Individualized Education Program (IEP) – Meeting
It is important that you speak up. Your opinion matters and just as in any team, everyone is there to work together for the best outcome. In this case, it is the success of your child.
- Bring any important documents/files or notes.
- Arrive early, greet everyone at the meeting.
- Ask if anyone is officially taking notes and review them periodically.
- Review your agenda (give copies to everyone) and the IEP team’s agenda.
- Share your child’s story. Remember you are an expert on your child.
- Always feel free to ask questions if something isn’t clear.
- Don’t move forward unless you understand.
- You can take a break if needed. Just ask.
Before leaving the meeting
- Review your list of concerns and decide if they’ve all been addressed. Review all of the notes taken.
- Schedule another meeting if there are unresolved issues.
- Make an action plan. What are the next steps and who is responsible for them? Restate the next steps, say “Just to make sure I understand everything….”
- Sign the IEP if it is the first time your child has been found eligible for special education services and you agree with the recommendations. If you don’t agree, state your concerns in writing.
- Close the meeting by thanking everyone for their time, participation, efforts and ideas.
- Make sure you have a copy of the IEP, even if a clean copy will be sent later.
- Ask how often you will receive progress notes and how you will receive them (many schools may not provide electronic grades or progress notes).
After the Meeting
Reflect. Follow up. One of the most important things you can do after the meeting is to reflect upon your experience of the meeting. This way you can think of ways you can improve for the next meeting.
Ideas to consider
- Write a letter/email to the team stating any specific tasks that were given out during the meeting and the person responsible (i.e. meeting minutes). This is a great way to get everyone on the same page.
- Write “Thanks You” notes to the team and those invited.
- Share copies of the IEP with other professionals working with your child.
- Make sure all of your child’s teachers are aware of the IEP and/or that it has been updated.
Long Term Strategy
Even more important than the follow up after the meeting is the long-term follow up. Remember that the end of the IEP meeting is the beginning of an
appropriate education for your child.
Stay in contact throughout the year by:
- Paying close attention to your child’s education.
- Ensure proper implementation of the IEP and that your child is making progress.
- Communicate with your child’s teachers. Share successes and address any issues as they arise.
- Make time to review the IEP periodically and request an IEP meeting to discuss changes if needed.
Parent Network of WNY
1021 Broadway Street
Buffalo, NY 14212
Family Support Lines:
English – 716-332-4170
Espanol – 716-449-6394