By Carly Anderson
In my career as an elementary school teacher and intervention coordinator, I’ve sat in hundreds of individualized education program (IEP) meetings. They’re a regular part of my weekly schedule.
This is probably a weird thing to say, but I actually really like them. Why? They’re an opportunity. It’s a chance for families and support staff to sit down and communicate, a chance to hash out plans for children who need support and a chance to create a positive learning environment for every child.
An IEP meeting is a chance for school personnel and parents to communicate. The one thing I say to every parent before an IEP meeting? Be prepared. Do your homework. An IEP meeting can be an amazingly positive experience if everyone is able to communicate clearly.
Here are several things to do before an IEP meeting:
• Observe in your child’s current classroom setting.
• Reread their expiring IEP if they already have one. Do you feel their academic and behavioral goals have been met? Be prepared to share your thoughts.
• Make a list of concerns and a list of accomplishments. What is going well? What is still a challenge?
• Research the academic standards for your child’s grade level. Consider where they currently fall in terms of those standards. They may need support still, and that’s totally fine. But the more you’ve thought about these long-term goals, the more prepared you’ll be to speak to them and to listen to the team.
• Be prepared to ask questions (a lot of them).
Once you’re at the IEP meeting, here are 10 questions you should ask:
Read more. The Mighty.