Navigate Life Texas: Resources for kids with disabilities and special needs

Navigate Life Texas: Resources for kids with disabilities and special needs

How to Create an Organized Binder for Your Child’s Individualized Education Program (IEP)

03/29/2017 | Published by: Kelly Mastin

Ever feel inundated with the paperwork that you get from your child’s school? It is easy to get overwhelmed and lose control of the piles of papers. However, with a little effort you can organize the paper in a very useful way.

1. Gather Supplies

  • 3-ring binder
  • 3-hole punch
  • Dividers (at least 6)
  • Blank notebook paper
  • Your stack of paperwork

2. Label the Dividers

The 6 dividers should be labeled: 

  1. Communication
  2. Evaluations
  3. IEP (Individualized Education Program) 
  4. Report Cards
  5. Work Samples
  6. Behavior

3. Communication Section

In the Communication section, include a list of everyone on your child’s team, their title or role, and their contact information (email address and phone number). 

Include some blank notebook paper on which to write a communication log. In the log, write the dates and details of every email, letter, phone call, and face-to-face conversation. Include what was discussed and what was decided in each correspondence. 

Behind the communication log, put copies of the emails and letters organized by date, newest to oldest. Every correspondence should be written in the log and filed in the Communication section.

4. Evaluations Section

In the Evaluations section, file the requests, the consent for evaluations, and copies of the reports. 

Include evaluations done at school and any private evaluations. Again, these should be organized by date, newest to oldest, in groups by each evaluation. Each evaluation should have a request, a consent, and a report.

5. The IEP Section

In the IEP section, include a copy of the Procedural Safeguards and a copy of your child’s current IEP. Sometimes, the IEP will be just a few pages. Other times, the IEP will be 30-40 pages long. Be sure to include a full copy.

6. The Report Card Section

Include any report cards and progress reports. These should be organized from newest to oldest.

7. Work Samples Section

Include copies of your student’s work that shows progress, lack of progress, or any concerns. This work can show good and bad examples of modifications and accommodations. Organize work by date, newest to oldest.

8. Behavior Section

In the Behavior section, include a copy of the school’s student code of conduct and your child’s Behavior Intervention Plan if he or she has one. Also, file any referrals or behavior reports that your child has.

It is important not to write on any original copies of any of the paperwork from your child’s school. Do not write in pencil, in pen, or with highlighter. If there is something you want to emphasize or mark, use a sticky note or make a copy and only mark on the copy. Never write on the original.

Be sure to take your new IEP Binder to your ARD meetings. You will be able to participate and easily find whatever you need. And all of this can be achieved by spending a little bit of time organizing that messy pile of paperwork!

Taken from the informative video published by Understood.org.

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