November 5, 2019 |
Education & Schools
Agreeing on the special education services for a child is done through a strategic, step-by-step planning process. This process is the Admission Review and Dismissal/ Individualized Educational Plan (ARD/IEP) meeting. The planning takes place with thoughtful dialogue based on the specific needs of the child. Gathering information and preparing for the meeting can make a huge difference.
Here are some suggestions shared by parents for parents that may help with this preparation:
- Prepare a vision statement and read it at the beginning of the IEP meeting. This is a gentle way of setting expectations.
- Secure written notice of ARD and use it as a communication tool between you and the IEP team. The document should include:
- The purpose of the ARD. If something is missing ask that it be added to the meeting agenda.
- The proposed date of the meeting. If you are unavailable on that date, provide a list of dates and times you are available.
- Time allowed for the meeting. Don’t be rushed. Ask for additional time if you think it is needed.
- Who is attending. To ensure the right IEP team members are at the meeting, ask for the name and roles of those who will participate. If someone is missing from the list, request they be there.
- Request a copy of all information that will be reviewed at the meeting. Some examples include:
- Evaluation reports/data
- Proposed IEP goals & objectives
- Behavior/incident reports
- Data used to determine mastery of goals and objectives
- Proposed modifications and accommodations
- School-sponsored extracurricular activities
- Attendance policies
- Student code of conduct
- Review the information. Make a list of questions if you have them and take them to the meeting with you.
- Request a blank copy of the IEP paperwork and the meeting agenda. It is important to understand the order in which decisions should be made. It is not uncommon for the ARD/IEP discussion to get off track.
- If you plan to voice record the meeting, notify the school of this in advance. If you record the meeting, it is likely the school will also want to record the meeting. You don’t want to waste valuable time waiting for the school to find and set up their recorder.
- Review your child’s ARD/IEP binder. One of the best ways to prepare for your child’s ARD/IEP meetings and track his or her progress is to put together and maintain an IEP binder. The binder will help you keep key documents handy, along with details about phone calls and other communication with the school. Your ARD/IEP binder will be your best friend if you need to locate important documents at a later time.
- Prepare your Parent IEP Attachment. The Parent IEP Attachment is a tool designed to help parents document their proposal, the response, and other important information during the IEP meeting.
- Review your rights and the rights of your child. The more you know the better advocate you will be.
You will find more information in the Education and Schools section.