Special Education: Parent Information Regarding IEP Meetings
WHAT SHOULD PARENTS PREPARE FOR AND EXPECT AT AN IEP MEETING?
The IEP Document: The IEP document is to be developed by a team of persons, including the parent, or guardian, who have knowledge about the child, educationally. The team should consist of a general education teacher, special education teacher, parent, school administrator or designee, and other personnel having knowledge or dealings with the child, relevant to the educational process.
The parent should receive written notice of the meeting ten days prior to the convening of the meeting. If ten days notice are not provided, but the parent wishes to proceed with the meeting, the parent may sign a waiver to give up that right, and have the meeting occur. Additionally, parents have the right to bring persons to the meeting whom they feel have pertinent information regarding the child. In cases where the student, as agreed by the team, is mature enough to participate appropriately, the student may also attend.
Goals and Benchmarks: The Individualized Education Program includes goals and benchmarks to elicit and document desired progress. The goals are written for long term use, are to be completed within a year's time, and are to be reviewed, at a minimum, annually, at the student's Annual Review. The benchmarks are smaller steps, leading to the completion of the long term goal.
Parents should receive information regarding the student's progress on annual goals and benchmarks, as often as general education students receive progress reports on their work in school.
Educational Placement: Placement in the Least Restrictive Environment occurs near the end of the IEP meeting, once all of the information available to the student has been provided. The team, including the parent, then reviews the student's educational needs and chooses the placement in which those needs can best be met. Related Services are also discussed at this time and may include speech services, social work or counseling services, occupational/physical therapy, nursing services and adaptive PE.
Other areas that may be discussed as part of the IEP team meeting may include "Transition Planning" for students who are fourteen years or older, or "Transfer of Rights" for students who are seventeen or who will be turning seventeen during the year the IEP is current.
The IEP is a working document: If at any time you have a question or a concern regarding your child's IEP, you have a right, as a member of the IEP team, to request an IEP meeting to discuss your concerns. It is best to contact your child's special education teacher to facilitate this process.
Recording the IEP Meeting: District 205’s standard practice is that IEP meetings may not be recorded unless all IEP team members agree to the recording. A parent, or guardian, requiring the recording of an IEP meeting in order to meaningfully participate due to a disability, or other impacting factor, must request the accommodation prior to the meeting so that an exception to the standard practice can be considered. If the basis for the request is the parent’s disability, the parent must provide a written statement from a physician licensed to practice medicine in all of its branches, a licensed physician assistant (PA), or a licensed Advanced Practice Registered Nurse (APRN) documenting the parent’s disability along with an explanation as to why the parent requires the meeting recorded as an accommodation for the disability. The request to record the IEP meeting as a disability accommodation must be submitted to the Assistant Superintendent for Student Services or designee or the Building Principal consistent with Board Policy 8:70. If the basis for the request is another impacting factor, such as a parent’s limited English proficiency, the accommodation request must be submitted to the Assistant Superintendent for Student Services or designee or the Building Principal prior to the meeting so that an exception to the standard practice can be considered. When the Assistant Superintendent for Student Services or designee or the Building Principal determines that recording the IEP meeting would constitute a reasonable accommodation, the parent must be allowed to record the IEP meeting, even if all IEP team members do not agree. Whenever an IEP meeting is recorded, the Building Principal should ensure that a second recording is made so that it becomes a part of the student’s temporary record maintained by District 205. The Assistant Superintendent for Student Services or designee or the Building Principal may determine that an alternative reasonable accommodation will be provided by District 205 to ensure the parent’s meaningful participation at the IEP meeting. IEP meetings must not be broadcasted in any form, including on social media. If participation at an IEP meeting involves the use of telephone or video conferencing, the IEP meeting must not be recorded through those alternative participation methods, unless an exception has been authorized by District 205.
(Updated on 1-29-2020)