69 Kids and the Law Other individuals or agencies with special expertise or knowledge of the child may be invited by the parent or the school. A child under 14 may be a part of the Team if the parent or guardian decides it is in the child’s best interest. The Team must also have one member who knows what services are available and has the authority to commit the resources of the school district. What happens at a Team Meeting? At a Team Meeting the results of the assessments are reviewed and the Team determines if the child is eligible for special education and related services. If the child is found NOT eligible, the school sends a letter to the parent or guardian stating why and providing information about the parent or guardian’s right to appeal the decision. Even if not eligible for “special education or relat- ed services,” children may still receive extra help from the school. Sometimes the school develops a 504 Plan* for a student with disabilities who has been determined to be able to make effective progress in school without “special education;” this plan offers supportive services or accommodations to help the student participate in the general education curriculum and all aspects of school life. If the child is found to need special education services, the Team will develop an Individualized Education Program (see below) to try to meet those needs. * A 504 Plan, named after Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, pro- vides accommodations (adjustments) to “remove barriers” to learning for stu- dents with mental or physical impairment who are determined not to require special education services. A student with a 504 plan usually spends the entire school day in a general education classroom. What is an Individualized Education Program (IEP)? An IEP is a program developed by the Team, with the help of the evaluators, parent or guardian, and the child, if 14 or older. The IEP is a formal agreement between the parent or guardian and the school about the special education Special Education Issues 7