings about your child at the school or with the teacher
- Respond to the invitation to the IPCR and, if you can’t attend, ask for a change of time or date
- Ask the school for information on the I.P.R.C. role and process and a copy of the school board Parent Guide
- If you need more information about the IPRC check the Ministry of Education Website or contact an association like Easter Seals Ontario for additional resources about the IPRC process and your role
- Look at the proposed exceptionality and placement on the invitation to the IPRC and consider whether you agree with the proposal
- Check the school board’s website to review the definition of the exceptionality and the placement options
- Review all of the information you have about your child, including assessment and teacher reports
- Request copies of any new assessments or reports that will be used in the IPRC
- Find out who is going to represent the school board on the IPRC committee. Usually there are three people, including the Principal or designate.
- If there will be people you don’t know ask about their role in your child’s school life
- Organize the materials you would like to take to the meeting including any reports and if you have them, the most recent Individual Education Plan (IEP) or previous IPRC Statement of Decision
At the IPRC:
- Take someone with you to the meeting, usually your spouse or partner, or a friend or relative that can take notes and provide you with support
- At the start of the meeting, ask for introductions for everyone at the meeting
- Come to the meeting with an open mind, ready to listen to the opinions and ideas of the school staff
- Be clear about your concerns and be specific in your requests and responses.
- Share your ideas in a clear and organized way
- Share any reports or information that provide information about your child and their strengths and needs
- Be realistic about your expectations and requests
- At the end of the meeting you will be asked to sign the Statement of Decision for the identification of exceptionality and the placement and you should only sign the form if you are satisfied with the decisions
Requesting another meeting or appealing the IPRC Decision:
- If you are unsure about the committee decisions, ask for a few days to think about the meeting before signing the form
- If you are dissatisfied with the committee decisions you can request another meeting, or let the Principal know you will be filing an appeal
- A request for another meeting must be made in writing within 15 days of the IPRC meeting (as per Regulation 181/98)
- A notice of appeal must be sent in writing to the Principal within 30 days of the IPRC meeting, or 15 days of the second meeting (as per Regulation 1818/98)
- While the decision of the IPRC is under appeal, the board can’t change the placement of your child
For more information on Regulation 181/98 and the IPRC process check the Ministry of Education website.
After the IPRC:
- Keep all of your notes from the IPRC, and the Statement of Decision in your records
- The Individual Education Plan (IEP) for the student will be developed following the IPRC decision
- Parents/guardians are to be involved in the development of the IEP
- The IEP will build on the decisions of the IPRC and the student strengths and needs identified in the IPRC decision
- For tips on how to participate in the IEP process see the Tip Sheet on Developing an IEP