By: Tina Qvarnstrom, Education Advocate, Cape Cod Advocate
What is the number one subject parents ask us about? They want to know more about Individualized Education Plans (IEP) and how schools administer them. Below are three common questions, and our answers.
1. How can I ensure the IEP is being carried out, as agreed upon at the IEP meeting?
Once an IEP is signed, it becomes legally biding. The agreed upon services and accommodations must be provided by the school and begin immediately. The type, length and frequency of services are outlined in the service delivery grid of the document.
Every time a report card is issued, the professionals providing services to the child are required to complete progress reports. The reports should reflect the child’s progress toward achieving the goal by the annual review date. Often, goals are adjusted based on the child’s progress.
Another method to determine whether services are being provided is to ask to see a copy of the service delivery log that teachers and specialists who work with your child one-on-one or in small groups are required to maintain. The school must provide the log to you upon request. Finally, ask to obtain copies of the IEP meeting notes and minutes immediately after meetings and refer back to them if you become concerned about your child’s progress.
2. Do the administrative representatives at the IEP meeting have the authority to make binding decisions?
All IEP meetings should include parents, a general education classroom teacher, a special education teacher, a representative from the school district who is knowledgeable about resources and can commit funds, and an individual who interprets evaluation results. When appropriate, the child with the disability can also attend. Parents should ask at the start of each meeting about the roles of attendees and clarify that at least one participant has the authority to commit resources and funds on behalf of the district.
3. What if my child is making inadequate progress, but it's not time for the annual IEP meeting?
Parents can request an IEP meeting at anytime. It is best to make the request in writing, briefly outlining your concerns. The letter should be addressed to the IEP Team Chairperson, with a copy to the special education department and the teacher. Once the letter is received, a meeting must be scheduled within 10 days.
If you feel you are not getting the desired response from your child’s school, consider contacting Cape Cod Advocate. With 20+ years experience, we can ensure your child’s education is given the attention it deserves. Give us a call, or email us. We’re here to help you and your child.
This blog is not intended as legal advice nor to take the place of professional consultation. Each child and situation is different. Call or email Cape Cod Advocate for more information.