December 2013 - Graduation of Students with IEPs
An eligible student who requires continued public school educational experience to facilitate his or her integration into society shall be eligible for such services through age 21, inclusive (i.e., through the day before the student’s 22nd birthday).
23 Illinois Administrative Code 226.50
In Illinois there are only two “diplomas” available for youth with disabilities:
- a regular high school diploma
- a certificate of attendance
If a student with an IEP is to receive a regular high school diploma, at least one year prior to the anticipated date of its issuance, both the parent and the student are to receive written notification. At that time the parent or student may request an IEP meeting to review the recommendation that the student receive a regular diploma because once issued the student does NOT continue to receive educational services.
Diplomas can be DEFERRED if the student’s IEP prescribes special education, transition planning, transition services, or related services beyond the time when the minimum State graduation requirements have been met. If the diploma is deferred, the student will continue to be eligible for services.
Brittany’s Law holds that students with disabilities who have completed 4 years of high school may participate in that high school’s graduation ceremony. This allows students to celebrate with their classmates. Those students can then continue their public education in accordance with their individualized education program (IEP).
Contact Family Matters at 866-436-7842 if you have further questions about the graduation of students with IEPs.