Question: Can training for school staff be written into an IEP?
Answer: Yes. Under the IDEA and corresponding federal and Virginia state regulations, the IEP shall include “supports for school personnel” to enable the child to make appropriate progress and participate in school activities. Supports for school personnel have been widely understood to include training for school staff, as shown in the Virginia Department of Education’s model IEP form:
The training would be specific to the individual disability-related needs of the particular student. This could include training in how to manage a student’s unexpected behaviors, or how to work with a student who uses Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC), for example.
If a school division’s form does not include a space for Supports for School Personnel, that does not mean that training – or other supports – cannot be provided. Deficient forms should not drive an IEP’s content. Training for staff can be written into another part of the IEP. A school division’s failure to include a space on its IEP form for “Supports for School Personnel” could be indicative of a systemic problem in not providing these types of supports.