Where are IEP Meetings held?
The IEP meeting will be held in an appropriate setting (usually at your child’s school), where there is privacy, sufficient space and seating for all team members.
How often is an IEP meeting held?
Generally, IEP meetings are held at the following times:
- Initial IEP– The first IEP meeting is held to determine if your child needs special education services and what those services should be.
- Annual review of the IEP– An annual IEP meeting is held to review the progress of your child each year.
- Three-year review of the IEP– A more thorough review of your child’s progress occurs every three years.
How are parents notified about the IEP meeting?
School staff will hold the IEP meeting at a date and time agreeable to you and to the other participants in the IEP meeting. You will receive a Notification to Parent/Guardian to Participate in Individualized Education Program Meeting form to be signed by you and returned.
What is included in the Notification Form I receive?
- When and where the IEP meeting will be held
- The purpose of the IEP meeting
- Whether you will or will not be able to attend
- If you would like an interpreter
- If you would like an independent education evaluation (outside expert’s report) of your child to be considered
- If you would like to reschedule the IEP meeting
How can parents prepare for the IEP meeting?
- If you want to audiotape record the IEP meeting, you must notify the school at least 24 hours in advance of the meeting.
- Review this pocket guide and bring it to the meeting.
- Review the booklet A Parent’s Guide to Special Education Services (Including Procedural Rights and Safeguards).
- Make a list of your child’s strengths and any concerns you have about your child’s educational progress.
What responsibilities to PUSD staff have in preparing for the IEP meeting?
The IEP team leaders are responsible for:
- Arranging for a translator or an interpreter, if you have requested one.
- Ensuring that District IEP team members are invited and attend.
- Ensuring that school staff attend the meeting, present the results of assessment reports and present information about your child’s current levels of performance. These will serve as the basis for the IEP discussion and development of annual goals.
What happens during a typical IEP meeting?
Every IEP meeting is different, because each meeting is based on the individual needs of each child. However, most meetings may proceed like this:
- The IEP team participants introduce themselves, and the purpose of the IEP meeting is stated. If an interpreter or translator is used, procedures for taking turns will be explained.
- Parent Rights and Safeguards are given to you and summarized for you.
- Your child’s assessment reports, teacher reports, and progress reports are discussed. In general, the discussion will concern how your child is doing.
- You may want to talk about concerns and expectations for your child.
- The goals and objectives from the previous IEP are reviewed and discussed, unless it is the first IEP meeting for your child. If so, your child’s eligibility for special education services will be discussed.
- Your child’s educational placement is discussed and decided upon.
Who participates in the IEP meeting?
- The student’s parents/guardians
- At least 1 regular education teacher of the student (when appropriate)
- At least one special education teacher or, when appropriate, the related service provider(s)
- A representative of the school district who is: qualified to provide, or supervise the provision of, specially designed instruction; is knowledgeable about the general education curriculum; and is knowledgeable about the availability of the school district’s resources
- An individual who can interpret the instructional implications of evaluation results (this may be a school psychologist or may be one of the teachers or the district representative listed above)
- Any individuals who have knowledge of or special expertise regarding the student. These individuals can be invited by either the school or the parents and might include an advocate, private tutor or related services personnel (such as a speech-language pathologist, occupational therapist or physical therapist)
- When appropriate, the student (you know your child best, so work with school staff to determine the appropriate age at which your child is ready to be part of the IEP team meeting)
What information does the IEP contain?
- General information about your child–name, address, birth date, etc.
- Your child’s present level of educational performance, including how your child’s disability affects his or her involvement and progress in the general education curriculum
- A statement about your child’s eligibility and, if your child has a specific learning disability, how the disability was determined
- The annual goals and objectives the IEP team develops for your child, including how those goals and objectives will be measured
- If your child is eligible, a statement about the kinds of special education and related services (see previous brief explanation of related services) your child will receive to help him or her achieve those goals and objectives, including specific placement and necessary program modifications and supports
- How often, when and in what setting your child’s special education services will take place
- How your child will participate in the general curriculum and in activities with non-disabled peers outside of the classroom
- How your child’s progress will be monitored and measured, and how you will be informed about the progress
- How your child will take part in State and District-wide tests, or how your child’s progress will otherwise be measured
- Whether your child has any behaviors negatively affecting his or her academic success
- College and career planning should begin for your child by the age of 14. The IDEA requires an Individual Transition Plan (ITP) to be developed and implemented prior to your child’s 16th birthday.
What other services might your child need?
- Sometimes students qualify for what are called related services. These are services are designed to assist your child to benefit from his or her educational program. The IEP team will decide if your child needs any of these services.
Examples and brief descriptions of these services are:
- Speech and language– provides assistance in understanding or using language
- Adapted physical education– assists a child who may have a disability that prevents him or her from benefiting from general or modified physical education
- Occupational therapy– provides assistance in improving or restoring functions lost or impaired through illness, accident or deprivation
- Physical therapy– provides treatment for posture stability, movement, positioning, gait training, etc.
- Counseling– provides educational, career and/or personal counseling and consultation with students, parents, and staff members
- Does your child’s behavior interfere with his or her ability to learn? If so, a behavior intervention plan may need to be developed.
- Is your child an English Language Learner (ELL)? If so, appropriate language goals will be developed.
- Is your child visually impaired, deaf, or hard of hearing? If so, different forms of communication may need to be considered.
- Does your child qualify for extended school year? (special education services in excess of the regular school year)?
- Does your child qualify for transportation to and from school?
- Does your child need assistive technology services? (See the Technical Terms section in the back of this guide).
What happens if you don’t agree with the decisions of the IEP team?
After the IEP has been developed for your child, the administrator or administrative designees will summarize the decisions for the IEP team. If you disagree with any part or all of the IEP, the school staff will again review your rights. If you agree with parts of the IEP, those services can begin with your written consent. No part of the IEP will be implemented without your consent.
If there is a difference of opinion, what are your rights about the IEP team decisions?
- As a parent you have many rights under the law. Participate in the IEP meeting and consent to, or deny consent to, the IEP
- Understand the contents of the IEP
- Understand the appeals process, which includes the right to request a legal hearing
- Meet to review the IEP at least annually, or more often at your request
What happens after the IEP meeting?
- Copies of the IEP will be distributed to you and staff members involved with your child’s education
- Team members who are to follow-up on IEP decisions will be told about them
- If requested by you, the IEP will be translated into your primary language
- If you have any questions, the IEP team or school staff cannot answer, they will give you the names and telephone numbers of District staff who can help you