Video Summary: How does the school make sure parents can participate in the IEP process?

This video covers how your child’s school makes sure that you are involved with your child’s Individualized Education Program (IEP). As the child’s parent or guardian, you are the most important member of the IEP team, and must attend as many IEP meetings as possible. You are your child’s number-one advocate, and you have the best perspective on what your child can do and what the IEP should help them accomplish. It is in fact harder to have younotattend an IEP meeting than for you to go to one (you can change the date and time of a meeting if it doesn’t suit your needs, and the process for having you not attend a meeting is intricate and difficult). Most of the time, however, the school, along with the rest of the IEP team, want you to be at the meeting.

Before going to the meeting, you should know who is going to the meeting (also, be aware that you can invite someone who you think might have a unique knowledge of the child that could help the IEP as long as you let the school know). You should also understand and approve of the purpose of the IEP meeting (whether it’s an annual review or a specially requested meeting to address an issue with your child or the IEP). Below, we’ve provided an abridged version of some of the documentation of the IEP process under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).

How does the school ensure your participation in the IEP process?

You will receive a formal notification that the meeting will take place. This notice will include notices of:

–       The purpose of the meeting

–       The time and place of the meeting

–       Who will attend the meeting

–       If the child is 16 or older, if the child is invited

–       If the child is 16 or older, whether an outside agency representative will attend.

For more information on the form of Notification and what you should know before you enter the IEP meeting, please see the section on this form.

To ensure that the parents are further involved with their child’s IEP, the parents will receive a copy of the finished IEP for review. The copy may be provided at the meeting, or provided within a few days of the meeting if it needs to be modified or extended. You should review this copy to make sure everything discussed in the meeting is on this finished copy. If you see that something is missing, let the school know immediately.

For more detailed version of the federal and state regulations on IEP meetings, please see the following sections: 34 CFR sec 300.322 (Federal), 92NAC 51.007.06 (State)