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All about the IPRC process

Written by: Karen Robinson, Certified Special Education Advocate

What does IPCR stand for?

School Boards are required to establish committees for the purpose of Identification and appropriate Placement of students with special needs. These committees are called IPRCs (Identification, Placement and Review Committee). Any student has a right to an IPRC, even if the student is in Kindergarten. Once the child is enrolled, an initial IPRC meeting or a Review can be requested by either the parent or the principal of the school.

What does Identification mean?

Special needs students can be formally identified under one or more of the Categories of Exceptionality. There are 5 categories under the Education Act: Behaviour, Communication, Intellectual, Physical, and Multiple. Specific diagnoses are included under these categories. For example Autism, Learning Disability, Deaf, and Speech Impairment fall under the Communication category. Under the Intellectual category, falls Gifted, Mild Intellectual Disability, and Developmental Disability.

What are the Placement options?

School boards must provide a range of placement options to meet the needs of all their students. Examples are: Regular class, Regular class with indirect support, Regular class with Resource assistance, Regular class with withdrawal assistance, Special Education Class with partial integration, Special Education Class full-time, Provincial and Demonstration schools, Care and Treatment facilities.

What if I don't agree with the IPRC decision? Parents have the right to participate in the meeting and must state their agreement or disagreement of the decision within 30 days following the meeting. If the parent agrees with the IPRCs decision, he/she should sign the form indicating agreement. The Identification and/or Placement will then be implemented or continued as the case may be. But what if the parent disagrees with either the Identification or the Placement decision or both? He/she must file a Notice of Appeal with the Director of Education stating which decision they disagree with and why.

How do I write a letter to my school?

Below is a sample of such a letter. Mr. John Brown, Director of Education My District School Board 1 First Avenue Your Town, Ontario X7Y 8Z9 Dear Mr. Brown; Re: Adam Jones; Date of Birth: 2008/08/08 IPRC DECISION - NOTICE OF APPEAL I would like to appeal the decision of the Identification, Placement and Review Committee regarding my son, Adam. The committee originally met on April 5, 2013 at ABC Public School, and at my request, was reconvened on April 16, 2013. The meeting notes for both meetings are attached for your review.

  • I disagree with the IPRC's recommendation for placement which is "Regular Class with indirect support". This placement is inadequate to meet Adam's educational needs as set out in the Statement of Needs document (attached).

  • I agree that Adam's identification is Exceptional Communication - Autism

My representative for the Special Education Appeal Board is Mary Smith. She can be reached at 905-555-6789. For Adam's benefit, I expect that this appeal will proceed within the timelines as set out in Ontario Regulation 181/98. Sincerely, Janet Jones 100 Main Street My Town, Ontario A1B 2C3 Phone: 905-555-1234 Encl.

  • My School Board, IPRC Decision/Parental Consent Form, April 5, 2013

  • Adam Jones - Statement of Needs, IPRC Meeting, April 5, 2013

  • Adam Jones - IPRC Meeting Notes, April 5, 2013 & April 16, 2013

Karen Robinson provides special education advocacy training and consulting services to parents and guardians whose children have autism and other developmental disabilities. She develops her clients into informed, proactive advocates for their children's educational needs. They are empowered by current, customized information that enables them to articulate their children's needs to school staff and school board administrators in a way that is both assertive and collaborative.

Contact for more information about how Karen can help you advocate for an appropriate school placement for your child.

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