Preparing for the IEP: Helpful Hints for a Successful Meeting (page 2)
Before the Meeting
1. Review your child’s current IEP.
• What goals did your child reach? Which ones haven’t been met? Are new goals needed?
• Ask to review all of your child’s school records.
2. Talk to your child about school.
• What subjects and activities do they like or not like?
• Pay attention to what seems to motivate and interest your child.
• Ask your child about their strengths/needs and goals for the future.
3. Visit your child’s classroom(s) and other possible program options.
• Contact the teacher(s) after your visit to ask them questions.
• Before your child transitions to a new school it may be helpful to visit the new facility and meet the staff.
4. Make a list of your child’s strengths and needs.
• Consider academic, social, behavioral and self-help skills for the next year and upcoming transitions.
• Have family members and friends contribute to your list.
5. Make a list of goals you would like your child to achieve.
• What concerns and hopes do you have for your child now and in the future?
• Share your expectations and dreams for your child.
6. Make a list of questions you have for the team.
• Review samples of your child's work and progress reports to see if appropriate progress has been made.
• Call your child’s private therapist or doctor if you have any concerns.Take recent reports from them to the meeting.
7. Know what rights and responsibilities you and your child have for special education services.
• Review the procedural safeguards that the school is required to give you. Ask for information about IEP procedures.
• Attend parent training or contact a parent group for more information.
8. Be prepared to advocate for your child.
• Know who will be attending the meeti
• Have someone with you for support.
• Organize your thoughts and materials.
• Maintain a positive attitude.
• Assume that each member has your child’s best interest in mind and that everyone wants to work together.
During the Meeting
1. The goal of the team meeting is to review, develop and/or revise your child’s IEP.
• You are an equal member of the IEP team.
• Ask for interpretation of test results and for an explanation of how your child will participate in state and district-wide assessments.
• Get answers to your question(s) or ask that someone get back to you later.
• Ask staff to clarify terms or programs which are unfamiliar to you.
2. Steps to take if there are disagreements.
• Work as a team to explore optiions.
• Respect each other’s opinions.
• Repeat your requests and concerns, stating your reason(s), to make sure the team understandsyour position.
• Sign the IEP to show your attendance, but do not give your approval of the IEP contents if you disagree.
• Ask to hold another meeting at a later date if the team can't come to consenses.
• Gather more information if needed.
• Avoid emotional confrontations.
• Ask for and review procedural safeguards. The school will give you the name of a parent advocacy group to help address your concerns.
3. School records are important.
• Request a copy of the IEP document and any other meeting notes.
After the IEP Meeting
1. The IEP meeting is over, but your involvement continues.
• Keep a copy of the current IEP on hand to review periodically and monitor progress.
• Ask for an IEP review meeting if issues and concerns develop and cannot be easily resolved.
2. Continue to learn more about special education procedures and self-advocacy.
• Contact parent groups for resources and training.
• Call the Parent Information Network (PIN) for additional information at 928-679-8102 or toll-free at
877-230-PINS (7467). Visit the PIN online at www.azed.gov/ess/pinspals.
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