Perhaps one of the most nerve wrecking experiences for a special needs parent is receiving an envelope in the mail from their school district. Yet, it is that time of year again when families can expect to start hearing from the district regarding IEP meetings. To that end, Ratcliff Law is here to provide support and guidance. Over the next several weeks we will be publishing a series of blogs to help parents before, during, and after their IEP meetings.
The Key is Preparation
This process does not have to be overwhelming or scary, and the first steps to take come before the meeting itself. Once you receive your meeting notice, take a breath and take a look at the steps below...
Three Easy, But Important Steps to Take BEFORE Your IEP Meeting
1. Make sure your evaluations, assessments, and progress reports are up to date: Collect all of your child's most recent reports, and have copies ready to take to your meeting - don't assume the district will have copies in your child's file even if you sent it to them ahead of time. Also, assess if your child needs to be reevaluated by your private evaluator - if it has been 3 years or more since the last one, think about an update.
2. Reschedule the meeting for a date you can attend IN PERSON: While attending your child's IEP meeting is a key part of cooperating with the district, the CSE must be reasonably accommodating to your schedule. If the date and time assigned to you does not work, contact them for a new date, and make sure to follow up on your request. It is not a good idea to attend your IEP meeting over the phone; it limits your participation. Pick a day when you can be there in person.
3. Don't rely on the school district - make sure you let your child's teachers and providers know about the meeting: The district is responsible for inviting your child's educators to the meeting, but make sure to check their work. Inform your child's school, and any teacher, provider, or evaluator who you want there of the date and time of the meeting with as much advance notice as possible.
For additional questions about IEPs, IEP meetings, or any other inquiries contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or 646-741-3030. Also, stay tuned and check back during the next several weeks to learn even more about meeting with the CSE.