Students raising their hands in a classroom

Step 3: Planning and Placement Team Process

What is a Planning and Placement Team (PPT)?

A PPT is a composed of certified and / or licensed professionals who represent:

  • The child’s regular education teacher
  • At least one special education teacher
  • An individual who can interpret evaluation results
  • Administrative and pupil personnel staff at the child’s school
  • Parent (s) of the child
  • Other persons knowledgeable about the child’s development, academic achievement or functional performance
  • If appropriate, the child

Members come together at PPT meetings to make decisions about evaluation procedures and the child’s Individualized Education Plan (IEP).  All team members participate equally in the decision making process.

What should I know about the first PPT meeting?

  • Parents should receive written notification at least five days prior to the PPT meeting. 
  • The initial PPT meeting will document the referral to special education and will discuss the evaluation and identification process.
  • The team will look at information that is already available about how the child is doing in school and will decide whether additional information is needed.
  • Parents should receive procedural safeguards in their native language or mode of communication upon initial referral or request for evaluation.

What type of information is needed at the first PPT meeting?

  • Parent ideas and concerns about the child’s school experiences, abilities, needs and behavior
  • Classroom observations and scores on tests given in the classroom and on any state tests, such as the Connecticut Mastery Test
  • Observations from related services providers, such as a school psychologist, occupational therapist, speech therapist or physical therapist

What are parents’ rights at the PPT meeting?

Parent involvement is crucial to the process of identifying and evaluating students with disabilities and ensuring that they receive a free appropriate public education.  The school district must take any action necessary to make sure that the parents of a child referred for special education understand the proceedings and their rights at the PPT meeting.

The school district is responsible for arranging a translator for parents with deafness or whose native language is not English.  Additionally, a PPT meeting must be scheduled at a mutually agreed upon time and place.  If neither parent can attend the meeting, the district must make reasonable efforts to use other methods to ensure parent participation, including conference calls.

What is the parents’ role at the PPT meeting?

Parents may feel overwhelmed when they attend a PPT meeting.  Time may pass quickly and they may feel rushed.  In addition, special education terminology can be hard to understand.  Yet parents are supposed to be equal participants in the meeting.

To ensure that they are fully involved in the PPT process, parents can prepare for the initial PPT meeting by:

  • Becoming familiar with state and federal special education laws by calling CPAC.
  • Bringing documentation of need from any outside sources, for example a pediatrician.
  • Bringing samples of the child’s work that says something about the child and supports the parents’ concerns.  These could be samples from out-of-school activities as well as school work.
  • Finding out who will be attending the meeting.
  • Preparing to share what they know about their child.  For help with this, fill out the Positive Student Profile.

What are possible outcomes of the initial PPT meeting?

After reviewing the information about the child, the PPT may decide that an evaluation is not needed and that the regular education program and services are appropriate.  If, on the other hand, the PPT needs further information to determine whether or not the child has a disability and is in need of special education, then the PPT plans the initial evaluation.

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