The Individual Education Program (IEP) Meeting
THE TEAM PROCESS AT WORK
The purpose of the Individual Education Program team meeting is to: initiate and discuss evaluations
- determine eligibility for special education services
- develop the Individualized Education Program (IEP)
- review or revise your child's services
- determine appropriate placement (in or out of district)
Parents must receive written notice at least five school days prior to an IEP meeting stating the time, place and purpose of the meeting, and a list of the invited participants.
An IEP team meeting must include a representative of the local education agency (administrator or designee), a special education teacher and general education teacher and a member of the Pupil Personnel Services staff (speech therapist, guidance counselor, psychologist, social worker, nurse, aide, etc.). Parents have the right to participate in their child's IEP meeting and in the decision making process as an equal partner. Students should be included whenever possible or appropriate, especially during transition planning.
Parents may bring persons of their choice to the IEP team meeting for additional support including private specialists, advocates, family members, friends. An interpreter will be supplied if needed.
At the start of the meeting, all participants are introduced. Parents will be offered a copy of the "Procedural Safeguards in Special Education." The team members should clarify the purpose for the meeting as stated on the invitation.
All decisions made at the meeting will be summarized on the "Written Prior Notice" page of the IEP (page 2). The actions recommended by the team, the actions considered but not recommended by the team and any actions refused by the district should be clearly stated on the Written Prior Notice page. Parents should check that their agreement or disagreement with the team recommendation is accurately recorded on the IEP, ("Written Prior Notice" under "Meeting Summary"). Parents may request additional time to consider the recommendations but unless they formally disagree, the IEP will be implemented 5 days after the mailing of the "Written Prior Notice."
Although issues and concerns may be addressed through informal communication, the IEP team meeting is the only legal body that may develop or change the components of a student's IEP.
Parents have the right to request an IEP team meeting to review, revise, or disagree with the IEP decisions.
An IEP team meeting must be scheduled at a time and place mutually convenient for parents and school personnel.
Parents will receive a full copy of the IEP, inducing the Written Prior Notice, within 5 school days after the IEP team meeting.
Parental signature is required under these conditions:
- consent to conduct an evaluation of your child
- initial consent to receive special education services
- consent for private placement
Parents will receive written notice of an IEP team meeting at least 5 school days prior to the meeting.
Parents may request additional time to consider the recommendations but unless they formally disagree, the IEP will be implemented 5 days after the mailing of the 'Written Prior Notice.'
- Before the meeting, write a list of concerns or issues that you feel are important to discuss.
- Talk to other parents who have attended IEP meetings.
- Ask to see your child's school folder and any reports concerning your child prior to the IEP meeting.
- Think about whether your child should be included at the meeting and discuss this with school personnel.
- If the school prepares a draft of the IEP prior to the meeting, you may request to review it before the meeting.
- Take your own notes or tape record what was said at the meeting
- Be a good listener. Listen to the staff's professional opinions about your child. Remember, school personnel are good advocates for your child too.
- When differences of opinion arise, talk them out.
- If you do not understand something, ask that it be restated. You may ask for an example or demonstration of what is meant.
- If you feel pressured or overwhelmed, it is okay to take a break. Leave the room, take a walk and reconvene. If you don't feel you can continue without time out to think about what you have heard, you may ask that the meeting be continued at a later date.