TIMELINE OF AN IEP MEETING
BEFORE THE MEETING
You should be given ample notice of when the IEP meeting is going to take place. Most often this is done through an IEP Meeting Written Notice which specifies every person who is invited to the meeting, the time of the meeting, and the location of the meeting.
If you feel as though someone else should be invited to the meeting, please make the Case Manager / teacher aware so that they can include all participants. Teachers are people too, and most often this may be an accidental oversight, and easily remedied with a quick update.
I find it best to meet (or talk over the phone) briefly with the teacher in the weeks leading up to the IEP. During this chat you can talk about your expectations, any particular goal ideas you may have in mind, or use this time to ask any questions you may have before the IEP meeting.
Personally, I enjoy meeting with parents in order to gain a better understanding of what direction they would like to see their child moving in. It sets us both up for success, and allows us to connect as a team with a better understanding of one another.
BEGINNING OF AN IEP MEETING
At the IEP meeting, you should be provided with a copy of the DRAFT IEP and Procedural Safeguards.
Once all members have arrived, introductions should be made so that everyone has a clear understanding of what services they are providing for your child.
In most cases, the case manager / teacher will then review what will occur in the meeting. It also helps if there is a clear agenda communicated to all members, whether through written or verbal means.
If there are many participants, teachers may pass out a written agenda to remind everyone of why you are meeting and what the focus is. It’s also a great idea to put a picture of the student on this agenda as a helpful reminder of the REAL reason we are all here. This helps keep egos checked if things happen to get heated!
IEP CONTENT TIME
From this point, the team will begin reviewing the contents of the draft IEP. This includes: personal information and eligibility, present levels, special factors, statewide assessments, goals, offer of FAPE, and parent consent.
Remember! At an IEP meeting, the contents/paperwork you are all reviewing are still in a draft form until you authorize the IEP AND receive all necessary paperwork.
You are all there as active participants and members of a team, and this meeting is an opportunity to review and modify aspects of your child’s education, while discussing their progress. If you would like something altered, have any questions, or are uneasy about the wording of any part of the draft IEP- please speak up during the meeting and before giving any authorization!
IEPs are legal documents, and just as you wouldn’t sign a contract without reading over the specifications; make sure to review exactly what you are signing.
After all signatures have been made, make sure that you receive a copy of your child’s IEP with all necessary adjustments and changes that you agreed to.
Lastly, make sure that as months pass you are given progress reports or assessment results as dictated on your child’s IEP.
This will ensure that all goals are being worked on, and plans are being followed as agreed to.
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