IEP stands for Individualized Education Program but for many parents it also spells headache. I am thinking about it today because on Tuesday I need to go to the end of the year meeting with W’s team and talk about where he is for the year and about the upcoming year.
Many parents know what that is like.
The IEP creates an opportunity for teachers, parents, school administrators, and related services personnel, to work together to improve educational results for children with disabilities. The IEP is the cornerstone of a quality education for each child with a disability. It can also be a big headache at times.
The school system schedules and conducts the IEP meeting. School staff must:
* contact the participants, including the parents;
* notify parents early enough to make sure they have an opportunity to attend;
* schedule the meeting at a time and place agreeable to parents and the school;
* tell the parents the purpose, time, and location of the meeting;
* tell the parents who will be attending; and
* tell the parents that they may invite people to the meeting who have knowledge or special expertise about the child.
Does this always happen? NO.
I know with W’s school they call me about 5 days before the meeting and tell me when it will happen and can I be there. Luckily I am a stay at home mom so the answer is always yes. I can always make it. If I would have something else planned I would cancel it. I guess they figure 5 days is plenty of notice, for many parents it wouldn’t be, but I chose to pick my battles and that isn’t one I want to fight.
A few things IEP must include:
Current performance. The IEP must state how the child is currently doing in school (known as present levels of educational performance).
Annual goals. These are goals that the child can reasonably accomplish in a year. The goals are broken down into short-term objectives or benchmarks. Goals may be academic, address social or behavioral needs, relate to physical needs, or address other educational needs.
Special education and related services. The IEP must list the special education and related services to be provided to the child or on behalf of the child.
Participation with nondisabled children. The IEP must explain the extent (if any) to which the child will not participate with nondisabled children in the regular class and other school activities.
Participation in state and district-wide tests. Most states and districts give achievement tests to children in certain grades or age groups. The IEP must state what modifications in the administration of these tests the child will need. If a test is not appropriate for the child, the IEP must state why the test is not appropriate and how the child will be tested instead.
What are your thoughts on IEPs? How has your experience been dealing with this stuff?