Before the Team Meeting
Prior to the team meeting, write down a bullet list of all issues and questions you want to make sure get discussed at the meeting. Make a list of your concerns, vision, and child’s strengths. Provide the school with all private evaluation results 10 school days before the meeting. And request copies of any of the evaluation reports that the school has conducted. You should ask in writing to get them 48 hours prior to the meeting.
At the Team Meeting
During the team meeting there will be lots of information provided by the teachers, specialists, and service providers. Try to bring someone with you who can take notes as you ask questions and respond to the information you are given. You may be provided with a draft IEP to review and make changes to. Don’t be afraid to request to change anything you feel is not appropriate on the IEP. Your input is extremely important. No one knows your child like you do. It is supported by the law that you should be included and be an integral part of the process of creating the IEP for your child.
After the Team Meeting
You will receive the final proposed IEP and must respond within 30 days. You have three options when responding. You can accept the proposed IEP in full, reject in full, or reject in part. I would not recommend rejecting in full as this provides nothing to the student. If you reject in part or reject missing or insufficient provisions, then the accepted portions should be implemented immediately. Remember, what is provided to your child is what they need, not what you want or what is best. As parents and advocates, we always strive to get what’s best, but the law supports what is needed. If you don’t feel that your child is getting what they need, request additional special education evaluations and assessments. If you are not satisfied with the school’s assessment, you can request an IEE or Independent Educational Evaluation at no cost to you.