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Identification, Placement and Review Committee (IPRC)  

What is an Identification, Placement and Review Committee? 

An IPRC is an important opportunity for a school and family to decide on an identification and placement for a student with special education needs (SENs). All school boards are required to set up IPRCs. Each IPRC must consist of three or more members, one of whom must be either a principal or supervisory officer employed by the school board. The balance of the committee may be made up of teachers, special education consultants or other special education professionals employed by the school board. Parents/guardians are invited and encouraged to attend IPRC meetings. Once a student is identified a review will take place annually.

*It is important to note that an identification does not prevent a student from achieving a high school diploma.

What is the role of the IPRC?

The IPRC will:

  • Decide whether or not your child is exceptional;
  • Identify the areas of your child’s exceptionality, according to the categories and definitions of exceptionalities
    provided by the Ministry of Education;
  • Describe your child’s strengths and needs, from which your child’s individual education plan (IEP) will be developed, within 30 school days of the IPRC meeting;
  • Decide an appropriate placement for your child; and,
  • Review the identification and placement at least once in each school year.

How is an IPRC meeting requested?  

The principal of your child’s school:

  • Shall request an IPRC meeting for your child, upon receiving your written request; or,
  • May, with written notice to you, refer your child to an IPRC when the principal and the student’s teacher or teachers believe that your child may benefit from a special education class.

Within 15 days of receiving your request, or giving you notice, the principal must provide you with a written acknowledgement of your request, a copy of this guide and a written statement of when approximately the IPRC will meet.

What is a pre-IPRC meeting?    

The school team may invite you, your child and, if appropriate, outside agency support to a pre-IPRC meeting. The purpose of the meeting is to review your child’s strengths and needs and what will be recommended at the IPRC meeting. The minutes of this meeting will be documented as a Strengths and Needs Committee (SNC).

May parents attend the IPRC meeting?

Regulation 181/98 Identification and Placement of Exceptional Pupils, entitles parents/guardians and pupils 16 years of age and older: to be present at and participate in all committee discussions about your child; and to be present when the committee’s identification and placement decision is made.

Who else may attend the meeting?

  • The student;
  • The principal of your child’s school;
  • Other resource people such as your child’s teacher, special education staff, board support staff, or the representative of an agency, who may provide further information or clarification;
  • Your representative – that is, a person who may support you or speak on behalf of you or your child; and,
  • An interpreter, if required (you may request the services of an interpreter through the principal of your child’s school).

Either you or the principal of your child’s school may make a request for the attendance of others at the IPRC meeting.

What information will parents receive about the IPRC meeting?   

At least 10 days in advance of the meeting, the chair of the IPRC will provide you with written notification of the meeting and an invitation to attend as an important partner in considering your child’s placement. This letter will notify you of the date, time and place of the meeting, and it will ask you to reply as to whether or not you will attend. Before the IPRC meeting occurs, you will receive the same information that the IPRC receives about your child. This will include the results of any assessments, if they exist. The letter will also invite you to contact the school if there is any information that you would like to provide the IPRC and/or if you have any questions related to the information or the process.

If you are unable to make the scheduled meeting, you may contact the school principal to arrange an alternate date or time.

If you choose not to attend the meeting, please let the school principal know you will not be attending.

How can a parent prepare for an IPRC meeting?   

  • Set up a file to keep all papers organized;
  • Speak to the principal, teachers and professionals working with your child;
  • Ask for information about the parent’s/guardian’s role and the IPRC process;
  • Look at your child’s Ontario Student Record (OSR) and review recent assessments and reports; and,
  • Ask if you can meet with the school team to discuss your child’s progress.

What happens at an IPRC meeting?   

The chair introduces everyone and explains the purpose of the meeting. The IPRC will review all available information about your child. The members:

  • Will consider an educational assessment of your child;
  • May, subject to the provisions of the Health Care Consent Act, 1996, request a health or psychological assessment of your child conducted by a qualified practitioner, if they feel that such an assessment is required to make a correct identification or placement decision;
  • Will interview your child, with your consent if your child is less than 16 years of age, if they feel it would be useful to do so (a parent of the pupil has a right to be present at the interview);
  • Will consider any information that you submit about your child or your child submits if he or she is 16 years of age or older; and,
  • Encourage you to ask questions and join in the discussion.

Following the discussion, and after all the information has been presented and considered, the committee will make its decision.

What will the IPRC consider in making its placement decision?    

The Simcoe County District School Board (SCDSB) acknowledges that placement of a student in a regular class is the first option considered by an IPRC. Before the IPRC can consider placing your child in a special education class, it must consider whether placement in a regular class with appropriate special education services will:

  • Meet your child’s strengths and needs; and,
  • Be consistent with your preferences.

If, after considering all of the information presented to it, the IPRC is satisfied that placement in a regular class will meet your child’s strengths and needs and that such a decision is consistent with your preferences, the Committee will decide in favour of placement in a regular class with appropriate special education services. If the Committee decides that your child should be placed in a special education class, it must state the reasons for that decision in its written Statement of Decision.

What will the IPRC’s written statement of decision include?   

The IPRC’s written statement of decision will state:

  • Whether the IPRC has identified your child as exceptional; and when the IPRC has identified your child as exceptional, the categories and definitions of any exceptionalities identified, as they are defined by the Ministry of Education; the IPRC’s description of your child’s strengths and needs;
  • The IPRC’s placement decision; the IPRC’s recommendations regarding a special education program and special education services; and,
  • When the IPRC has decided that your child should be placed in a special education class, the reasons for that decision.

What happens after the IPRC has made its decision?  

If you agree with the decision you will be asked to indicate, by signing your name that you agree with the identification and placement decisions made by the IPRC.

The IPRC may identify your child as an exceptional pupil who would benefit from a special education class placement. If you agree with the IPRC decision(s), the board will promptly notify the principal of the school at which the special education program is to be provided of the need to develop an IEP for your child.

What does a review IPRC consider and decide?   

A review IPRC meeting will be held within one school year, unless the principal of the school at which the special education program is being provided receives written notice from you, the parent/guardian, dispensing with the annual review. With your written permission, the IPRC conducting the review will consider the progress your child has made in relation to the IEP. This review may be done as a SNC meeting including yourself and, if appropriate, your child and/or outside agency support. The focus of the meeting is to consider the same type of information that was originally considered by the IPRC, as well as any new information. The IPRC will review the identification and placement decisions and decide whether they should be continued or whether a different decision should now be made. Parents/guardians may choose to waive the annual review of the IPRC by selecting this option on the Confirmation of Continued Identification and Placement form letter. You may request a review IPRC meeting any time after your child has been in a special education program for three months.

What is a waiver?  

In many cases, parents/guardians choose to maintain identification and placement from year to year. The school will send home a waiver in the spring providing the parents/guardians with that option.

What can parents do if they disagree with the IPRC decision?  

If you do not agree with either the identification and/or placement decision made by the IPRC, you may:

  • Within 15 days of receiving the decision, request, in writing, that the IPRC hold a second meeting to discuss your concerns; or,
  • Within 30 days of receiving the decision, file notice of appeal.

If you do not agree with the decision after the second meeting, you may file a notice of appeal within 15 days of your receiving the decision. If you do not consent to the IPRC decision but you do not appeal it, the board will instruct the principal to implement the IPRC decision.

How do I appeal an IPRC decision?     

If you disagree with the IPRC’s identification of your child as exceptional or with the placement decision of the IPRC, you may, within 30 days of receiving the original decision, or within 15 days of receiving the decision from the second meeting described above, give written notification of your intention to appeal the decision to the Secretary of the Board (Director) at the Simcoe County District School Board, 1170 Highway 26, Midhurst, Ontario, L0L 1X0.

The notice of the appeal must:

  • Indicate the decision with which you disagree; and,
    Include a statement that sets out your reasons for disagreeing.

What happens in the appeal process?    

The appeal process involves the following steps:

  • A Special Education Appeal Board will be established to hear your appeal. This board will be composed of three persons who have no prior knowledge of the matter under appeal, one of whom is to be selected by you, the parent/guardian, one of whom is selected by the school board and a chair who is mutually agreed upon;
  • The chair of the appeal board will arrange a meeting to take place at a convenient time and place, but no later than 30 days after he or she has been selected (unless parents/guardians and board provide written consent to a later date). The appeal board will receive the material reviewed by the IPRC and may interview any persons who may be able to contribute information about the matter under appeal;
  • You, the parent/guardians, and your child, if he or she is 16 years old or over, are entitled to be present at, and to participate in, all discussions;
  • The appeal board must make its recommendation within 3 school days of the meeting’s ending. It may:
    • Agree with the IPRC and recommend that the decision be implemented; or,
    • Disagree with the IPRC and make a recommendation to the board about your child’s identification or placement, or both.
  • The appeal board will report its recommendations in writing to you and to the school board, providing the
    reasons for its recommendations;
  • Within 30 days of receiving the appeal board’s written statement, the school board will decide what
    action it will take with respect to the recommendations (boards are not required to follow the appeal board’s
    recommendation); and,
  • You may accept the decision of the school board or you may appeal to a Special Education Tribunal. You may
    request a hearing by writing to the secretary of the Special Education Tribunal. Information about making
    an application to the Tribunal will be included with the appeal board’s decision.