IEP at a Glance

When I was a special educator in Maryland, we provided an IEP Snapshot to all of our general educators who had a student with an IEP in their class. We knew that teachers could be overwhelmed when they saw the humongous IEPs flopped on their desks each fall. We decided to simplify the form with an IEP at a Glance, which contained key points.

But remember: the IEP is a written document that is a contract between parents and their school district. The IEP at a glance does not replace the IEP!  

editable IEP at a glance

It is just a great, simple way to let each teacher know about the student’s strengths and needs in the classroom.

Now that I have my own children with IEPs and advocating for other students, I use the snapshot for my own meetings. I want to share them with you. I used it yesterday at a “Back-to-School” meeting with my daughter’s teachers in middle school.

One teacher commented on how easy it was to follow the information. She also stated, “I wish all parents could be as prepared as this and have these.” Now you will be!

What is the Snapshot IEP?

A snapshot IEP is just what it says. It’s just a snapshot, a one-sheet if you will, of your child’s IEP. Please keep in mind, a snapshot IEP does not replace the IEP. A parent-teacher meeting does not replace an IEP meeting. But as stated in the first paragraph, if you are going to a Meet the Teacher night, what a great way to introduce them to the IEP without dropping a 50-page document on their desk.

This is what I put together for my daughter’s meeting (formatted slightly different for the post and minus some confidential info.) You can use as a template. It is pretty simple.

How to Create an IEP at a Glance

I list all of the teachers, guidance counselors and even administrators who may want the information on your child at the top. Date it in the corner. Go through the IEP and look at the areas of strengths and needs. Compile a list of both to discuss at the meeting. Then break the IEP down into the areas of specific goals. Typically you will find your child has reading, writing, behavioral, social, OT, Speech/Language, Math, and classroom modification goals. Then look at the actual SDI part or the specially designed instruction and write out “how” they will make those goals happen. You may also want to add if your child has any additional services such as (OT, SL, PT) and for what duration. This is just to inform the teaching staff.

Leave them with your contact information and always let them know you are there to help. Remember, this is a TEAM effort to help support your child.

Sample IEP at a Glance

I have provide a printable and editable template below. However, that is not always necessary. Main points written on a sheet of paper will do! This is what we had written down about one of our kids.

IEP at a Glance: Name of Child

Strengths/Areas of Need

  • friendly/written expression skills
  • polite /fine motor skills
  • good cognitive development/ emotional/behavioral development
  • determined/ transitioning skills
  • creative /organizational skills
  • imaginative/ redirection to tasks-at-hand
  • seeks out knowledge/ functional handwriting skills
  • on-level reading, math, spelling/ social skills

Writing Goals in All Classes

Accommodations at a Glance

  • written work w/ adult support (scribe/TSS)
  • planning
  • brainstorming
  • word banks
  • graphic organizers
  • reinforce handwriting skills based on model/have edited in class or during resource
  • provide teachers model of best handwriting to show expectation
  • daily assignment book checked w/ support for writing to ensure complete
  • use of assistive tech-AlphaSmart/computer for writing (in asst. tech eval)

Transitioning Accommodations

  • permitted to leave class 5 minutes early between classes
  • difficulties with lockers due to fine motor issues (gym locker) may need assistance

Social Skills

  • working on -initiating conversational interactions with peers
  • reciprocal conversations on non-preferred topics
  • picking-up and following social cues
  • staying on topic in conversations
  • interrupting teachers and peers appropriately at a break in conversation

Emotional/Behavioral Goals in Classroom

  • monitor sensory seeking behavior
  • due to sensory triggers w/loud noises, provide forewarning w/ fire drills

Positive Behavior Support Plan

  • verbal praise for expected behavior
  • give visuals for expected behavior
  • provide immediate, direct, and constructive feedback on her behavior

Accommodations/Modifications in Classrooms

  • reduced and/or mod. work expect. -build the ability to sustain attention to task-at-hand (i.e. reduced # of problems; complete work to demonstrate core concept understanding)
  • opportunity to take tests in resource
  • preferential seating to reduce distractions (discuss w/teacher wherein each class would provide optimal learning situation)
  • provide the opportunity to work on homework in resource since homework increases frustration
  • adapted tests for all core classes to include but not limited to
  • word banks
  • chunking
  • graphic organizers
  • reduced written assignments
  • provide skeleton outlines to accommodate OT needs
  • adult support for some core classes (see bottom note re: TSS)
  • monitor for organization of binders and folders


  • Pulled out for OT-52 sessions a year
  • Pulled out for Social Skills Group-26 session a year
  • TSS will be working with her 10:30-1:00pm-setting-up

Thank you for your support!

Mom and Dad {followed by contact information}

So that was a basic template of the “Snapshot” IEP modified for the post. Hope that you find it useful and a “snap” to create for each year to follow as your child’s needs change.

IEP at a Glance Template

Please note: This is only editable in Adobe if you have the paid version of Adobe. The free Adobe reader does not allow for editing documents. If you have the paid version, purple boxes will appear for you to type in. Or, on the right hand side, click on “fill and sign” and they should appear.


This post was originally written in 2011 by Michele D. It was recently updated to check formatting and links.