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What Is the Average Time To Spend Writing an IEP? | TeachTastic

Updated: May 24, 2022


In a recent national survey, 55 participants were asked, on average, how long it took them to write an IEP. What we discovered was that there were three types of IEP writers. There are the minimalists, the detail-oriented and organized, and the over the toppers or new teachers. Each teacher described their writing process and how they organized to provide individualized and detailed IEP’s for their students. Each keeping in mind the time investment and how districts compensate for caseload management.

Districts average for writing an IEP is between 1 to 2 point five hours of pay. Anything above that is done for free.
Districts average for writing an IEP is between 1 to 2.5 hours of pay.

To answer the question "How long does it take to write an IEP? There needed to be a few factors discussed and a good survey panel before giving hard facts.


Districts average for an IEP is between 1 to 2.5 hours of pay and that includes the writing and the iep meeting time.


Iep Writing Traits of a Minimalist Case Manager

Here is a note from one of our special education teacher participants that we can gain some good takeaways from.

  • Michelle LR writes that a new-to-you or brand new IEP will take hours. But, if it is an annual IEP that she wrote last year, it doesn't take long to update the present levels and goals and proof the rest. She also includes that it is hard to know how much time was spent, because she usually does it in spurts--20 minutes during my prep time, 15 minutes until the staff meeting starts, again the next day when she can, then finishes at home.

  • J Martin writes that she created a word doc with all the generic blurb and descriptions she might or has included in the past. She goes through the online systems and makes her personalized notes. It has saved so much time.

  • B Hanson writes that she also has a phrase bank that she uses and includes terms or paragraphs from other Special Education Teachers or School Psychologists that she likes and would like to remember and add in her writing.

The average time to spend writing an IEP is difficult to estimate, as different people work differently and in different ways. However, some tips from special education teachers include having a minimalist case manager approach, using a word doc with generic blurb and descriptions, and using a phrase bank. This can save time in the long run.


There is no harm in reusing when someone else said it better!

Common Phrases for a Special Education Teacher When Writing Ieps


Every special education teacher has a particular writing style that is individual to them. But if looked at carefully, those unique styles form patterns. Specific phrases that you often use to describe the situation are reused and personalized to the student as needed. You don't have to reinvent the wheel every time you write an IEP. Create a document of phrases that you use often and have them on the ready when writing time comes. You will write half as much but still give the student's IEP the individualized it deserves.


Writing Templates and Phrases for Student Strengths

Looking to help your students shine through strengths-based ieps? Student strength lists can help! This guide walks teachers through the process of writing clear and positive student strengths narratives. From student work habits (work independently) to academics (reading comprehension), every area of a child's development can be highlighted using this easy-to-use, step-by-step guide. Make your narratives shine with a student strength lists guide!