How to Prepare IEP Documents Digitally with a PDF Editor

by Nancy Gao, Product Marketing Manager

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The Individual Education Plan (IEP) is a program for unique education instruction to support special needs students and enable them to thrive in the right learning environment. Covered by the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), this program is a written-out plan that is carefully developed to meet a student’s individual learning needs. An IEP is very document-heavy and comprised of many IEP records, which are required for parents, teachers, and school administration to have on hand to ensure their student succeeds under the program.

Foxit Software works to provide school administrators and teachers with the right digital solutions to make their IEP records easily editable, manageable, and accessible at all times. Here are some ways that schools can benefit from Foxit’s PDF technology for their IEP needs:

Stay Prepared for Annual/Updated Meetings for IEP

IEP records consist of all the documents related to the individual student’s education plan. As a student grows from year to year, all their records need to be kept and updated to ensure they are receiving the proper education. That’s why IEP plans are thoroughly reviewed at least once a year through the process of an IEP meeting. During an IEP meeting, parents and school administration go over how the individual student is responding to their education plan.

Keeping track of documents and updating them annually is difficult with traditional paper documents. However, with a PDF editor like Foxit PhantomPDF, teachers can convert their IEP records from any source media or format into digital documents to keep their information up-to-date and ready for IEP meetings. Teachers can take all the plans, progress reports, grades, medical records and combine them into a PDF portfolio. Teachers can also update student progress and develop a finalized IEP plan into a PDF document that can be easily and securely shared with parents.

Digital Parent Consent Forms

With every IEP plan, parents are involved in the process to make sure their child is on the right track. As IEP plans are constantly being updated on a yearly basis, parents are required to give their consent for the program. With a PDF editor, teachers can prepare a digital form that can easily be edited and updated every year for the parent to sign, making it more convenient for both parties to give approval. Instead of printing out parent forms for ink signatures, teachers can create secure PDF forms for parental consent during annual IEP meetings.

Keep up with IEP Record Changes

IEP records consist of many different documents, such as student identification, health records, restrictions, 504 accommodation plans, etc. Schools and teachers are required to carry these documents on hand when working with students with special needs, and also constantly update IEP documents such as progress reports. Due to the nature of IEP plans, schools must make daily, monthly, and yearly updates to student progress reports. With a PDF editor, teachers and school administration can easily make edits to documents and save them properly for easy retrieval. With digital PDF copies, teachers can have access to their student IEP records whenever and wherever they are on campus, making it easier and more efficient to work with their students. With document management integrations, teachers can also pull out their PDF documents and edit them on the same platform. Digital documents can enable teachers to spend less time on inefficient workflows and more time on educating their students properly.

Securely Share IEP Documents

Keeping IEP documents secure and in the right hands is crucial for schools. Under FERPA, schools must protect the private information of their students, and with IEP records consisting of detailed student information, schools must ensure that only qualified personnel can view those documents. Electronic and digital IEP records are much more beneficial and easier to use. With PDF, teachers can protect their documents with password protection and set document restrictions. They can redact confidential information, restrict digital files from being printed, and use rights management to give access to their documents to only certain individuals such as qualified teachers and parents. Filing paper documents in locked cabinets is less secure and more impractical as teachers must constantly view them while working with the student.

Maintain and Archive IEP Documents

IEP records need to be kept for the student in need even after graduation. Having these records saved and archived properly is essential for school administration. Foxit PhantomPDF can compress every student record into a smaller file size without ruining the content of the document, making it ideal for long term storage. School administrations can also add headers, footers, bates numbering, and timestamps to their records to make them easier to retrieve when needed, thus making IEP updating faster and much more efficient. This way schools can make sure their documents will be readily retrievable when there is a need to.

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Join the 575 million users who made the switch to Foxit Software today. Learn more about Foxit PDF Education Solutions here: https://www.foxitsoftware.com/solution/education/


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