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How to Have a Successful IEP Meeting

How to Have a Successful IEP Meeting

Do you approach IEP meetings with fear and dread?  Here are some quick IEP reminders to improve the process AND your confidence.

How to Have a Successful IEP Meeting:

  • EVERY child can learn and make progress.How to Have a Successful IEP Meeting
  • The “I” in IEP stands for individualized. Your child’s IEP must reflect your child.
  • Special Education is NOT a place. Special Education is the supports and services your child receives through his or her IEP.
  • On the IEP, Placement is NOT a location. Placement is the amount of time spent with special education services.
  • As you prepare for the meeting think about:
    • What has been accomplished?
    • What has worked well?
    • What needs more work?
    • What are my concerns? What are my child’s concerns?
  • Check the meeting notice. Make sure you know who is attending and their role in the process. If there is someone surprising on the list (such as a social worker when your child doesn’t receive social work services, call the case manager to find out the purpose of the person’s attendance).
  • Create a vision statement for your child’s life both now and for the future. Work backwards to determine what he needs to accomplish this school year in order to meet the long-term goals.
  • Gather supporting documents such as private evaluations, therapist notes, research-based articles relevant to your child’s situation, etc.
  • Determine if someone will be attending with you such as a private therapist, evaluator and/or advocate. If you are bringing someone, inform the school as soon as possible.
  • Ask for a draft copy of the IEP. Review it in relation to the past IEP(s) and determine if the goals are moving in an appropriate direction. Make a list of questions, concerns and suggestions.
  • The IEP should be specific, detailed and easily understandable by anyone – even to someone who is not a member of the current IEP Team.
  • Statements about your child’s Present Level of Academic Achievement and Functional Performance are critical parts of the IEP. They must be based on quantified data and be very specific.
  • Goals need to be logical, measurable, and relevant to your child, and based on data.
  • IEP teams should strive to reach a consensus. There is NO voting!
  • Stay focused. Don’t get sidetracked.
  • Ask for a break if you need one.
  • Lack of money and/or other resources does not exempt a school district from providing what a child needs.
  • Don’t leave the meeting without a copy of your child’s IEP and the District’s notes.
  • After the meeting, review the IEP notes and submit additional notes and/or corrections if the school notes do not reflect everything that was said and/or if they misrepresent what was said.
  • If you are unhappy with decisions that have been made, take steps to continue working with the school to ensure your child’s needs are being adequately addressed.

NSPT offers school advocacy services in BucktownEvanstonHighland ParkLincolnwoodGlenview and Des Plaines. If you have questions or concerns about your child, we would love to help! Give us a call at (877) 486-4140 and speak to one of our Family Child Advocates today!

How To Notify A Parent About Concerns You Have For a Child In Your Classroom

Teacher In Front Of Classroo Of StudentsThe start of a new school year is associated with many changes for a child’s academic, behavioral, and social functioning.  Teachers are often the first ones to identify concerns regarding a child’s academic, social, or behavioral functioning.  Bringing concerns up to a parent can always be a challenging situation.  Below are several tips that can prove useful for teachers to help identify and bring up concerns with a parent.

5 Tips For Voicing Your Concerns The Right Way

  1. Be confident.  You as a teacher have the most insight in a child’s day to day functioning.  You are able to compare the child’s development to that of the other children in your classroom.  If you suspect that a child is falling behind his or her peers with any domain in your classroom it is important to identify this and bring it up to the parents.
  2. Document.  It is always important to have actual examples to show why you have concern about the child’s performance within the school setting.
  3. Plan.  Have a plan as to what your want to accomplish and how your ultimate goal will be met.  Be specific with your feedback to parents as to what you would expect their child to be doing and also what ideas you have for that child to reach the goal.
  4. Measurable and attainable.  Any goal that you have for a child needs to be measurable and attainable.  If a child was previously standing up and walking around the classroom every 20 minutes, it would not be reasonable to assume that the child can remain seated for a full day of school.
  5. Communication.   After goals are determined and a plan is established it is vital that you and the parents have constant communication in order to ensure that the child has made progress towards the goals that are set.