A group of qualified professionals and the parents look at the child's evaluation results. Together, they decide if the child is a "child with a disability," as defined by the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).
These three criteria must all be met before a student can be declared eligible for special education services:
To be eligible for Special Education Services a student must first be found to have a disability
To be eligible for Special Education Services a student must demonstrate a lack of progress in the general education curriculum
If the child is found to be a "child with a disability," as defined by IDEA, he or she is eligible for special education and related services and the IEP team will write an Individual Education Program or IEP for the child.
Once the student has been found eligible for services, the IEP must be written. Detailed information on the IEP process is available on the DESE Web site.