How to Prepare for Your Student’s IEP Meeting 

How to Prepare for Your Student’s IEP Meeting

As discussed in a previous article in this series, participating in IEP meetings falls under the rights of a student’s parent/guardian. Participating in the creation and modifications of your student’s IEP is an essential part of ensuring your student has the supports they need when it comes to their academic career. Because there is so much that can be discussed within an IEP meeting, preparing for the meeting ahead of time can assist in making sure you have covered all of your questions and concerns and ease any anxieties you may be experiencing. Continue reading below for tips on how to prepare for your student’s IEP meeting. 

Take Time Off Work 

Though this may not be feasible for everyone, taking the day before, of, and after your student’s IEP meeting can help you feel more relaxed and prepared for the meeting. Use the day before the meeting to prepare and the day after to rest. If you are not able to fully take off from work, try to lighten your load where you can in order to avoid feeling frazzled or rushed. 

Before the Meeting 

  • Once you receive the invitation to the meeting, document your response by sending a simple email with your RSVP and any concerns you have that you would like discussed in the meeting. You may do this through a “Parent Concerns Letter.” A Special Education Advocate, Lisa of A Day in Our Shoes, walks you through how to write this letter here.
  • If your child is attending the meeting with you, prepare them for it. If rehearsing what they will say or what they want to discuss helps them, take the time to practice with them.  
  • Make sure everyone from the school who you would like to attend the IEP meeting is listed as participants. If someone is missing from the list, you can ask to reschedule to a time when that person is able to attend.  
  • At least one LEA (Local Education Agency) representative should be listed as a meeting participant. This is someone who is representing the school district and is, as defined by the Florida Department of Education, “qualified to provide or supervise the provision of specially designed instruction and is knowledgeable about the general education curriculum and the availability of school district resources.” 

What to Bring to the Meeting 

Bring the following records to the meeting 

  • Your student’s current IEP (if they have one) 
  • Related services and accommodations on your child’s current IEP 
  • Progress reports toward annual goals in the IEP 
  • Recent work samples 
  • Report cards 
  • Performance on assessments (state, district, national) 
  • Most recent evaluations results 
  • Recommendations/communications from professionals outside of the school (for example, a speech therapist, audiologist, mental health professional, etc.) 
  • Communications with teacher/school 
  • If your child is working or is participating in an on-the-job training, bring reviews from their employer or job coach that are relevant. 

Things to Keep in Mind 

  • You may ask to record the meeting for your records ahead of time.  
  • You may also ask to bring another parent/guardian with you to serve as a notetaker during the meeting.   
  • You may ask for more time and to reconvene if you feel there is more to discuss. There is no time limit set on an IEP meeting and there is no need to rush through one.  
  • You do not have to sign the IEP in the meeting. You can take it home to review before signing.

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